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What is Hardwood Flooring?

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Popular Types of Hardwood Flooring

If you’re thinking about redoing your hardwood floor, you might envision a refreshed look to your kitchen or hallway. You can picture your friends coming to your home for your next party and admiring your new floor, but you may find something standing in the way — you have no idea which type of hardwood flooring to get. With some research on your end, you can save yourself time and money. Let’s explore the features of some popular hardwood flooring types.

Oak Flooring

Oak has always been a popular choice for hardwood flooring. The color is visually appealing, looks inviting, and has many advantages. You’ll find the wood easier to clean, and it easily blends in with furniture and home interior designs you already have. Plus, oak is a good investment if you’re considering selling your house in the future, since the wood can last for many years.

This type of wood can be prone to scrapes, however, so make sure to place pads on the bottoms of any chairs or furniture that you may move across the floor. Also, oak doesn’t hold mold, which can be beneficial for allergy sufferers.

Maple Flooring

Maple is another great choice for hardwood flooring. Many people prefer its light tan look, which blends into home interior spaces. As one of the strongest woods, maple is a top choice for high-traffic areas of a home. The wood doesn’t scuff easily, making it a good choice for homes with children or those with a lot of foot traffic across the floors. Maple requires minimal maintenance, with weekly sweeping and annual applications of wood soap to prolong the life of the floors.

Don’t be confused if you discover several types of maple hardwood flooring available; you can also buy stained or unstained maple. Stained maple has been pretreated with a wood stain and is ready to install. However, some homeowners prefer to stain and seal their hardwood flooring themselves, in which case unstained maple wood is the best choice.

You can also choose to get locking maple, a feature which makes the wood easy to install. You’ll find the pieces snap together quickly to form a tight bond. Finally, you might see engineered maple wood: Small pieces of maple are applied to the top of the wood, and cheaper wood fills out the board design.

Teak Flooring

Choosing teak for your hardwood floors can be a smart choice. You’ll find teak is resistant to pests, as the natural oils found in the wood are undesirable to most insects, including termites. Teak is also a water-resistant wood choice, a bonus if you have young, active children or pets that come indoors soaking wet after walks in the rain. Teak bears an attractive reddish-brown color. However, if left untreated, teak can turn a silver color if exposed to UV rays of sunlight. To prevent discoloration and wear, you can treat the wood with a coating of oil to seal it so that you can enjoy beautiful teak floors for years to come.

Once you discover the differences among the popular hardwood flooring species, you’ll look forward to starting your own renovation. If you like to entertain at home and invite guests over often, consider maple’s strong qualities. If you have children or dogs who often bring water into the house, teak and its water-resistant properties can be a great option for you. For a longer-lasting wood that blends in well with almost all types of décor, try oak for your choice of hardwood.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of BuildDirect hardwood flooring?
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BuildDirect offers a variety of rich, premium hardwood flooring options to accent your home and compliment your style. While we sell discount hardwood flooring, we will never sell cheap hardwood flooring. All of our products undergo rigorous product quality testing before we offer them to you and they are constantly rechecked for quality to ensure you always get the best products while still paying below wholesale prices.

Where can I install hardwood flooring?
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Hardwood flooring is an extremely durable product. It can be installed in most rooms that are above ground, however there are certain rooms that are not recommended. As hardwood flooring is a natural flooring product, it is not recommended that it be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause your hardwood flooring to warp, swell or crack.

How do I install hardwood flooring?
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Installation methods vary for different products and brands. Please read the hardwood flooring and radiant heat system instructions carefully before beginning your installation process. Also, please read your hardwood flooring manufacturer’s installation instructions.

When ordering hardwood flooring how much extra should I order to allow for waste?
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As a rule of thumb, please add 7% to 10% for waste and cuts depending on your skill level and the layout of the area.

How can I better protect my floor from early finish wear?
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It is a good idea to implement a regular cleaning routine, as well at the use of throw rugs and felt or plastic floor protectors on furniture.

What is the difference between prefinished and unfinished flooring?
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The prefinished hardwood floor is end matched with a tight micro-beveled edge, and has up to 10 coats of aluminum oxide finish. The unfinished floors come end matched with a square edge and must be finished on site. Both floors come with a 25-year structural warranty.

What is the best way to clean my floors?
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The best way to maintain your floor is to sweep, dust, mop, and vacuum regularly. Hardwood floors also clean easily with a Swiffer or a similar type of dry mop.

How does moisture affect my hardwood flooring?
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Excessive moisture can lead to numerous changes to your floor, such as cupping, buckling or cracking. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not use water to clean your floors.

How do I maintain my hardwood flooring?
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Place doormats or rugs at entrances to collect moisture, sand, grit and other potentially damaging substances from being tracked onto your hardwood floor. For sticky spots, use a soft damp cloth to gently scrub the floor. If necessary, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner. Do not use steel wool or other abrasive scouring pads. Do not use harsh detergents, abrasive cleansers, or corrosive chemicals to clean your bamboo floor. Avoid excessive water, and use mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to protect against spills. If a spill occurs, blot it up immediately with a dry cloth or slightly damp mop. Use only colorfast and non-scratch carpeting or pads on your hardwood floor. Protect the floor from furniture legs and do not walk on the floor with high-heeled shoes. Although hardwood flooring has effective UV inhibitors in its pre-finish, it is recommended that it not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.

Can I expect my floor to have color variations?
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Yes. Hardwood flooring is a natural product. Therefore, you should expect there will be natural color variations in the wood. Although lower grades of flooring will have a larger number of character blemishes, you can expect color variations in all grades.

Will my prefinished floor have a beveled edge?
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Yes. All of our prefinished hardwood floors have a micro-bevel edge to eliminate uneven joints between strips of hardwood. This tight micro-beveled edge also prevents the finish from pooling up at the edges of the boards during the finishing process, resulting in a nicer, cleaner finish.

Is hardwood flooring good for pets?
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You can install hardwood flooring with pets in the house, however regular maintenance regimes are strongly recommended. If possible, place water bowls on a mat to help protect the hardwood from any spills. Also, keeping pets nails trimmed or filed will also be necessary to avoid extraneous scratches on the flooring. If the flooring is coated with a high quality urethane, it will be more scratch and stain resistant. Sweep the floors clean at least once a week.

How to Glue Down Hardwood Flooring

Installing a hardwood floor yourself can save you money – if you know what you’re doing. Improper preparation and installation can lead to warping and buckling, which will ruin flooring that would otherwise remain beautiful for years to come. The most important thing you can do to ensure the structural integrity of your floor is to properly prepare for the installation process. Here are various articles to help you!


Engineered Hardwood vs. Solid Hardwood

Installing new solid or engineered hardwood flooring will add value and elegance to your home. Although they offer the same timeless look and sense of warmth, engineered hardwood and solid hardwood do offer a few key differences. For example, engineered hardwood is manufactured from three or more layers of fiberboard, and a real hardwood veneer top layer. Contrastly, solid hardwood is milled from a real hardwood species, making it the sole material used in this type of flooring. Learn more differences here!

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Hardwood Flooring from BuildDirect

The hardwood flooring we offer delivers unmatched beauty, durability, structural strength, and overall long life to your home or commercial space. Hardwood flooring is in a class by itself; not just a choice in flooring, but more like a tradition. We make sure that all of the hardwood floors we offer honor that tradition, and meet all of your expectations too, ensuring you receive the perfect hardwood floor for your living space.

Our lines of hardwood floors offer:

  • structural strength to properties
  • a sense of hominess and warmth
  • a sense of permanence
  • old-world reliability
  • a strong selling point when reselling properties

Our hardwood flooring is available in:

  • a range of species - with a number of benefits for look and practicality
  • a choice in finish or non-finish - prefinished and unfinished solid hardwood for a convenient factory finish or options for custom finishing
  • a choice in stain - stained wood flooring which greatly expands your premium hardwood floor selection
  • a solid base for a new installation - premium unfinished wood flooring offers you a solid base for a ground up installation

Our hardwood floors present a range of options for:

Already purchased your hardwood flooring, and ready to install? Be sure to follow our hardwood pre-installation checklist here: Pre-Installation Checklist

Why buy hardwood flooring from BuildDirect?

Jasper, Mazama, and the other brands of hardwood flooring we offer are premium quality, delivering everything you want in a hardwood floor - look, strength, durability, and ongoing value for properties. And we offer them to you at incredible pricing not found anywhere else. While we sell discount hardwood flooring, we will never sell cheap hardwood flooring. All of our products undergo rigorous product quality testing before we offer them to you and they are constantly rechecked for quality to ensure you always get the best products while still paying below wholesale prices.

Explore our great selection of hardwood flooring, and feel free to ask one of our friendly BuildDirect product specialists if you have any questions. Call us toll-free at 1-877-631-2845.

This week's featured resource on hardwood floors

Once you've chosen your hardwood floor, and have installed it too, the next step is to find ways of making sure they look as spectacular decades from now as they do today. But, how do you do that? Well, here's 5 ways to preserve your hardwood flooring.

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