Why Use Hardwoods?
Click on the link for some very convincing reasons why.
Floorcare & Maintenance
Keep your hardwood floors in top condition with these tips.
What To Expect
What to expect before, during & after your hardwood installation.
Important Considerations
Steps to take in preparing for your hardwood refinishing.
How Hard is Hardwood?
See how your hardwood choice measures up on the Janka scale.
Just The Facts
Helpful tips and facts to educate you about hardwood flooring.
Hardwood Species
Images of popular hardwood floor species.
The Character of Wood
Some defining characteristics that set hardwood apart.
Grades of Hardwood
A different grade for any floor application: home or business.
Making The Decision
Key factors to account for in your decision to have a wood floor.
Conservation Information
Information on preserving our hardwoods for the future.
In the Middle Ages flooring began to be used; rough- hewn planks, shaped by broad ax. Many examples exist, throughout the world, of floors that have been in daily use for the last 800 years. With the early machine years came finer milling and the ornate parquets - many patterns still in use today.
The physical properties of wood that attract us are:
1.) Natural warmth - to the touch; wood insulates
2.) Workability, easily shaped with simple tools
3.) Infinite variety; no two trees, or even pieces from the same tree, are alike
4.) Strength-to-weight ratio for bridges, boats, homes, furniture
5.) Flexibility; watch even huge trees bend before the wind
6.) Fire protection; wood chars and therefore burns slowly, doesn't melt or crumble
7.) Color: natural, through wood's ability to receive many types of stains and finishes
In the late 1800's the development of steam and electric power produced the industrial age and coincidentally growth in the nation's need for better housing. The wood floor industry in our country was born to meet this need. Early manufacturers utilized oak because of availability and related low cost, strength and beauty. It machines well on high speed equipment. Its flexibility provides comfort under foot. Oak floors became the standard floor for American housing.
Most manufacturers are located in our southern states to be near a plentiful raw-material source and to gain the climatic advantage to air dry the raw lumber. Generally, the flooring mill depended on nearby timber stands where trees were felled, cut to lengths, sawed by portable mills into rough boards and stacked in fields to dry for four to six months. The rough boards were then hauled by horse-drawn wagon to the flooring mill for kiln drying and finish manufacture. As trucks and roads were developed, the radius around the mill for trees or raw boards expanded to about 75 miles.
A giant step was taken with the development of elastomeric adhesives. Wood floors could now be glued down to concrete, plywood, old floors, really almost anywhere in a home, office, apartment or commercial building. Coincidentally, slab housing had grown to more than 40% of the market.
Wood was back! But in a different form. Years before when wood had been used in all federally backed home loans, carpet was a special flooring only for the wealthy. During the 60’s, the government approved carpet in homes it loaned money on. In the 70's carpet was everywhere and in the least expensive homes while hardwood floors found their way into the fine, higher priced custom market.
A 180 degree turnaround. Carpet became a commodity, hardwood floors became the special surface for the special rooms. Area rugs flourished, naturally over a wood floor. A myriad of new patterns, textured surfaces and new finishes continued the surge in wood.
The textures and impregnated wood resulted in more wood being specified in commercial high-traffic public areas. Imported flooring began to find a place in the market. Both carpet and resilient industry manufacturers copied the wood-look in their products, the highest form of flattery.
Wood floors were in use everywhere. Not as a low-priced commodity covering in every room, but as a high-priced, high style special area surface.