General Information

Species

Northern Red Oak and harder will serve very satisfactorily for many generations, softer species will last for generations also, but tend to dent more easily, thereby lending themselves to a more antique look over time. Regardless of a floor's relative hardness, no wood will resist dents completely; in fact, the finish may dent before the wood in most circumstances. High heels are one of the most common causes of dents in wood floors because a high-heel worn by a 120lb. woman can exert over 2000lbs. per square inch with each step. Even the hardest wood or finish cannot resist this force.

 

     

Hardness Chart:

The Hardness Rating Chart is composed of numbers from the Janka hardness test, an industry standard in which the numbers represent the number of pounds required to press a 1/2" steel ball halfway into a piece of wood.

 

 
     

Species

Hardness Rating

  Grade  
 
     
Tiete Rosewood
2800
  Board Size  
Chichi Pate'
2670
     
Brazilian Cherry
2350
  Packaging  
Lyptus
2228
     
Santos Mahogany
2200
  Installation  
Padauk
2170
     
Merbau
1925
  Milling  
Hickory
1820
     
Hard Maple
1450
  Finishing  
Australian Hard Cypress
1375
     
White Oak
1360
  Care  
Ash
1320
     
Beech
1300
     
Northern Red Oak
1290
     
Birch
1260
     
Antique Heartpine
1225
     
Southern Red Oak
1060
     
Walnut
1010
     
Cherry
950
     
Longleaf Yellow Pine
870
 
 
Wood   Select & Better
Wood   #1 Common
Wood   Rustic

Grade

Grade is determined mostly by the face appearance and average length. National (and, more recently, International) grading standards or rules are established by the National Oak Flooring Manufacturer's Association (NOFMA). All of our flooring is manufactured to NOFMA standards or better, and we would be happy to show you the NOFMA rule book for detailed grading explanations.

Following are some condensed grading rules in plain language for assistance in selecting your new wood floor. Please remember that wood is a natural product with a variety of color and figure being an essential part of its beauty; therefore, grading rules provide us with a range by which to compare flooring appearance. Average lengths are for 7' bundles. Our 2 1/4" strip flooring is sold in 8' foot bundles, which adds 1/4" to the average length of each grade. Also, we sell select and better in this category as opposed to just select.

Clear Grade
no knots, average length of 3ft, color tends to be more uniform
Select & Better
a mixture of select and clear
Select Grade
no knots to very few pinhole knots, slight mineral streak, average length 3ft, natural color variations
#1 Common & Better
a large percentage of select boards mixed with #1 Common, average length 2.5ft+
#1 Common
tight knots & defects with more color variation (rustic appearance), average length 2.5ft+
#2 Common
more rustic than #1 Common, average length of 2.25ft+
Rustic Plank
lots of character for a rustic look, but sound quality wood. (This is our own popular grade of flooring.)

Top

Board Size

Strip
flooring is 2-1/4" wide and narrower
Plank
flooring is 3" wide and wider
Random Pattern
a mixture of various widths
 

We supply custom widths and lengths in domestic species faster than just about anybody, depending on availability of the lumber. 6" and wider flooring can look pretty "blocky" in 1 1/2' to 2' lengths. Our most commonly asked for custom length is 3' and longer, which can reach up to 12' with end-matching (ready to lay). Longer lengths may be supplied without end-matching, which may require squaring each board before it is laid. Hand-scraping, contour sanding, saw marks, etc. are also available in varying degrees. Top

Installation Installation of a wood floor is not complicated in most circumstances, just hard work. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, we can furnish you with an instructional brochure. If you're not inclined to tackle the job, we would be happy to recommend a professional, independent installer who does quality work. Before the flooring is delivered to the job site, humidity in the home must be stabilized and the wood delivered a few days before installation so it may acclimate to that stabilized humidity level (see "Care of Your Wood Floor"). Storing the wood in a home environment where the humidity levels will change significantly from water leaks, drying paint or drywall mud, fireplace, mortar, etc., only serves to defeat the purpose of kiln-drying the wood at the factory in the first place and ensures poor flooring performance. Top

Care of Your Wood Floor You should be aware that wood is a dried, fibrous product that acts like a sponge, which changes width with humidity changes. Before the wood is installed, it should acclimate to the conditions in your home for a few days. Before and after delivery, you should control the humidity swings in your home with an air-conditioner in the humid summer months and a humidifier in the dry winter months. This will keep the wood movement in your home to a minimum and your comfort to a maximum. Storing the wood in a home environment where the humidity levels will change significantly from water leaks, drying paint or drywall mud, fireplace mortar, etc., only serves to defeat the purpose of kiln-drying the wood at the factory in the first place and ensures poor flooring performance. The wider your board, the more attention you need to pay to humidity control because wider boards have more fibers per unit (board) to react to moisture changes. A range of 35 - 50% relative humidity is desirable.

 

Packaging Generally, flooring pieces range from 1 - 7ft long, in nested bundles, or boxes in the case of prefinished flooring, which contain boards of differing length to make up the same square footage in each bundle or box. Top

Milling Milling, or machining, is not specified in great detail in grading but it is very important in the assembly of your floor. Flooring is a mass-produced, natural product which lends itself to imperfections and it is very common to use wood filler on a new floor; however, some mills are better than others in this regard. The quality of the milling has a lot to do with how easy or difficult the floor will be to lay, its final appearance, and the amount of waste. We buy from the better mills because we get a lot of "word-of-mouth" business from satisfied customers and we want to keep it that way. Top

Finishing Ask about our specially formulated floor polyurethanes with high solids. Some imported woods may require special sealing. Our model brand of prefinished flooring has what we consider to be the best finish in the industryTop

 

Clean your floor with a dust a mop or, when necessary, a slightly damp mop. Do not clean with vinegar, as the acetic acid in it will "etch" or dull the polyurethane over time.

Polyurethane was developed to be a low-maintenace finish and does not require waxing. Waxing your floors or using a cleaner which contains wax or oil ingredient will turn a low-maintenance product into a high-maintenance one. In addition, wax, oil, and other chemicals will attract dirt and make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to easily apply another coat of polyurethane, should you want to renew the appearance of your floor a few years down the road.

Polycare is an excellent polyurethane cleaner which will not interfere with recoating your floor. Top

Site Map/Search ©2009 Lancaster Hardwoods