Hardwood floors can be installed anywhere in a home and can be prepared from several species of wood such as elm, ash, oak, amendoim, cypress, teak, cherry, walnut, rosewood, hickory, and maple. The hardness, stability, color, and alterations in color vary with wood type. Chestnut, Douglas fir, and North American Cherry offer low hardness whereas hardwood from Brazilian Walnut, Caribbean Cherry, and Bloodwood is extremely hard. The stability of hardwood flooring has an inverse relation with the moisture inherent in the wood and is independent of the engineering. The appearance of unfinished hardwood flooring plays an important role in the grading process. The commonly assigned grades to hardwood flooring include clear, select, common 1, common 2, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3.
Hardwood flooring enhances the look of a room and when laid in harmony with the furniture and other elements in the interior design of a room, it bestows an elegance that synthetic flooring is unable to match.
Hardwood flooring can be installed using the following methods:
Nail Down: Nails are used to attaching hardwood to the subfloor either in grade or above grade. Nails are usually used for hardwood with a thickness of 3/4″.
Staple Down: Nails can be substituted with a pneumatic stapler for attaching the hardwood to the subfloor. Stapling is easier to accomplish as compared to nailing and is therefore favored by DIY enthusiasts.
Glue Down: Patterned wood panels or parquets can be glued to the subfloor on, above, or below grade. The subfloor can be either wooden or concrete.
Floating: Engineered and Longstrip floors can be installed using the floating process in which a pad of foam is placed between the floors and the subfloor. The hardwood boards are held in place by means of an adhesive that is applied in the tongue and groove portion of each board. Floating enables the installation of hardwood on uneven surfaces.
Hardwood flooring is easy to maintain and the following guidelines should help homeowners to ensure the beauty and longevity of their hardwood flooring.