Design

Our design page was created to give you the opportunity to look through the different grades of wood, finishes, bevels, and more for your hardwood flooring project. Your Warren Christopher concierge will work with you to explain all of the options and to determine the most appropriate choice for your project needs.

WOOD TYPES

SOLID WOOD

Solid wood is most commonly nailed, or nailed and glued to a plywood subfloor. 

  • Standard Thickness is 3/4″. Custom thickness upon request.
  • Board widths range from 3″ – 12″ wide. Wider boards available upon request.
  • Board lengths are 2′ – 10′ random lengths. Longer lengths available upon request.

ENGINEERED WOOD

Engineered wood is typically glued down to concrete subfloors, but can be glued and nailed to plywood. This type of installation often includes an additional soundproofing or moisture-blocking barrier. 

  • Standard Thickness is 5/8″ or 3/4″. Custom thickness upon request.
  • Standard hardwood top layer is 4.5 mm for 5/8″ thick planks.
  • 3/4″ thick engineered planks have a 6mm top layer.
  • Board widths range from 3″ – 12″ wide. Wider boards available upon request.
  • Board lengths are 2′ – 10′ random lengths. Longer lengths available upon request.

FINISHES

When choosing the right type of finish for your wood floors, consider your lifestyle as well as your maintenance preferences. All wood floors will require ongoing care such as sweeping or dust mopping to keep them looking beautiful and new, but your choice of finish will greatly impact the care of your flooring longterm—as well as how it will look in the years to come. Your Warren Christopher design consultant will walk you through the pros and cons of each finish, suggesting the one that's right for you and your project needs.

SURFACE FINISHES are very popular because they are durable, water-resistant, and require minimal maintenance. Surface finishes are blends of synthetic resins. These finishes are usually referred to as urethanes or polyurethanes, and form a protective coating on the surface of the wood. There are several types of surface finishes available: water-based, oil-based, acid-cured, and moisture-cured.

Water-based or waterborne finishes appear clear and will resist yellowing over time. They have a mild odor when applied, and will dry in two to three hours. Water-based finishes are very durable, and can leave your wood floors feeling more polished, and can yield a higher sheen than many other finishing methods.

Benefits: Environmentally, water-based finishes don’t contain the same solvents as an oil-based finish, so are much less toxic. Unlike oil finishes, this method can yield a much higher sheen. As it is extremely durable, it is suitable for heavy-traffic residential and commercial hardwood floors.

Considerations: As this is a polyurethane-type finish, water-based finishes cover the wood (as opposed to wax or natural oils that absorb and bond with the wood fibers). It has a unique application method that limits it to hand application at the factory or job-site application on unfinished flooring.

Sheen: Matte, Satin, Semi-Gloss, Gloss

Ease of Repair: Good

Natural Oil finishes appear amber in color. They have a moderate odor when applied, and will dry to a matte finish in about eight hours. Oil-based finishes are very durable, and leave your wood floors feeling more natural. Another option is to choose a UV Oil—cured via ultraviolet light and so immediately dry once it runs through the machine at the factory.

Benefits: Based on vegetable oils and non-aromatic solvents, our natural oil finish doesn’t contain wax. Instead, the oil penetrates the surface of the wood, then hardens to form a protective surface that becomes a protective and beautiful part of your wood floor. Small scratches and indentations caused by normal wear and tear are less noticeable and can be easily repaired.

Considerations: This finish has a unique application method that limits it to hand application at the factory or job-site application on unfinished flooring.

Sheen: Ultra Matte, Matte, Satin, Semi-Gloss, or Gloss

Ease of Repair: Excellent

UV Oil finishes have an extremely thin coat which makes for an attractive matte/satin finish. The oil penetrates the surface and provides rich appearance rarely seen in conventional UV Urethane floors. UV oil finish can also be produced with a very low gloss level (10%) that reflects a minimal amount of light. This lack of gloss is beneficial when it come to dents, dings, and other common house hold or commercial mishaps.

Benefits: Oil finishes are extremely easy to repair and blend, without any noticeable spots. It’s as easy as rubbing touch up oil into the wood and letting it dry for one hour.   Environmentally, UV oil is made of 100% solids and contains no solvents or after cure products. There is no post installation off-gassing of any kind. 

Considerations: Oil finishes are ideal for commercial applications, where there will be considerable wear on the floor.

Sheen: Matte/Satin

Ease of Repair: Excellent

HARD WAX FINISHES soak into the pores of the wood and harden to form a protective penetrating seal, which appears low luster and amber in color.  Produced from natural materials such as vegetable oil and natural waxes, these wax finishes have a mild odor when applied, and will dry in a variable amount of time depending on the type of wax used and the job-site conditions.  

Benefits: This finish is an non-toxic zero-VOC natural product with no biocides or preservatives, and is lead-benzene free. Produced from natural materials such as vegetable oil and natural waxes from purified, renewable natural resources, the special features of this finish allows the oils to penetrate deeply into the wood, while the wax remains on the surface for a natural matte finish, creating a protective layer offering a resilient and enduring finish.

Considerations: Though wax finishes are durable, they will eventually show spots from water and other contaminates.

Sheen: Ultra Matte, Matte

Ease of Repair: Excellent

WOOD GRADES

Hardwood grading designations are determined by the National Hardwood Lumber Association and depend on the number of defects in a board and its overall appearance. All grades are equally strong and serviceable, but each affords you a different look. A lower grade can be quite acceptable for your project, depending on placement and usage, and, with its character and patina, you may even find it to be more beautiful!

Prime Grade (Clear) is a flooring product with minimal character marks, providing a uniform appearance.

Select Wood (Select) is a flooring product with natural heartwood/sapwood color variations that can include knots, streaks, etc.

Light Rustic Grade (No. 1 Common) is varied in appearance, featuring knots and some variation in color.

Rustic Grade (No. 2 Common) is rustic in appearance, allowing all wood characteristics of the species.

TYPES OF WOOD CUTS

The angle at which a board is cut determines the look of the finished product. Wood flooring is either plainsawn, quartersawn or rift sawn. 

Plainsawn The most common cut, typified by its pleasing appearance and varied grain. It’s the easiest way—and the most cost-efficient—to mill a log into planks.

Quartersawn More expensive than Plainsawn as it is more labor-intensive to produce, featuring greater wear resistance, less tendency to cup and twist, less shrinkage in width, and uniform grain appearance with ray flecks. Ray flecks are decorative figures that appear in flooring cut across the wood’s ray cells, creating a shimmering flake figure in the wood. The straight grain pattern especially lends itself to design.

Rift sawn Also more expensive than Plainsawn, this cut is similar to Quartersawn, but without the ray flecks. It is also referred to as radial grain.

Live sawn A unique method of sawing a log straight through its diameter, preserving the heart of the log, and all the grain and character variations seen throughout the lumber. Live sawing is a very efficient use of the lumber, and therefore creates less waste product. 

PSRQLSLogCutDiagSM.jpg

BEVELS

Square Edge

Mini Micro Bevel

Micro Bevel

Standard Bevel

Chattered Bevel/Broken Bevel

TEXTURES

Smooth Finish The board is sanded after being cut and is left with a smooth finish.

Wire Brushed The board is wire brushed after cutting, removing the softer sapwood and showcasing the grain of the plank.

Hand Scraped The board is hand-scraped with a specialized tool, creating an uneven surface which gives a room an antique warmth and ambience. This method gives a lot of character to the plank and, as it is done by hand, none of the planks will have the same pattern. As this method is labor intensive, it can be more expensive than other options, but these hand sculptured floors are extremely special. 

Distressed Similar to hand scraped but less pronounced, these planks are distressed by hand or machine to give your floor a rustic look, think “dings” and “dents."

Saw Marks The board is distressed with saw marks, either radial and/or linear.

Nail Holes The board is distressed with nail holes, either authentic and/or simulated.