Wood is one of the most fundamental construction materials for the past hundred years and it is consider as the most basic form of material for constructing a house in North America. A wood can be made as a pillar, a drywall, or even for flooring. There are many different ways to make the good use of wood.
There are many types of wood to choose from, but mainly there are two types, the hardwoods and the softwoods. For the hardwoods, it is heavy, hard and strong with outstanding wear-resistance. Very resistant to impact and wear. For the softwoods, usually medium to low weight, low shock resistance and stiffness, and generally low strength properties. Mainly the hardwoods were from North America and Europe, and the softwood was mainly from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Generally, hardwood is mostly is build for something that can resist wear ness over a period of time and still remain its own original form. Therefore, for flooring, hardwood is considering one of the most abundant materials to construct the flooring for most of the homes in North America. There are mainly five most common types of wood to choose from: Red Oak, Maple, Birch, Ash, Cherry, and Beech. Red Oak, also known as Northern red oak, Eastern red oak, gray oak, American red oak, Canadian red oak, and mountain red oak. It has a straight grained with a coarse texture and prominent rays. Maple, also known as soft maple, scarlet maple, swamp maple, and water maple. It is a straight, close grain with a fine, even texture. Wide, creamy white sapwood and beige or tan-colored heartwood. Birch, also known as canoe birch, red birch, silver birch, white birch, Canadian white birch and Kenai birch. It has a straight grained with a fine, even texture and a Pale-brown heartwood and creamy white sapwood. Ash is also known as American ash, Biltmore ash, and cane ash and generally straight grained with a coarse texture. Cherry is also known as cherry, wild cherry, gean, mazzard, merisier, and kers. It has straight grained with a fairly uniform texture and a rich luster. And finally, Beech is also known as red beech, white beech, stone beech, and winter beech. It has a straight or sometimes interlocked grain with a fine, even texture on the surface.
Hardwood floor is generally is part of the structure for the building, it provides comfort and support for the furniture. It is easy to clean and maintain compare to carpet which takes long time to clean and hard to maintain its own original form. There are mainly three types of hardwood floor, which they are solid wood floors, longstrip plank floors, and engineered plank floors. The longstrip plank floors and the engineered plank floors were design for those who wish hardwood flooring in high-rise apartments or any area with a concrete floor base. Both longstrip and engineered strips have a thin layers of wood that are glued together specially designed to be glued down over any surface such as concrete, or they can be nailed down over a plywood sub floor. The hardwood floor is mainly distributed into strips from 2″1/4 inches to 4 inches in width. There are many manufacture in North America, but there are only a few top ones in Canada, which they are BOA-FRANC inc and C.A. SPENCER, those two companies which provide over 20 years of quality service on hardwood flooring.
Other than using hardwood as a material for flooring, there are many alterative to choose from. But there is only one material who also has the same quality and durability as hardwood is Bamboo. Bamboo is a grass with an extensive root system that continually grows underground; it replenishes itself naturally, as grass does. It is a good wood-substitute that matures in three to five years. New growth, which springs out of the ground, is thinned out and canned to used for flooring and other uses. Compare to trees, which die after harvested, bamboo regenerates itself, making it a renewable resource. Most of the bamboos were imported from China, and manufactured by different companies but mostly in China and distributed around the globe. D & M Bamboo Flooring Co. and Bamtex Bamboo Flooring is consider as the first choice manufacture for bamboo floorings. Bamboo is environment friendly, short harvesting time, and easy to maintenance. It has a tendency to replace hardwood in the future, because of they new technological improvement on its durability and stability and for the most it has almost infinite amount of resources.
Both, hardwood and Bamboo floors have almost the same procedures for installation. First of all, to ensure the sub floor is dry and level. Measure the moisture content of the sub floor in several locations, then unpack the flooring and let it age in the room for one to two weeks which makes the wood to absorb some of the moisture in the location. After that, start laying the floor from the end of the room and make certain that sufficient expansion space is left at the perimeter of the installation. In some climate areas where the humidity of the room varies seasonally, leave some expansion space. After installation, there are two ways to finish off the job and its depend on type of wood of choice. Some wooden floor has a prefinish protecting coating from the manufacture and some floors required some special protection coating treatment before usage. Since wooden and Bamboo floor is very easy to maintenance, a regularly sweep or vacuum the floor is required to prevent dust to accumulate and scratch on the floor surface.
Technology is keep on improving, same as wood manufacturing. New innovation from prefinished protective coating to a floor limit glue on concrete base engineered flooring. Those innovations that give the modern architect a even more freedom to disobey natures’ restriction and to create a better living environment.