Types of Wood Flooring Products & Wood Grades

Types of Wood Flooring Products & Wood Grades

Hardwood Flooring: Types of Wood Laminate for Chicago Area Installations

Hardwood Flooring: Types of Wood Commercially Available for Flooring

Hardwood flooring and types of wood that is commercially available for the homeowners or DIY customers include most commercial brands, although some products are distributed as contractor-grade or professional-grade products. There are a wide range of species of hardwoods (and softwoods) available for wood flooring or wood laminates for flooring. Great Western Flooring, with three design centers in the Chicago metropolitan area offer homeowners a wide range of wood, laminate, tile, carpet, and flooring options for home improvement projects or major renovations.

Hardwood Flooring Options available at Great Western Flooring

Most wood flooring is available in one of four general categories. These choices for hardwood flooring (types of wood) generally include:

  • Prefinished Hardwood generally prefinished hardwoods are factory sanded and finished and are frequently commercially available as solid hardwoods or engineered varieties. Commonly, prefinished hardwoods have seven to nine finish coats that may include an aluminum oxide finish for a finer finish than home-finished or manually applied finishes; these prefinished hardwoods are frequently UV-cured (cured with ultraviolet light) and manufacturing generally avoids debris or particulates that are common to field-applied finishes, varnishes, stains or even paints; with care, your floor may never needed to be refinished in your lifetime or for the duration of your home ownership; these prefinished hardwoods frequently have a 25 year warranty on the finished goods or materials
  • Types of Wood Flooring Products & Wood Grades
  • Finished On-Site Hardwood usually a solid wood of any species (engineered varieties available) that is unfinished and milled into tongue-and-groove form; frequently these hardwoods are installed unfinished, sanded in spot, and usually finished in situ with three coats of filed-applied finishes; primary finishing choices include oil-based polyurethanes, water-based polyurethanes and tongue-oil; finishing typically lasts 5-10 years, and will require periodic refinishing or application of sealants
  • Solid Hardwood a very popular choice, although always an ever-increasing and expensive proposition; real solid hardwoods are much more common in older buildings and a frequently restored during renovations or for historical restorations; these floors are comprised of solid pieces of wood, frequently standard thickness, and of course are available in several widths; although less dimensionally stable than new engineered hardwood floors particularly in the presence of high humidity or from water damage, their charm and durability just cannot be beat; new solid hardwood floors are usually installed over basic grade floors or over approved wooden subfloors and require nailing, stapling and glues; an additional advantages is that these durable, thick floors may be sanded and refinished, unlike laminates or some engineered hardwood flooring
  • Engineered Hardwood layered wood composites glued together from the bottom with a finished hardwood with a top veneer; common assemblies include crossply construction that increases dimensionally stability; engineered hardwoods are less susceptible to expansion and contraction of planks due to variations in humidity and moisture when compared to solid hardwoods; these floors may be installed on any level in the home, even on top of radiant-heat subfloors; engineered floors are glueddown, stapleddown or floated over a variety of subfloors (wood, dry concrete slabs and some kinds of extant flooring); engineered hardwood floors come in a wide variety of dimensions, colors and species; and are generally available in plank and longstrip options

Grades of Hardwood Flooring (Types of Wood Products)

There are many different grades of hardwood flooring for types of wood flooring products. The basic grades for hardwood flooring (types of wood) to familiarize yourself with include:

  • Clear minor color variations as selections are based primarily on consistency and color uniformity; knots, discolorations, stains or splits, are acceptable
  • Select and Better woods are still selected for overall color uniformity with moderate color variations; minor knots, stains or discolorations and splits in the wood are acceptable
  • Select generally uniform appearance with minor color shade variations; sound knots are acceptable
  • Select Common blends of Select and #1 Common grade wooden materials; frequent substantial color variations; some non-natural wood discoloration; sound knots are acceptable
  • #1 Common very attractive blends of natural wood colors with heartwood or sapwood variations; all variations are acceptable; wood grains are pronounced, particularly with visible darker colors; non-natural discolorations and unfilled pin knots are acceptable
  • Character/Builder nice blends of natural colors with heartwood and sapwood variants (all color variations are acceptable); wood grains are quite visible with darker colors; knots up to filled with putty are acceptable and filled cracks or splits are common

Contact us for tile, carpet, flooring laminates or for hardwood flooring options. Call one of Great Western Floorings design centers in Naperville (630-357-3331), in Oswego (630-236-2201), or in St. Charles, Illinois, (630-488-3000) for help choosing products or for flooring installations.


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