Hardwood Flooring: What is Solid Hardwood?
Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication
- Leonardo da Vinci
Hardwood flooring is surely one of the most sought materials when renovating floors. Not only is hardwood authentic, durable enough to withstand wear for years, and aesthetically timeless, developing your floors is also a worthwhile investment. According to The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), 99% of real estate agents claimed that those homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell. Similarly, 90% believe these homes also sell at a higher value. Furthermore, 82% agree that house with hardwood floors sell faster. With the potential to raise both the aesthetic and monetary value of your home, deciding on the correct hardwood floors is an important decision for any homeowner. It would surely be advantageous to a homeowner interested in installing new flooring to thoroughly understand the types of hardwood when exploring options.
What is Solid Hardwood Flooring
First recognized in 1683 as a design element used in the Palace of Versailles, solid plank wood flooring was only afforded by the wealthiest due to the high expenses of the handcrafted and elegant material.
The most known form of hardwood flooring, solid hardwood is manufactured from a single, solid plank or piece of hardwood. The standard thickness of solid hardwood is 3/4” (19mm), except for parquet-style floors which are generally thinner.
Due to the low moisture resistance of solid hardwood, it is strongly recommended to install this sophisticated material on or above the main level. Solid hardwood is perfect for creating vibrant bedrooms, dining rooms, and living spaces that remain timeless and elegant. It is necessary to ensure there is no moisture or risks of water damage prior to, as well as after, installation to maintain the longevity and quality of the hardwood for several years.
Solid hardwood is a rather complex material affected by humidity and temperature — it may expand in the warmer months and then shrink in the cooler months. When installing solid hardwood, it is imperative that an experienced, well-trained installer is entrusted with the task in order to guarantee there is extra space to accommodate the wood’s natural expansion and contraction. The installer will usually use glue, nails, or staples on a minimum of 3/4” plywood subfloor.
Along with aesthetics and value, solid hardwood is also highly durable and able to withstand the test of time. Solid hardwood is well known for its endurance and the thickness of the planks makes this material a great option for homeowners who would consider sanding and refinishing their floors multiple times. The hardest wood species used to manufacture solid hardwood are Hickory, Oak, and Maple. Hickory and Oak are considered to be the most dent resistant. In addition to high quality finishes that improve the scratch resilience, the species of wood contributes to the finished material’s wear resistance.
Solid hardwood is essentially the gold standard and the most premium priced product due to its demand and quality of high repute. There are several factors that affect the price of hardwood including the warranty offered, protective finishes, and the types of finishing processes used to produce a particular design.
Floors Are Important
Historically, the flooring industry was highly regarded and solid hardwood floors reached the pinnacle of popularity. However, after an industry crash in 1982, the past few decades have created hardwood flooring options and that past buyers would never have been exposed to.