Solid And Engineered Hardwood

Hardwood

Why Hardwood?

  • It has insulating properties and brings warmth and beauty to your home
  • It’s natural
  • It evokes emotional response
  • It’s hypo-allergenic, does not trap dust
  • It’s easy to maintain and care
  • It adds value to your home
  • It comes in a large variety of species and grades, therefore unlimited color and pattern options
  • It lasts a lifetime

Once you’ve decided to choose hardwood to cover your floors, you must consider many factors in order to get the result you’ve dreamed of.

  • What is your lifestyle? Elegant Classic, Traditional, Casual, Contemporary, Modern or Country.
  • What is your color choice?
  • What species of hardwood do you like or suits your style best?
  • What type of wood do you prefer, solid, engineered, pre-finished or unfinished?
  • What look appeals to you best?

Species

There are some hardwood floors that are native to North America like: Hickory, Maple, Oak, Birch, Beech, Ash, Cherry, and Walnut. But today there are many other species coming from China, Brazil, Indonesia, Africa, etc such as: Brazilian Cherry, Santos Mahogany, Sapele, Kempas, Brazilian Walnut, Brazilian Oak, and many more. Each of these species comes with different characteristics that can satisfy any taste or design.

BeechBeech Hardwood
Straight and close grained with a uniform texture. Easy to take any stain. Color ranges from nearly white to deep brown
BirchBirch Hardwood
Fine grained (curly or wavy). Easy to take stain, therefore, available in a wide range of colours. Color: cream or lightly tinged with red
AshAsh Hardwood
Straight, open, pronounced grain.
Color ranges from cream to very light brown
CherryAmerican Cherry Hardwood
Straight grained and satiny. Takes any finish easily. Has a distinctive character. Color: rich reddish brown that darkens with age and exposure to sunlight.
HickoryHickory Hardwood
Extremely hard with fine grains. The texture welcomes any finish from medium to dark. Color ranges from white to tan to reddish brown with fine brown lines.
MapleMaple Hardwood
Straight grained, sometimes highly figured with small circular figures known as bird’s- eye. Color: cream to light reddish brown. Very hard and difficult to take stain.
Red OakRed Oak Hardwood
Has distinguished grains. Can be stained with wide range of finish tones. Color ranges from white cream to warm, pale brown tinted with red.
White OakWhite Oak Hardwood
The grain is distinguished by ray, making it more attractive. Can be easily stained. Color ranges from nearly white to darker grey brown.

Types of Hardwood

Pre-finished Wood Floors
Means the hardwood is sanded, stained and sealed by the manufacturer with coats of ultraviolet cured urethane, and is ready to be installed right away. It offers consistent quality and you can walk on it as soon as it is laid. Since time and money is saved during the installation, it offsets the higher cost of the material. It’s hassle free. Has 5 to 35 years warranty.
On-Site Finished Wood Floors
Means all the sanding and finishing will be done at the job site. There will be a strong smell due to the chemical fumes during the installation. The sanding and finishing process takes a long time, since enough time has to be given to the floor to dry before the second coat can be applied. It’s almost impossible to live at the site while installation is in process. The color is never consistent and seldom satisfies the customer’s original choice of color. The finish can be water based or oil based.
Solid Hardwood
Generally is milled from a single solid piece of wood. It can be pre-finished or unfinished and is manufactured in a variety of widths and thicknesses. Since it can be sanded and refinished several times, it adds to its appeal and long life. Suitable for areas where there is little moisture like ground level (on grade) or above ground level (above grade). Not recommended for basements.

Solid hardwood should be nailed down over approved Subfloor in most cases. In rare occasions some of solid species can be glued over concrete, though not recommended by the industry.

Engineered Wood Floors
Is made of several layers of different woods or different grades of the same wood stacked and glued together under heat and pressure. Engineered hardwood is less affected by humidity and can be installed above, on or below ground level. While solid hardwood can expand excessively, engineered hardwood being made from layers that are stacked and glued on top of each other in different directions won’t be affected by moisture as much. It makes them a suitable floor covering for basements or other damp surroundings. Recently, engineered hardwood floors have become very popular. They come in wide variety of styles and hardwood species. The thickness ranges from 1/4? to 9/16? and the width from 2 1/4?to 7?. Some with thicker top layers can be sanded many times. They are among environmentally friendly floor covering choices and are available in pre-finished or unfinished hardwood species. Engineered hardwood floor can be stapled over approved subfloor, also floated or glued over concrete or plywood. If the hardwood is floated, some kind of underlay should be used to provide a barrier between the hardwood and subfloor.

Hardwood Styles

Today there is a wide range of styles in hardwood floors. Some come in narrow strips and some come in wider planks. You can have Hand-scraped, Brushed, Oil –Finished and Distressed as well as traditional smooth looks. What ever you style, you will be able to find the look you love most.

Underlay for Engineered Hardwood

There are many types of underlay to use under your floated engineered hardwood. Today the sound absorption of these underlayments is especially important in high-rises and apartment buildings. Therefore, the higher the IIC (Impact Insulation Class), or STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating, the better is the underlay. Impact Insulation Class (sometimes referred to as Impact Isolation Class) measures a floor or ceiling assembly’s resistance to the transmission of structure-borne or impact noise. Sound Transmission Class rates a partition’s resistance to airborne sound transfer at the speech frequencies (125-4000 Hz). Some of the most popular ones are:

2 in 1 Foam Underlay2 in 1 Foam
2 in 1 foam underlay can be used under all hardwood and laminate floors with no pre-attached foam or cork underlay where sound insulation is not an issue. It provides a cushion between the flooring and the subfloor and can compensate for slight subfloor irregularities. It comes with an integrated vapor barrier and tape edges. 2 in 1 foam doesn’t meet the building code requirements for multi level construction.
Cork UnderlayCork
Cork is a natural choice for sound control underlayment. Every cubic inch of cork contains millions of air-filled pockets which compress under pressure and regain their shape once pressure is removed. This is why cork Is one of the best sound insulators and has a high IIC and STC rating. Cork comes in different thicknesses, 2.5 mm, 4 mm and 6 mm.
SilentStep UnderlayShaw Silent Step
  • Provides superior sound absorption and the most realistic hardwood walk-sound available
  • For use over concrete or wood substrates on all grade levels
  • Built in moisture barrier to protect your flooring
  • Non-allergenic
  • Anti-microbial mold and mildew inhibitor
Durason Acoustical UnderlaymentDurason Acoustical Underlayment
DURA-SON is ideal for installations under floated or double glue engineered hardwood floors. DURA-SON offers a high impact sound absorption with an open cellular structure made from recycled tire rubber bonded to fiberglass backing. It is environmentally friendly with 90% post consumer recycled content and is 100% recyclable. Regular DURA-SON needs an extra moisture barrier if installed over concrete slab but DURA-SON MB comes with a 6 mil poly integrated Moisture Barrier.
Torlys 5 in 1 Safe and Sound UnderlayTorlys 5-in-1 Safe and Sound Floor Underlayment
Safe & Sound floor underlayment offers an antimicrobial shield and superior sound absorption in a single underlayment.

  1. Floor Underlayment
  2. Sound Cushion
  3. Impact Sound Insulator
  4. Self-Sealing Moisture Barrier
  5. Antimicrobial and Antifungal Protection
Torlys 4 in 1 Acoustik UnderlayTorlys Acoustik 4-in-1 Foam Underlayment
Premium sound-rated acoustical foam underlayment for floating floors that exceeds the recommended Impact Insulation Class (IIC) rating for high-rise installations.

  1. Floor Underlayment
  2. Sound Cushion
  3. Impact Sound Insulator
  4. Self-Sealing Moisture Barrier
Torlys 3 in 1 Foam UnderlayTorlys Total 3-in-1 Foam Underlayment
This underlayment combines sound absorption, floor cushioning and a moisture barrier. Superior foam underlayment and vapour barrier with 3? self-seal adhesive overlapping edge.

  1. Floor Underlayment
  2. Sound Cushion
  3. Self-Sealing Moisture Barrier
Sound Blocker UnderlaySound Blocker
  • 2mm thickness
  • Mold & Mildew Resistant, Antibacterial
  • Reduces Noise & Eliminates Hollow Sounds
  • Insulates Floors
  • Reduces Minor Floor Imperfections
  • HiDensity Cell Technology For Improved Sound Absorption
  • Waterproof Barrier

The following table compares the ratings of different underlays. Please note that these numbers are provided by the manufacturers and for this reason the different products are not tested under the same conditions. For instance some of the products are tested with a suspended ceiling and some without it. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recommends an FIIC of 55.

 

Hardwood Underlays Ratings

Manufacturer Underlay IIC (dB) STC (dB) Thickness Density Size Roll Size
no name 2 in1 Foam NA NA 3 mm 43? x 56? 200 Sq. Ft.
Unique Cork Sheet 65 66 6 mm 2? x 3? (sheet) 6 Sq. Ft.
Shaw Silent Step 72 72 2 mm 40? x 30? 100 Sq. Ft.
40? x 300? 1000 Sq. Ft.
Dura DURA-SON 65 61 3.5 mm 22 lbs / cu foot 54? x 48? 216 Sq. Ft.
Torlys Cork 59 – 62 NA 2.5 mm 4? x 50? 200 Sq. Ft.
Torlys Cork 59 NA 4 mm 4? x 50? 200 Sq. Ft.
Torlys Cork 58 – 60 NA 6 mm 4? x 43? 172 Sq. Ft.
Torlys Safe and Sound
5-in-1
57 – 59 NA 2.2 mm 20 lbs / cu foot 3? x 33? 4? 100 Sq. Ft.
6? x 50? 300 Sq. Ft.
Torlys Acoustik
4-in-1
58 – 64 NA 3 mm 4? x 50? 200 Sq. Ft.
4? x 250? 1000 Sq. Ft.
Torlys Total
3-in-1
NA NA 3 mm 4? x 50? 200 Sq. Ft.
4? x 500? 2000 Sq. Ft.

 

How Can Humidity Affect Your New Hardwood Floor?

Wood is a natural material that reacts to the variations in temperature and humidity. It is like sponge, taking up moisture and expanding when humidity is high, and conversely, giving up moisture and shrink when subjected to lower level of humidity. These changes can result in cupping, bowing, splitting of boards or de-lamination of engineered wood.

Humidity Tips

  • Internal moisture level of wood should be between 6% and 9 %(at the time of installation)
  • Maintain relative humidity between 37% and 45% and a temperature of approximately 20° Celsius (68°F) in your home in order to preserve the internal humidity of the wood, and therefore its dimensional stability
  • If necessary, use humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air conditioners or heating systems to avoid excessive shrinkage or expansion of the wood in heating or non- heating seasons.

Hardwood Installation Tips

Remember that hardwood should be the last product installed at a construction site. All work involving moisture or water such as plumbing, drywall, etc should be completed before hardwood is delivered to the site.

  • Hardwood floor should be protected from humidity at all times
  • Job site should have a consistent room temperature of 60-70 F (16-22 C) and humidity level of 40-55% for a minimum of five days prior to hardwood installation, and has to be maintained at this level continuously.
  • All doors and windows must be in place before hardwood installation
  • Most hardwood manufacturers require acclimatization of the wood at the job site 48-72 hours prior to installation, depending of wood species.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions

Hardwood Maintenance

  • Vacuum and damp mop your floor daily, never wet mop
  • Use mats and area rugs at the entrances, no rubber, plastic or foam back mats
  • Exposure to the sunlight can change your hardwood floors shading. This is a natural process. Move your furniture and rugs once in a while to allow the floor to shade consistently.
  • Use protectors on the feet of the furniture
  • Avoid wearing high heel shoes, they can dent and damage your floor
  • Use manufacturers touch up kits for scratches. To repair damaged boards, ask a professional to replace the board for you
  • Use hardwood cleaning products approved by hardwood manufacturers
  • Keep your purchase receipt handy for your hardwood warranty
Bring the comfort, beauty and fashion you have always dreamed of into your home and office.

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Janka hardness test

Janka Hardness

The Janka hardness test measures the hardness of wood. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28 mm (0.444 in) steel ball into wood to half the ball’s diameter. This method leaves an indentation 100 square millimeters in area. It is a good measurement technique to determine the ability of a type of wood withstand denting and wear. It is also a good indicator of how resistant it is to sawing and nailing.

Wood surfaces are generally tested both on their sides (perpendicular to the grain), the tree’s rings (tangentially), and on the ends (radially). The side hardness is generally speaking the single most important figure for flooring because it is the side that becomes the surface area of the floor.

Wood Species Hardness
Ipê / Brazilian Walnut 3684
Brazilian Teak / Cumaru 3540
Ebony 3220
Brazilian Cherry / Jatoba 2350
Golden Teak 2330
Santos Mahogany 2200
Brazilian Walnut 2140
Hickory / Pecan 1820
Doussie 1810
Rosewood 1780
Merbau 1712
Kempas 1710
Wenge, Red Pine 1630
Zebrawood 1575
Sapele / Sapelli 1510
Hard Maple 1450
Natural Bamboo 1380
White Oak 1360
Ash (White) 1320
American Beech 1300
Red Oak 1290
Carbonized Bamboo 1180
Teak 1155
Makore 1100
Peruvian Walnut 1080
American Walnut 1010
Yellow Birch 910
Eastern Red Cedar 900
Douglas Fir 660
Alder (Red) 590

Protect Your Floor

Madico Feltac Pad
Madico Feltac PadUse these awesome felt padding under all furniture legs to protect your hardwood or laminate floor from scratches

Maintain Your Floor

Bona Mop
Bona Floor MopA premium spray mop combo, includes Microfiber Mop and Bona Laminate Refill Cartridge all in one! Quick, easy to use, and leaves no dulling residue.
Bona Laminate Cartridge
Hardwood Floor Refill CartridgeThe NEW and IMPROVED cartridge is 28.75 ounces of Bona’s specially formulated hardwood floor cleaner. Designed to be used only with the Bona Hardwood Floor Mop, this combination will make cleaning easy, safe, and economical.
Bona Laminate Cartridge
Stone, Tile & Laminate Refill CartridgeThe NEW and IMPROVED Bona cartridge is 28.75 ounces of specially formulated floor cleaner. Easily unscrews and refills. Designed to be used only with the Bona Hardwood Floor Mop, this combination will make cleaning easy, safe, and economical.
Microfiber Cleaning Pad
Microfiber Cleaning PadPicks up moisture and dirt, leaving floors clean – with no dulling scratches. Use dry to attract dirt, microparticles, and common household allergens. Use wet with Bona cleaners for effective, non-toxic cleaning. Machine washable up to 300 times.

Hardwood Brands We Carry

  • Your Home Style
  • Beaulieu
  • Torlys
  • Karelia
  • Kendall
  • Eckowood
  • Lamett
  • Laurentian
  • Lauzon
  • Mannington
  • Mercier
  • Mohawk
  • Dynasty
  • Pontek
  • Preverco
  • Shaw
  • Unique Flooring