Guide

The elegance of wood transforms a space into a one-of-a-kind luxury, simply. A home can differentiate itself from another by its appealing wood flooring.

What’s the difference?

ENGINEERED

Engineered hardwood flooring is a product made up of a top wear layer lamella of hardwood and a plywood core. It is available in almost any hardwood species.

Engineered hardwood flooring is more suitable in high-moisture areas or in areas with frequent temperature changes

Engineered hardwood is designed for optimal uniformity.

Engineered hardwood is more dimensionally stable because of its multi-ply design, allowing  greater resistance to temperature changes.

Engineered hardwood is a better choice when solid wood is not applicable particularly when due to increased moisture. It is more resistant to moisture when compared to solid wood.

Engineered hardwood does not warp or cup during climatic changes, is more resistant to higher moisture levels than solid flooring. It is a better choice for installation over radiant heat source, and damp basements.

SOLID

Solid hardwood flooring is milled from a single piece of timber that is kiln or air dried before sawing. Timber can be cut: rift-sawn, quarter-sawn, and plain-sawn.

Solid hardwood has overall structural strength to the building in which it is installed. The degree depends on the species.

Solid hardwood’s uniformity varies depending on grade.

Solid hardwood is susceptible to expansion, warping, and cupping if exposed to climatic changes.

Solid hardwood is not a good choice at any location with increased moisture. Particularly in areas which are not environmentally controlled, such as damp areas, below-grade installations, and over radiant heating systems.

Solid hardwood generally expands and contracts a lot more than engineered wood during climatic changes, especially during extremes in heat, cold, and precipitation.

SPECIES

GRADE

Grade is assigned by color, grain variation, and the amount of flaws. Since comprehensive grading system exists, each species’ grade differs. Typically, the fewer flaws the higher the cost.

CUT

Lumber is cut from logs in one of three ways: rift sawn, quarter sawn, or plain sawn.

Rift sawing is a technique of cutting boards from logs radially so the annual rings are nearly 90° to the faces. When rift-sawn, each piece is cut along a radius of the original log, so that the saw cuts at right angles to the tree’s growth rings. Manufactured by milling perpendicular to the log’s growth rings producing a linear grain pattern with no flecking. This method produces the most waste, increasing the cost of this lumber. Rift sawn lumber is the most dimensionally stable cut of lumber available and has a unique linear appearance.

Quarter sawn wood has an amazing straight grain pattern. Quarter sawn lumber is defined as wood where the annular growth rings intersect the face of the board at a 60 to 90 degree angle. When cutting this lumber at the sawmill, each log is sawed at a radial angle into four quarters, hence the name. Dramatic flecking is also present in red oak and white oak.

Plain sawn, also commonly called flat sawn, is the most common lumber you will find. This is the most inexpensive way to manufacture logs into lumber. Plain sawn lumber is the most common type of cut. The annular rings are generally 30 degrees or less to the face of the board; this is often referred to as tangential grain. The resulting wood displays a cathedral pattern on the face of the board.

SURFACE FINISH

The wearing surface of a plank is its finish. Prefinished planks can be sanded, stained, and/or surface finished.

Surface finishes are durable, water-resistant, and require minimal maintenance. They remain on the surface of the wood to form a protective coating. Surface finishes including: water-based, oil-based, and penetrating and hardening oils. The penetrating oils are usually made of tung oils, linseed oils, or other natural oils, and an additional additive that can help in drying and hardness.