How To Choose A Hardwood Floor

In choosing the style of hardwood flooring you like best, there are several basic options you need to consider:

  The appearance of your floor will depend on the species of tree from which it is made. Each species has its own identifying grain pattern, like a fingerprint or signature. The pronounced grain of oak, for instance, would never be mistaken for the more subtle grain of maple. We recommend several different species: red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash and hickory, each offering its own distinct grain visual.
  Grain Visual
    Sliced cut top faces replicate the elegant appearance of solid wood floors and showcase a tight and uniform graining pattern. Rotary cut top faces create a wide and bold graining pattern. This cutting method produces the rich grain visuals displayed in most of our collections.
  Board Width
    Board width is crucial in how a floor will look in your home. Perhaps you'll prefer the refined, narrow width of a 2-1/4" strip or 3" plank. Or perhaps the wider expanse of 5" planks will better suit your decor.
  Gloss Level
    The gloss level should match the traffic you anticipate for your floor.A high gloss is appropriate for low-traffic rooms such as dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms. A semi gloss finish is ideal for moderate- to high-traffic areas such as family rooms. And a satin finish is suitable for high-traffic areas including kitchens and dens.
  Board Thickness
    The thicker the floor, the stronger the floor. And the less likely that it will warp, twist or cup. While most good quality wood floors feature five-ply construction, they come in different thicknesses. Most quality wood floors are nominal 9/16" thick, 1/2" thick or 3/8" thick.
   Edge Style
    The edge style of your board is just as important as their width and finish in establishing the character of your floor. A square edge means boards fit flush against each other for a smooth, traditional look.A micro bevel or full bevel edge creates an angled effect where boards meet, to create more depth and dimension.

Excerpts used from National Wood Flooring Association
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