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Hardwood Guide
 

Learn about different species of wood and new technologies making hardwood flooring perfect for any room in your home, including that unfinished basement.

Use this guide first. Then visit your local store to consult with our experts first hand.


Increase the Value and Beauty of Your Home with Hardwood

There's nothing like a hardwood floor for natural beauty, warmth and ease of cleaning. Its distinctive grains and swirling burnished figures add a classic touch throughout your home. Hardwood's rich character never goes out of style. Good looking, long lasting and a great investment in your home's overall value, hardwood flooring is the perfect marriage of practicality and elegance when it comes to home improvement.


Wood flooring is available in several styles:


Strip Flooring
The flooring comes in strips with widths that range from 1 1/2" through 2 1/2" and thicknesses of 5/16" through 3/4". Strip flooring creates a traditional look, and can produce an illusion that a room is larger than it is.

Plank Flooring
Plank flooring also comes in strips, but they are wider, usually from 3" through 8". Plank flooring can be used to create a more rustic or earthy look as well as a historical appearance with antique applications.

Handscraped Flooring
Handscraped hardwood floors have become one of the most sought after looks in flooring today. Replicating the look of reclaimed wood or of centuries of lived-on wear, handscraped hardwood floors beam with character and charm while boasting today's most enduring urethane finishes.

Wire Brushed Floors
Wire brushed floors imitate the lived-on charm of handscraped hardwood floors with a less obvious level of distress applied to the faux wear markings. These floors, too, offer the enduring beauty of today's innovations in urethane finishes.


Select Hardwood for Any Room

New advances in technology afford engineered hardwood floors the flexibility for installation above, at, or even below grade. Several layers of construction are bonded together to prevent bowing/shrinking in cool, moisture prone areas.

All of our hardwood floor selections are clearly labeled for performance in a variety of conditions and applications. Our Quick-Pick icons indicate where they are best used - Below Level (below grade and at ground level, grade) or Above Level. You'll also see icons indicating a style's suitability for residential or commercial settings.


Visit your local store and use these icons to make your decision easier.


Explore a Wide Array of Looks with Hardwood

You'll probably want to decide on the species of wood you prefer early on in your home design process. Our Quick-Pick icons immediately identify the species that interests you: beech, cherry, hickory, maple, oak, pecan, walnut or exotic imports.


Visit your local store where our flooring experts will assist you in associating style with the color and species you want.


Understand Product Variations

Many factors determine how your floor will look. Consider how much natural variation there is in the grain and coloring of a wood, a range that contributes to wood's endless appeal. How shiny the wood appears varies according to a gloss level rated as matte (low), satin (medium) or gloss (high). A matte finish helps to maintain your floors appearance in high traffic areas, while high gloss finishes will add elegance and grandeur to a formal space.


Visit your local store and use these icons to make your decision easier.


Choose Your Ending

Even the configuration of the strip's edge contributes to the look of the installed hardwood floor. Many strips (or planks - the wider version) offer you the choice of square edge (smooth and flat surface), micro bevel (mild bevel that can be felt with the fingertips), or full bevel (forming a strong groove to visually separate the strips and focus your eye on grain line).



All these elements make a difference in how your hardwood floor will look: our Quick-Pick Icons identify those differences so you're sure to get the look you want. Don't forget to check out Installation to learn all about the little details that make a big difference when transitioning from old floors to new


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