All About Laminate

All About Hardwood

Choosing Hardwood Flooring

» All About Wood Flooring  
» What type of finish for your hardwood floor?
» Wood Flooring Species
» Underlayment/Adhesives
» Pre-finished or site-finished hardwood floors?
» Design Elements

Pre-Installation Information

» Installation Methods
» Tools for Hardwood Flooring
» Moisture Testing
» Acclimation of Hardwood Floors To The Jobsite

Getting It Done

» Preparing the Room/Smoothing The Subfloor
» Dealing With Moisture
» Installation of Hardwood Floors On Concrete
» Installation Prefinished Nail or Staple Down
» Installation of Floating Hardwood Floor 
» Maintaining the Floor

Additional Articles

» Finish your Hardwood Floors on Site
» Restoring old hardwood Floors

All About Area Rugs

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Solid & Engineered Wood

Solid wood flooring comes in a range of widths—narrow boards are called strips and wider ones are planks. Both are nailed or stapled through the tongue into the subfloor. Planks wider than about 4 inches must be nailed or screwed through the face to prevent warping. Wood plugs fill the holes.
Boards come unfinished or prefinished. With unfinished boards, you get a wider range of sizes, species, and finish options. The downside? You have to sand and finish them, which is messy and time-consuming. With prefinished boards, you have fewer choices, but you get a floor you can walk on right away.

Strip flooring comes in widths from 2 1/4 inches to 3 inches and in a variety of stains and finishes. The most common size is 3/4 inch thick and 21 /4 inches wide, but most home centers offer a selection.


flooring starts at about 3 inches wide. Boards of different widths are often used together in a plank floor.
Planks are more expensive than strips.

Engineered wood flooring looks like solid wood from the top, but it's made up of several layers. The top layer is hardwood; the other wood layers are less attractive and less expensive, but are also very stable. The layers are glued together with their grain running in opposite directions, which reduces the amount of expansion and contraction
The flooring is cut tongue and groove, and comes in fixed or random lengths. It can be nailed or stapled down, installed as a floating floor— boards glued to each other, but not fastened to the subfloor—or glued to the subfloor. Not all methods suit all products, so ask about installation options when you buy the flooring.

A Wood Sandwich
Engineered wood flooring is three or five layers of wood glued together. The top layer is an attractive piece of solid wood.
Thick top layers wear longer. The top layer may be rotary cut (peeled from the outside of the log) or sliced (cut from the middle like regular lumber). Rotary cutting gets more veneer from the same tree. Slicing creates a grain that looks more like solid wood.

Engineered strips come in a range of widths, starting at 2 1/2 inches. Most boards are prefinished. Exotic woods may be used for the top layer. These are cheaper than the same wood in solid flooring because only a thin layer is needed.

An engineered plank may be a single wide unit or be constructed of two or three strips laminated together into a wide board. The second option results in a look similar to a strip floor, but installs more quickly.



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