A proper wood floor gives warmth, appeal and reflects quality and longevity. But not all wooden floors are the same. Today, there are many choices when it comes to wood floors, and the offers are multiple – from imitations, laminate flooring, rotary peel cut wood flooring to genuine hardwood floors. Nothing screams warmth, quality, and longevity quite well as hardwood flooring.
Why select hardwood flooring in your home?The hardwoods have quite the advantage and appeal over all other types of flooring options. The hardwood floors are usually made from timber cut into planks. Back in the day, when the houses were constructed only from wood, the solid hardwood planks used for flooring had a very important structural purpose.
With the advantages of the building industry and the use of steel armature and concrete as building materials, the hardwood flooring planks lost its structural role but remained one of the most popular flooring options across the world.
The main pros of the hardwood floors are that they can be installed, used for a significant amount of time, then sanded and finished again, thus providing a fresh look and long life. Due to the thickness of the hardwood planks (usually about 0.75 inch), the sanding and finishing can be done three to five times before the need to change the flooring. This means that once installed in your home, you’ll use them for a lifetime.
Types of hardwood flooring optionsThere are different types of hardwood flooring options on the market today. Many times people can get confused by the offers, and they can have difficulties in selecting one option. That is why here we’ll explain the two main types of hardwood floors based on the way of cutting the timber.
There are two main ways in cutting wood that is intended to be used as flooring: flat-sawn, and quarter-sawn.
The flat-sawn or plain-sawn hardwood floor planks are pieces of wood sliced from the length of a log, and the grain in these is simple, and the growth rings are visible at an angle, usually from 0 to 30 degrees. This is the most common way of cutting wood for any application. Almost all manufacturers offer flat-sawn wood, as this manner of cutting wood yields the biggest gain in planks.
The quarter-sawn hardwood planks have very good straight grain, where the grain is visible at an angle of 60 to 90 degrees. The logs are sawn into quarters that are later sawn into planks, hence the name quarter-sawn. The beauty of quarter-sawn wood is its stability against warping and shrinkage. The quarter-sawn planks from some types of wood like oak tend to show amazing grain due to the pattern of medullary rays, a pattern very highly prized by furniture makers.
Both aforementioned ways of cutting the wood have their merits, but it is our opinion, that has been proven by longtime experience that the best way to cut wood that is to be used as flooring is the quarter-sawn wood.
Quarter-sawn white oak flooringWhile today there are many types of wood that are used as hardwood flooring options, the quarter-sawn white oak still being the standard of the trade. The white oak cut in a quarter-sawn pattern provides a structural stability, along with a fine grain pattern that is resilient to warping. It also stains very well, and this characteristic adds to the beauty of the finished floor.
White oak planks are very resistant to rot, fungi, pests and above all this, white oak planks have a great resistance to wear and are resilient to shock. That means fewer dents, even if you have small children running around.
Shortage of quarter-sawn white oak floorboardsWhile it is still a very popular option, there has been a trend of a shortage of white oak floor planks, along with a rise in the price of these boards. This is not due to over-deforestation, but it is due to entirely different reasons.
There is a rise in the whiskey industry, and white oak is the base for making barrels. The use of barrel making greatly lowers the amount of wood that is available to be used in floor production. But as the demand and supply for white oak seem to have balanced, we are starting to see an increase in availability of the quarter-sawn white oak floors, as well as balance in the pricing.