By Josephine Santos. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 - 15:33:49 PM.
What is the moisture content of the flooring? Moisture content is a very important factor when installing hardwood flooring. You need the flooring to be at a proper moisture level for your home/interior climate which is typically between 6-9% moisture content. Installing hardwood flooring with a moisture content that is too high will cause spaces in the floor when the flooring dries out, and installing a hardwood floor that is too dry will result in cupping when the flooring picks up moisture. If the retailer selling you flooring does not have a moisture meter and can check the moisture for you then I would suggest you run. The majority of people selling hardwood flooring know very little about wood and moisture, if they don't even have a moisture meter, that is a sign that they are not professional and know nothing or very little about hardwood flooring and shouldn't be selling it.
”Solid” hardwood flooring is traditionally cut from a log in an unfinished plank form with tongue and groove milled on all sides. Ranging from 5/16” to ¾” in thickness, ”solid” floors are typically available in various widths and lengths. Due to the sensitivity of natural ”solid” hardwood from humidity and moisture, natural solid wood floors are normally installed at or above ground level. The natural beauty of wood grains found in solid hardwoods is both appealing and alluring with finishes that may be completed upon installation in the home or factory finished with a pre-determined choice of unlimited finishes to select from. ”Solid” hardwood flooring is as one may expect the most expensive of all wood floor selections. It is not uncommon for ”solid” hardwood floors to exceed two to three times the cost over other floor selections and in most cases is out of reach of those on restricted budget guidelines. Available in a variety of North American wood species, ”solid” hardwood floors are noted for durability and overall beauty that will last a lifetime.
Hardness Rating – All wood is subject to the Janka Hardness Rating scale to detect its strength. This hardness test measures the force required to embed a.444 inch steel ball to half its diameter into the wood. The Janka Rating is the industry standard for assessing the ability of various wood species to endure pressure and determine the energy needed to nail and/or saw the wood. Tests performed by the U.S. Forestry Lab indicate that most exotic woods are frequently more durable than other types of hardwoods. Brazilian Teak, for example, has a rating of 3,540, which makes it perfect to handle the abuse of large families with indoor pets. African Mahogany has a rating of 830, and is more likely to be damaged by heavy traffic and scuffed by your pet's nails.
In order for the investment in new hardwood floors to last a lifetime, it is crucial to understand the differences in solid and engineered hardwood flooring. Several factors must be considered to select the best option for each unique situation. Homeowners can feel good about choosing their hardwood flooring if they learn a few basics first. Solid Hardwood Flooring – Solid hardwood flooring is milled from a single piece of lumber, and it is available either unfinished and prefinished. Unfinished hardwood flooring is sanded, stained, and coated onsite after installation. This method allows for custom stain colors to match a home's decor, or simply to create a unique appearance. The downside to unfinished flooring is that there is often a considerable mess from sanding the flooring as well as fumes from the stain and urethane coatings. High quality contractors do have equipment that will minimize the dust from sanding process. They may also offer low VOC stains and water-based urethane coatings to reduce the fumes associated with oil-based products. This finishing process can be done multiple time in the future to restore the beauty of the floor as it wears over time. Solid hardwood flooring is best installed over a wood subflooring material as it is generally nailed or stapled to the subsurface. Always install solid wood flooring above grade as it is highly susceptible to moisture and may warp in damp areas.
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