Quarter Sawn Hardwood Fooring
Not all wood floors are created equally. For those looking for flooring that is at the pinnacle of beauty and quality, search no further. Quarter-sawn wood flooring can be the solution to your flooring needs, whether you are looking to change out the flooring in your whole home or just in a room or two.
What makes quarter-sawn flooring better?
The benefits of quarter-sawn wood floors go beyond just the appearance of the flooring. When floorboards are cut, the initial log is cut into quarters – across the grain – at a 60 to 90 degree angle. The result is the revealing of the beautiful grain pattern. Even more important, though, is by cutting across the grain shrinkage is less likely to occur. This means your floors won't develop unsightly gaps over the years.
How can cutting across the grain limit expansion and shrinkage?
Expansion occurs from natural environmental changes, such as moisture or temperature fluctuations, cause the wood to shrink or expand. When cut across the grain, the floor boards expand or shrink up and down, instead of side-to-side. This means that the boards won't shrink and pull away from each other, which is what causes the gap.
Why are quarter-sawn boards considered more beautiful?
The proof is in the board. When cut across the grain, the resulting grain lines ill show closer together. This results in a visually finer grain. The varying shades of the different grain lines provide a shimmering effect, known as chatoyance. This is similar to the effect you can see when you look at a polished cat's eye gem stone, for example. The pattern of the grain combined with the chatoyance make for a more visually pleasing floor.
What other differences are there?
Most hardwood flooring comes in narrow boards to help eliminate the shrinkage concern. Since quarter-sawn boards are cut radially and across the grain, wider boards are a possibility. This means you can use boards up to 6 inches across in your floor, which will allow you to enjoy more of the unbroken grain pattern.
Are there any imperfections ones should be aware of?
We take steps to ensure that only the highest quality of boards are offered as quarter-sawn flooring. Common imperfections that can be present in any type of wood flooring, including knots and deadwood cavities, are culled out from the flooring so only those in perfect condition are actually installed.
What are the industry standards that one should know?
The industry standard for quarter-sawn flooring is that the wood should be cut at a 60 to 90 percent angle across the grain. Anything less than so percent is either rift-sawn (30 to 60 percent) or flat-sawn (0 to 30 percent). When shopping for quarter-sawn floor, look for the options that are cut as close to 90 percent as possible to ensure the purchase of a superior product. You may also sometimes see quarter-sawn flooring referred to as radially-sawn – this is a method of cutting the logs so that the grain angle stays between 80 and 90 percent.
What are the wood options for quarter-sawn flooring?
Just like most quality flooring, quarter-sawn is generally limited to the hardwoods. This means red oak, white oak, maple, walnut, and black cherry wood are going to be your most common choices. It is also possible to find engineered quarter-sawn flooring. This will have a quarter-sawn veneer of the hardwood of your choice over a solid wood interior.
Is special maintenance required for quarter-sawn flooring?
If anything, maintenance may be simpler because the tighter grain and the use of hardwoods results in a more durable floor. Like any wood flooring, it is important to keep the floor clean and to avoid known damaging behavior. This means vacuuming weekly, cleaning with a recommended hardwood floor cleaner, using furniture glides under furniture legs, and not mopping with water. The floors will need periodic refinishing as the finish dulls, as well. Major damage can also be repaired by sanding down the wood and refinishing, as long as you have true quarter-sawn flooring and not one of the engineered flooring varieties.
Quarter-sawn flooring is the best choice if quality and appearance are your primary concerns. Our wood flooring is designed to bring lifetime beauty into your home.