Choosing the Style
wood flooring is always installed in strips, which may
be of varying lengths and widths, stanard wood floors
can be stapled or glued. In addition, the strips are
available in thicknesses ranging from 5/16 to 3/4
and in widths ranging from 2 to 8. Wide strips,
called planks, range from 3 to 8. Parquet floors
are made of strips laid in irregular, formal designs;
these floors reveal the full range of the chosen
woods colors and create a highly patterned floor that
is often appreciated for its simple beauty without the
addition of rugs.
Choosing Hardwood or Laminated Flooring
hardwood is usually preferred for restoration and new
construction, engineered and laminated flooring has some
advantages in certain situations. It can be glued down
or floated in above an irregular surface, making it
ideal for basements and damp or humid areas.
advantage of Engineered over Laminated is that it can be
refinished several times.
Choosing a Wood Species
for Hardwood Floors
Over 20 unique species of domestic and
imported hardwood are used for flooring, each with a
distinctive tone and texture. Among the most popular are
Red Oak, White Oak, Maple, Pine and Hickory/Pecan.
Beautiful durable floors are also frequently constructed
of domestic Ash, Beech, Black Cherry, Douglas Fir,
Where a unique or specialty floor is desired, decorators
and homeowners often choose from a range of imported
hardwoods such as Brazilian Cherry, Australian Cypress,
Teak, or Mahogany as well as lesser known woods such as
Padauk, Wenge, Merbau, Purpleheart, and Bamboo.
Every hardwood species has its own characteristics. In
addition, every board has unique traits that are derived
from the tree it came from. The professional selection
and aartistic combination of these traits produces a
solid floor with a range of natural variations that
testify to its organic composition.
Choosing the Grade
The grade assigned to the flooring reflects its
surface appearance. Strength and other structural
qualities are uniform within a species and are
independent of Grade.
Select has fewer markings than Common.
Clear has almost no knots or flags and displays uniform
Common Grade 1 exhibits fewer knots and other
distinctive markings than Grade 2 and is also considered
Common Grade 2 is used for rustic, sporty
interiors; it contains all of the natural markings found
in the species, such as knots, flags, color variations,
and worm holes.
Choosing the Cut
One of the most important factors in the
final appearance of a floor is the cut of the boards.
The most common cut is plainsawn, which reveals the tree
growth rings and other variations. Plainsawn is the most
economical choice because it can be produced with little
waste. Quartersawn, while somewhat more expensive to
produce, tends to wear more evenly than plainsawn as
well as lying flatter and resisting twisting. Similar to
quartersawn but with a slightly different angle and
appearance is riftsawn.
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