When someone mentions solid wood flooring they are referring to hardwood flooring made from one solid piece of lumber. Solid wood flooring is available in a variety of sizes and species ranging in durability from pine to Brazilian cherry.
Solid hardwood products also include different gloss levels and surface treatments like hand-scraping or distressing. Solid wood is milled from a single 3/4″ thick piece of hardwood. Solid wood flooring expands and contracts with changes in your home’s relative humidity. Normally, installers compensate for this movement by leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Base molding or quarter round is traditionally used to hide the extra space.
Before deciding on Solid or Engineered hardwood flooring, consider these factors: Location, Location, Location. The location of your hardwood flooring basically falls into three categories:
- On Grade – at ground level – Slab
- Above Grade – any second level or higher
- Below Grade – any floor below ground level, including basements or sunken living rooms.
Traditional solid hardwood flooring is not well suited for below-grade installations, because of the possibility of moisture issues. The construction of an engineered hardwood gives it enhanced structural stability that allows it to be installed at any grade level when a moisture barrier is used during installation.
An excellent question to get answered before your purchase decision is Will there be moisture in the room? If you are considering flooring for a bathroom where continuous moisture is expected, you will want to select a product other than hardwood. While the moisture resistance of an engineered hardwood makes it suitable for rooms below grade or ground level when installed with a moisture barrier, it is really not a good idea to install any hardwood flooring in a bathroom.
If you plan to install over concrete, you must use an engineered product to ensure structural integrity. Solid wood flooring or Engineered flooring may be used over plywood, existing wood floors, or OSB subfloors.
Besides these factors solid hardwood flooring is an ideal flooring option to enhance the warmth, ambiance, and value of your home.
Selected Hardwood Flooring Samples
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