Hardwood Flooring


Hardwood flooring is looked upon by many as the flooring option that lends a sense of permanence to an interior.   Whether it's a residential interior, or an office installation, hardwood flooring adds an air of class, as well as structural strength.   For these reasons, hardwood flooring remains to be a classic choice.   It is a flooring option that has the advantage of tradition behind it; many cultures and civilizations have used hardwood flooring, and have done so for centuries. But, there are reasons beyond those of tradition that make hardwood flooring a practical and decorative choice.

One of the most attractive attributes of hardwood flooring is the range of options open to you in terms of finish, surface, stain, and species. All of these aspects play a very important role in determining the look of your flooring.   With all of these choices, hardwood flooring is known to make for a unique effect in each interior.   To this point, an advantage you will experience will most likely be all of the compliments you'll get because of your hardwood flooring for years to come.

Pre-finished and Unfinished
Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring can be purchased in either prefinished or unfinished varieties and there are distinct advantages in both.   For pre-finished hardwood flooring, the obvious advantage is that of convenience. No sanding is required for these types of hardwood floors, and therefore more time is saved on preparation as well a mess; sanding a hardwood floor involves both.   Also, no time must be allowed for the finish on your hardwood flooring to dry, a period which can take a half a day to longer, depending on the kind of finish you use.

As far as unfinished hardwood flooring goes, the most compelling advantage is that of a more uniform seal. This is the reason why many professionals offer unfinished hardwood flooring to clients; it is easier to make sure that all of the minute gaps between the hardwood flooring boards are sealed when finish is applied on the whole surface of the flooring, and not on a board-by-board basis.   This means extra protection against moisture, the hardwood floor's most dangerous enemy. In this sense, all of the preparation and mess is worth the effort.

Hardwood Flooring Surfaces and Stains
The diversity of hardwood flooring extends not only to finish, but also in the range of surfaces and choices in stain available to the customer.   Some hardwood flooring is planed evenly at the mill, offering a smooth, refined surface that many consumers have come to admire in hardwood flooring.   But another variety of hardwood flooring that is becoming popular with flooring professionals and homeowners is that of the handscraped hardwood flooring. In this case, the hardwood plank is actually worked by hand to create a contoured, seasoned surface that gives the hardwood flooring a more rustic, lived-in appearance.

The variations in hardwood flooring are further extended by the variety of stains available as well.   Some stains serve to bring out the natural range of color in a chosen species.   Others effectively change the color altogether, allowing a consumer to enjoy the benefits offered by one species, while enjoying the color of another.   Hardwood flooring is probably one of the more flexible choices with regard to appearance and personal taste.
Hardwood Flooring: the Luxury of Choice

Overall, hardwood flooring is not just an option which relies upon tradition, although hardwood flooring has been relied upon for centuries because it is such a durable material.   What hardwood flooring offers is the luxury of choice and an ease of integration into an interior design.   Along with the advantages of appearance, hardwood is and continues to be a choice in flooring that can add structural strength to a residence or office.

Popular Species of Hardwood Flooring

  • Red and White Oak – These species are naturally pale in color, with hints of pink running through the Red Oak. Both are known for  their utility across all kinds of applications.  White Oak is known to be slightly harder than red oak, although red oak in turn is slightly easier to saw and nail.
  • American Cherry – Used for cabinet making as well as flooring, American Cherry is known to be an attractive species that is      very easy to work with. It is not as hard as either red or white oak, but  offers a greater tonal range of color that darkens over time to become  even more rich in tone, due to photosensitivity.
  • Hard Maple – Harder still than oak, the uniform texture  of maple as well as its naturally abrasion-resistant surface makes it an  excellent choice for hardwood flooring. Early North American  settlers relied upon maple for its hardy nature, and it continues to be  popular today.
  • Brazilian Cherry AKA Jatoba – One of most notable  features of this exotic species is its color – a rich, reddish brown that      eventually ages into a lustrous burgundy.   Another important as  aspect of Jataba is how hard it is; it is harder than some species of  mahogany.   So for look as well as durability, Brazilian Cherry  excels.


Engineered Flooring


engineerd 3 engineered 2 engineered wood 1


Engineered hardwood flooring is a product made up of a core of hardwood, plywood or HDF and a top layer of hardwood veneer that is glued on the top surface of the core and is available in almost any hardwood species. The product thus has the natural characteristics of the selected wood species as opposed to a photographic layer. The "engineered" product has been designed to provide greater stability, particularly where moisture or heat pose problems for solid hardwood floors. The instability of solid hardwood is usually moisture or heat related. Under adverse conditions, solid hardwood floors can warp, cup, swell or split apart. Engineered hardwood flooring overcomes these problems by constructing a multiple-ply plank which counteracts twisting and remains flat and intact. This makes engineered hardwood flooring a better choice for installation over radiant heat sources, over concrete whether it's below grade or above, and in rainy climates.

There are many layers associated with an Engineered Floor; In addition to the top hardwood veneer, engineered wood flooring typically has three or more core layers. Of course, there is greater stability with more layers. The core layers may be plywood, high density fiberboard, or hardwood. For example, Vanier engineered flooring has five to seven hardwood core layers. The hardwood veneer, or top layer of hardwood (which can be chosen to be any species of wood desired), can typically be 0.6mm to 4.5mm or more in thickness. A quality hardwood veneer will provide many years of wear. For example, Vanier engineered hardwood flooring has a Select and Better 2mm hardwood veneer and comes with a 25-year finish warranty. The most common question asked about Engineered Floors is "How many times can I refinish the floor?" The answer is: It depends upon the thickness of your hardwood layer but the fact is that 95% of hardwood surfaces are never refinished. With the high quality finishes that are offered and the extensive process that refinishing a floor entails, damaged areas are often removed professionally. If sanding is desired, typically, the professional sanding procedure removes 1/32 of an inch. Thus if your floor has a 2mm layer you can sand the floor 1-2 times.

The average high quality Engineered Floor product will have a 3mm top wood floor layer. Remember"¦ the National Wood Flooring Association found that on average, Americans who do regularly refinish their floor; tend to have refinished it approximately once every 10 years. So if you have a 3mm wear layer on your Engineered Floor, AND you are the type of individual who will want to refinish the floor once in a while then your floor will last you more than 30 years. The next question that begs to be asked is"¦. "How long do you plan to actually live in the home before you move to your next one?"