Understanding Your Hardwood Flooring Options

If you are considering a home flooring project, it is likely that hardwood has popped up on your list of options.  Made entirely of genuine wood, hardwood floors can add value and décor to any home.  However, the quality of different types of flooring can differ.  Consider these components when selecting your hardwood floors:

FORM:  Hardwood flooring comes in two types – solid and engineered.  Solid hardwood flooring is made of one solid piece of wood, rather than layers of wood. An ideal choice for most areas of your home at the ground level or above, it is usually nailed or stapled to a wooden subfloor. Alternately, engineered hardwood flooring is a hardwood that has been engineered from multiple layers of solid wood pressed together, in a cross-ply (layer) construction with the grains running in different directions. Engineered hardwood flooring is particularly stable and sturdy.  As suck it is very versatile and suitable for direct gluing over subflooring or concrete.

WOOD SPECIEIS & ORIGIN: Both the species and origin of the wood used in your chosen floor boards can impact the price, aesthetic, and functionality of your hardwood floor.  For example, planks made from an exotic wood will be harder to come by than that made from a maple.  However, the wood from a Brazilian cherry tree is nearly four times harder than the wood from a fir tree.  In addition, the location in which your planks originated can impact the hardness.  For example, because the growing season is longer for trees grown in the north, planks that originated in the north will have grown slower, resulting in a harder, denser wood.  Alternately, wood grown in the south will have grown more quickly, resulting in cheaper, but also softer and weaker wood.

MILLING TECHNIQUE: A high quality mill will cut their planks with the goal of finding a strong and aesthetically pleasing grain pattern, even if this means sacrificing some of the wood in the process.  After cutting, a premium mill will allow their planks to air dry for weeks, or even months, in order to produce straight, flat boards.  Alternately, mills can kiln dry their planks, stabilizing the wood’s moisture level in a temperature controlled oven.

Each of the factors noted above can influence the quality of your hardwood floors. If you’d like to learn more about all your different flooring options visit ProSource’s website, that’s where we order all of our flooring materials from.  Keep these in mind the next time you consider your flooring options or contact us today for a no-cost in home consultation!