Product Review - Hardwood FlooringCompany Background -
Bruce, now part of the Armstrong Group, has
been in business since 1884, thats 123 years if my math is
correct, so they must be doing something right. At last count
they had 271 hardwood flooring products with 34 products in the
$3.00 - $3.99 range alone, which is a very reasonable price for
The thing to note when puchasing a new hardwood floor is the
quality of the product. This includes the thickness of the
wood, the finish on the wood and the attention to detail. This
shows in Bruce hardwood flooring., the skill that is used to
craft the finished product and in the capture of the natural
beauty of the various woods used, whether it is Oak,
Cherry or other woods.
Using modern innovative technology Bruce has been able to keep
up with the ever increasing demands for top quality products
and have constantly added new products to its lines included
engineered hardwood flooring and high quality laminate
As one of the biggest flooring producers Bruce is very proud of
its efforts to sustain the environment via its tree replanting
programs every year and following strict environmental guide
lines and regulations.
Bruce has also been awarded the FloorScore Certificate from the
Resilient Floor Covering Institute. This means that their
products have met or exceeded the low emission standards, will
not affect indoor air quality and have passed a third party
has a wide selection of hardwood products. You may think
that a hardwood floor is never perfect, easy or
uncomplicated. Well it is for the informed, the thoughtful and
the educated. That's the question - how to be informed,
thoughtful and educated. The fact that hardwood is a beautiful
product (made from a renewable resource) and that sales are
climbing steadily across the country means that a lot of people
Standard Dimensions Solid Hardwood
Before you begin, ask yourself the following questions:
- Lengths: Random from 12" to 84"
- Widths: 2 1/4"(most common) also from 1-1/2" strip to
- Thicknesses: 3/4"(most common) or 5/16"
- Will the new hardwood floor be installed on-grade,
above-grade or below-grade?
- Will the subfloor be wood or cement?
- Is there a chance moisture, humidity or condensation
will be a problem, for example in a bathroom?
- Do you plan to do as much of the work yourself as is
reasonable? If so, what are your limitations as to skill
level and time?
- What wood species would you like to use? Ask this from
an aesthetics/style point of view and from the practical
- Are your budget constraints severe or do you consider
budget secondary to achieving the look or durability that
Questions that will lead you away from years of frustration.
Lets tackle these head-on one at a time.Hardwood floors are
only as good as the subfloor they are installed over." Most
solid hardwood flooring (example: standard 3/4" x 2 1/4" side
and end-matched random length flooring) will need to be
nailed-down or stapled-down for installation. This can be top
nailing through the face or blind-nailed through the tongue.
Therefore, the subfloor will need to be something that will
accept and hold a nail or staple. Cement, of course, will not
work. Particleboard is not recommended as it will not hold a
nail. Plywood or Tongue and Groove decking products over joist
are recommended for most installations. Note that existing
vinyl floors, glued-down carpets etc. would not be suitable. So
take them out and get down to the solid flat, level and dry
The optimum situation for installing a hardwood floor is
on-grade, i.e. level with the exterior grounds height, on joist
or a post and beam construction. One area to check is proper
ventilation of the crawl space or basement below the subfloor
you are installing over. Poor ventilation in this area will
result in problems such as cupping or warping of the hardwood.
This may not show for months or even years after the floor has
Solid wood floors are the most common. These floors are made
of one solid piece of hardwood from top to bottom. This has the
most familiar, more traditional "look" and the one which offers
the biggest opportunity to create unique patterns.
Solid products are the most susceptible to moisture.
Installation Method: Solid Hardwood can only be installed
as a nail-down/staple-down installation. Therefore it can be
installed only over a wood subfloor. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE ARE
Natural Reflections Hardwood and Westhollow 5/16” Solid.
These floors can be glued over concrete or stapled quickly over
- During months when interiors are heated, moisture
evaporates; causing the floor to contract, leaving
- In the summer months or during times of high humidity,
moisture seep into the wood, causing it to expand or
Engineered hardwood refers to products that are made of
layers of wood bonded together to form one board. Three to five
layers are bonded in a "cross grain" lamination process
resulting in a dimensionally stable plank. These are not
affected to the same degree by moisture as in the solid plank
floors. The layers are formed with fingers, veneers or slats,
creating a very stable and strong floor that does not expand or
contract as much as solid wood. These floors can typically be
installed above, below or on grade. A floating installation,
direct glue down or staple down method may be used depending on
**NEVER INSTALL A
HARDWOOD FLOOR WITHOUT FOLLOWING THE MANUFACTURER'S