hardwood flooring

Solid Hardwood Flooring – Everything You Need To Know

Imagine Imagine walking into a home with beautiful hardwood flooring – it’s like stepping into a dream. Not only does hardwood flooring add warmth & beauty to any space, but it’s also highly coveted by homebuyers.

Any realtor will tell you that homes with hardwood flooring sell faster & at a higher price. It’s the kind of investment that increases the value of your home & brings joy & satisfaction every time you step foot in it.

The Real Value of Hardwood Flooring

When considering the true value of hardwood flooring to your home, it becomes evident that it is a worthwhile investment. For $20,000 to $80,000, you can acquire kitchen cabinets with less valuable wood & limited square footage. In contrast, with an investment of approximately $8,000 to $10,000, you can furnish 6-7 rooms with solid wood flooring.

Hardwood flooring adds both warmth & elegance to your entire home. These durable floors can be refinished or re-coated multiple times, enhancing their appeal & lifespan. It is not uncommon to find solid hardwood floors over 100 years old & still in excellent condition.

Hundreds of Styles & Colors Available.

Solid Hardwood Flooring - Hundreds of Styles & Colors Available.

When considering solid hardwood flooring, the typical image that comes to mind is the standard strip of red oak wood flooring, measuring 3/4″ thick by 2 1/4″ wide. However, it’s important to note that solid hardwood flooring is also available in various sizes, ranging from 3 to 6 inches or even wider (known as plank floors).

Prefinished versions of solid wood flooring come in different thicknesses, ranging from 5/16″ to 3/4″ thick & they are sold as random lengths, varying from 12″ to 84″ long.

You can acquire custom-milled unfinished wood planks if you require flooring not readily found in prefinished options. These planks can be tailored to your specifications, whether narrower than 2-1/4″ or wider than 6″ & are available in various thicknesses, all made to order. Customization at its finest! Milled unfinished wood plank lengths can exceed 12′ long.

The most frequently utilized hardwood flooring species for solid wood floors include Red Oak, White Oak & Maple. However, numerous other species are also available.

Prefinished hardwood floors, solid in nature, undergo the finishing process at the factory. The application & curing of the finish allows for immediate furniture placement upon installation completion.

What To Expect When Choosing A Hardwood Flooring Style?

hardwood fooring

When selecting solid wood flooring at Supreme Hardwood Floors, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of your purchase. Different grades come with specific price points & visual characteristics. You can find prefinished flooring options in various wood species & stain colors.

Remember that wood flooring is a natural product, meaning each piece is unique. Buying 5-10% more is recommended than you need to account for cutting & culling waste.

For more information on our hardwood floors, please refer to our articles.

  1. When to Start Looking for New Hardwood Floors?
  2. Benefits of Hardwood Floors in Winter
  3. Advantages of Hardwood Floors & How to Maintain Them?
  4. Why Engineered Hardwood Flooring Has Become So Popular?
  5. How To Choose The Right Hardwood Flooring For Your Home?

Important Tips On Installing Your Solid Hardwood Flooring

  • Keep in mind that even the highest-quality wood flooring can be affected by moisture.
  • During the dry winter heating months, the wood releases moisture, causing the floor to contract & leaving noticeable gaps between each plank.
  • In the summer, when humidity levels are higher, the wood absorbs excess moisture & expands, resulting in the disappearance of gaps.
  • Excessive moisture can lead to cupping or buckling of the wood planks.
  • That’s why it is crucial to acclimate the wood to the home for 4 to 7 days before installation & leave the appropriate expansion gap around the perimeter & near all fixed objects.
  • Additionally, maintaining the relative humidity level in the home between 30 – 50%, or as recommended by the manufacturer, is of utmost importance.
  • Following these steps will help minimize any potential movement in the wood flooring in the future.

Where Can Solid Hardwood Floors Be Installed?

Hardwood Floors

Solid hardwood flooring is highly sensitive to moisture, making installing these floors below ground level inadvisable or directly over a concrete slab due to elevated moisture concentrations. It is worth noting that solid hardwood flooring is primarily intended for nail-down installations. Contact any our hardwood expert at Supreme Hardwood Floors for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Solid Hardwood Flooring - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What Is The Advantage Of Using Solid Hardwood Flooring Over The Other Types, Such As Engineered Hardwood Flooring, Floating Wood Floors, Or Glue-down Engineered Flooring?

A. 3/4 solid Hardwood flooring has a thick 5/16 top wear layer that can be sanded & refinished new again up to 7 times & can last well over 100 years.

Solid Hardwood flooring also adds structural strength to a floor system due to its 3/4 thickness & interlocking Tongue & Groove milling. You will likely want to use 3/4 solid wood flooring if you have a wood subfloor.

Q. Does it matter what size, width, board, or color to use? Is one width better than another?

A. Nope, however, we recommend using the board width of your choice. Over the past 15 years, there has been a trend towards wider boards, with the standard 2-1/4 inch wide replaced by a wider 3-1/4 inch wide board. As a general guideline, a narrower board creates a more formal aesthetic, while a wider board (over 4 inches wide) imparts a country-style look & feel.

When installing a new hardwood floor in a kitchen or new addition that adjoins or abuts areas with an older standard 2-1/4″ wide (strip) hardwood flooring, it is advisable to consider using a 3″ or wider board. This will create a clear distinction between the two floors. Achieving a perfect match in grade & color with the older flooring can be challenging & may result in an inconsistent appearance.

The choice of floor color is influenced by personal taste & the overall décor. Opting for natural light-colored wood flooring can effortlessly complement any interior design & create a brighter ambiance. However, avoiding using dark-colored hardwood flooring in rooms with predominantly dark decor is advisable.

Q. Can I Use Solid Hardwood Flooring In My Basement?

A. Basements exhibit higher relative humidity levels due to being underground. Solid Hardwood flooring can absorb this excess moisture, leading to expansion & potential cupping or buckling of the floorboard edges.

Using 3/4 Solid Hardwood flooring in damp areas or those with a relative humidity higher than 55% is not advisable. We recommend engineered wood flooring or floating engineered flooring for such environments, specifically designed for enhanced stability.

Q. Can I Glue Down Solid Hardwood Flooring Over My Concrete Slab?

A. No, 3/4-inch solid hardwood flooring tends to expand & contract more than engineered wood flooring. When directly gluing down solid hardwood flooring of this thickness to any surface, the adhesive bond may restrict the natural movement & breathing of the wood flooring, ultimately leading to distortion.

However, it is worth noting that certain manufacturers do permit direct gluing on their thinner solid wood flooring.

In the case of a dry concrete slab, it is advisable to lay a 4-6 mil plastic vapor retarder or rubber moisture barrier as a moisture barrier. This should be followed by building the floor using two layers of 1/2-inch plywood or sleepers with a plywood base.

Cover the floor with 15lb black felt paper to complete the installation & securely nail or staple the solid hardwood flooring on top.

Q. Where Can I Use 3/4 Solid Hardwood Flooring & What Do I Use To Fasten It Down?

A. 3/4 solid wood flooring can be installed over any wood subfloor on or above grade. Cleat nails or staples are recommended to secure them & utilizing a wood floor nailer from a rental store can simplify the process.

Hardwood flooring can be installed over vinyl flooring as long as the vinyl is on a wood subfloor.

Q. Are All Brands Of Hardwood Flooring The Same?

A. No, similar to any other purchase, there can be significant variations in quality among different brands. Certain manufacturers may utilize lower-quality wood & produce subpar milling, impacting the finish quality.

Final Thoughts On The Benefits Of Using Solid Wood Flooring

  1. Boasts a lifespan of 80 to over 100 years.
  2. Its substantial thickness allows it to bridge slight variations in subfloor height without flexing underfoot.
  3. Provides a structurally sound and stable flooring solution.
  4. Typically available in longer lengths compared to engineered flooring.
  5. Often more affordable than high-end engineered flooring options.
  6. Allows for multiple sanding and refinishing sessions, ensuring long-term durability and maintenance.
  7. Hardwood flooring is the only type that adds value to your home.
  8. Recommended by allergists, hardwood flooring does not trigger allergies.