Acclimation: The time needed to climatize your flooring to your normal living conditions. All hardwood must be acclimated. The exact time frame depends on the species of the wood and the jobsite condition. Hardwood should be delivered to the jobsite after all painting is done and dry. Heat needs to be running at a temperature consistant to the homeowner's normal comfort level and the subfloor needs to be dry. The material is allowed to sit in the house for a period ranging from a few days to a few weeks depending on the product (longer for harder exotic materials). Acclimating hardwood flooring prevents movement in the floor once it is installed. Not acclimating flooring properly can lead to problems including splitting, cracks between boards, cupping, ect.
Bevels: Eased edges generally found on prefinished flooring, though sitefinished flooring may be special ordered with bevels in some circumstances. Prefinished flooring is not sanded smooth on the jobsite so the bevels allow some variation in your subfloor and provides a smoother living surface by removing sharp edges.
Grades: Wood flooring is milled and then seperated into grades. Grading is determined by a set os specifications for color variation, number of knots, and the number and type of imperfections allowed in hardwood. Manufacturers may use a variety of terms to describe the grading on their hardwood. The best way to choose what type you want is to select from samples that clearly show the variety you may get in your flooring, don't count on one species's, or manufacturer's, "Select" grade to be the same as others.
Prefinished: Good prefinished generally has seven to ten layers of Aluminum Oxide finish sprayed on and UV cured at the manufacturers. All solid prefinished has beveled edges that can range from a wide rustic look to microbevels that are hardly visable. This product is nailed or stapled down and your installation is complete, there is no sanding or finish work done on site. Prefinished products are great for alot of homes however it can limit your choices.
Sitefinished: Flooring comes to your location as strips of raw wood. The installer nails/staples down the material and then sands and finishes the product on site. This process can be a little messy but most installers will do what they can to cut down on dust. Site finishing provides you with almost endless flooring options and creates a smooth solid surface over your living area.
Finish: A clear coat applied to hardwood flooring either on the jobsite or at the mill. Swedish finishes have been time tested and are durable, however, Swedish finishes have a solvent base and do contain harmful chemicals. If you are concerned about the chemicals in Swedish Finish you may want to consider a Water Based floor finish. Pricing and durability vary widely. Talk to your installer about what they recommend.
Stain: When you apply a colored layer to your floor before the finish coats. Red and White Oak are the easiest and most recommended products for staining on site. Most species such as Maple and exotic hardwoods do not stain well on site. These products are available from some manufacturers in a prefinished form with stain on them. A different method is used for applying stain in these instances and if your floor ever needs to be refinished, you will not be able to replicate the stain color onsite. Your best option when considering hardwood is to choose something you like the natural color of or stick with an Oak product if you want a custom stain color applied.
Rift Sawn"Each riftsawn board is cut from the center of the log, outwards. Riftsawing is similar to quartersawing, except that each riftsawn cut is made at a slightly different angle. While this method of sawing creates many wedge-shapes scraps, it also results in boards with similar grain patterns; such boards have great uniformity and stability, even in extremes of temperature and humidty. Riftsawing results in teh least board-feet per log, making it the most expensive milling method." ~Provided by Edensaw Woods~
Quartersawn"A 'Quartersawn' log is first cut into four 'quarters.' Each quarter is then cut into boards through a series of cuts which are parallel to each other, but perpendicular to the tree's ring. The result is a series of boards, each containing a similar slice of the tree radius. Because quartersawing produces less board feet than plainsawing, quartersawn lumber is more expensive. However, quartersawn boards are more consistent than plainsawn boards. This makes them more resistant to shrinkage and expansion in humidity and temperature." ~Provided by Edensaw Woods~
Plainsawn"In plainsawing, a sawmill cuts timber into long strips along its length, pulling off boards parallel to one another, like playing cards being seperated from a deck. Plainsawing creates the least waste of any sawing method, and is the least expensive, and most common method of sawing wood flooring. Because each board comes from a distint 'slice' of the tree, each piece of plainsawn lumber has a distinct look and substance. As a result, a floor made with plainsawn lumber will have more variations than a floor made from lumber cut by other methods. In extremes of humidity and temperature, these variations make plainsawn lumber more susceptible to expansion and contraction than quartersawn or riftsawn lumber." ~Provided by Edensaw Woods~