If you’re a first-time homeowner or new to the world of flooring, choosing a new floor for your Princeton home can be a daunting task. Flooring comes with a lot of terminologies, and if you’re not familiar, it can become overwhelming. Luckily, our experts at Floor Coverings International Hillsborough are here to help. We have put together a list of essential hardwood flooring terms that will help you feel confident throughout the process.

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Solid Wood – Boards that are manufactured from a single piece of wood.

Engineered Hardwood – A type of hardwood that is manufactured from multiple layers of wood to form a board. The top layer determines the wood species and color.

Janka Rating – A scale that determines the hardness of a particular species of wood.  It is calculated by determining the amount of force it takes a .444in steel ball to embed into a plank of wood that is .222 inches in diameter.

Finish – The wax-based or urethane coating applied to the wood to protect it from scratches and moisture.

Prefinished – Boards that are stained and finished by the manufacturer.

Unfinished – Boards that are sanded and finished on site. Sometimes called “site finished” hardwood.

Sapwood/Heartwood – Sapwood is found in the outer rings of the tree and is a lighter color. Heartwood is found in the centermost rings and is typically darker.

refinish hardwood flooring HillsboroughSubfloor – The structural layer that supports your hardwood floors. Depending on the suitability, a hardwood floor can lie directly on top of the subfloor; otherwise, an additional layer may be installed underneath.

Underlayment – A layer of material between the floor and subfloor.

Floating – When individual planks are glued or locked together without direct attachment to the subfloor.

Gapping – Spaces that appear between boards in drier weather. Some gapping is to be expected with hardwood, especially in the winter.

Get Started Today in Princeton

When you’re ready to install a new hardwood floor in your Princeton home, don’t let the terminology intimidate you.  At Floor Coverings International Hillsborough our goal is to make flooring projects simple. Contact us today for a free in-home design consultation and our flooring experts will guide you throughout the entire process. We are proud to serve Hillsborough, Flemington, Princeton and the surrounding areas.

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Photos © Shannon Jordan, Alexeysun