Flooring Guide

The Material
Among the wide array of possible floor coverings, hardwood provides some incomparable qualities. It's natural, environmentally friendly, attractive, warm and easy to maintain – giving any home's decor a rich and distinctive feel while increasing resale value. Hardwood flooring also helps create a healthy home environment by eliminating the allergens associated with dust-trapping carpet.

The Choice

Hardwood flooring is the easy choice for your needs – it's suitable for most every application and environment. Hardwood flooring is divided into broad categories by manufacturing methods. There are three types of hardwood; choose the one that's right for you.

Solid Hardwood

These are boards made entirely of hardwood, generally 3/4″ (19 mm) thick. Unfinished hardwood comes as plain unfinished boards. After installation, a specialist sands the wood and then applies stain and three or four coats of varnish. Finish applied on-site like this does not resist wear nearly as well as a factory-applied finish (as is found on prefinished wood). Guarantees on this type of hardwood cover only installation and exclude wear and tear. Prefinished solid hardwood is pre-sanded, stained and finished with factory-applied protection. It is prepared in a controlled and ideal environment. This type of flooring is installation-ready. Installation is fast and easy, without the offensive varnish odors that occur when finishing is done on-site in the home. You won't have to leave the house during installation and you'll be able to return your furniture to its normal position very shortly after installation.

Glueless Engineered Hardwood

This kind of flooring combines the beauty of hardwood with a number of environmental and economic advantages. The boards are made of a high-density fiber (HDF) base whose engineered edges fit together perfectly with a simple motion. This flooring does not require glue, nails or staples – hence the common term “floating floor.” This environmentally friendly product contains recycled content and can be removed from one room and re-installed in another room or building – making it a reusable resource and sound ecological choice.

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Engineered Hardwood
A technological masterpiece, this hardwood combines a real wood surface with a solid plywood base. Created for environments with varying humidity, engineered flooring is more stable than solid hardwood flooring. Boards can be glued directly to concrete (even with a radiant heating system) or on an acoustic membrane. They can also be stapled to a plywood subfloor. This type of flooring is ideal for condominiums, basements, or commercial use. There are four criteria to evaluate the quality of engineered flooring: the thickness of the hardwood layer; the number of plywood plies (layers); the cutting process used for the hardwood surface; and the precision of the cut for the ... Read more