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Types of Hardwood Floors

How it is laid out and size of material

• Strips-this is generally measured in long pieces of wood of various size widths from 1.5 inches to 2.25 inches
• Planks-these long pieces of wood are wider than a strip and measure at least three inches wide.
• Parquet floors-this is an intricate pattern that uses pieces of wood, to configure a geometric pattern. It will often take the form of small strips that produce small squares. The squares usually alternate directions but can have other designs such as a zigzag look.

Installation methods

Many hardwood floors are fastened to the sub floor, which is the floor below the hardwood floor, by using staples, nails, or glue. There is also a floating floor, which is not attached to the subfloor. To protect against moister and to absorb sound a foam underlay is put on top of the subfloor. The hardwood floor is not attached to the foam underlay or subfloor. They either snap or glue together in a tongue and groove fashion. The entire floor “floats” above the sub floor. This type is often preferred because they can be put over nearly any type of surface and are easy to install.

How it is treated

The hardwood floor can be stained to give it a light or dark look. They can also be left untreated or natural. Other treatments can include antiquing, crackling, or whitewashing.

Types of finishes

When a hardwood floor is finished, a top coat penetrates deep into the wood or lies on the surface.

• Surface finish—this finish uses varnishes and urethanes. With this finish, you have to consider the odor, ease in application, durability, and drying time.
• Deep finish-this is the one that penetrates deep into the wood and will require an additional coat of wax to give it a shine.
• Sheen-this includes low or high gloss and satin finishes