Published at Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 - 19:41:43 PM. Hardwood Flooring. By Laurent Tissot.
With an impressive durability and unique appearances, exotic hardwoods are an excellent choice for the homeowner who wants the durability of hardwood but wants something a little different at the same time. Exotic hardwoods offer a variety of colorations and patterns that are not commonly seen in domestic hardwood flooring. Learn more about what makes a wood floor exotic, the durability they offer, and how to care for your exotic wood flooring. What Are Exotic Hardwoods? An exotic hardwood is defined as any type of wood found outside of the United States that is imported into the country. Brazil, Australia, Africa and countries in the Far East offer a large variety of woods not native to the U.S. There are over 100 species of trees that are considered exotic to North America and offer a distinctive and visually striking appearance that differs from standard American hardwood floors. Exotic hardwood floors, like standard hardwood floors, are manufactured in both solid hardwood and engineered assortments. Solid hardwood is a single slat of wood; engineered wood is a sandwich of laminated wood with real hardwood veneer on the top layer.
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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