Wood Flooring

Custom Wood Floors

hardwood large windowWood flooring can be enhanced with something as simple as a strip border around the perimeter of the room or as ornate as a coat of arms in a foyer or a great room. Custom designs can give a homeowner a "one - of - a kind" floor and are a wonderful way to put a splash of personality and individual character in a home.

Mixed Media 

brown wood floorBy combining wood with several different medias such as slate, stone, marble metal or ceramic tile, floor designs and patterns come to life. Adding detail with paint is another alternative. Designs properly applied will enhance and differentiate any wood floor. Use a solid gloss or semi-gloss to make stripes, checkerboards, stenciled borders or even flower or animal scenes. The paint must be compatible with the finish and the floor must have two coats of finish cover over the paint.

Mixing Species

light wood floorMixing wood species is another way to create contrast in wood flooring. Oak is not the only wood type being used today. Maple, birch, walnut, Brazilian cherry, mahogany, ash and many other species offer unique grain and color specs.

Choices for Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is available in a number of sizes and make-ups, each offering its own distinct advantages. People are often surprised by the limitless choices that wood flooring allows them. Today's wood flooring is right for virtually every room. Choosing the right kind and style of wood flooring is not hard if you are  familiar with several industry terms.

Choice #1: Unfinished wood flooring
Unfinished flooring is a product that must be job-site sanded and finished after installation.

Choice #2: Pre-finished wood flooring
Pre-finished flooring is factory sanded and finished flooring that only needs installation.

Choice  #3:  Solid wood flooring
Solid wood flooring is completely lumber. It is available in unfinished and pre-finished. Solid wood flooring is produced in:

  • Strip - in thicknesses of 5/16" to 3/4" in widths of 1 1/2", 2" and 2 1/4"
  • Plank - in thicknesses of 1/2" or 3/4" and widths of 3" to 8"
  • Parquet - geometrical patterns composed of individual wood slats held in place by mechanical fastening or an adhesive

Choice #4: Laminate wood flooring:
wood floor cabinetsLaminate wood flooring is produced by bonding layers of veneer and lumber with an adhesive. Laminate wood flooring is available in pre-finished and unfinished. These products are more dimensionally stable and are ideal for glue-down installation or float-in installation above grade, on grade or below grade, including basements and humid climates. Laminate wood flooring is produced in:

  • Strip - thicknesses of 5/16", 3/8", 1/2" or 5/8" and in widths of 2" and 2 1/4"
  • Plank - thicknesses of 5/16", 3/8", 1/2" or 5/8" and in widths of 3" to 8"
  • Parquet - one-piece wood tile available in 9" x 9" or 8" x 8" and other patterns

Recycled and Reclaimed Wood Flooring

wood floor doorwayRecycled and reclaimed wood is yet another specialty wood flooring option. Most of this wood is long-leaf heart pine, American chestnut or red/white oak purchased from the demolition sites of old homes, mills, ships, warehouses and barns.

Flooring made from recycled wood has the natural beauty of knots, flags, worm holes, color variations and other character marks. From years of aging, this wood flooring has a rich patina that becomes more beautiful each year.

Often, the history of the reclaimed wood is provided to the buyer. Generally, the wood is at least 60 to 70 years old and much of it is turn of the century or even Civil War Era.

A newer floor can acquire the antique look through distressed hand scraping, smooth hand scraping or hand fluting. Hand scraping can create a classic floor that wears like iron and it is the truest way a new floor can attain the look of a genuine 100- or 200- year-old floor.

Species of Wood

There are many wood flooring species, domestic and imported, available to the consumer today.

The following chart reveals the relative hardness of some of the most common species used for wood flooring. The harder the wood, the less susceptible it is to denting.

The appearance of the wood determines how it is "graded". All grades are equally strong and serviceable, yet allow the consumer different looks.

Hard Maple, beech, birch, and pecan have three grades:

  • "First" had the best appearance, natural color variations and limited character marks.
  • "Second" is variegated in appearance with varying sound wood characteristics of species.
  • "Third" is rustic in appearance allowing all wood characteristics of the species.

Oak and ash have four basic grades.

  • dark wood floor"Clear" is free of defects though it may have minor imperfections.
  • "Select" is almost clear, but contains more natural characteristics such as knots and color variations.
  • "Common" grades (No.1 and No.2) have more markings than either clear or select and are chosen because of these natural features and the character they bring to a room. No.1 Common has a variegated appearance, light and dark colors, knots, flags, and worm holes. No.2 Common is rustic in appearance and allow all wood characteristics of the species.

Wood Flooring Cuts

wood floor plantsThe angle at which a board is cut makes big differences in how the finished product looks. Wood flooring is either plainsawn, quartersawn or  riftsawn.

Plainsawn is the most common cut. The board contains more variation than the other two cuts because figure patterns resulting from the growth rings are more conspicuous.

Quartersawing produces less board feet per log than plainsawing and is therefore more expensive. Quartersawn wood twists and cups less and wears more evenly.

Riftsawn is similar to quartersawing, but the cut is made at a slightly different angle.

Wood Floor Finishes

hardwood floor tableLasting beauty requires minimal care with today's wood floor finishes. The right finish protects wood flooring from wear, dirt and moisture while giving the wood an attractive color and sheen. Today most wood floors are finished with a stain and a top coat. Technology has provided a wide selection of wood flooring finishes, each with its own distinct benefits and appearances.

Surface Finishes - Surface finishes are very popular today because they are durable, water-resistant and require minimal maintenance. Surface finishes are blends of synthetic resins. These finishes most often referred to as urethanes or polyurethanes remain on the surface of the wood and form a protective coating. They are generally available in high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin and matte.

There are basically four types of surface finishes:

  1. Oil-modified urethane is easy to apply. It is a solvent-base polyurethane that dries in about eight hours. This type of finish ambers with age.
  2. Moisture-cured urethane is a solvent-base polyurethane that is more durable and more moisture resistant than other surface finishes. Moisture-cure urethane comes in non-yellowing and in ambering types and is generally available in satin or gloss. These finishes are extremely difficult to apply, have a strong odor and are best left to the professional.
  3. Swedish finish or acid cure urethane is clear and dries in about 8 hours. It is durable and non-yellowing. These finishes have an extremely strong odor and should be applied by the highly skilled wood flooring professional.
  4. Water-based urethane is a waterborne urethane that dries by water evaporation. These finishes are clear and non-yellowing. They have a milder odor and dry in about two to three hours.

All Brite Floors proudly serves the following areas:

Memorial, Spring Branch, River Oaks, Houston, Galveston, Jersey Village, Cypress, Angleton, Pearland, Alvin, Sugar Land, Clear Lake, Conroe, Pasadena, La Porte, Missouri City, Texas City, Friendswood, Richmond, Rosenberg, Hempstead, Huntsville, Liberty, The Woodlands, Humble, Tomball, League City, Bellaire, Deer Park, Katy and other communities in Harris County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery

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