Nothing is more beautiful in a home or office than gleaming hardwood floors. The classic look of a room anchored by hardwood floors adds taste and sophisticated refinement to any space.
Easy to keep clean, hardwoods are a natural choice for spaces with high traffic, children, or pets, and they are a natural selection for anyone who is concerned about the environment. Trees are a renewable natural resource, and today most hardwood flooring timber is cut from forests that meet the highest standards of sustainability.
Because of their beauty, sustainability, and durability, hardwood floors always add value to real estate.
Explore Different Hardwoods
Oak, maple, and hickory timber are some of the United States’ most plentiful natural resources. Used in our country since colonial times, hardwood floors evoke a sense of tradition, perseverance, and strength.
Domestic hardwoods are usually used in traditional spaces, but they can also be transformed to have a more exotic look. Recently, many manufacturers mimic the look and feel of exotic hardwood using materials grown domestically.
Due to the cost effectiveness and minimal environmental impact, Trevino Flooring Company promotes domestic brands that are “Made in the USA.”
Exotic hardwoods such as Brazilian Cherry, Cumaru, and Tigerwood, are harvested in other countries around the world.
Exotics are typically harder than domestic hardwoods and have more color variation. They are extremely popular because of their color variation but are getting harder to attain due to the costs of importing.
Hardwood can suit almost any taste.
Traditional. Red oak is one of the most popular flooring choices available because of its ability to coordinate with any design style. The reddish tones add to its beauty, and its durability make it a great option for high-traffic areas.
Contemporary. Ebonizing wood is a simple way to add luxury to a space. The dark, opaque look complements many design styles but especially stands out in a neutral, contemporary space. Dark hardwoods, such as oak, cherry and walnut, create the best sleek black look.
Old world. The natural features of reclaimed wood bring warmth and nostalgia. Reclaimed wood is a stunning choice for your home or business once it’s treated, and it can be incorporated in traditional and contemporary spaces.
Exotic. The multitude of colors in Brazilian cherry wood create an exotic mosaic pattern. Aside from its visual appeal, its durability combined with an affordable price make this species a popular choice among exotic hardwoods.
Eco-friendly. Bamboo is chic and less expensive compared to other hardwoods. Because it grows so quickly, bamboo is one of the most renewable materials on the planet, and it looks fantastic in a kitchen with a soft color palette.
Allergy-friendly. Cork is not only plentiful and natural, it’s also hypoallergenic.
Finish choices: pre-finished or site finished boards
Pre-finished. Pre-finished floorboards are sanded and coated at the factory.
- Convenient to install
- No sanding required on –site
- Multiple coats of finish are applied by the manufacturer, resulting in extra durability
- Finish is under warranty by the manufacturer
- Can trap dirt between boards because flooring is not sealed on the job site
- Most have a beveled edge
- Maintains height irregularities of the subfloor
- Damaged boards must be replaced in order to get a stain match
- Visible nail holes along the perimeter (holes are filled and stained, but the stain may not be an exact match.)
- Matching the floorboards later on-or by a different owner-can be difficult/some flooring maybe discontinued
Site finished. Site finished floors are laid in the home unfinished. They are then sanded and sealed on site.
- Flat, table-top appearance
- Sanded flat, so it is more forgiving of slight irregularities of the subfloor
- Available in many varieties, including exotic wood
- Easy repair with sanding and finish-can be refinished multiple times
- Nail holes near the perimeter are less visible
- Offer more flexibility when making repairs or adding additions to the wood floor because the stain is easier to match
- Prone to rippling and/or buckling in high moisture areas such as the bathroom, basement or kitchen
Engineered versus solid wood flooring.
Engineered and solid wood flooring simply refer to the make-up of the individual planks used on the floor. Both types are made of real wood.
The difference between the two types lies in how the individual planks are made.
As the name suggests, solid hardwood floor boards are made from one, solid wood plank. It remains the same plank from the moment it is harvested, to the mill, and to your floors.
Engineered flooring is made from multiple layers of softwood such as plywood or high density fibers (HDF) glued together with pressure, resulting in a multi-layer plank with a top layer of pure hardwood. Engineered flooring is usually less expensive.
More on engineered flooring.
- Environmentally friendly because the sub layers are made from reclaimed (not ornamental) wood
- Can be used in any room-even a basement or over radiant floor heating-because it can withstand buckling and rippling caused by high moisture or heat (technical term: superior dimensional stability)
- Expands and contracts as a whole unity, maintaining the integrity of the floor
- Easy to install
- Can be installed directly onto cement or concrete slabs
- Nail-free, floating installment makes this choice ideal for condos and high rises
- Cannot be sanded and refinished as often as hardwoods, so not as long-lasting
- Some-but not all- brands have very thin top layers of decorative wood, so they can be very difficult to repair
More on solid wood flooring.
- Planks are usually ¾” thick, which allows sanding and refinishing up to 5 times
- Can last for up to one hundred years
- Highly customizable-a top choice for single family home owners
- Withstands abuse from pets and high traffic very well
- Very sensitive to moisture: moisture can cause cupping (raised edges), crowning (inflated center with edges sloping down), cracking, and expanding and contracting to varying degrees in individual boards which can cause gaps
- Must be nailed down to a subfloor, like plywood, which can add to the overall expense of the project
- May squeak in the future, depending on the attention and skill the installer uses during the nailing down process
- Most engineered hardwood flooring can be installed using the glue down installation method, so they can be laid on almost any hard surface.
- Solid hardwood flooring must be nailed onto a subfloor surface like plywood.
- Radiant heat flooring systems are gaining in popularity, but they are not compatible with solid hardwood floors. The systems are compatible with engineered flooring.
- Engineered flooring is usually less expensive than solid hardwood flooring because only the thin, top layer is made from expensive wood species.
- It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between engineered or solid floors.
- The engineered flooring industry produces a variety of stains in any species catered to fit any taste or style.
- Ideally, spaces with solid hardwood floors should maintain constant air moisture. This can be accomplished by installing a humidifier in the home or building.