How Hardwood Flooring is Made

Solid Wood Floor

Planking for solid wood floors is made from a single piece of wood and it is cut to have tongue and groove edges. When trees are being cut, the quality of the wood determines how that wood will be used. Trees used for flooring are chosen for a beautiful tight grain with few knots. After the wood is selected, it is planed for smoothness and then a machine adds the tongue and groove edges that make the boards fit tightly together. The tongue and groove allows wood to naturally expand and contract without creating gaps in the floor. Some planks go through a distressing process to give them an older, antique look. The planks are then stained and sealed with protective finish. If not stained at the factory, the planks will be sold unfinished and stained and sealed after installation which gives a better seal and more uniform look but is a more costly and time-consuming to install. The main advantages of solid hardwood flooring are beauty and longevity. These floors can be sanded and re-stained for many years to come and last for centuries.

Engineered Wood Floor

Engineered wood floors are made by gluing several wood plies together in opposite directions to create solid core boards that are very durable. A layer of real hardwood is glued on top to give the look and feel of solid hardwood flooring. The advantage to this type of flooring is there is less expanding and contracting, making this the perfect choice for areas of high humidity or to put over a radiant heating system or a concrete floor. The more plies the wood is made from make it more stable, but also more costly. The thicker the top layer of hardwood veneer, the more costly the flooring. Engineered floors with very thin top veneer do not allow for sanding before refinishing. The floor is sealed with a protective coating usually before shipping. It is important to make sure a high quality stain has been used without excess formaldehyde, which can leak into your home and is an unnecessary exposure to chemicals. Floors can also be purchased unfinished and stained and coated after installation.

Acrylic Impregnated (Forced) Wood Floor

Engineered hardwood flooring can be strengthened by forcing (impregnating) the wood with stain and a liquid acrylic. This allows for increased strength and wear when extra durability is needed, as it is perfect for high-traffic areas where the floor is likely to be scratched or dented.

In this process the wood is first placed in a vacuum where the sap is removed leaving dry empty cells like cork board. The stain and acrylic is then forced into the empty cells. After it dries, this veneer is then sanded and glued to the core layers of wood ply as in regular engineered wood flooring. The addition of the forced stain and acrylic allows the color to go through all layers of the wood veneer so there can be no fading, scratching, or worn spots that show through. The final product is 300% more durable than other hardwood flooring which makes it perfect for commercial sites. The process is slightly more expensive but worth the cost if you know the product will go through unusual wear and tear. You will make up the expense in years of use without continued upkeep.

Where To Purchase

If you are in the market for flooring in Billings, Montana or surrounding areas, we hope you will come visit us at Murray Floor & Window Coverings. Murray’s has over 17 years of experience and our knowledgeable sales staff can help you decide on the right floor for your individual needs. We pride ourselves on customer satisfaction and will help you throughout the process, form selection to installation.