Guide to Wood Flooring
AZ Supreme Flooring LLC has a long history with wood flooring and an extensive collection to choose from. Timber which traces back to Old English meaning "house" or "building" was also started becoming "building material," "tree," and "woods."source
Where Can I Install My Engineered and Solid Hardwood Flooring?
Above Grade (2nd Story)
Below Grade (Basement)
Bamboo Flooring vs Solid Wood vs Engineered Hardwood Floors
Often wood flooring is categorized by Solid, Engineered, and Bamboo flooring. Bamboo is not a wood but a grass and as a grass it grows far faster than wood. Bamboo is also considered a Eco-friendly product due to is renewable material. On the Janka Scale Bamboo flooring is 1380 produced natural. With newer manufacturing however that number climbs even higher.
Popular Flooring Choices in the Southwest and understand different wood cuts
Hardwood Flooring has been around for many centuries and was considered a luxury item due to it being made by hand. In the late 1800's the tongue and groove was started and put in by hand.
Solid hardwood planks are milled from timber and have a thicker wear surface than Engineered hardwood floors. The solid wood can be cut in three different ways which gives it a different look: rift sawn, flat sawn, and quarter sawn. There are additional manufacturing styles that include rotary peel, sliced peel, and dry solid sawn. A wear layer on solid floors consists of 1/4" that requires sanding and finishing. This is mostly due to the fact that most traditional solid floors have been manufactured to .75 inches (19 mm). This leaves space for future refinishing if it is desired.
Engineered hardwood floors do not need to be finished after the installation. They are one of the most popular floors in the Southwest climate due to their durability and reliability. Engineer wood floors have two or more layers which are bonded together. The ability to install these on all types of sub-floors below, above, and on grade makes it a great product to work with. They are categorized differently and laminate and luxury vinyl floors are not considered to be engineered floors. So on the categories are acrylic impregnated, veneer floors, and all timber wood floors which make up most of the engineered floors around.
Wood Flooring Investment and Wood Basics
When your wood floors are properly installed the initial investment of time and money will bring forth a warm and beautiful feeling. Importantly, the wood is there to stay and bring decades of luxury to your home. However, when floors are not properly installed they can fail early and cause the homeowner a great deal of stress and wasted time.
Repairing failed hardwood flooring requires either patches depending on the issue or removing entire areas. This causes homeowners added costs and lost time. Commonly, the major factors of failure are moisture issues and foundation/sub-floor issues. When they are not addressed correctly it may cause flooring to fail. This however does not mean that the wood flooring is not defective or the culprit of the problem. In certain areas moisture effects wood more than other areas due changes in humidity and not having climate-controlled room temperatures.
Softwood and Hardwood
Softwood and Hardwood are lumber while bamboo is a grass. The term “softwood” may lead you to believe that these woods are actually weaker than “hardwoods.” However, this isn’t always true as some softwoods are harder than hardwoods. Each wood has five parts on the tree stem, these are as follows: heartwood, sapwood, cambium, phloem, and bark.
A growing tree grows outward and new wood in in created below the bark. With time and extended growth this creates rings the newly formed wood is sapwood. Sap moves through the tree and turns into heartwood. The interior sapwood eventually dies and stops producing sap. In the finished product the sapwood is the more susceptible to moisture changes than heartwood.
Flooring Environment and Acclimation
Wood flooring is affected by moisture due the how it reacts to changes in moisture by it shrinking and swelling. Therefore, a meter is used to check for the correct level of moisture in your flooring prior to installation. The changes in humidity attribute to dimensions of your wood changing even marginally. The can cause issues with floors separating or cause damages in the tongue and groove. These issues are also possible due to product defects. Desorption occurs once the water vapor in pressure is lower than what is within the wood. Absorption is the opposite and it occurs when the water vapor in higher in the air than within the wood.
Equilibrium moisture content (EMC) is the pressure of air and wood being the same. Once the flooring is EMC short changes in humidity will not cause flooring to damage or fail. In hardwood installations vapor retarder such as Fortifiber Aquabar “B” help protect against moisture below your wood floor. Not all hardwood needs to be acclimated as with some engineered products are plastic wrapped and protected. Manufactures keep their desired moisture content until the product is ready to be installed. Engineered hardwoods have a reliable tongue and groove system in which moisture changes can cause fitting changes.
HVAC and Wood Flooring
HVAC especially in the Southwest can change your floors natural environment to many conditions. Per the US Department of Agriculture. The expected annual swing of the woods interior moisture levels in Arizona’s Southwest swings from 4 to 10 unlike the Northern regions which swing from 5 to 8 from January to July. Engineered Hardwoods are more popular in regions due to their abilities to better adapt but when solid hardwoods are in the proper environment and installed correctly they should not fail. If there are major changes in moisture this is what will cause boards to shrink and expand.
Have a question? Call or E-Mail us! Shoot us a message on Instagram or Twitter! We are here to work with you and help answer your questions!
We provide service in areas: Casa Blanca, Chandler, Chandler Heights, Gilbert, Guadalupe, Higley, Mesa, Queen Creek, Sacaton, San Carlos, San Tan Valley, Santan, Sun Lakes, Tempe, Phoenix, Tuscon, Flagstaff, Scottsdale, Goodyear, Avondale, Easy Valley, Cave Creek, or anywhere within 100 miles of Chandler, AZ