Summer is the time for remodeling, and few home improvements add more class, tradition, and beauty to a home than installing new hardwood floors. Unfortunately, few owners realize how many options are out there to choose from when it comes to this popular flooring material. For those of you thinking about hardwood floors and seeking some illumination as to your options, here's a few of the more unusual, and highly sought after, hardwood flooring products available for purchase.
Bamboo Hardwood Floors
Few hardwood flooring products rival the beauty, durability, and environmentally friendly nature of bamboo. Bamboo flooring is made by shaving bamboo clums, or stalks, into strips that are kiln dried and then glued together under high pressure. The result is bamboo "boards" that are full of the texture, color, and beauty that has come to signify bamboo hardwood products of all kinds. Bamboo is harder and more durable than oak, and because it is a grass rather than a tree it can be responsibly grown, harvested, and re-harvested on bamboo plantations for generations. An oak hardwood floor is responsible for wiping a tree from the earth forever. Bamboo, on the other hand, grows back time and time again just like the grass in your lawn!
Distressed Hardwood Flooring
Looking for a hardwood floor that is brand new but still has that centuries old look? Look no further. What you've been searching for is distressed hardwood flooring. Distressed hardwood flooring is made from hardwood planks that have been "distressed" (a.k.a. "beat up"), by flooring manufacturers prior to installation in your home. Methods for distressing wood vary from industrial presses that roll "imperfections" into the wood as they move through an assembly line to custom artisans who beat on the planks with burlap bags full of nuts and bolts. Either way, you'll end up with a brand new hardwood floor that has the character of one that's been around for centuries.
Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring
Hand scraped hardwood flooring is made of wood that has been worked by hand into flooring planks, with the irregular scrapes, planes, and textures to prove it. These floors add character and tradition to any room, and usually come in wider planks than milled flooring boards. Be sure that your new hardwood floor is really hand scraped before you buy, however, since there are companies out there who try to mimic the uniqueness of hand scraped flooring in an industrial setting. Amish craftsmen are famous for producing this style of flooring, and you won't find a better hand scraped flooring on the market, if you can afford the price.
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Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring
Reclaimed hardwood flooring refers to hardwood floors manufactured out of reclaimed or recycled wood. For many homeowners, the initial draw of these floors is the fact that they are made from material that otherwise would have found itself in the demolition pile. That kind of green thinking should be commended, but reclaimed wood flooring has other advantages, too. Since most of the wood is rescued from old factories, piers, and other large structures across the world, it's usually made of old growth heartwood. In case you haven't heard, old growth heartwood is some of the strongest, most beautiful, and durable wood that has ever been harvested (not to mention it's almost impossible to find in today's environmentally conscious world).
Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring
Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring is the last on the list, though it's possibly the most beautiful hardwood you'll ever encounter. It sports tight, flowing grains, and a beautiful reddish hue that deepens over time as the wood is exposed to sunlight. Add to that the fact that this South American wood is more than 10 times denser than oak flooring, and it's easy to see why this new hardwood flooring material rounds out our list of the top 5 hardwood flooring trends.
If you're interested in hardwood flooring, talk to a certified hardwood floor installer about what you need to do to order and install one of these unique, one-of-a-kind hardwood floors in your home!