Solid or engineered? Prefinished or site-finished? White oak, pecan, or Cherry? Hardwood flooring comes in so many varieties that it’s difficult to know how to make a selection. Here’s a very basic guide to terminology and the choices available.
SolId vs. Engineered
Eutree specializes in Forest Free solid hardwood flooring, which typically is 1/4-inch thick. Production is relatively straightforward, but precision and attention to detail are crucial. Our solid hardwood can be plain-sawn, quarter-sawn or rift-sawn. The planks then are planed (for a smooth, level surface) and molded (both to fit together tongue-and-groove style, and to grip the sub-floor properly).
Solid flooring should be both glued and nailed to the sub-floor. To prevent warping, it’s best to install solid floors in areas that will remain dry (for example, not in basements). At the same time, certain solid woods, including white oak, are highly resistant to the effects of moisture. A key advantage over most engineered flooring: the surface of Eutree solid hardwood can be refinished many times; if properly cared for, a solid floor can look just as beautiful a century after it’s installed as when it was brand new. That gives you more of a margin if pets, children or heavy foot traffic damage your floor.
Eutree also manufactures unique, high-quality, engineered hardwood flooring, which consists essentially of planks glued onto a plywood backing. Like solid flooring, engineered flooring is sawn, planed and molded. The laminated construction prevents warping, because the grains of the plywood and the hardwood surface don’t run in a uniform direction. Engineered flooring also can be installed on concrete subfloors. Unlike many mass-produced engineered floors, Eutree engineered flooring uses a relatively thick 3/8-inch hardwood surface — thick enough to hold up to multiple refinishings and appropriate for high-traffic, commercial uses.
Pre-finished or site-finished
The finish on a hardwood floor influences everything from aesthetics (for example, color, tone and gloss) to such practical qualities as durability and water resistance. Eutree prefinishes hardwood flooring by special order, using a plant-based, environmentally benign finish that contains neither heavy metals nor volatile organic compounds. We’ve also worked with design specialists to develop a unique suite of finish looks for our white oak flooring and paneling.
Finishing the flooring after it’s installed makes sense for many of our customers, however. That’s because the finish is more properly applied over the entire installed floor. The result: a smoother, more complete surface — particularly for the margins between planks. Also, in new construction, finishing the floor onsite can be delayed until the end of the job, which avoids damage to the finish.
Each tree species has its own physical, as well as aesthetic, qualities. The bulk of Eutree Forest Free flooring is rift-sawn and quarter-sawn white oak, which possesses some key qualities for great flooring: it’s hard, it’s exceptionally water-resistant, and it’s beautiful.
Pecan is our second most popular source flooring species. A type of hickory, pecan’s exceptionally hard, which makes it an excellent choice for heavily trafficked areas. We also can obtain black walnut, cherry, mature pine and other species that make for good flooring but are less commonly harvested by tree services in metro Atlanta.