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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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Wood Flooring Species

Your choice will be partly about look, partly about properties of the wood, and partly about cost. In this chart, common hardwoods are grouped by the way they look: ash is a coarse-grained wood similar to the oaks, maple, birch, and beech are all lighter, finer-grained woods. A few exotic woods, good choices for insets or borders, are on page 6 with the softwoods.

The wear rating tells you how well a wood resists.

Getting a Good Grade

Wood is sorted and sold in different grades. The grade names and criteria depend on the species. Oak flooring grades are shown above. For many species, only the highest grade is usually sold for flooring, but for oak, and sometimes for other species, other grades are available. There's a big difference in appearance between the highest and the lowest grades. There's also a big difference in price. Lower grades can make fine flooring, but be sure to compare the same grade when you're price shopping. dents and stands up to heavy foot traffic. The stability rating refers to how much the wood will expand and contract due to humidity. The less movement, the better.

Actual costs vary across the country, but relative costs are fairly stable.
Availability tells you if you'll have to place a special order for the wood you like.
The characteristics of the wood are not as important for engineered wood flooring. The layers provide stability, so you can make a choice based more on look and cost than on structural properties of the wood.


 

 

 

 

COMMON HARDWOODS

 

EXOTIC HARDWOODS

 

SOFTWOODS

SPECIES

  Oak, red   Oak, white   Ash   Maple   Birch   Beech   Walnut   Cherry   Mahogany   Douglas fir   Pine, white   Pine, yellow
WEAR   Very good   Excellent   Very good   Very good   Very good   Very good   Good   Fair   Fair   Fair   Poor   Very good
STABILITY   Good   Good   Good   Very good   Very good   Poor   Good   Very Good   Excellent   Good   Very good   Good, durable
RELATIVE COST   Moderate Moderate   Moderate Moderate   Moderate Moderate   Expensive Expensive   Moderate   Inexpensive   Inexpensive Inexpensive

 

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