Having read our guide to which hardwood floor is right for you, we get to the next step in your floor selection journey. These details are less exciting than choosing your wood type but they are important and definitely impact the final look of your floor. So here’s a guide to choosing the finer details of your hardwood floors.
Unfinished timbers have had no finish applied. These planks are in the raw. The floor will be seamless between planks and onsite finishing will be necessary.
Pre-finished timbers have a UV cured finish applied. This is kept safe by a micro bevel so that when the wood is installed and knocked together the finish remains pristine. Custom pre-finishing is also available for finishes than cannot be applied by machine for example a Tung oil finish.
Authentic Hand-Scraped. In this surface treatment each board is individually hand scraped by a craftsman. This technique is created using a hand plane and makes each board truly unique. Authentic hand-scrape surface treatment can be applied to the face and edge of each board or just the edge.
Machine Hand-Scraped. A machine creates this surface treatment. It is set up to mimic the look of hand plane scraping, the end result is similar but not quite as authentic as an authentic hand scraped surface.
Wire Brushed. This surface treatment enhances the grain of the wood and created a textured and weathered look to the floor boards. Each board is scrubbed using a wire brush, removing much of the softer wood.
Square Beveled flooring has a completely straight corner and will show no visible seams on the floor, creating a clean and formal look. However, they are also some of the easiest to wear and can create more visible gaps if the flooring is moved.
Round-Over Beveled flooring has rounded edges with seams visible even from a distance, creating a more natural look. These edges also hide dirt and dust more easily than square edges, and even if they begin to form gaps over time, they tend to be less noticeable.
Micro-beveled flooring combines the best features of square and rounded edges while minimizing their weaknesses. These pieces are rounded slightly on the sides with seams visible when viewed up close, but not noticeable at a distance. Each board is slightly beveled to help hide minor irregularities including uneven plank heights.
Flooring planks that are 10″ or narrower can have a tongue or groove cut into them so that they fit into the plank in front and behind it perfectly, just as they fit into the planks on either side of them. Because the planks align perfectly the installation process is smooth and easy.
Character grade flooring has a natural appearance displaying the full characteristics of the hardwood floor. All color variations occurring naturally in the species are showcased. Small surface knots, flags, wormholes which occur naturally in the forest, and some mineral streaks are also visible along with amazing grain patterns. And because it’s made from a mix of heartwood and sapwood, Character-Grade flooring offers the same level of durability, strength and stability as other fine hardwood floors.
Select grade flooring contains all the variations in color produced by the contrasting differences between heartwood and sapwood. It also has minimally visible character marks such as small knots, mineral streaks and slightly open grain. The combination creates a visually interesting floor where light sapwood and dark heartwood are combined with some knots and grain variation.