Information Guide to Wood Flooring

Many selections must be made when selecting hardwood flooring for your home. There are a variety of types, styles, colors, species and cuts to meet the demands of today’s lifestyles. Your lifestyle, decorating needs and budget will need to be considered when making your decisions. It is recommended that you consult with your flooring specialist to guide you through the many choices available and help you decide which choice best fits your specific needs.

Types of Wood Flooring

  • SOLID WOOD FLOORING: Solid wood ranges in thickness from ¼” to 25/32”, but some can be as thick as 1”. Width will depend on the style, species, cut and the look you want to achieve in your home.
  • ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING: This product is constructed in various layers with the grain alternating in opposite directions which gives this product more stability and is recommended for installation in areas where solid wood is not practical or cannot be installed. Engineered flooring is usually available in 3-5 ply.
  • ACRYLIC INPREGNATED FLOORING: The wood grain of this product is injected with an acrylic material making it very hard and durable. This type of flooring is best suited for commercial applications such as restaurants, malls and other high traffic areas. With today’s choices of patterns and colors this product could also be an alternative for use in your home.

Styles of Wood Flooring

  • STRIP FLOORING: This is flooring with a lineal tongue and grove construction most often ranging in width of 1.5” to 2.25”. This product is available in solid or engineered woods.
  • PLANK FLOORING: This is the same as strip flooring except for the width. Most plank flooring widths start at 3” or 3.25” and increase in width by 1” increments with some varieties reaching up to 12-14” wide. This product is available in solid or engineered woods.
  • PARQUET FLOORING: This is pieces of wood flooring most often installed in a geometrically designed pattern.

Colors of Wood Flooring

There is a large variety of colors to fit any décor. You can achieve unique looks with the many custom stains and finishes available. If your floor is beginning to show its age you can achieve an entirely new look with a new stain and finish; the possibilities are endless.

Species of Wood Flooring

Today, wood flooring is available in many species, both domestic and exotic. There are many colors, hardness and price ranges to be considered. Your flooring specialist can help you decide which species will meet the needs of your home and your budget.

Cuts of Wood Flooring

The angle a wood board is cut determines the look of the finished product. Wood flooring is cut either plain sawn, quarter swan or rift sawn.

  • PLAIN SAWN: This is the most common cut used for wood flooring. The cut board contains more variation than the other two kinds of cuts because the grain patterns from the growth rings are more obvious. This cut produces the most board feet per log and is the most economical for residential applications.
  • QUARTER SAWN: This cut produces less board feet per log and is therefore more expensive, but will wear more evenly over time and is less likely to twist or cup.
  • RIFT SAWN: This cut is similar to quarter-sawing but the log is cut at a slightly different angle. This cut produces the least board feet per log and is more expensive.

About the Author

Carl Padron

Carl is the guy to ask when it comes to flooring. He started in hardwood refinishing 30-plus years ago, earned his stripes and used what he’d learned to become an expert on hardwood refinishing, solid and engineered hardwood installation, carpet, ceramic tile, laminate and vinyl flooring installation. You’ll find his work in universities, hospitals, professional sports venues, state museums and theaters, pubs, and of course, homes throughout the state.

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