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 can be purchased as narrow as 1 ½" and as wide
as 7 ½", and sometimes only 3/8" in thickness. Typically anything
over 3 1/4" in width is referred to as "
Wide Plank Flooring."
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
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