You are here

Hardwood Characteristics

Hardwood Flooring Characteristics: 

Unlike manufactured flooring products, hardwood is a natural material that has its own characteristics and properties. Due to these unique qualities, your newly installed floor will vary from samples and pictures shown. Below are some common examples you can expect from this extraordinary material:

  • Changes in Color: Over time, wood flooring colors will change with exposure to artificial and natural light. These changes are normal, and to be expected. To avoid the appearance of discoloration, you should occasionally move area rugs and furniture to promote even light exposure. Some wood species color changes are more dramatic than others. For example, Brazilian Cherry and Tigerwood become deeper and redder with light exposure over time. Brazilian Cherry can even start out a golden color before darkening to a redder tone it is known for.
  • Natural Movement: Seasonal moisture and temperature levels will cause wood to expand and contract and can even do so during natural acclimation before installation. Though this may give the appearance of gaps or cracks in your floor during installation, this should not be considered a product defect. You can overcome small gaps like these by applying matching wood putty. For floor care after installation, the addition of a whole home humidifier or air conditioning for mid/late summer and fall will help keep a home from building up excessive moisture, not only in the hardwood flooring, but within the walls and ceilings as well. Maintaining a home at 35%-55% relative humidity will help assure the minimum amount of movement due to the floors' moisture content. Engineered flooring is less susceptible to swelling and shrinking because it has been designed for enhanced dimensional stability.
  • Natural Variations: Just as no two trees are identical, no two wood planks have identical grains, hues, and textures. Naturally occurring wood can have knots, mineral streaks, and a wide variation of colors and grains. These differences make each floor one-of-a-kind and also cause one lot to look different from the next lot even when purchasing the same product as last time. Nature Wood Floors is not responsible for differences in appearance from one lot to the next, or samples/diplays being different from the final product. 
  • Board Lengths: Hardwood Floors will come in a variety of lengths with most giving dimensions for where the lengths can fall between. (For example; 1'-7' Random Lengths). Whatever lengths are given for a product, a typical result for products will see a majority of the lengths that fall in the middle of the dimensions, unless otherwise stated. For example, when given 1'-7' lengths, the majority of the boards can likely fall between 2'-5'. Same guidelines would apply for longer length options. Products are also allowed to NOT give you a length specified in the description. For Example: Ordering a 2'-10' Random Length product but not receiving any 9' or 10' lengths. This can sometimes happen and still be acceptable. This is because the purpose of the mentioned lengths is to give you a certain average range. Just because there are no 9' or 10' lengths does not mean you are not getting the average that is expected. In this case, if you still have a good amount of the lengths that fall around 5'-8', then you are still getting the expected average above the standard 1'-7' option.
  • Also, certain species or grades that are meant to have a more natural characteristic look may have a lesser average length than other species or higher grade products. For Example: a Select Grade may give you a 4' average, but a #2 Common in the same lineup may only give you a 2 1/2' average. Same is applied when comparing different species. Pine trees grow very tall, which helps the end result of flooring have a longer length average. But when compared to Walnut trees, which grow much shorter, they will give a lesser average length even in the same grade when compared to each other.
  • Nature Wood Floors is not responsible for replacing material or refunding a customer because the average lengths was not what they expected or if a product did not come with enough of a certain length. This is a natural product which makes every order random with lengths and averages varying from order to order.
  • Width Variations: Dense wood species, such as Brazilian Walnut (Ipe), Brazilian Teak (Cumaru), and others that are known to be much harder/denser can have width variations in the boards. This happens because the extreme density causes the plank to jump more often during milling which can give boards slight differences in widths. This occurs more frequently the wider the board gets. For example, a Brazilian Walnut floor may be labeled as a 5" wide plank, but some boards may come in at 4 15/16" or 4 7/8". This is not considered a defect by the manufacturer and cannot be returned or refunded based on this. An experienced installer understands how to work with these differences by using the matching widths in one full row. There will also be boards that can be 5" on one end and off by a 1/16", 1/8", and even up to 1/4" width on the other. These are typically used by the walls as cut pieces, but there will be instances where these boards must be used in the middle areas where gaps will be present. These gaps can be filled with a matching wood putty. Again, this is not a defect and a common trait when dealing with very dense species. Products that allow for width variations are recommended to have a higher waste factor figured when ordering to help cut down on these issues. It is also the purchaser's responsibilty to have an experience floor installer that knows and understands how to work with this type of product.
  • Nominal Lengths & Widths: Nominal is a common term mentioned in the hardwood flooring business and is used with all products from Nature Wood Floors. This allows for lengths and widths to differ slightly from what dimensions are described in a products specifications. (for example: a 5" wide board in reality may actually be 4 7/8" wide or a 1'-7' Random Length product ends up having a 9" piece in the lot). Lengths will only have the occasional short length beyond the given dimensions which can be considered part of the installation waste you expected. Width differences can sometimes affect repair jobs when trying to replace damaged wood with a new product that is not from the original mill. Always ask one of our reps before replacing small areas in an existing floor.
  • Natural Waste: Hardwood flooring is a natural product and no matter how high of quality a product is you can always expect a certain amount of waste that needs to be factored in. 5% is allowed for boards with waste that can consist of certain milling or finish defects. When measuring your product, be sure to allow for 5% of milling or finish defects, as well as, an additional 5% for cutting waste during installation. Damage occurred during transit cannot be foretold, so it is also part of the 5% expected imperfections in the wood. Freight claims can only be made when the shipping damage, plus defects, goes above 5% of the ordered material. In which case, shipping damamge must be noted on the delivery receipt when signing for the material.