All Star Flooring
Hardwood Flooring Contractors
Wood floor Installing
Solid wood flooring
Solid wood floors are a nail down application. They come both prefinished and unfinished. Prefinished solid floors are sanded, stained and finish coated at the factory. Unfinished solid floors are sanded stained and finish coated on the job site after the floor is installed. Both these floors come in a verity of widths lengths and thickness, they can be sanded and refinished numerous times and will last a lifetime. These floors can not be installed below grade level. 100% solid wood construction provides beautifully clean, clear grain definitions. Precision-milled, tongue-and-groove construction locks each piece of wood tightly in position.
Engineered floors may also be referred to as laminated floors. This floor is manufactured using multiple layers of wood laminated together. The lamination process makes this product more dimensionally stable and don't expand and contract as much as solid wood floors making it more suitable in areas of high humidity and slab construction. This floor can be nailed, glued or floated depending on the subfloor, because the top layer is the thickest it can usually be sanded and refinished at least once. These floors can be installed above, on, or below grade level.
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The relative hardness of wood species is measured using what is called a Janka Hardness Rating. This test measures the force needed to embed a steel ball (.444 inch in diameter) to half its diameter in the piece of wood being tested, with the rating measured in pounds of force per square inch. So with this rating system, the higher the number the harder the wood. Wood hardness is important since one of the key considerations in selecting the species of wood floors is how hard your wood should be .
KNOW YOUR WOOD FLOOR
Wood Flooring Expansion and Contraction
Unlike many floor coverings, wood floors can last the lifetime of the building in which they are installed. Home owners who want them to last that long, however, should note the number one enemy of a hardwood floor: moisture. Wood floors naturally expand when moisture is present and shrink when it is not. Whether the reactions are a problem or not depends on the severity of the situation. Following are some of the common results when water and wood floors combine:
CRACKS BETWEEN BOARDS
Almost every wood floor endures some expansion and contraction as seasons and humidity levels change. When homes are heated, humidity levels plummet, boards shrink and spaces appear between the boards. In dry months, cracks can easily develop to the thickness of a dime on a typical solid 2 1/4 -inch oak floor, with light-colored woods making the cracks appear larger. Plank floors also will show cracks more. These spaces are to be expected and usually close up as the season changes and moisture returns to the air. To reduce the degree of change, home owners can add moisture to the air during the dry months, ideally by installing a humidifier in the furnace.
As with cracks between boards, both cupping and crowning are natural reactions to moisture and should not be a concern if they occur only to a minor extent. More severe cases, however, indicate a serious moisture problem. "Cupping" describes a condition in which the edges of a board is high and its center is lower. Humidity is usually the culprit, although cupping also can happen after water has been spilled onto the floor and absorbed into the wood. The moisture causes the wood to swell, crushing the boards together and deforming them at the edges. In order to repair the floor, the cause of the moisture must be identified. Most often, indoor humidity will have to be controlled. Other causes could include situations such as a plumbing leak in the basement, which can allow moisture to migrate up into the subfloor and the wood flooring. Once the cause of the moisture is controlled, cupping usually can be reversed. Oftentimes the floor Cupping may naturally dry out and improve over time. Fans may be necessary to speed the drying process. After the floor has dried, it may be necessary to recoat the floor with finish, or to sand and refinish the floor.
"Crowning" is the opposite of cupping: The middle of the board is higher than the edges of the board. This can occur when the surface of the floor encounters moisture. More often, it results when a floor has been sanded too soon after it has cupped. When this happens, the top edges of the board are sanded off, and thus are lower than the rest of the board when it returns to a normal moisture content. The bottom line is make sure both the finish floor and subfloor are fully dry before having them sander and refinished. your floor contractor should take moisture reading using a moisture meter. For more information click here