What You Should Know Before Buying
Hardwood flooring provides a choice of colors
as unique as the wood itself; a floor that
can reflect the individual tastes and lifestyle
of the owner; a floor that can be maintained
quickly and easily by use of today's state-of-the-art
maintenance products, and a floor that can
be sanded and refinished to change color so
home owners can always be color coordinated
with new floor covering color and trends.
Red Oak, White Oak, Maple, Walnut, Merabau,
Ebony, Ash, Hickory, Pine Cherry, Purple Heart,
Beech, Birch, Mahogany, Kempas, Jarran, Teak
and Chestnut are some of the many beautiful
wood species used FDR flooring today.
Silmar Flooring does two types of hardwoods
installation. Pre-finished or on site custom
sand, stain and finish.
Pre-finished hard wood flooring is hardwood
flooring that is pre-finished by the manufacturer.
These products come in various styles and
qualities and can be installed virtually anywhere.
Pre-finished hardwood flooring for most applications
can be installed in a day or two with a fraction
of the dust. Modern Technology has limited
the disadvantages of over-wood and offer some
exceptional finishes. Some limitations in
On site custom sand, stain and finish installations
traditionally take much longer to install
than pre-finished installations. Unfinished
hardwood is installed in the desired areas
and left to "acclimate" to its environment.
The floor is then sanded smooth to minimize
overwood and give a consistent over all appearance.
The floor can be stained to change shades,
colors and hue. The options for custom installations
While there are other types of wood used
for flooring, the majority in this country
is oak. The other wood species will have properties
and behavior similar to oak.
To begin, a tree grows with roots in the
ground that collect moisture and nutrients
from the soil and ship them through vessels
or fibers up the trunk and branches to the
leaves. These vessels are similar to the "strings"
in a stalk of celery. The leaves mix the moisture,
nutrients, carbon dioxide, sunlight creating
photosynthesis and putting oxygen back into
the atmosphere and therefore, food for the
tree. The food is then shipped through other
vessels, throughout the tree and back to the
roots resulting in growth.
This information is provided to give understanding
that a tree is made up of fibers aligned vertically
in the standing tree. Once the tree is cut
down, the fibers will, of course, run horizontal.
Once boards are sawn and flooring is manufactured
and installed, the fibers are still horizontal
and running the length of the boards.
In the tree, the fibers are loaded with moisture.
The tree, after felling, begins to dry out,
just like a rose wilts after being picked.
As the fibers dry, they shrink in thickness
or diameter, shrinking almost none lengthwise.
This shrinkage, characteristic of all woods,
is of vital importance in the understanding
of hardwood flooring.
A tree will be cut down and sawed into boards.
These boards are placed in uniform stacks
with other boards their size to keep the boards
straight. The stack is aimed at prevailing
breezes to accelerate drying. Boards stay
in this stack for 4 to 6 months to ensure
that the necessary moisture has evaporated
from the fibers.
Next the boards will be trucked to the flooring
mill or manufacturer and loaded into a dry
kiln. The kiln is a very large building with
fans to circulate the air, steam pipes to
create heat, and live steam to induce moisture.
The boards are very gently treated by a highly
trained specialist. As the humidity is gradually
lowered and the temperature is increased,
the boards will reach their optimum moisture
content for flooring of about 8 percent. During
this process, the boards must reach 105 degrees
in order to sterilize any Lyctus eggs (a parasite
that ingests wood). The 8 percent moisture
content in the wood keeps it flexible. It
is important to control the moisture content
in order to ensure that the flooring will
Flooring manufactured with grain or annual
rings running across the width of the boards
is called "plain," or "flat"
sawn. Flooring with grain running at right
angles to the face or across the thickness
is called "quarter sawn" or "quartered."
Both types of boards can be cut from the same
The difference in how the flooring behaves
with change in moisture is significant since
plain sawn expands and contracts across the
width of the board, while quartered, in theory,
gets thicker and thinner. Quartered has considerable
more dimensional stability and does not respond
to season or moisture changes as does plain.
Remember, wood floors and finishes are not
waterproof. Movement from moisture (or humidity)
Wood, as a natural product, varies from piece
to piece. It is not fabricated; it is milled
from a tree and will have grain and color
Solid wood products consist of strips (2 1/4"
wide) or planks (at least 3" wide) made
from one piece of wood through its thickness,
usually 3/4" thick. Many solid wood products
must be nailed down, therefore, the subfloor
must be wood in order to install solid hardwood
flooring. Some exceptions are solid wood clip
systems like "Junkers".
Engineered wood floors consist of three or
more layers of wood glued together with the
face (top) layer and back (bottom) layer grain
running parallel or the same direction. The
center (core) layer is turned 90 degrees during
assembly and the glue used in the assembly
is stronger than the wood itself. With engineered
products, as the fibers in each layer absorb
moisture and want to expand, each layer is
restrained by the other and improved dimensional
Ultimately, the customer has for their floor,
a product that displays far less expansion
ann contraction with moisture changes and
therefore can be successfully installed below
grade, in basements, in humid climates, and
even fit tight to vertical surfaces. This,
of course, is very different from solid floors.
The floor can be glued directly to concrete
with several adhesive types.
A major concern with engineered products
is longevity. Customers want to make sure
that their wood can be sanded and refinished.
In most cases the engineered floor can be
sanded and refinished. Of course, the entire
life wear and appearance of the floor rests
in the thickness of the top layer of wood.
With proper maintenance, the initial service
life can be expected to be 20-30 years. Many
of the laminated floor products on the market
today can be sanded and refinished, using
the proper techniques and equipment, at least
Our hardwood floors can basically be installed
in almost any type of room in a residential
or commercial building. They can also withstand
varying degrees of wear and tear.
The amount of wear a hardwood floor will
be subjected to will, of course, depend on
where it is installed. In high traffic areas
the floor has to take rough treatment, while
in other interiors, such as homes, people
are more careful about their flooring. With
this in mind, we can establish three main
application areas for hardwood flooring according
to the amount of wear and the performance
This category of wear usually applies to all
rooms in the home, except by the entrance
where people walk directly onto the hardwood
floor from outside. Hardwood floors in homes
should be routinely maintained with dry cleaning
methods (vacuuming, sweeping, or dust mopping).
Light to Moderate Traffic
This category includes certain entrances in
homes, offices, small assembly areas, conference
rooms, locales for ballet dancing or light
gymnastics, day care centers, and stores (above
Clean the light to moderate traffic floor
more often. Many floors can be restored.
By "heavy traffic" we mean rooms
where foot traffic is heavy, such as dance
floors, restaurants, employee dining areas,
service centers, showrooms, stores, church
rooms, large assembly halls, and auditoriums.
Maintenance in such areas include the use
of Harris-Tarkett Crystal Clear Cleaner and
Refresher when finish appears dull. Additional
top coats may be necessary in some "heavy
Check with finish manufacturers' recommendations
for proper application procedures and warranty