Hardwood Flooring Types & Care


Learn About the Many Types of Hardwood Floors & How to Care for Them

Beautiful and long-lasting, hardwood floors in Tempe, AZ make an elegant choice for nearly any room in your home. When choosing hardwood the color, character, and construction type are the important factors to consider. Because of a great range of natural variations from boards with extreme character, graining, and color variation to those that are evenly colored and consistent lustrous hardwood can create a uniquely beautiful floor.

Different types of wood floor colors

The color of hardwood floors range from quite light to intensely dark and everything in between. As a rule lighter floors work well in contemporary settings and darker floors are elegantly at home in more traditional rooms, choosing is essentially a matter of preference. Naturally present in hardwood, grain variations help determine a wood's "personality." Dramatic grain suggests a rustic feeling. Historically moderate grain variations are associated with the traditional and hardwood with very little graining has a sleek contemporary look.

Wood floor finishes

There are many differences in finishes; gloss or luster level, scraping degree and technique, wire-brushing, etc.… Ask our knowledgeable sales staff to show you samples, click here for our showroom hours and location.


Solid vs engineered hardwood flooring

There are two basic choices solid or engineered. Solid planks are created from a single piece of wood and make a handsome floor that lasts for years. Engineered planks are made from several layers of wood (with a core of plywood or high density fiberboard) and are designed to withstand higher levels of humidity. Solid wood floors should not be used on a concrete slab as moisture will wick up into the boards and cause cupping, seam separation, and warping making engineered hardwood a better choice for most homes in Arizona.

Wood flooring types

Engineered wood is produced with three to five layers of hardwood. Each layer is stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together under heat and pressure. As a result, engineered wood flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed at all levels of the home.

Solid wood is milled from a single piece of hardwood. Because of its thickness, a solid hardwood floor can be sanded and refinished over several generations of use. Solid wood flooring expands and contracts with changes in your home’s relative humidity. Normally, installers compensate for this movement by leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Base molding or quarter-round is traditionally used to hide the extra space.

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Care & maintenance of wood flooring

  • Do not use oil based, wax, polish, or strong ammoniated or abrasive cleaners.
  • Do not use steel wool or scouring powder.
  • Do not wash or wet-mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
  • Do not use any type of buffing machine.
  • Use a damp cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen. For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, tar, or cigarette marks, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe with a damp cloth. Always avoid allowing liquids to stand on your floor
  • Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt or grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
  • Occasionally wipe the floor with a damp mop or cloth.
  • For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth

Use protective mats
Good quality entry and exit mats will help collect the dirt, sand, grit, and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that can otherwise be tracked onto your flooring. Do not use rubber or foam backed plastic mats as they may discolor the flooring. To prevent slippage, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.

Use floor protectors on furniture
Use floor protectors and wide-load-bearing leg bases/rollers to minimize indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule the heavier the object the wider the floor protector should be.

Maintain relative humidity level
Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 45 and 65% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of wood. Heating Season (Dry): A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stove and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions. Non Heating Season (Wet): An air conditioner, dehumidifier or periodically turning on your heating system can maintain humidity during the summer months. Avoid excessive exposure to water during periods of inclement weather.

Avoid sharp objects
While your hardwood floor is one of the most wear resistant floors on the market, sharp or pointed objects can damage it.

Watch your feet
Do not walk on your flooring with stiletto-style heels, spiked golf shoes, or cleats. They may cause indentations in your flooring

Watch your pet's feet
Keep your pet's nails trimmed to keep them from scratching your flooring.

Rearrange your rugs and furniture
Periodically rearranging your area rugs and furniture will allow the flooring to age evenly. UV sunlight will soften the tone of different species of hardwood to varying degrees.