Solid wood flooring is made from one continuous piece of wood and is available in strips, planks and parquet squares. Wood strips are anywhere from 1 1/2" to about 2 1/2" wide. Planks are wider than 2 1/2". Generally, a solid hardwood floor is a 1/4" thick plank that is in narrow 2 1/2" strips. However, they can be manufactured in a variety of widths and thicknesses.
Solid flooring gives you a great opportunity for customization. Your choice of species, stains, and finishes all contribute to the personalization of a solid floor.
You can get your wood floor either unfinished or prefinished. Unfinished flooring offers unlimited color stain options. Prefinished wood flooring features a factory-applied finish.
Because solid wood is sensitive to moisture, American Carpet does not recommend installing a solid wood floor below ground level or directly over a concrete slab. These floors are generally for nail down installations only. Consult with your American Carpet expert to select the floor that is just right for you.
Engineered wood flooring is made from layers of wood stacked and glued together under heat and pressure. There are usually three to seven layers (plies) stacked with grains running perpendicular to each other. The top finish layer can be cut from a variety of domestic or exotic hardwood species and are generally factory prefinished with a polyurethane or an aluminum oxide finish.
All woods expand and contract with heat and humidity. Engineered wood is more dimensionally stable than solid hardwood because the layers keep the movement in balance. Because it is less inclined to swell and shrink, engineered wood can be installed in areas where solid wood cannot such as over concrete or in high-moisture areas. It can easily be used in kitchens, powder rooms and utility rooms. Engineered floors will range from 5/16" to 9/16" in thickness and from 2 1/2" to 7" in width. Installation can be glued, floated, nailed or stapled.
Exotic Hardwood Flooring
Exotic hardwood is the term used to describe hardwood species from around the world. Exotic hardwood species come from Australia, Africa, South America and the Far East. Exotic hardwoods offer unique wood graining and color variations. Most exotic woods are available in engineered wood construction, but some are available in solid hardwood planks as well. Bamboo, Amendoim and Jatoba are examples of exotic hardwood.
Parquet floors are made from custom-crafted wood tiles that are used to create a patterned floor.