TYPES OF HARDWOOD
Comparing American Hardwoods, Softwoods and Tropical Hardwoods
Wood products are known for their natural beauty, but when selecting a type of wood for your next flooring project it is important to consider the level of durability by understanding the difference between wood types. Each type and species of wood has an individual cellular structure that creates unique physical properties that determine suitability for your specific flooring needs.
For example, the hardness of woods varies widely, so certain hardwood species are not recommended for flooring because thet are not hard enough to withstand heavy wear and tear.
Following is a brief comparison of Hardwoods, Softwoods and Tropical Hardwoods and their appropriate applications:
HARDWOODS are deciduous trees that broad leaves, produce a fruit or nut and generally go dormant in the winter. North America forests grow hundreds of varieties that thrive in temperate climates including oak, ash, cherry, maple and poplar species. Each species can be crafted into durable long-lasting flooring and each offers unique markings variation in grain pattern, texture and color.
SOFTWOODS or conifers, from the Latin word meaning “cone-bearing,” have needles rather than leaves. Widely available U.S. softwood trees include cedar, fir, hemlock, pine, redwood and spruce. In a home softwoods are primarily are used with limited decorative applications.
TROPICAL HARDWOODS including mahogany, rosewood, teak and wenge – are not native to North America. They grow in the tropical forests of the world and must be imported for domestic use. While some tropical hardwoods can be used for flooring the color, grain pattern, hardness and luster of many imported woods differ from those of American Hardwoods. Be careful, do your research.
STYLES OF HARDWOOD FLOORS
Many people prefer to have a hardwood floor in many parts of their home, i.e. hallways, living room, kitchens and dining rooms as it is easier to clean. There are many styles and types to choose from. Before you make any decision to which style and type you would like, you should speak with Greg Garber Hardwood 310 230 4597. There are pros and cons to every choice, we are specialists, in helping to figure out the most practical choice for you!
STRIP HARDWOOD FLOORING can also be known as linear flooring. This particular flooring measures between one and one-half inches to two and one-fourth inches. The most common one used is the two and one-fourth inches. By using the STRIP flooring you will cause an effect that gives you the illusion that there is a larger. More open space.
PLANK HARDWOOD FLOORING is also considered a linear flooring, but this type is wider. You will normally find PLANK hardwood flooring measuring from three inches to six inches. The disadvantage of a wider linear floor is the concern about what effect moisture will have on the floor.
PARQUET HARDWOOD FLOORING is wood flooring pieces with geometric designs, ranging from glue down five-sixteenths inch to a glue and nail down three-fourths inches.
Types of Hardwood Flooring:
SOLID HARDWOOD FLOORING: is one complete piece of wood. It is solid from top to bottom no matter how wide or long it is. By using this type of flooring you can have a custom designed floor in any room. You have choices of different species of wood, both imported exotic wood or domestic wood. You can also choose your own finish type and stain. With SOLID hardwood floors you can be an artist by adding borders, accents, or even a completed painted floor. It is ideal for anywhere in the home. One of the advantages of having a Solid hardwood floor is that it can be refinished four or five times professionally.
ENGINEERED FLOORING: is layers of wood that are pressed together and glued. For added stability, the grains of the type of hardwood flooring run in different directions. You can purchase this flooring, which is measured by ply thickness, in either three or five ply, with five ply being the one most people choose. The advantage of ENGINEERED flooring is that it can be used where you cannot install the SOLID wood type. The areas where this type of flooring is used are areas with moisture concerns, like the basement or bathroom.