Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Solid Hardwood Flooring Guide and Information Resource

Solid hardwood flooring (solid hardwood floors | solid wood flooring)

TwoManSawFor centuries Solid Hardwood Flooring has been the most popular wood flooring used in homes across the world. Years ago before big precision milling machines were even though of, one inch or thicker boards were laboriously hand sawn out of logs using long two man saws. These rough sawn boards were then just slapped down on top of the homes 4 x 4 floor joists and fastened by face nailing down through the top of the boards using hand forged cut nails.

As time went by and technology got better, large precision machinery were developed to cut and turn out Solid SolidHardwoodFlooringHardwood flooring boards that nowadays have precision tolerances down to a fraction of an inch. Large precision shapers mill the edges and ends of the Solid wood floors so that they have an interlocking tongue and groove system that lock together when each floor board is blind nailed just above the tongue, creates a strong secure floor system.

All wood flooring needs to be able to expand and contract during relative humidity changes (usually seasonal) so care must be given to leave the proper expansion gap around all fixed objects such as walls. This expansion gap can be covered using the original baseboard or additional shoe molding (3/4 round molding). You may get some resistance to the term expansion gap as a lot of people feel there is no need to use one. In all my years of being in business inspecting flooring I have seen hundreds of jobs where the flooring has swelled and buckled off the floor during higher humidity levels that can occur during the year. 3/4 inch thick Solid wood flooring is more susceptible to moisture so it should not be directly glued down over a concrete slab because it may absorb any moisture from a damp basement or moisture transfer from the concrete slab.

Solid Hardwood Flooring is available in many different widths from 2- 8 inches wide. The most common styles of solid hardwood flooring used in the United States is 2-1/4 inches wide and the 3-1/4 inch wide.  Solid Hardwood Flooring also comes in various thicknesses for residential use from 3/8 inch thick up to 3/4. The most commonly used solid wood flooring is the 3/4 inch thick version. The thinner versions are available for areas where restrictions in floor height are needed. Solid Hardwood Flooring is available in many different wood species such as Oak, Maple, Hickory and Exotic wood species.

Hardwood Flooring Grading;

Solid Hardwood Flooring is manufactured using grading rules governed by the NOFMA (National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association) and the MFMA (Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association). Manufacturers that do not belong to NOFMA or MFMA can grade their wood flooring as they like.

NOFMA Grades for Oak Hardwood flooring

Clear Grade hardwood flooring – offers the most uniformity in color between boards with virtually No knots or darker mineral streaks and the boards generally are longer in length. Clear grade Oak hardwood flooring can be hard to find.

Select and Better Grade hardwood floors – is the next best grade showing slight differences in color and might contain some lighter and darker boards and small occasional knots.

Select Grade hardwood flooring – allows for more occasional knots and some darker mineral streaks along with more variations in color between boards and the boards may be shorter in length.

# 1 Common Grade – wood flooring allows for numerous knots and darker mineral streaks and the boards may be shorter in length.

# 2 Common Grade of Hardwood Flooring – will contain very short boards that have defects within the boards showing frequent knots along with high variations in color.

The Benefits of using Solid Hardwood Flooring are

Solid Hardwood Flooring can be sanded and refinished new again 5-7 times.

Solid Wood Flooring can last well over 100 years before having to be replaced.

Solid Hardwood Floor can add structural strength to a subfloor. * The 3/4 inch thick version adds the most strength.

Solid Hardwood Flooring is “Hypoallergenic” which means that since wood flooring has a smooth surface it doesn’t accumulate dust or allergens. Hardwood flooring maintenance is also one of the easiest floors to keep clean.

Solid Hardwood Flooring Myths:

Solid wood flooring can be sanded and refinished new again many times down through the whole thickness of the board!

Not true the top wear layer of 3/4 inch thick flooring has only approx 5/16 of an inch worth of sanding ability (5-7 times) which equals an average lifespan of over 100 years. Sanding the flooring any deeper than 5/16 will expose the nails that were used to install the flooring. Thinner versions of solid hardwood will have less available sanding’s and have less life span.

Solid Wood Flooring is noisy!

Not true. A lot of factors come into play to determine how nosy a wood floor will be, Hardwood Flooring is not any noisier than other hard surface floor covering.  Adding insulation between the floor joists and a cushion of Cork or foam underlayment will deaden 80% or more of any noise you may hear when walked on. Solid Hardwood Flooring is actually the preferred floor covering in many acoustical studios. 3/4 inch Solid Hardwood Flooring has insulating values.


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