your floors real wood?
What’s the difference between solid and engineered
and laminate floors?
What is the benefit of pre-finished flooring?
What factors should be considered when choosing a style of hardwood
Many floors offer a choice of species, stains
and grades – what’s the difference?
What’s involved with installation?
Can we do the installation ourselves?
What are the different types of installation?
How durable is the finish?
What happens if the finish becomes badly worn
What kind of maintenance is required?
Most of our floors are made from real wood,
though we also offer a line of laminate flooring.
Solid wood flooring, as the name suggests, consists
of boards milled from solid pieces of hardwood. This is the most
traditional form of hardwood flooring but also the most limited
in its usability.
Engineered flooring is manufactured by bonding layers of wood together,
with a surface - or “wear” - layer of real hardwood.
Engineered floors offer the look of hardwood on the surface but
are actually stronger and more stable than most solid floors. They
are also much more versatile as they can be installed in practically
any kind of living space.
Laminate flooring is made from manufactured materials (like high
density fibreboard) with a surface layer that is patterned to look
like wood or some other material, similar to kitchen countertops.
The big attraction of laminate floors is their durability. A good
quality laminate will be impervious to all kinds of abuse.
To further confuse the issue, these terms are sometimes loosely
applied – engineered floors may be called laminates and vice-versa
– and some styles of flooring combine characteristics of both
(e.g., a real wood surface and HDF base).
Factory pre-finishing usually ensures a much
more controlled and consistent application of finish than on-site
finishing. Not to mention a lot less fuss and mess in your home!
Factory pre-finishes are also very durable. Our floors all carry
excellent long term residential wear warranties.
The most important consideration is your personal taste. Choose
a style that appeals to you and suits your lifestyle and home décor.
View a wide variety of species, styles and stains. Look at the different
grades available. And think long term!
Also consider the type of traffic the floor will be subjected to.
Certain styles of hardwood flooring will show normal wear and tear
less than others. For example:
Surface wear will be less evident on;
- species with pronounced grain patterns and rich natural colouring,
like oak, cherry or walnut
- a low lustre (“satin”) finish
Surface wear will be more evident on:
- light coloured and finely grained species (maple, ash, beech)
- a high lustre (gloss or semi-gloss) finish
Very dark wood floors, while dramatic, also tend to show dirt and
dust more than mid-range or light coloured species.
Ask about colour change. All wood floors naturally change colour
after installation as they acclimatise to your home environment.
The degree of change varies by species, from mild (maple) to quite
dramatic (cherry, jatoba).
Wood hardness is not a factor that needs to be considered when choosing
a hardwood floor. A harder wood will not necessarily make for a
harder-wearing floor and even the hardest of woods can be marked
or dented. It is much more important to choose a species for its
appearance, not its hardness rating.
The species refers to the type of hardwood that the floor is made
from, such as oak or maple. Note that in a solid wood floor, the
floor will be made from solid pieces of the species in question.
In engineered floors, often only the surface or wear layer will
be made from the specified hardwood species; the base may be a different
kind of wood.
Stains are artificial colouring added to the wood to change colour.
Some stains are quite subtle, others can be very dramatic. Typically,
a flooring labelled “natural” will be unstained, though
sometime “natural” styles are selectively stained in
order to create a consistent colouring.
Grading refers only to the visual character of the wood used in
the floor, not to the quality of the flooring itself. In terms of
manufacturing quality, all grades are identical. Generally, higher
grades feature clearer, more evenly coloured pieces, while lower
grades feature wood with more visible grain patterns, colour variations,
knots and other naturally-occurring characteristics.
There are three basic installation techniques:
Nail down – in which the floor boards are fastened to a plywood
subfloor using special nails or staples
Glue down - in which the floor boards are glued to the subfloor.
This technique can be used over almost any subfloor surface but
is technically challenging.
Floating – The flooring is “floated” on a cushioned
underlayment which is laid on the subfloor surface. The boards are
fastened to each other, but not to the subfloor itself. The boards
may be fastened using glue or, in the case of “glueless”
floors, a snap-together joint system. This technique can be used
over almost any subfloor surface.
Our floors boast some of the best finishes in the business, but
no finish is truly indestructible. Any finish can be damaged by
exposure to things like dog’s nails, sports cleats, sharp
furniture legs or heavy objects, necessitating a repair or re-finish
of the floor. For more information on finish durability and general
floor care, ask for a warranty brochure.
If the factory finish on your Boardwalk Woodfloor becomes damaged
or excessively worn, the floor can be re-sanded (to remove the old
finish) and re-finished. We recommend this process be done by a
qualified hardwood flooring re-finisher. Our floors can be re-sanded
three to five times, depending on the style purchased.
Hardwood floor maintenance is very straightforward - mostly simple
sweeping or vacuuming on a regular basis, with occasional mopping
with an approved cleaning solution. For more information, ask for
a floor care handout at our showroom.