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Which Wood Floor is Best for You?

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

Choosing a floor is a big decision when it comes to building or remodeling a home, workspace, or other building.

One of the first things you must consider is "what is your climate?" Different wood species react better to humidity, temperature fluctuations, and sunlight. When wood is exposed to moisture in the air, the wood swells, conversely, when it is exposed to very dry air, it shrinks as the moisture is pulled from the wood. All of our hardwood flooring is kiln dried before it is milled to reduce this fluctuation, but wood is still naturally unstable.

While wood flooring is naturally susceptible to fluctuations due to moisture levels, there are choices you can make that decrease this unitability. First of all, the wider your piece of flooring is, the more susceptible it is to noticeable size fluctuations. This means that it is more likely to cup around the edges with time and more likely to leave more gaps between boards when it is dry. Narrower boards are going to have less noticeable changes as the humidity levels change. The choice in wood species plays a significant role in the fluctuation of a wood floor. Floors made out of Maple, for example, tend to be more susceptible to fluctuation, while White oak floors (especially rift and quartered) tend to be more stable. Rift and quartered White Oak floors are so stable because of the way the lumber is cut. It is cut so the grain stands up, which causes any fluctuations to be barely noticeable.

The amount of direct sunlight that a floor will get also plays a role in figuring out which floor is best for you. Some wood species are photosensitive, which causes them to change color somewhat with long sun exposure. This can be minimized with treatments such as stain and choosing the correct finish. All of our flooring is unstained and unfinished, so any treatments such as those are done by the installer. Wood species such as cherry tend to turn very dark over time. Maple floors are also photosensitive. When first installed, maple (especially #3 calico maple) has a stark contrast between the dark part and light part of the wood. Over time, this will change and it will all settle to one, relatively similar color.

Walnut is another wood that changes color over time, unlike cherry, it does not get darker with age. Walnut floors tend to lighten over time, causing them to lose their rich color if not properly treated. Some installers will put a walnut stain on the floor before it is finished to minimizes the change in color as it ages.

While none of these factors have to determine which floor you choose, they can be helpful in narrowing down the long list of possibilities.

Hardwood Floors of Hillsboro

E18054 Pine Hill Road Hillsboro Wi, 54634 Phone: (608) 489-2828

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