Wood floors come in a variety of styles to meet the demands of today's busy lifestyles - factory finished, unfinished, solid, engineered, strip, plank, parquet, and acrylic impregnated.
Choosing the style that is best for you is an important decision, and will be based on a variety of issues including your lifestyle, your decorating style, and the area in which you live. Consider consulting with a wood flooring professional in your area to weigh the advantages of each alternative.
Wood floors come in a rainbow of colors to fit any décor. You can achieve unique, one-of-a-kind looks with custom stains and finishes. And even if your floor is old, you can achieve an entirely new look with new stain and finishes. The possibilities are endless.
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.
Domestic Wood Species:
Pine, Antique Heart
Pine, Southern Yellow
Walnut, American Black
Imported Wood Species:
Gum, Sydney Blue
Walnut, Brazilian - Ipe
The appearance of the wood determines its "grade." All grades are equally strong and serviceable, but each affords you a different look.
Clear wood is free of defects, though it may have minor imperfections.
Select wood is almost clear, but contains some natural characteristics such as knots and color variations.
Common wood (No. 1 and No. 2) has more natural characteristics, such as knots and color variations, than either clear or select grades, and is often chosen because of these natural features and the character they bring to a room. No. 1 Common has a variegated appearance, light and dark colors, knots, flags and wormholes. No. 2 Common is rustic in appearance and emphasize all wood characteristics of the species.
First grade wood has the best appearance, natural color variations and limited character marks.
Second grade wood is variegated in appearance with varying sound wood characteristics of species.
Third grade wood is rustic in appearance allowing all wood characteristics of the species.
The angle at which a board is cut determines how the finished product looks. Wood flooring is either plain-sawn, quarter-sawn or rift-sawn.
Plain-sawn is the most common cut. The board contains more variation than the other two cuts because grain patterns resulting from the growth rings are more obvious.
Quarter-sawing produces less board feet per log than plain-sawing and is therefore more expensive. Quarter-sawn wood twists and cups less and wears more evenly.
Rift-sawn is similar to quarter-sawing, but the cut is made at a slightly different angle.