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Benefits of Wood FloorsNo other flooring offers the warmth, beauty, and value of wood. Wood flooring enhances the decor of any room, and provides timeless beauty that will increase in value throughout the years. In fact, in a national survey of real estate agents, 90 percent said that houses with wood flooring sell faster and for higher prices than houses without wood floors. That's money in your pocket!
Ease of Maintenance
Maintenance of today's wood floors is easy! New technology in stains and finishes call for regular cleaning that takes little more than sweeping and/or vacuuming, with occasional use of a professional wood floor cleaning product. You will want to use a cleaning product recommended by your flooring manufacturer, installer, or other wood flooring professional. This will ensure that you use the proper cleaner for your type of flooring and finish.
Wood floors are ecologically friendly. Since it is a natural resource, wood is both renewable and recyclable. Many of yesteryear's old wood ships, warehouses, barns, and other structures often find a second life in wood flooring. And, because wood does not collect dust and other allergens, many leading health associations agree that wood floors are the perfect choice for a healthy home.
Today's wood floors are affordable. Over time, wood floors maintain their value. When other flooring options are looking tired and worn out,wood floors will still look beautiful and timeless.
Wood floors have come a long way in the past few years. Today, there are more styles, colors and species of wood flooring available than ever before. Whether you're looking for traditional Oak, rustic Pine, exotic Tigerwood or trendy Bamboo, you're sure to find a color and style to fit your decor.
Wood floors come in a variety of styles to meet the demands of today's busy lifestyles - factory finished, unfinished, solid, engineered,strip, plank, parquet, and acrylic impregnated. Choosing the style that is best for you is an important decision, and will be based on a variety of issues including your lifestyle, your decorating style, and the area in which you live.
TYPES OF WOOD FLOORS
All wood flooring, regardless of width or length, that is one piece of wood from top to bottom is considered solid flooring. Solid flooring gives you a great opportunity for customization. Your choice of species,stains and finishes all contribute to the personalization of a solid floor. This is an excellent choice in most areas of a home on the ground level or above.
This wood flooring product consists of layers of wood pressed together, with the grains running in different directions. It is available in 3 and 5 ply. Engineered flooring is perfect for those areas of the house where solid wood flooring may notbe suitable, such as basements, kitchens,powder rooms, and utility rooms. Because the grains run in different directions, it is more dimensionally stable than solid wood.
Acrylic Impregnated Floors
Acrylic Impregnated floors is a process where acrylics are injected into the wood itself, creating a super-hard, extremely durable floor. This type of flooring is often used in commercial installations, like shopping malls and restaurants,however, they are right at home in busy households as well.
Laminate wood flooring is produced by bonding layers of veneer and lumber with an adhesive. Laminate wood flooring is available in pre-finished and unfinished. These products are more dimensionally stable and are ideal for glue-down installation or float-in installation above grade, on grade or below grade,including basements and humid climates
STYLES OF WOOD FLOORS
Strip flooring is linear flooring that is usually 2 1/4, 1 1/2, or 3 1/4wide. It creates a linear effect in a room often promoting the illusion of a larger space.
Plank flooring is also linear, however,it is wider in width. Common widths of plank flooring are 3, 4, 5, and6.
Parquet flooring is a series of wood flooring pieces that create a geometric design.
Today's wood floors come in more than 50 species, both domestic and exotic, spanning the spectrum of color options, hardness, and price ranges. No matter what the look you want to achieve, there are a variety of species to meet your needs.
Here's a short list of the most common types of wood used for floors:
By far, red oak is the most popular flooring option, with warm pink tones and a rich, grainy appearance which works well with most stains.
White oak is harder than red oak, is naturally a wheat-like yellow color, and has a lovely grain of warm medullar rays.
A traditional flooring wood famous for its traditional and cozy warmth, pine flooring is found in numerous historical homes. Pine is a soft wood, and given to showing 'dent' marks after prolonged use under heavy furniture. For this reason, pine floors are a popular choice with new home builders who want a floor with hand-distressed, or 'rustic' details.
A clean-looking hardwood,less textured than oak, offering a uniform appearance with exceedingly fine graining. Maple is an extremely popular wood for home flooring.
A beautiful pink-toned wood which takes on a deep warm hue when finished with urethane. Cherry wood is softer than oak, and more expensive.
An extremely hard wood,very durable, which comes in both white and red varietals.
Newly popular, this Asian grass is gaining popularity as a flooring. It comes in various shades of tan, shows distinctive grain from the stalks. While bamboo takes stains well, it usually comes factory-finished.
One of the softer hardwoods, with close grains and varieties of tone from whitish-yellow to a light brown. Birch is often mistaken for maple.
Like Cherry, Walnut is extremely durable and dent-resistant, with a medium color and a whorled grain pattern. Walnut is one of the more expensive hardwoods.
An extremely durable and warm imported wood, Teak is usually used for out of doors applications because of its innate oiliness.
A durable hard wood from fast growing trees from the Far East and South America. The thin grain,the flame design and varied color shades gives it a warm appearance.
The appearance of the wood determines its grade. All grades are equally strong and serviceable,but each affords you a different look.
Clear wood is free of defects, though it may have minor imperfections.
Select wood is almost clear, but contains some natural characteristics such as knots and color variations.
Common wood (No. 1 and No. 2) has more natural characteristics such as knots and color variations than either clear or select grades, and often is chosen because of these natural features and the character they bring to a room. No. 1 Common has a variegated appearance, light and dark colors, knots, flags and wormholes. No 2 Common is rustic in appearance and emphasize all wood characteristics of the species.
First grade wood has the best appearance, natural color variations and limited character marks.
Second grade wood is variegated in appearance with varying sound wood characteristics of species.
Third grade wood is rustic in appearance allowing all wood characteristics of the species.
The angle at which a board is cut determines how the finished product looks. Wood flooring is either plain sawn, quarter sawn or rift sawn.
Plain sawn is the most common cut. The board contains more variation than the other two cuts because grain patterns resulting from the growth rings are more obvious.
Quarter sawing produces less board feet per log than plain sawing and is therefore more expensive. Quarter sawn wood twists and cups less and wears more evenly.
Rift sawn is similar to quarter sawing, but the cut is made at a slightly different angle.