Things to Know about Hardwood Flooring
When selecting hardwood floors there are many different species to choose from. About 90% of what we sell is red oak and maple. It is most commonly found in households today. So how do you determine what species is right for you?
Have a high traffic home? A red oak might be right for you as it has more variation then say for example a maple therefore helping hide better.
What is the difference of the species aside from graining or appearance? Some species are harder than others. In the flooring industry we have what they call a Janka rating scale. This rates the hardness of the wood. You will find the exotics are some of the hardest woods.
Stain has come a long way over the years. Before there used to be just a few traditional ones, now they have greys, blacks and even artic whites. It is best when living in a home with a lot of wear to not go too light or too dark. Being that either extreme will show more wear.
High Gloss – Shiny and smooth amplifies light but also can amplify marks and scratches
Semi-Gloss – Most common on most floors
Matte – Reduces appearance of marks and scratches
Boards are classified according to the variations of natural color. The “select and better” has minimal variation while a “traditional” grade has more variation. A “rustic” grade which is very popular now has more knots and cracks. BE SURE when talking to the sales person to mention the amount of variation you have in mind for your home. Please note not all sample boards you see in the store give an accurate depiction of what the entire finished product will look like.
There are many widths of boards to choose from these days. Traditional widths are 2 ¼” to 3 ¼” . Now we have been introduced to some going up to 7” widths! Narrower boards make a room look longer, while wider boards make it appear shorter.
Engineered or Solid
Typically most people prefer to go with solid wood if it is in an application that allows for it (above ground and not on a concrete surface.) The biggest advantage to a solid wood is that you can refinish it over time and it will look brand new afterwards. Engineered wood is created for environments that have varying humidity.