Solid Hardwood Flooring:
or "Strip" Wood Flooring

Strip Hardwood flooring, of the hundreds of different flooring options for today's shoppers, is probably what consumers are most familiar with. It is referred to as "strip" hardwood, because the flooring is manufactured in long strips of wood and installed a piece at a time.. here's some specifics.

Strip Flooring:
This usually refers to flooring that is made entirely of solid pieces of wood, generally " in thickness and 2 " to 3 " in width. Most often the lengths will vary, from 10" to 6'6" dependent on the grade of product you buy. Lower grades of solid hardwood flooring will typically have many more short boards in the box.

Strip flooring can be purchased as narrow as 1 " and as wide as 7 ", and sometimes only 3/8" in thickness. Typically anything over 3 1/4" in width is referred to as " Wide Plank Flooring."

Each individual board is machined with a tongue on one side and one end, and a groove on the opposite end and side. All boards are nailed down, one at a time, taking care to offset the end joints to create a pleasing pattern.

Square Edge: When all the edges of each individual piece of wood, are machined perfectly square so no groove is apparent between the boards when the flooring is laid down. This usually implies that the flooring is going to be sanded AFTER installation to level out any height imperfections.

Beveled/Eased Edge:Refers to the small bevel machined on the long sides and usually (but not always) the ends of the boards where they connect with the next piece of flooring. The bevel can be very tiny to quite large and visible. The beveled edged method of manufacturing is preferred for all prefinished flooring: Often referred to as MICRO-V groove.

A LARGE V-notch is indicative of a 10 year old floor, and has significant disadvantages when it comes to refinishing.

Unfinished:All solid wood flooring that arrives on your door step in its natural state, ie. no stain or clear finish applied to the wood, is considered to be Unfinished Flooring. It is sanded and finished AFTER it has been laid in your home and often referred to as SITE-FINISHED. This is a lot less common today as it become increasingly more difficult to find quality installers and particularly finishers.

Prefinished:Opposite to unfinished, prefinished flooring has already been sanded and surface finished prior to delivery. The finish can include a stain to alter the original colour of the wood or just a clear coat of finish to protect the wood. Older floors were prefinished with a wax coating, but most floors today use polyurethane, with various additives like aluminum oxide to improve scratch resistance.

Installation only implies nailing the floor in place, and NO on-site finishing since that has already been taken care of. It is cleaner and faster than its unfinished predecessor and represents the largest part of the market today.

Plank Floor:This is essentially a standard strip floor but normally refers to a wider board, as suggested earlier of at least 3"and up to 7" of solid hardwood. Flooring of this type is typically $1-3.00 per foot more expensive than standard strip.

Often it is made with visible screw holes. The floor is screwed down from the top and the holes filled with a plug of a contrasting type of wood. It is probably the most expensive of all types of wood floor. It is not recommended in dry climate, where humidity variations are extreme summer to winter, and the floor is more likely to warp.

Installation:Solid hardwood flooring, either standard strip or wide plank flooring can only be installed by nailing it down to a wooden subfloor. See our section for Hardwood Floor Installation Tips

Further Information:
Hardwood Flooring