With the wide array of beautiful hardwoods available today, it’s easy to find a flooring solution for the way you live. Choosing the best hardwood floor is really about finding the right combination of aesthetics, performance and budget. A wise final decision won\’t just create a warm, inviting environment; it will also add value to your home.
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Just like the name describes, it\’s a solid piece of wood. The planks of flooring are milled out of a single piece of solid wood. It has been the only type of wood flooring until the introduction of engineered hardwood. Originally they were used as the subfloor as well. Solid hardwood was installed right on top of the joists. So they had to be structural. We mostly install engineered hardwood because of it\’s advantages, but at the end of the day some of our clients prefer solid hardwood.
The most popular choice of our clients. Why? It\’s usually cheaper, it expands and contracts less than solid hardwood, there is more choice in color and design, and it\’s more eco friendly than solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood is comprised of a top layer of stained solid wood atop multiple layers of cross grain wood or HDF. This cross grain construction reduces the expansion and contraction of the wood and allows hardwood to be installed below grade!
Each species of wood has its own unique characteristics. Color can be determined by what part of the tree the wood comes from, among other things. The grain pattern can be determined by the species and woodcutting method. Natural variations in the color and grain are normal and to be expected. As with natural stone, subtle variations create the beautiful and unique look of a wood floor. They make your floor one of a kind.
Just as no tree is perfectly straight, no subfloor is perfectly level. It doesn\’t have to be perfect to install wood flooring on. It just needs to fall within a certain tolerance. Dips and mounds are very common in condos as well as settled homes. It\’s just a reality the industry deals with. We remedy these dips via leveling compound, and the mounds by grinding them down. It\’s something that most homeowners don\’t take into account when they are budgeting their new flooring option.
Wood floors will expand and contract due to moisture and temperature changes, causing hairline cracks, slight height variations or both. Hardwood does not expand or contract equally in all directions. This is not a defect, but a natural characteristic. In dry climates, you may want to consider using a whole house humidifier to minimize shrinkage and hairline cracking.
Your install depends on a couple of factors. If you live in a concrete condo/home your choices are between glue down and floating. If you\’re in a wooden structure you have the added choice of nail down. The most advantageous method of installation is the glue down it provides the most rigid floor. At a close second is the nail down, it\’s the method that has been used for centuries. Last but not least is the floating floor, very popular in condos and apartments.