Things to Consider When Choosing Hardwood Flooring
Solid or Engineered
- Solid wood flooring is made up entirely of wood. Typically measuring 3/4 of an inch thick. Standard widths begin at 2-1/4” wide and many different widths. Solid wood flooring can be sanded and re-finished numerous times before it becomes too thin, thus compromising its structural integrity. If well-maintained solid wood flooring can last for decades. Solid wood flooring is not recommended in areas where moisture is prevalent or over radiant heat.
- Engineered wood flooring is a layered wood product made from a thin veneer of hardwood on top of high-quality plywood. The thickness generally ranges from 3/8 to 1/2 an inch and widths can go up to 7-1/2 inches. Engineered wood cannot be sanded and re-finished as much as solid wood due to the thin top layer. However, engineered flooring can generally be used in places that solid wood is not recommended. For instance, engineered flooring handles moisture better because of it’s dimensionally stable plywood base. Engineered flooring is recommended for use over radiant heat, giving you the look of solid wood flooring with the stability you need.
Wood flooring comes both pre-finished and unfinished. Pre-Finished flooring has a factory applied finished, which adds ease to the installation with a relatively low mess and ensures a consistent finish. Unfinished flooring is sanded and finished on site, which can help seal the seams between flooring boards. There are also different options in texture such as a wire brush finish, which may help hide general wear and tear. We have many different samples available at our stores for you to choose the floor that’s right for you. It is important to remember as with any natural product, tones and hues will change over time.
There are many different species available for flooring. Options include but are not limited to pine, oak, hickory, maple, douglas fir, ash, southern yellow pine, and cherry. The harder the wood, the more durable it is. Softer woods such as pine will scratch and dent easier than harder woods such as maple. Each with their own characteristics and look, it is best to look at samples and understand the value of each kind.
Grades and Milling
Two major factors in the appearance of wood flooring are the grade of the lumber and the way it was milled. Different grades can make each species appear very different. The color variation, number of knots, and graining patterns may vary. Additionally, lumber can be quartersawn or plainsawn. Plainsawn will likely show more of a variation in the grain patterns on the surface of the wood. Quarter Sawn flooring will have a uniform graining pattern.
Wood Flooring Available
We offer a variety of wood flooring from many manufacturers. A few include:
For 30 years Lauzon has been passionate about revealing the beauty of wood. Lauzon offers many different species from maple, cherry, birch, walnut, mahogany, oak, and beyond. Also available in different collections of engineered, herringbone pattered or solid wood. There are many options to choose from, including 3/4″ engineered flooring.
Learn more about Lauzon Flooring here
Maine Traditions Hardwood Flooring produces prefinished, unfinished and engineered flooring. Maine Traditions aims to maintain old world craftsmanship while embracing technologies, which allow them to continually improve their products. With three collections available in many different species, grades, sizes, and finishes you are sure to find something to meet your needs.
Learn more about Maine Traditions here
Robbins Lumber, located in Searsmont, Maine offers a variety of pine flooring options. They mill wide plank flooring that can be anywhere from 12 to 18 inches. Additionally, they offer a southern yellow pine flooring in 4, 6, and 8” widths.
Learn more about Robbins Lumber here
Somerset manufactures flooring from Appalachian hardwood. With a wide range of unfinished and prefinished flooring, Somerset offers anything from sleek modern styles to rustic light textured choices. Somerset processes millions of board feet of lumber each year. They maintain control over the entire process from lumber manufacturing, to drilling, milling, and finishing the hardwood in order to provide a consistent and quality product.
Learn more about Somerset Flooring here