Solid hardwood flooring is prized because it is a solid piece of hardwood from top to bottom; an extremely substantial product.
Solid hardwood has intact all the capillaries a tree uses to transmit sap and water to various parts of its body. Therefore solid hardwood flooring absorbs and sheds humidity easily, which makes it grow and shrink in size. This growth can cause cupping at the surface when the planks have nowhere to grow but up at their joints. Shrinking can cause gaps at the joints between the planks when they lose humidity.
To perform properly and remain stable, solid hardwood flooring needs to be installed above grade where it will be separated from potential water sources, or with a water barrier over concrete sub-flooring in order to protect it from being affected by water transmitted through the concrete slab. A bevel on the sides and ends of each plank helps to hide any potential cupping or shrinking that might occur alternately in climates with large seasonal humidity changes. Hand scraping and distressing of the planks will also greatly mask any potential cupping or shrinking.
We use only properly kiln dried lumber in the manufacture of our hardwood flooring, which adds greatly to its stability. Solid hardwood flooring is not recommended for installation over radiant heating systems.
Engineered hardwood Flooring is prized for its resistance to movement. This movement can be caused by the following stressors:
1. Changes in hardwood flooring temperatures (radiant heating systems) which dry out and shrink hardwood flooring, creating gaps between the planks. Cupping can also occur when the system is rapidly shut down and the wood flooring expands as it takes on normal humidity again.
2. Water intrusion through concrete sub-flooring.
3. Seasonal humidity changes
Engineered hardwood flooring’s stability is accomplished by overlaying a hardwood top wear layer over a base of cross laminated wood sections. (Plywood) This cross lamination process drastically decreases solid hardwoods’ tendency to grow or shrink due to changes in humidity or heat. Since a thinner portion of the plank is solid hardwood, there is less force behind its tendency to change shape. The plywood base has almost no tendency to change shape, since its wood plys are laid at a 45 degree angle to each other before gluing them together. They therefore tend to change shape at differing directions, effectively cancelling each other out.
We offer our long length engineered hardwood flooring with a very thick hardwood top layer over its laminated wood base in order to make it more substantial like solid hardwood flooring, while maintaining its resistance to movement that causes cupping and gapping. Looking from above after installation, you cannot tell if one of our branded styles has been made from solid or engineered hardwood flooring.
Many people feel it is much better stewardship of the world’s hardwood resources to use just a top layer of hardwood in a flooringproduct, as opposed to using a solid piece of hardwood. Others feel that a solid hardwoood floor is a more substantial product, since it is solid all the way through.
In essence, the top wear layer above the tongue and groove is the only portion that truly matters. If it were not thick enough, and was worn down over the years by numerous resandings, the flooring could no longer be used anyway since its interlocking connection could not be sanded further without altering the floors stability. So a top thick top wear layer in an engineered floor is what makes the floor a durable, lifetime product.
Structured Solid Hardwood Flooring: The unique three layer construction of our Chateau Napoleon collection combines the best features of a solid and an engineered flooring. It’s multiple layers insure greater stability, while each of these layers are made from True French Oak.
Manufacturing Bonuses with Zumaya
Long Length Plank Construction
Some companies hardwood flooring that comes in boxes or short bundles is called “random length flooring”. This is a sizing arrived at in an attempt to completely cut out any supposed imperfections (knots, lighter colored sapwood) which makes the average plank length very short. It also includes very short planks to utilize every inch of the wood flooring available. We feel it makes for a much more stylish hardwood floor to use only long length planks which are over twice as long as random length planks. We leave in any “imperfections” feeling that they are an integral part of a styles beauty and character. And we refuse to offer any plank shorter than two feet long (except for wall fills), feeling that it cheapens the look, and makes the floor look more like a jigsaw puzzle than a sophisticated hardwood floor.
All of the styles within our collections come fully prefinished. They must then be acclimated to their new environment for two weeks to stabilize them prior to installation. Then a qualified installer in your area simply installs the long length planks.
We eliminate all the dust and mess of sanding, coloring, and finishing the hardwood flooring planks in your home!
We save you time and money in construction loan carrying costs on new construction projects by finishing must more quickly!