Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber. Solid hardwooden floors were originally used for structural purposes, being installed perpendicular to the wooden support beams of a building known as joists or bearers. With the increased use of concrete as a subfloor in some parts of the world engineered wood flooring has gained some popularity however in areas where homes traditionally have full basements solid wood floors are still common. Solid wood floors have a thicker wear surface and can be sanded and finished more times than an engineered wood floor. It is not uncommon for homes in New England, Eastern Canada and Europe which are several hundred years old to have the original solid wood floor still in use today.
Solid wooden manufacturing
Solid wooden flooring is milled from a single piece of timber that is kiln or air dried before sawing. Depending on the desired look of the floor, the timber can be cut in three ways: flat-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. The timber is cut to the desired dimensions and either packed unfinished for a site-finished installation or finished at the factory. The moisture content at time of manufacturing is carefully controlled to ensure the product doesn’t warp during transport and storage.
There are a number of proprietary features for solid wood floors that are available. Many solid woodens come with grooves cut into the back of the wood that run the length of each plank, often called ‘absorption strips,’ that are intended to reduce cupping. Solid wooden floors are mostly manufactured 3/4″ thick with a tongue-and-groove for installation.