wood floor selection
Types of Wood Floors
1. Solid - Solid constructed wood floor products ranging from 1/4" to 25/32" with some product of 1"
2. Engineered - Wood Flooring products constructed in various layers, with grain alternating in opposite directions giving this product more stability for installation in areas solid wood floor products can not be installed. This product comes in various ply's ( layers), most being 3-5 ply.
wrote the book "HARDWOOD FLOORS" and
the two accompanying video tapes/DVDs (“Laying Hardwood
Floors”) & (“Sanding and Finishing Hardwood Floors”)
published by "Taunton Press and Fine Homebuilding
Magazine" perceived by many throughout the wood flooring
industry as the definitive text for the last 20 years on the
installation, sanding and finishing of wood flooring. The book
HARDWOOD FLOORS can be found in nearly all public libraries
throughout North America.
"CLICK ON THE BOOK"
3.Acrylic Impregnated - Wood Floor products that the wood grain has been injected with an acrylic material making it very hard and durable, making this a good choice for high traffic areas such as restaurants, malls, and other high traffic areas. With the various colors and patterns this also can be used for in home installation.
Styles of Wood Floors
1.Strip - Wood flooring with a lineal tongue and groove construction most often in 1.5" and 2.25", solid or engineered, unfinished or prefinished.
2. Plank - Same as strip except for widths. Most start at 3" or 3.25" and go up in width in 1" increments. Some varieties reach 12-14" in solid or engineered, unfinished or prefinished
3. Parquet - Pieces of wood floor construct into a pattern or design, most often geometric in nature
Top 5 things you should know when choosing a wood floor product:
1.Always set a budget, remembering, if the price sounds to good to be true, it's most likely of lesser quality
2.Choose a wood floor according to the rooms use;
3.Choose a style/design to match and/or compliment the rooms decor;
4.Choose a wood floor product with proper finish that can handle the traffic for that specific area/room
5. Always use a profession wood floor contractor as there are many technical concerns that can adversely effect or compromise the product. NOTE: See these additional detailed
Which wood floor for what room ?
Entry / Foyer - Foyers tend to be more formal than not. Making a design statement in this area has most recently become a new wood flooring trend. Custom designs like accents, border medallions and painted design are very common in this area. Using outside walk-off mats and if there is no design, area carpets inside will help in keeping wear down.Custom Wood FloorsKitchens/Family rooms: These are most common spaces for wood floor installation in new construction. The ease of care, open floor plans, and the flow of traffic make this a very popular area for wood floors. Dark and white/bleached wood floors do NOT fare well in this area because of the high traffic, food & water continuously being on the floor. In some very grainy species, the direction of the wood floor can add to the wear of the product. NOTE: Kitchen wood floors should be screened (lightly sanded) and recoated as needed, say every 6-18 months, depending on the amount of traffic and cleaning habits. Make sure the finish used is recommended by the manufacturer and/or is a compatible with what you have. Good cleaning habits are very important part of maintaining a wood floor, high traffic or not. Clean regularly, and always wipe food & water spillage immediately.
Formal Living and Dining Rooms- Most often a more traditional formal setting, darker in color with the combination of oriental carpets. This area also often receives border inlays, with turning blocks or corner accents to add a Custom-One-of-A-Kind floor. Design considerations for this area often will be compatible with the furniture being used. Not matching the exact color but a darker or lighter color in the same family of the floor color, thus complimenting each other. Remember the darker the floor, the smaller the space will appear, and maintenance consideration will increase.
Bathrooms - A bathroom that receives daily use would not fare well with wood floors, due to continued moisture exposure. On the other hand a guest bathroom not used on a day to day basis could be considered. Make sure to use area carpets/mats, and always immediately wipe up any water.
Home offices, Bedrooms - Wood Floors work well in bedrooms, often with area carpets being used. Office settings lean toward the traditional darker colors, and bedroom are a 50/50 tossup on colors used. NOTE: Rolling furniture, chairs, TV stands etc., can damage the finish very quickly, if used day to day. Make sure the floor is protected and/or the rollers are not made of metal or other damaging materials. Many times placing blue painted tape on the wheels will help. Regular maintenance is required.
Unfinished Wood Floors (No finish-bare wood floor)
This product whether solid or engineered must be job site finished. This can be a very dusty experience unless a dust containment systems is used. Job site sanding and finishing can take several days to over a week according to square footage, stains, and number of coats of top finish. Finishes are oil or water based in different sheens. This process needs to be done after ALL other trades have completed their work, allowing enough time to complete the job such that finishes can cure properly. Today some wood flooring contractors have dust containment equipment, which takes all dust outside to a container. Using this service will increase the cost per square foot. Maintaining these finish are very important in providing a long life for your hardwood floor products. The cost of this process vary around the country, but on the average can range from $2-$4 per sqr. ft., which includes a three course sanding and three coats of finish (oil or water based), with additional cost for prep (furniture and carpet removal), moldings and more expensive finishes. These unfinished wood floor products come in various thicknesses and widths.
Prefinished Wood Flooring Visit PREFINISHEDWOODFLOORING.COM
These products are produced in acrylic impregnated, engineered and solids. They are becoming the main stream of the "new" hardwood floor products. These new tough factory finishes are one of the main reason for making this type of hardwood floor product so popular with home owners, builders and DIY'ers alike. The other reason is the ease of installation and the elimination of dusty sanding procedures. These products can cost from $2-$7 per sqr. ft. not including installation cost, prep, moldings and added accents, borders, and custom work. Typically these prefinished wood floor products come in various thicknesses and widths.
Ash - Beech - Birch - Cherry - Cypress - Douglas Fir - Hickory /Pecan - Maple (Hard) - Mesquite - Oak (Red) Oak (White) - Pine (Heart) - Pine (So Yellow) - Walnut
Alder Amberwood Aspen Balau Basswood Birch, Northern White
Birch, Red Birch, Yellow Butternut Cedar Cherry
Chestnut Daru Elm Hemlock Canadian Juniper
Larch Canadian Larch Western Lindenwood Locust Madrone
Mahogany Maple, Bird’s-Eye Maple Pacific Maple
Red Maple Silver Poplar Sassafras Spruce Sycamore
Tamarack Tupelo Willow
Brazilian Cherry - Cypress (Australian) - Jarrah - Mahogany (Santos) - Merbau - Padauk (African) - Purpleheart - Rubberwood - Teak (Thia/Burmese) - Wenge
Exotic Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring has been the preferred flooring material for centuries in various parts of the world and has stood the test of time by virtue of its inherent durability and beauty. Hardwood is also easy to maintain and offers many health benefits as it does not accumulate dust mites or mold, which serve as irritants to those with allergies and can cause chronic illness. With the increase in global trade, consumer interest for new types of wood flooring, particularly in the United States, has increased substantially. This trend reflects consumer desire for more diversity of color and mechanical properties in the hardwood flooring options available to them. In response to this trend, leaders in the wood flooring industry have broadened their product lines to include non-native wood species as well as domestic species. At the
Lifestyle Floor, our exotic hardwood flooring line includes many of the most popular and beautiful woods from around the world, with particular focus on South American and Asian hardwoods.
In addition to being an environmentally sustainable choice, our exotic
hardwood flooring features some of the most durable woods in the industry. An exotic wood such as Ipe, a Brazilian specie, features a Janka hardness rating of 3,860 lbs. Compared to the industry hardness standard, Red Oak with a Janka hardness rating of 1,290 lbs, this wood is three times as hard. Many exotic species also feature other mechanical benefits, such as heightened resistance to decay and insects, when compared to domestic species.
Beyond hardness and durability, our exotic line contains some of the most beautiful woods in the world. From the striking yellow, red, and black striping of Tarara Amarillo to the rich browns of Lapacho Ipe, these products provide a full range of styles, accents, and color combinations that can serve as perfect decorative complements or as centerpieces unto themselves. This is why interior designers, contractors and homeowners looking to express their personal style choose exotic flooring.
Discount Hardwood Flooring is a term that can (often rightfully) trigger skepticism in some, but rest assured that the savings you get from us come from buying quality products factory direct, not from buying inferior product dressed up like the real thing. At
Lifestyle Floor, we have many years of experience working with the leading importers, distributors, and manufacturers of a variety of high quality flooring products from all over the world. By working directly with these partners, we are capable of bringing discount flooring directly to the consumer at amazing prices.
In retail stores across the country, product price markup is over 50% for wood products. Not only that, but there is an additional 20% markup on the level of wholesale distribution. By purchasing with the
Lifestyle Floor, you avoid the retail markup entirely. When we created the
Lifestyle Floor site, our goal was to improve on an inefficient system for distributing materials to consumers: the retail system. Retail distribution systems are inherently more costly to the consumer. Since then, we have helped both homeowners and building firms complete their flooring projects without being forced to pay retail prices. By cutting out all of these overhead costs of TV and radio advertising, marketing displays and brochures, we can provide much more competitive pricing on our discount wood flooring than our retail counterparts.
The Lifestyle Floor web site is designed to provide the user with all the necessary technical information and photographs to make an educated decision on which product best suits their needs. Another potential concern about discount hardwood flooring is that it will be sold "as is" or with no warranty or consumer protection.
Prefinished flooring is solid hardwood flooring with a finish of aluminum oxide applied to the surface and a micro-bevel applied to the edges. Our prefinished products are 40 gloss with a finish of 8 coats of aluminum oxide to provide added resistance to household hazards such as scratches, scuffs, and dents. As they are already finished, these products require no sanding or staining once the floor is installed, eliminating the possibility of finish misapplication after installation is complete. Our prefinished products are precision milled with the most sophisticated equipment available. These products are 3/4" thick with possible widths ranging from 3" to 5".
All of our prefinished products feature interlocking tongues and grooves for ease of installation and a tight fit between boards. Prefinished flooring can also be sanded and refinished many times over in the case of damage or general wear and tear, making it a floor that can easily last a household a lifetime.
Engineered flooring is a great innovation that offers increased dimensional stability while also being a genuine wood product. Our engineered products feature a 6-ply core with a 2mm wear layer. This product can also be installed in areas and on grades where solid hardwood can not, such as in basements, below grade, and in areas with minor moisture. It can also be glued down or "floated" in addition to being nailed down. The 2mm wear layer on top of the 6-ply core is prefinished. This means that it requires no finishing or staining and, with the exception of the time it takes a glue-down installation to set, it can be walked on immediately after installation.