Hardwood Flooring San Diego 101

by David Bone

What you should know before buying hardwood flooring in San Diego.

SPECIES: Wood is a natural product. Therefore it varies in color and character depending on the species making every floor unique. Hardwood flooring will have mineral streaks, knots, pinholes, etc. Even though we can provide samples, the actual purchased product may differ slightly in color and character due to nature.

HARDNESS: Each species will in turn have different degrees of hardness which is typically measured using a Janka scale and rated using a numbering system. The higher the number the more dense and dent resistant, the lower numbers are usually very soft like pine and dent very easily. Click here for the hardness scale.

KNOTS and GRAINING: There are different grades of wood, determined by color, grain, and marking, the amount and type of grain patterns vary between species and wood cutting methods.

GRADE: There are usually only 4 grades of possible hardwood lumber that is used in flooring products. The grade is determined by the amount of clear surface area or the amount of knots in any given board which gives each piece of flooring a unique character. Typically these are called select or A, AB, B or BC and in flooring the rustic character grade is often consider CD.

COLOR: The tone of hardwood floors can fade or darken depending on the species and the amount of ultraviolet exposure. Window coverings, as well as the occasional relocation of furniture and rugs may help to slow down the process but the word of the day is patina which occurs in all species of wood once the bark is removed and the tree is exposed to the atmosphere.

FINISH: Although current manufacturing processes have allowed for stronger, better finishes, and some species are touted as harder than others, all hardwood floors can be scratched or dented. Preventative measures can be taken to protect your floor. We recommend area rugs, felt pads for furniture, and mats at exterior doorways. Do not slide or drop furniture or heavy, plastic, metal, or pointed objects. Keep pets nails trimmed. Stiletto heels or heels in disrepair can leave indentations.

EXPANSION: Hardwood flooring will expand or contract in reaction to changing levels of moisture. This varies from species to species. This is natural and can create slight separations between boards. Excessive moisture can cause cupping, swelling, or buckling, while excessive dryness can cause shrinkage.

CUSTOM: That being said, if you are very specific in your design and have a limited tolerance to variation in color and graining then we can custom make a floor that is hand crafted to match the actual sample.

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