Its no secret that hardwood flooring is the best in design for flooring consumers. And with all the history engulfed in the flooring market, consumers are still scrabbling to find answers to the most basic questions about solid hardwood flooring. At this point in the flooring spectrum, there are 2 types of hardwood categories that we refer to in the flooring industry; solid and engineered. But to get the most intricate detail on your floor, solid is the best choice. Solid hardwood flooring is derived by cutting the entire board out of the tree. So, in essence, each plank you put down, is one single piece from that type of tree. This is considered a sawn hardwood flooring. Though, stable by the strength of the tree, solid floors are very susceptible to movement brought on by moisture. And by moisture, we don't necessarily refer to the glass of water that just spilled over. When we talk about moisture, we are referring to the moisture in the air, called humidity. To achieve maximum wear-ability or lifespan, solid flooring must be kept at a certain temperature and relative humidity. These 2 factors combined, form the moisture content of flooring. Solid hardwood flooring, just like engineered hardwood, is like a sponge that absorbs the moisture in the air. This absorption causes the product to expand and contract. Sometimes its normal for a solid hardwood to have gaps between them in dryer parts of the year. This is to be expected. We are only bound to the inherent capabilities of the tree. At Georgia Carpets, we have been moving hardwood flooring for some 50 years across the country. Its no wonder that we have the best flooring representatives in the industry, and they are here to help. Domestic hardwood flooring species such as hickory, maple, and oak, are the foundation of most all residential and commercial hard surface installs. Hickory is the most dense, giving your floor the ability to withstand heavier weight that causes dents. While hardwood is not always the best performing products for very active lifestyles, you can bet its the most gorgeous. And though its not the cheapest flooring option, it is the most sought after. Red and white oak flooring make up about 80% of all flooring in the USA. While its the softest of the 3 major species next to maple and hickory, it is the most stable and affordable floor we have. Maple, though less dense than oak and hickory, can withstand more force upon it, measured by what is called the Janka Scale (See Janka Hardness Test Page for more details). This is achieved by the trees tight grain pattern, which creates lineal harder wood pockets to stabilize the plank. The durability of hardwood flooring is not so much based upon the type of tree, as opposed to the chemicals in the finish itself. Quality as a whole is based upon the entire product, not just a species. Most solid hardwood floors come in 3/4” thickness, often allowing for a sand and refinish installation later, offering more life to the floor even after several years in the field. Although, Bruce Hardwood Flooring has a 5/16” solid hardwood floor called Natural Reflections or Natural Choice. This is mostly used to install over existing floors or to be glued down in a basement. Since solid 3/4” is more apt to absorb moisture from the slab, a nail-down installation, on or above grade, is requested. But have no fear, Georgia Carpet Industries has a very qualified staff to help with any questions regarding solid hardwood flooring.