When it comes to covering floors in your home or business, hardwood flooring should be high on your list of flooring material. Hardwood flooring provides any room a feeling of comfort and warmth while enhancing the value of your property.
Selecting the right type of hardwood for your decor can be a challenge. With so many different hardwood species, appearance, styles and finishes, one can be overwhelmed.
Selecting natural hardwood for your flooring is a good choice when it comes to the environment. Wood is an abundant renewable and natural building material. With today’s foresting practices, trees farmed and harvested without having any serious impact on the environment. Because Hardwood trees are a renewable resource that can be harvested time and time again, they use less water and energy to produce where as other flooring materials that are man made, require more energy and other non-renewable resources to construct.
When considering hardwood for your floors, consider the following key points:
Wood Species – The species of wood is a very important key factor to consider. Wood floors can be found in a palate of different colors and shades to any type of decoration. With over 50 different species of wood, both domestic and exotic, extending the range of colors, textures, wood hardness and price ranges, one will have no problem finding the hardwood flooring material for their project. While oak and cherry are the most popular choices, other wood species are hickory, maple, ash, pine, walnut, cork, bamboo, teak and many more.
Appearance – While selecting the right species of wood for your hardwood floor project, we also must consider its appearance or grade.
- Clear Wood is a wood product free of character marks that provides a uniform look.
- Select Wood – is a wood with more heartwood or sapwood color variations and a presence of knots, streaks and other perfect imperfections.
- Common Wood No. 1 or No. 2 – If you are looking for a rustic look or more of an imperfect look, than Common 1 or 2 may be your ticket. Common wood have more natural characteristics such as much more knots, color variations and other imperfections.
- First Grade Wood – Similar to select wood, it is more uniform in appearance with less character marks.
- Second Grade – Similar to No. 1 Common, featuring a more variation in colors and knots.
- Third Grade Wood – Similar to No. 2 Common Grade rustic in appearance with a higher volume of knots and color variations.
The way and angle a wood board is cut determines its appearance at final installation. Wood floor planks are cut; plainsawn, quartersawn or riftsawn.
- Plainsawn Cut – It is the most common cut and easier to produce from the log. It has a varied and pleasing grain appearance.
- Quartersawn – Has greater wear resistance, less cupping or twist, less width shrinkage and more uniform look. It is more expensive than plainsawn.
- Riftsawn – Is the better of the three in characteristics without the Ray Flecks. Ray flecks are interesting patterns found in radially or quartersawn lumber.