Hardwood Flooring

By Kevin Carden Published 10/3/2008 | Home Improvement
Hardwood is a solid wood which is a one piece that is milled from lumber with width ranging from 2-1/4" to 5" wide and thicknesses ranging from 5/16" to 3/4" thick. Solid Hardwood flooring is also called plank floors. Red Oak, White Oak and Maple is the most common Hardwood flooring species used for solid wood floors.  All solid wood flooring can react to the presence of moisture. As per the climate the solid wood flooring reacts like in the dry winter heating months, due to moisture floor contracts slightly in size, leaving unsightly gaps between each floor board. And during summer when the humidity is higher, the Hardwood flooring expands making the gaps disappear. Too much moisture can cause the wood planks to cup, or buckle. So we have to take care to leave proper expansion area around the perimeter while installing solid hardwood floor. As it is seen that solid Hardwood flooring is sensitive to moisture and it is not recommended to install these floors below ground level, or directly over a concrete slab. And they should be used by nail down installations only, with the exceptions of that you can direct glue down 5/16 inch thick solid Hardwood flooring such as the Bruce Natural Choice. One can refinish, or recoat solid Hardwood flooring several times, which adds to their appeal and to their long life. They remain in good condition for a very longer time for example there are solid hardwood floors that are well over 100 years old and are still in good condition. Solid hardwood floor is warm, beautiful, relatively easy to maintain, and lasts for decades with occasional refinishing. Hardwoods come in strips which are narrow and planks which are wider. And both strips and planks come in various grades finished and unfinished. You can directly install finished boards. And you can stain and varnish unfinished boards to suit your plan. Among the different grade you can select clear grade which is uniform in color with few flaws, if you have a high-end home that demands top of the line flooring. And you can go for common grade with more variations in color and few knots if you have a cozy vintage cottage. The downside is that it is expensive to install. Moisture and extreme temperature changes can cause solid wood to shrink and expand, potentially causing gaps between boards during colder or dryer seasons. From the two profile 5/16" thin profile solid wood can be installed directly over concrete; 3/4" can't. The advantage of using wood floors is that is it versatile, provides acoustical insulation, and can be installed in almost every room in your home. They can provide a traditional or a modern look by changing furnishings. They are beautiful and will also add real value to your home if you plan to resale your house. All solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished if needed (required every 15-20 years). Wood floors are healthful and they don't retain the dust and allergens of carpets, so they are particularly well suited for people with respiratory problems. A wood floor, like furniture, can be painted, too. The main disadvantage is the cost. Initially, it might seem much more expensive than alternatives, but over the long term after factoring the cost of replacement flooring, it's extremely cost effective. We have various plans with virtual tours on www.houseplancentral.com to choose from where you can get an idea.