Solid wood floors are one solid piece of wood that have tongue and groove sides. When we talk about solid wood floors, we tend to think of floors that are unfinished, but it’s important to know that there are also many pre-finished 3/4” solid wood floors.
And you should also be aware of the moisture factor.
Solid wood floors are sensitive to moisture and because so they are used in nail down installations and are not recommended for installation below ground level, or directly over a concrete slab.
The good news is that these floors can be refinished, or recoated, several times, which adds to their appeal and to their long life in your home.
In fact, there are solid floors that are over 100 years old that are still in good condition with rich patina and character – enhancing the beauty of the home.
Because they’re a natural product, hardwood flooring will expand and contract in response to seasonal changes in moisture. In the winter heating months, moisture leaves the wood causing the floor to contract, which creates small gaps between each plank.
In the summer months, when the humidity is higher, the wood will expand and the gaps will disappear. If there is too much moisture it may cause the wood planks to cup, or buckle. Not something you want in your home.
This is why it is important when installing a solid strip floor to leave the proper expansion area around the perimeter and to acclimate the wood prior to installation. This will help assure a lasting, beautiful application.
Oak is commonly used for solid unfinished wood floors and there are several different qualities of oak for you to choose from.
These qualities are clear, select and better, #1 common, and #2 common.
The clear has no visual blemishes or knots and is extremely expensive. While the select and better quality has some small knots and very little dark graining.
The #1 common and #2 common have more knots and more dark graining. So be aware of that when buying an unfinished solid oak floor and make sure you know which quality of wood you are buying.