Flooring – Getting Started & Next Steps

Three General Types of Hardwood Flooring

Majority of hardwood flooring today is made from American hardwoods, like red oak, pecan, maple, or white ash, or the newer exotic hardwoods, like Tigerwood, African Teak, Ipe and the rest. Generally speaking, however, there are three common hardwood flooring types in the market – solid, engineered and longstrip.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Comprising traditional solid hardwood floors is one piece of wood with tongue and groove sides. Most of them are made unfinished, but there are a lot of pre-finished 3/4-inch solid hardwood floors. What’s great about them is that you can refinish and recoat them repeatedly through their entire lifespan — which can span up to decades or longer.
The Beginners Guide To Installations (Finding The Starting Point)

As a natural product, hardwood flooring expands and contracts with moisture as the seasons change. When the outside gets cold and the inside gets hot, the wood can contract, causing gaps in between planks.
A Simple Plan: Installations

As summer begins and humidity rises, wood floors can also expand, those gaps magically disappearing! With too much moisture, the planks can cup or buckle, which isn’t so great.

Solid Oak Flooring

Solid unfinished wood floors are often made of oak. There are so many different qualities you can choose from — careful what you’re buying. Just like a flawless diamond, clear oak is totally knot and blemish-free, and that makes it so expensive. To lower the cost, go with better oak or select oak, which both have tiny noticeable knots and just a bit of dark graining, not to mention character!

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring can be used in parts of the home in which solid hardwood is not advised. To make engineered wood, three or more thin sheets of wood, otherwise known as plies, are laid in directions opposite each other (called cross-ply construction) and then laminated together to create a single plank.

This “cross-ply” type of construction produces a hardwood floor that is very stable and resistant to moisture and temperature changes, thanks to the wood plies that counteract each other, hence preventing plank expansion or shrinkage.

Versatility is another advantage of engineered hardwood. It can be installed almost anywhere, even above wood sub-floors and concrete slabs or in a basement.

Longstrip Hardwood Flooring

Longstrip hardwood floors are essentially engineered floors, except the top, finish layer is composed of a number of thinner wood plies that are glued together to build one plank. You will typically find at the center of a longstrip plank a softer wood material, which is used in making the tongue and groove.

The top layer may be practically any hardwood specie and is composed of many individual pieces which are often laid in two or three rows. Longstrip planks can be used on any grade level and over many different types of subfloors.