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An Introduction to Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring has been a popular choice of flooring for generations.  The warm feel and character it can give to any room has seen it become increasingly popular in modern times. 
Manufacturers make two basic types of hardwood flooring.  These are unfinished and pre-finished hardwoods.  Unfinished hardwood flooring is sanded and finished on site.  Pre-finished hardwood doesn’t have to be sanded or coated with a finish, but are simply installed and ready to go.  There are a number of types of different finishes that are used in hardwood flooring.  Make sure to read our article on the types of hardwood flooring finish available if you want to learn more. 

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring is as you would imagine a solid piece of hardwood.  Sizes range from around ¾” thick to 5/16” thick.  Solid hardwood flooring is most commonly installed by nailing it down to wood sub flooring.  Because it is solid hardwoods expand and contract depending on the varying climate factors, it is not recommended that this type of flooring be installed on top of a concrete slab.  Exceptions can only be taken at the manufacturer’s discretion.  

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring is manufactured using layers of hardwood veneer.  This type of flooring is available in thicknesses from 3/8” to 9/16” thick.  The manufacturing process sees the layers of hardwood veneer being stacked on one another with the grain facing perpendicular.  This makes the product more durable and less affected varying temperature and humidity.  The boards are also manufactured to incorporate a tongue and groove on the edges and a finish is applied.  Unlike solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring is described as being dimensionally stable. 

Please be sure to read the rest of our articles on hardwood flooring.  These include:

Types of hardwood flooring
A guide to refinishing your hardwood flooring

 

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