What Makes A Beautiful Hardwood Floor?

How do I know what I am getting when I shop for Hardwood Floors?

When we start shopping for Hardwood floors the first thing we notice is how confusing this is going to be. There are thousands of choices. We have at least 25 different companies that manufacture hardwood floors and each of those have a minimum of 10 SKU’s {stock keeping units} with probably 3-5 different colors per line. There are at least 100 different species of wood rated on Wikipedia’s Janka Scale. So why not just buy the cheapest and end this madness?

Bella Cera Estate Collection, La Martine

Bella Cera Estate Collection, La Martine

We have all seen the Television Advertisement or received a mailer describing unbelieveable deals for Hardwood Flooring. They might say something like this:

Hardwood for .99 ¢- Really?

Hardwood for .99 ¢- Really?

The purpose of these ads and their companies is to reduce their cost so they offer ridiculously low prices by sacrificing quality and workmanship. Often when we take our time to actually be lured into these ridiculous gimmick’s we find that there is not enough stock available for my particular job, or the color is so ugly that nobody in their right mind would purchase it.

They products might seem similar to the untrained eye but are they really the same product? I was taught at a young age that anything that seems to good to be true, probably is. Let’s take a look at how to invest your money wisely when shopping for your new hardwood floors.

Acacia Walnut Hardwood gives a very unique look to any home.

Acacia Walnut Hardwood gives a very unique look to any home.

Floor Finish
Floor finish is a critically important step for hardwood flooring. The finish must be durable and elastic to resist scratching and wear, without clouding the natural grain and color of the wood. A poor floor finish can make even the most beautiful wood look dull.

Quality hardwood flooring has a high-quality floor finish, with a fine transparency that accentuates the natural beauty of the wood grain. Cheap hardwood floor finishes obscure the natural grain of the wood with a cloudy coating; scratches on the wood floor make this whitish coating readily apparent. Cheap hardwood floor finishes are also inconsistent in color, and can have rough surfaces with small raised bumps.

Hardwood Floor Creaking 
With quality hardwood flooring, the gap between the “tongues” on board edges and the grooves they fit into is less than 0.15 MM. This tight attachment eliminates the creaking you find with cheap hardwood flooring when it is walked upon.

Precision Milling 
Quality hardwood flooring is milled using expensive, high-end machines for extreme precision and consistency in height, length, width, edges and ends. Bargain flooring is manufactured using less expensive and precise machines, resulting in gaps between board edges and ends, as well as differences in thickness.

Floor Glue Safety
Quality hardwood flooring uses Taier E1 glue between layers, with a very low level of formaldehyde. Bella Cera flooring, for example, conforms to CARB, with a formaldehyde level far below its guidelines. Vapors from cheap glues can be harmful to your health!

Engineered Flooring 
Good quality engineered hardwoods use a veneer core with higher-quality tropical woods alternately layered in a crisscross pattern, for superior weight-bearing strength and screw-holding ability. The gap between each layer should measure less than 1mm. A quality engineered floor has higher density and is more durable than cheap plywoods, regardless of how similar they look on the surface. Learn about engineered flooring vs. solid wood flooring here.

Wear Layer
With quality hardwood flooring, you can count on the exact thickness claimed for its wear layer. But as thinner wear layers are less expensive to produce, cheap flooring is often found to have a wear layer that is thinner than what is claimed.

Longer Wood Plank Length
Long planks are more expensive to produce, but make a more beautiful floor. Short boards can look like shoeboxes when placed in a floor. Cheap wood flooring typically includes too many short planks, with boards as small as one foot in length. But quality hardwood flooring uses longer planks. Bella Cera, for example, includes boards up to seven feet in length, with the average being over three feet.

{Borrowed from Bella Cera’s website}

I wanted to take just a minute to shamelessly promote what I think is a very worthwhile cause with one of our Hardwood Manufacturer’s Product. It’s called: Homes For Our Troops.

Armstrong Floor Products is the exclusive flooring supplier to Homes for Our Troops, a national non-profit organization that builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans.
Through 2013, a portion of the sales from the American Scrape collection will support Homes For Our Troops, including the Armstrong product donation for 30 – 35 homes to be built across the country.

We assist severely injured Veterans and their families by raising money, building materials and professional labor, and by coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at NO COST to the Veterans we serve.

We assist severely injured Veterans and their families by raising money, building materials and professional labor, and by coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at NO COST to the Veterans we serve.

The Estate Collection with 2" and 8" Planks makes an awesome statement!

The Estate Collection with 2″ and 8″ Planks makes an awesome statement!

As hardwood flooring dealers see demand rise, so too does ProSource’s ability to deliver new finish and customization options at wholesale prices. Our hardwood flooring now features an appealing selection of hand-carving, borders, medallions and accents. And hardwood’s color palette has expanded to include exotic offerings like pink, yellow, white, purple and black.

Hardwood Flooring is an Investment You Can Trust

Ask any hardwood flooring supplier – a quality hardwood floor isn’t just an aesthetic investment; it also helps boost a home’s selling price. And that’s what helps make our flooring showrooms’ hardwood departments a key destination point. With so much to offer, hardwood flooring is a tough option to beat.

Hardwood Flooring types

Hardwood flooring comes in two varieties: engineered and solid. Solid is the most common choice and best suited for higher-grade installations. It consists of one-piece boards that are generally nailed to a sub-floor. Most are unfinished, thereby allowing customers, the hardwood flooring supplier or distributor to apply a variety of colors and finishes.

Engineered hardwood is comprised of two or more layers of wood that have been laminated together, the top being a veneer and the bottom a softer wood backing. The top wood veneer comes pre-finished and the overall system gets glued to the subfloor or even concrete, making it better-suited for below-grade and basement installations.

More hardwood flooring information
Janka hardwood flooring hardness scale
Hard surface education
Installation tips
Green information

At ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings you will always pay less, see our Low Price Guarantee

I have $100 that says you can't beat our prices!

I have $100 that says you can’t beat our prices!

We have 7 Locations to serve you better:

Allen, Texas Phone – 972-521-5115

Austin, Texas Phone – 512-836-7888

North Dallas, Texas Phone – 972-250-4040

Dallas Market Center, Texas Phone – 214-742-3300

Fort Worth, Texas  Phone – 817-831-8181

Little Rock, Arkansas Phone –  501-758-0801

San Antonio, Texas Phone – 210-829-8290


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