What is the advantage of using solid hardwood flooring over other types such as engineered hardwood, floating wood, or glue down engineered flooring?
¾-inch solid hardwood flooring has a thick 5/16 top wear layer that can be sanded and refinished up to 7 times, and it can last well over 100 years. Solid hardwood flooring also adds structural strength to floor systems due to its ¾-inch thickness and interlocking tongue and groove milling. If you have a wood subfloor, ¾-inch solid wood flooring would be most appropriate. Pre-finished floors have gone out of style, and are being discontinued. With prefinished engineered wood, it will be nearly impossible to match, should you have a future repair, and your entire floor may need to be replaced. With solid hardwood floors, you can simply replace the damaged area and stain it to match. More importantly, many real estate agents have affirmed that solid hardwood floors, as opposed to pre-finished, engineered floors, bring more value to your home.
Does the width or color of the board matter? Is one width better than another?
No, the width doesn’t matter. You should use the board width you would like to have. For the last 15 years, the industry trend has leaned toward wider boards instead of the standard 2-1/4 inch width. As a rule of thumb, a narrower board will give a more formal look and feel to your home. A wider board (over 4 inches wide) gives off more of a country look and feel. Floor color is a choice that has more to do with your personal tastes and décor. A natural light-colored wood flooring will go with any décor and will lighten up any room. Dark, handscraped floors have become very popular, but keep in mind, the darker the floor, the more dust and footprints will show.
Can I use solid hardwood flooring in my basement?
Unfortunately, basements are known to have higher relative humidity due to being underground. Solid hardwood flooring can absorb this excess moisture and expand, causing the floorboard edges to cup or buckle. It is not recommended to use a ¾-inch Solid Hardwood floor in any damp areas or any areas where there is a relative humidity higher than 55%.
Can I glue down solid hardwood flooring over my concrete slab?
Yes, ¾-inch solid hardwood flooring can be glued directly to concrete. We have a glue that will hold solid wood up to 6” wide. We do recommend rolling a vapor barrier before installation of a glued down, solid hardwood floor. Gluing down your hardwood floor will be more expensive than nailing it down.
How much hardwood flooring do I need to order? Why do I have to add 5 10% or more to my square footage?
It’s important to remember that all hardwood flooring manufacturers recommend adding 10% to your actual square feet. This added 10% is recommended to cover bad boards that may have slipped through the inspection process at the factory and end up as cutting waste. We add 12% for a #3 character wood floor to account for additional culls.
Grades of prefinished and unfinished wood flooring and how they compare?
When a log is milled into hardwood flooring at the factory, the wood is picked for its grade (appearance). The better or more uniform the appearance, the higher the grade. Both prefinished hardwood flooring and unfinished wood flooring have similar grading but the names may be different depending on the manufacturer. Starting from the top, the Clear grade is the very best of grades, having the most uniformity in color (within its wood species) and longest board lengths, of up to 7 feet long (depending on the manufacturer). The lowest grade, also the most economical in cost, is called “Shorts” or “Cabin or Tavern” grades, which means there can be quite a bit of color variation between the boards, and the board lengths are about 8 - 34 inches long. Other wood species—such as Maple—have their own grading rules. Manufacturers do have some degree of variance within standards and not all wood flooring manufacturers belong to the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association (NOFMA). They may use their own guidelines when manufacturing their hardwood flooring.
Unfinished hardwood flooring
Euro: These boards are long, 1’-10’ in length with some character knots and grain variations.
Select & Better: The next best wood flooring grade with uniform color, longer lengths, virtually no blemishes or knots..
#1 Common: Board starts to show the natural character such as lighter and darker boards, shorter board average, pinholes and knots are present. Board length is 1’-7’.
#2 Common: Boards show a lot of natural character such as light and dark boards, larger knots and checks allowed. Overall board lengths are shorter. Average board is 18”.
#3 Rustic or Utility Grade : Boards show a lot of natural character such as light and dark boards, lengths of boards are extremely short, approx 16" average, knots and pinholes are quite evident. May have boards as short as 6”.
Texas 2 – This is Oakline’s unique grade. This will consist of our #3 and Better product mixed 50/50 with a #1 oak. Our customers love the savings on this floor grade, and they’ve been unable to see the difference between the #2 Oak and Texas 2 Oak. That is, until they look at their budget!