Wood Flooring & Design

Wood Floors 101

floor sanding

"The crew was careful, efficient and thorough."

~ E.S. Grant

Types of Wood Flooring

Solid Hardwood

  • Single piece of hardwood with tongue and grove sides
  • Can be unfinished or prefinished
  • Refinished multiple times as well as recoated
  • Sensitive to moisture & temperature changes; May gap or cup as wood adapts to a condition
  • Installation is limited depending upon moisture conditions

Engineered Hardwood

  • Three or more thin sheets of wood laminated together using a cross-ply direction which adds stability
  • Top layer (finish layer) can be a completely different wood species than the lower layers
  • May or may not be recoated depending upon thickness of the top finished layer
  • Typically pre-finished in the factory
  • Not affected by changes in moisture or temperature
  • Installation virtually anywhere; Staple, nail, glue, or click installation over subfloor or moisture barrier; Used as a floating floor over concrete pads or radiant floor heating systems

Longstrip Hardwood

  • Engineered planks with the top finish layer made up of several thinner wood strips (piles) glued together. The core of the plank is a softer wood or wood-like material to make the tongue & groove
  • The top layer appears to look like it is two or three narrow planks wide and several planks long, in one pre-assembled section
  • Generally can not be refinished; Factory finish only
  • Insensitive to moisture changes
  • Designed for click floating floor installation but may be glued or stapled

"Green", Environmentally-friendly

  • Reclaimed Wood: Collected from old buildings and demolition sites. Although costly to refurbish, authentic and unique markings make superb design choices.
  • Bamboo: Plant based; regenerates every seven years. Resistant to fire, insects and moisture. 27% harder than Red Oak, and 13% harder than Maple—excellent wear
  • Cork: Made from the bark of the Cork tree by removing only the outside layer; which preserves the tree. Cork is a good thermal insulator and acoustical choice. It is anti-static, hypoallergenic and has great elasticity. It is resistant to environmental changes and is highly durable.


  • Laminate: An image of wood (photographed or otherwise created) laminated onto a particle or wood substitute backing
  • Vinyl: A plastic formed to look like wood
  • Veneer: A a very thin layer or wood with a cover made of a composite aerial such as fiber board

Wood Flooring Designs

  • Inlays/Feature strips
  • Borders/Accent strips
  • Medallions/Focal points
  • Stained
  • Distressed/Hand "hewn"
  • Bleached/Pickled
  • Straight Pattern - As in random widths & lengths
  • Diagonal Pattern - As in Bordeaux style
  • Parquet Pattern - As in boxed, geometric, non- linear
  • Herringbone - As in Chevron style
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