What is Hardwood Flooring — The Flooring Outlet

What is Hardwood Flooring - The Flooring Outlet

What is Hardwood Flooring?

What is Hardwood Flooring?

Hardwood Flooring is a term used to describe the hard wooden materials used in the construction of flooring products. There are two main types of hardwood flooring, solid hardwood and Engineered Hardwood Flooring. Solid hardwood flooring is pretty self-explanatory. It is flooring material made out of ¾ inch solid hardwood that is installed and attached directly onto the sub-floor. It is extremely strong and durable and can last through several generations if taken care of properly.

Manufacturing Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring literally can be manufactured from dozens of different tree species that will each offer its own unique color and style. Red and White Oak, Yellow Pine, Pecan, Southern Chestnut, Hickory, Brazilian Cherry, Teak and Cherry, Caribbean Rosewood and Walnut are just a few of the species selections that you will find when you shop for solid hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring is constructed with layers of plywood or other material and then covered with an actual solid hardwood veneer on the surface that is 1/8 inch thick. It has been pre-finished, whereas solid hardwood flooring usually will require finishing once installed.

Solid and Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineering hardwood flooring can be refinished two to three times during the 10-20 years of its life expectancy. Solid Hardwood Flooring can be refinished many times without affecting the surface thickness. Finishing gives solid hardwood flooring their distinctive colors and shades. However, the color of solid hardwood flooring can change with time and exposure to direct sunlight. Cherry hardwoods experience the most dramatic change in comparison to the other hardwoods. The color of your hardwood flooring can also be changed intentionally when you refinish the floor, but you should consult a professional before taking on this challenge, because the stripping and reapplication of a different color stain to hardwood floors can get tricky if you want it to look as perfect as possible.

Hardwood Flooring Applications

It is best to consider not only what room the hardwood flooring will be installed in when choosing the species, but also what region of the world you live in. Some areas of the world have significant problems with either humidity or very dry conditions and these two extremes can have a negative effect on certain types of solid hardwood. Dry, arid conditions have a tendency to cause hardwood flooring to crack or chip and very humid climates make hardwood flooring expand and contract even more than usual. It might be best to consider installing engineered flooring in humid conditions like the basement or in tropical regions, because the planks of engineered hardwood flooring are usually installed to each other with tongue and groove application instead of attached to the floor to allow the floor the ability to move when it is expanding. This is called floating hardwood floors.

What is Hardwood Flooring - The Flooring Outlet

Hardwood Flooring Maintenance

If solid hardwood flooring is what you really want and you live in a moist humid climate, then you must be willing to exercise proper care and maintenance to keep your floor beautiful. It will not matter if you buy the hardest floor available with respect to resisting wear and then track sand or grit onto the floor, neglecting the use of flooring wax leaving it for a period of time before cleaning it. Even the hardest of floors according to the Janka Scale, like the Brazilian Cherry hardwoods will need refinishing after this type of scenario has been its living experience. However, a softer hardwood floor like the North American Walnut will continue to look great if time is spent on good care and maintenance.

As far as maintenance for your hardwood flooring goes, maybe you’ve heard the old saying, “An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure”. This certainly applies here, because a great deal of damage to the appearance of hardwood flooring is caused by gritty dirt and small stones that you carry inside the home on your shoes and work boots. Placing a stiff bristle mat or a sturdy area rug at every entrance into a room where hardwood flooring has been installed will prevent a large percentage of chips, scratches and dents.

Use a protective mat or rug each time heavy furniture is moved across your hardwood flooring to prevent scratches and area rugs should also be placed in front of kitchen sinks, dishwashers and other areas that might see frequent water spills. If you think you might be entertaining a lot of guests that wear high heels, you may wish to install a harder type of hardwood flooring or be prepared to ask your guests to remove their shoes before walking on the floor. Otherwise, one woman wearing high heels exerts twenty times the pressure of an elephant when she walks across your beautiful hardwood floor.


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