Hardwood Flooring & Installation
If you are looking to add life, color, and most importantly value to your home or business, engineered hardwood is the way to go. Check out our different styles and looks.
Why Hardwood Floors Are Perfect
Whether looking for traditional or contemporary styles you will find an endless amount of colors and styles in hardwood to choose from for either your living room or commercial space.
The first step in selecting your wood floor is selecting a stain finish color that would best suite your project. You may choose either a natural finish or a stained finish that blends and coordinates with the room and building’s decor.
Transitions to different flooring surfaces, such as carpet and tile, will have an impact on your overall interior design aesthetics therefore it is important to have a good idea of the overall flooring layout before you begin your project. Light colored wood finish will certainly brighten up a room, while dark colored finishes will add warmth and depth to your environment. In a larger home however it may be possible to incorporate multiple colors in different areas of the home if the styles are distributed appropriately throughout the building.
Lighting, windows, and sun direction also play a role in choosing the right wood floor. After you have selected a general color scheme, you will want to decide on wood species.
Some of the most popular species include Hickory, Oak, Maple, Walnut, Brazilian Cherry, Santos Mahogany, and Bamboo. There are well over one hundred wood species to choose from. Other species, such as Red Oak, White Oak, North American Maple, and Hickory / Pecan, are among the most popular American wood species.
Among the most popular exotic species from around the globe include Brazilian Cherry, Brazilian Walnut, Santos Mahogany, Asian Walnut, and Bamboo.
Solid wood flooring, though it is decreasing in popularity, is the most prestigious and will add most value to your home. However, it can also be problematic in terms of defects and maintenance issues. Solid flooring is worth the investment, but it does cost more, both for materials and installation hours and precision. The upside of solid wood is that it can be customized, sanded and refinished multiple times, potentially lasting multiple generations, up to one hundred years. Most popular solid wood floors are red and white oak 3/4″ thick and should be used in installation surfaces either on grade or above grade interiors. Lower profile solid planks, particularly those approaching the 5/16″ thickness, are less stable, and can be difficult to install and maintain in most species and grades of wood. Also to bear in mind is that solid wood responds to variation in temperature and humidity. As the seasons change, you may notice gaps between the planks, typically in the colder months, or cupping, typically in the seasons of high humidity and temperatures. Maintenance wise, it is important to note that solid wood, like all other wood based floors should never be steamed clean. Wood is most definitely wood – it moves with seasonal and interior environmental changes. If you are looking for worry-free wood flooring, you may want to consider engineered hardwood.
Engineered hardwood flooring looks and feels just like solid wood. In fact, engineered wood floors are just as real as solid wood. The only difference being is that engineered wood is composed of multiple layers of hardwood, typically three to 14 layers, which are plies of hardwood bonded (engineered) together. This “engineered” cross-ply construction adds immensely to a floor’s stability and durability. Engineered wood floors are able to withstand greater moisture content and temperature / humidity fluctuation. They will not expand and contract to the degree that solid wood flooring does, given a comparable interior environment. Unlike solid wood, they can be installed below grade, in many cases, and are overall simpler to install and in a wider variety of applications. The wear layer, or ply “face” (top layer) of engineered wood flooring may be any of hundreds of varieties of species, styles, stains, and textures. Style and design options are virtually unlimited, as engineered hardwood can be found in different finishes and stiles such as smooth, hand-scraped, wire-brushed and even styles that incorporate more than one design, such as hand-scraped-against-grain and combinations of handscraped and wire brushed in the same product. Engineered wood can be sanded and refinished one to 10 times, but most often a “screen and recoat” process is sufficient to revive the aesthetic appearance – this does not remove any wood in the process, but only abrades the top coat of urethane to be replaced with a fresh coat. The screen and recoat process can be performed every 10-30 years or so.
When you think of hardwood floors, the old 3/4″ thick 2 1/4″ wide strip planks may come to mind. Hardwood floors have come a long way since the days where classic longstrip flooring was the norm. In addition to strip planks, interior designers and homeowners now have options limited only by one’s imagination, everything from acrylic impregnated wood to reclaimed oak or pine from 200 year old barns or structures.
Hardwood flooring installation best practices are varied yet particular. A professional installation crew will know exactly how to address every aspect of the project, including preliminary testing, and interior environment preparations. In some cases, depending on the condition and type of foundation and the type of floor being installed, some additional preparatory work may be required, e.g. moisture barrier application, concrete sealer, self leveling compound application, etc., to ensure that your particular wood floor performs perfectly in your home or commercial space.