A hardwood floor is an elegant and natural way to enhance your home or business. It has grown from an accent to now seeing it in hour homes, shops and restaurants. What a lovely way to add warmth and that special “something” to our lives and our living spaces! Now that hardwood has become affordable and popular, the choices are many and sometimes overwhelming. It seems that everyone is now selling some type of hardwood flooring and we see racks and racks of various brown stained wood strips. Yikes! Education in product knowledge before you venture out seems to be key in preparing yourself in weeding out the undesirables. Here is some specific information that can help in guiding you through your hardwood flooring education.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood floors are made from a piece of solid wood and milled. Typically ¾-inch thick, the thickness of solid wood planking enables it to be sanded and refinished many times throughout the life of the floor. The product is square-edged and have will no bevels between the boards. Once it has been sanded, it gives a custom and seemless appearance. With the many available species, board width variations, grade variations and the countless stain colors, the custom options are unlimited. The wood species are readily available. If you first install hardwood in your dining room and love it, and later decide that want to extend it into your kitchen, this is easily done with solid hardwoods. Solid floors can be refreshed by recoating and repairs are less complicated vs. engineered flooring. Wood acclimatization is essential to the overall performance of solid hardwood floors. Wood planks are affected by moisture and can react by warping, buckling and gapping. Reno has a very dry climate therefore the hardwood must be dry before installing. Floorcraft’s craftsmen are experts with solid hardwoods and are masters of their trade. We have done the research and offer only the highest quality woods. Our double-dried, double-kilned planks are your only choice for this climate!
The thickness of solid wood planking enables it to be sanded and refinished many times throughout the life of the floor. Engineered floors come prefinished from the factory and offer long finish warranties. Laminate flooring’s affordability can give solutions to your flooring projects that you don’t wish to spend a lot of money on
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured, using multiple layers of different wood veneers. The actual wear layer on the top is the hardwood of your choice, although the other plies can be made of plywood, particle board and other wood species. These layers are combined with the grains in many directions to minimize wood expansion and contraction. The boards will be milled with micro-bevels at the edges and some will also have them on ends, as well. The overall appearance shows many small gaps between each of the boards.
The majority of these products come prefinished from the factory and offer long finish warranties. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring. Some lower quality products may have fewer possible sandings, depending on the thickness of the hardwood veneer on top. Engineered hardwood flooring has many wood species, board widths and stains to choose from. There are many price ranges depending on the wood species, number of layers, the actual thickness of the wear layer and the overall product quality. Repairs can be more difficult than solid hardwood repairs. If you first install an engineered product into your dining room and later wish to extend it into your kitchen, you may run into a snag. Some products are limited to availability and do become discontinued. Engineered wood has less of a reaction to moisture and can be installed over concrete and below grades such as basements. All hardwood floors will react to water, therefore it is better to select a different type of flooring for baths and laundry rooms. If engineered wood is your desired hardwood, Floorcraft has done the product research and has weeded out the undesirable products that flood the hardwood market today. Whether your need is for an upscale home or a rental property, Floorcraft has many solutions available with your hardwood needs.
Laminate flooring is not wood flooring at all. It is simply a very thin image of wood veneered to a particle board core with a heavy duty finish on top. It has been milled with a tongue and groove on the edges and ends or a snap lock system specific to each manufacturer. Laminate flooring has come a long way over the last decade. The colors and designs have grown into many great design options for our homes. The overall appearance shows embedded wood- type grains on the board surfaces and can give a some what seem less appearance. Laminate flooring is installed by snapping or gluing each board together and entire floor floats over a foam underlayment. It does give a hollow sound when you walk on it. It’s affordability can give solutions to your flooring projects that you don’t wish to spend a lot of money on. Floorcraft offers an exclusive line of laminate flooring with many designs and colors to choose from.
We love hardwood flooring! What do we love about hardwood ? We love the warmth underfoot and the “look” that it adds to our homes. And that “look” wouldn’t exist without the steps it took to turn the lumber into flooring. Drying removes moisture and stabilizes the boards and the milling cuts them into the desired width and creates the tongue and groove on the edges and ends. Living in our area, I am sure you have noticed the dryness of our climate and that is why many people have moved here. This dryness wreaks havoc on hardwood flooring and causes them to shrink. So that is why dryness is the problem and the solution. So, when shopping for hardwood flooring, it is your job is to find the driest hardwoods available to your area and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Floorcraft has taken the guessing game out of shopping for hardwood by exclusively providing double-air dried, double-kilned hardwood planks! That means our that our planks are dry, dry, dry! We have the hardwoods and expertise that the one-stop flooring shops don’t. Through product knowledge and research, we have sought out only the best products available in the market today and offer many exclusives, as well.
I am sure you have noticed the dryness of our climate and that is why many people have moved here. This dryness wreaks havoc on hardwood flooring and causes them to shrink. So that is why dryness is the problem and the solution.
When we talk about hardwood grading, we are not talking about one being better than the other, we are talking about the appearance of the boards. For example, when you look at the end of a log, there are many things going on. You can see dark and light colors, grains and knots. Each one of these features can give a different look to your hardwood flooring. After being milled, each board will be hand sorted depending on what it shows on it’s face. Each mill has different grading specifications, but in general, here are some guidelines.
Select and Better Grade
The boards will have similar grain patterns, it will look clean without any dark streaks and knots.
#1 Common Grade
More varied grains patterns and colors and can have some dark mineral streaking.
#2 Common Grade
This grading is used mainly for strip flooring aka the less wide boards. Large variety in grain patterns, large variety of colors and some closed knots. Some boards could be completely dark.
This grading is mainly used for the wider plank flooring aka anything 3″ and over. The overall appearance has light, warm and dark tones with varied grains and knots. Some mills have specifics on their knots like open knots, closed knots and the range of their knot sizes.
At last you’ve chosen the perfect hardwood floor for your home! Now it’s time to have it professionally installed. The method in which your floor will be installed depends on the surface it will installed over. Here are the three methods that are commonly used.
The nail-down installation is used when installing hardwood over a plywood subfloor or over gypcrete with a sleepers system. Each strip or plank of flooring is blindly nailed or stapled down to the subfloor.
Wood strips or planks are glued directly to the subflooring. This application can be used over concrete subfloor (above grade), gypcrete subfloor (radiant heat flooring) or plywood subfloor.
Floating Installation This method is used mainly with laminate flooring whereas the board are locked or glue together and entire floor floats over a foam underlayment. It does give a hollow sound when you walk on it. This method can be used over many surfaces.
Hand scraping has made a huge comeback! What a beautiful way to enhance the character and charm of any type of flooring. Scraping can be subtle or it can show large linear grooves or cross-grain scrapes. Plank edges can also be scraped to enhance the spaces between boards by making them uneven or beveled. A dark stain can also be applied to edges to make them pop!
Today’s finish options for hardwood floors have improved leaps and bounds with the assistance of new technology. Now you can instantly cure them with the speed of light! Because it is instantly cured, the odors are very slight and dissipate rapidly.
UV-curing is an instant curing process that allows you to get back into your home right away. Business owners can have their refinishing job done at night and it can be business as usual the very next day. Large retails chains have used our UV-cure services and there was no need to move all of their clothing racks out of the room. Our plastic containment system protected their goods and made it easy for them to reopen to next morning. Floorcraft is Reno area’s only UV-curing contractor!
This durable finish option was only available as a factory-applied finish but now it can be applied to your custom hardwood floor! It performs well in high traffic areas or commercial applications. It can protect your hardwood for many, many years. Add that extra durability to your hardwood by choosing Floorcraft’s new finish technology!