Hardwood floors are one of the most important design elements in your home or business. No matter what your lifestyle, wood floors add value and comfort to any décor. Wood floors come in a variety of colors that will fit any décor. Today's wood floors come in more than 50 species, both domestic and exotic, spanning the spectrum of color options, hardness, and price ranges. No matter what the look you want to achieve, there are a variety of species to meet your needs. Northwest Carpet Company has the selection you are looking for. Wood flooring is the most abundantly renewable flooring material available. Sustainable forest management makes it possible to harvest wood without any serious impact on the environment, because trees are a renewable resource that can be replaced time and time again
There are two types of wood floors available on the market today: Solid and Engineered.
Solid wood flooring is exactly what the name implies: a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness of solid wood flooring can vary, but generally ranges from ¾" to 5/16". One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. Solid wood flooring can be installed above or on grade.
Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. The sub layers can be of the same species, or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes it very stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade.
Engineered Wood Floors is the best choice for our region.
Wood Floor Finishes
When choosing the right type of finish for your wood floors, consider your lifestyle and maintenance preferences. All wood floors will require routine maintenance, such as sweeping or dust mopping, to keep them looking beautiful and new, but different wood flooring finishes will have a big impact on how you care for your floor long-term, as well as how your floor will look in the years to come.
Surface finishes are very popular because they are durable, water-resistant, and require minimal maintenance. Surface finishes are blends of synthetic resins. These finishes most often are referred to as urethanes or polyurethanes, and remain on the surface of the wood to form a protective coating. There are several types of surface finishes available: water-based, oil-based, acid-cured, and moisture-cured.
- Water-based finishes appear clear and will resist turning yellow over time. They have a mild odor when applied, and will dry in two to three hours. Water-based finishes are very durable.
- Oil-based finishes appear amber in color. They have a moderate odor when applied, and will dry in about eight hours. Oil-based finishes are very durable.
- Acid-cured finishes appear clear to slightly amber. They have a strong odor when applied, and will dry in about two to three hours. Acid-cured finishes are extremely durable.
- Moisture-cured finishes appear clear to amber. They have a strong odor when applied, and will dry in about two to three hours in humid conditions. Moisture-cured finishes are extremely durable and are more moisture-resistant than other surface finishes.
Wax finishes soak into the pores of the wood and harden to form a protective penetrating seal, which will appear low luster and amber in color. They have a mild odor when applied, and will dry in a variable amount of time depending on the type of wax used and the job-site conditions. Wax finishes are durable, but will show spots from water and other contaminates.
Acrylic impregnated finishes are injected into the wood to create a super-hard, extremely durable floor. Acrylic impregnated finishes rarely are used in residential applications. They most often are used in very high traffic areas in commercial settings such as malls and restaurants.
Styles of Wood Floors
There are three styles of wood floors available on the market today: strip, plank, and parquet. Each style is available in a variety of species, colors and widths, so choosing the right style simply is a matter of which look you prefer.
Strip flooring ranges from 1-½” to 3” wide, and creates a linear effect in a room, often making the room appear larger. Strip flooring generally is considered “traditional” wood flooring.
Plank flooring typically ranges from 3” to 7” wide. While plank flooring is linear, like strip flooring, its wider widths often create a more casual look.
Parquet flooring can vary in size, and usually generates a geometric, non-linear look. Parquet flooring can be very simple in design, or somewhat complex.