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Why Wood Floors? 

Wood floors are affordable: Wood floors add value to your residence at resale time, not to mention it is a lifetime product. They increase in value as your home does. Hardwood floor products are one of the most sought after hard surface flooring in remolding and new home construction.

Wood floors are easy to maintain: Routine maintenance is a little more than simple sweeping and vacuuming, always making sure your hardwood floors are protected from moisture and heavy wear which creates scratches. Preventive maintenance like area rugs, floor protectors (on ALL furniture on your hardwood floors), and routine maintenance with proper hardwood floor cleaner should always be exercised (improper products can contribute to additional wear and cause failure when recoating).

Wood floors are environmentally friendly: Unlike most floor coverings, wood floors come from a natural resource that is sustainable. Long gone are the days when timber was cut down with little thought for the long term consequences on the nation's forests. Today, most timber is cut from forests that are carefully managed to ensure continued resources in the future.  According to U.S. Forest Service statistics, almost twice as much hardwood timber Is added every year through new growth as is harvested. Additionally, there is more standing hardwood timber today than there was 50 years ago.

Wood floors are healthier: The Environmental Protection Agency has said that indoor air quality is one of our top health threats. Installed in the home or office, wood floors help contribute to a healthy living environment. Hard surface flooring such as hardwood floors does not rap or harbor dust mites or molds. That creates better air quality for all inhabitants, but especially for the estimated 35 million Americans who suffer from allergies. The hard surface of wood floors also helps avoid artificial substances such as pesticides that can accumulate on some floor coverings. A recent EPA study found that pesticides used in gardens and homes accumulate on floors and other surfaces in the home, but that wood floors greatly reduce the accumulation of such toxins. Another concern for the home environment is the off-gassing of toxins that results from some synthetic materials. Any of these chemicals can potentially make people in the home chronically ill.

There is a tremendous selection and variety: With the help of modern technology, hardwood floors come in many sizes, styles, colors, and species. These many choices can easily lead to a lifetime of floor enjoyment.

Which Wood Floor? 

Like all organic materials, each wood species has its own unique character and quirks.  To make it more confusing, within each species there are many variations in color, dimensional stability, grain, and hardness. 

These variations can result in 2 different logs from the same species being graded differently.

What is grading, you ask?

The lumber grade of your floor tells a lot about it.  For example, if you use Select Grade flooring  then you are using flooring that has the most uniform color with no knots, and the longest average length planks.  Select grade flooring is also referred to as Select, Clear, or First Grade flooring.

If you use Natural Grade flooring, then your floor will have some color variation, mineral coloring and small pin knots. Natural grade flooring contains 10-20% rustic grade material. Lighter woods will have a more drastic variation.  Natural grade flooring is also referred to as Natural, #1 Grade, Second Grade.

If you use Rustic or Character Grade flooring, then your floor  will have larger tight knots and the most color variation. Rustic grades may take longer to obtain.  Rustic grade flooring is also referred to as Character, #2 Grade, or Third Grade.

Another important aspect of wood to consider when choosing a hardwood floor is the hardness or strength of the particular wood that you are interested in.  The table below rates each species.  The higher the number, the harder the wood.

National Wood Flooring Association
Wood Hardness Scale

Educating yourself about grades, industry standards, and individual wood properties will help insure that you make a wise choice in choosing the wood floor that is right for you.are happy with the final product. 

Finished or Unfinished Wood Floors? 

Unfinished:  This product is raw wood that has to be sanded and finished at the job site.  This can be a very dusty experience unless a dust containment systems is used. Job site sanding and finishing can take several days to over a week according to square footage, stains, and number of coats of top finish. This process needs to be done after ALL other trades have completed their work, allowing enough time to complete the job such that finishes can cure properly.

Maintaining these finish are very important in providing a long life for your hardwood floor products. The cost of this process can average from $2-$4 per square foot, which includes sanding and three coats of finish, with additional cost for prep (furniture and carpet removal), moldings and more expensive finishes.

Prefinished: These products are produced in acrylic impregnated, engineered and solids. They are becoming the main stream of the "new" hardwood floor products. These tough new factory finishes are one of the main reason why this type of hardwood floor product is becoming more popular with home owners, builders and architects alike. The other reason is the ease of installation and the elimination of dusty sanding procedures. These products can cost from $2-$7 per sqr. ft. not including installation cost, prep, moldings and added accents, borders, and custom work. 

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 The Hardwood Company
Main Office: 550 North Main Street
PO Box 126, Granite Falls, NC  28630
Phone: 828-396-1556  Fax: 828-396-8182
Copyright 2003-04.  All Rights Reserved.