About Solid Wood Floors
Hardwood flooring combines the best our nature has to offer. It’s rich tones and natural feel will compliment any interior and add value to your home or office. Even in a rugged state hardwood still doesn’t lose its appeal. It’s beautiful to look at and pleasant to walk on. Every board comes with a unique pattern that was handcrafted by the mother nature itself making solid hardwood one of the most diverse flooring material out there. It’s a piece of the outdoor in your home that you can enjoy from your couch. It’s simple yet sophisticated look fits well with classical as well as more bold and colourful design choices. Besides the variety of materials, patterns and shapes, solid hardwood is also known for its durability. It’s the only wood floor that can be resanded and refinished not just once but several times. If you are looking for a flooring material that will look gorgeous in any environment and add value to your home, solid hardwood is your winner.
How solid hardwood floors are made
Hardwood floors are made straight from trees so there isn’t an extensive manufacturing process involved. Fortunately, the days of unsolicited tree cutting that used to have the long term consequences on the nation’s forests rare in the past. Today the hardwood forests used to produce flooring products grow more than twice as fast as they are being harvested.
Here are the steps hardwood goes through before ending up on your living room floor.
Once the trees are cut into logs their future purpose is determined by their quality.
Only trees with the tightest grain and few knots are used for flooring purposes.
The chosen logs are cut into rough planks. The cutting method can influence the stability of a plank and even the price for which it’s going to be sold. is done following one of the three possible methods:
There are three ways to cut logs into planks:
- Flat or Plain Sawn
This is the most widely used method to cut wood. Cutting parallel through the log, plain sawn wood boards are wider and when milled into planks leave behind minimum waste.
- Quarter Sawn
Logs are sawn at a radial angle into four quarters and then in the strips. Planks made from quarter sawn wood are more stable and less likely to cup.
- Rift Sawn
Logs are cut at a different angle than when using quarter sawn method. It’s mostly used with oak to avoid flecks that are common in this type of wood. This cutting method is more expensive than the other two but the product ends up to be more stable.
No matter what cutting method is used, once the log is reduced into boards there are saw marks that need to smoothen down. To do so the boards are planed on all four sides. This removes any impurities from all surfaces and levels the plank.
The next step is to cut tongue and groove edges. In the case of unfinished floors, this is the last modification boards go through before being shipped to the marketplace. The tongue and edges construction makes hardwood floors easier to install. The boards fit together tightly but there is still leaving enough room for them to expand and contract depending on the time of the year and the humidity levels in the air. expansion and contraction.These changes in the board’s size can occur without creating gaps between planks in the installed floor.
Some floors are to have a certain appearance, so the planks may go through a distressing process to make them look older and worn out. This new look can be achieved either by hand (hand scraping or hand sculpting) or by a machine (wire brushing).
Several coats of finish are applied to the wear surface of the plank for protection purposes. This can be done either before delivering the floor or marketplace (pre-finished floors) or after they are already installed. Pre-finished floors are great for people who like to install their floors themselves without any professional help, however sealing floors with the finish after installation gives them a more uniform look and makes them more impenetrable to moisture.
How to care for solid hardwood floors
Solid hardwood floors are especially favoured for their longevity. The possibility to be sanded and refinished multiple times is a definite advantage over any other type of floor out there. However, even with it’s superpowers hardwood still needs a loving hand now and then.
The good news is that caring for your hardwood floor is as easy as it gets. Here are some tips: