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How Wood Flooring is Made

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Wood Flooring TypeThe major benefit of wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished after it has been aged through use and the restoration of the wood rejuvenates it back to its original condition. This means it can last for many generations.

There are a lot of different types of wood flooring available and they come with different properties and price ranges. The one thing that they all have in common is that they start off as trees which are cut down and sent to the timber mill. At the mill, the wood for flooring is selected by its quality and then cut one inch thick by a machine.

Preparation for Processing

When it arrives at the factory it is checked for quality and carefully measured. Once the wood passes the quality control it is then stacked in a kiln for drying.

The stacked wood is structured to allow the greatest surface volume of the wood to be exposed to air. This allows the drying process to be evenly distributed throughout the entire structure.

Different species of tree produce different properties of wood so the time necessary for drying the wood can vary. Generally it takes between 10 and 35 days in the kiln to correctly acclimate the material.

Cutting and Planing

Once the drying process has been successfully completed, the next stage is to cut it to specification. It is placed into a machine that uses rip saws to cut the width and length.

Planers are then used to refine the surface of the board. At this stage in the process the boards are cut to their correct overall dimensions and their surfaces are smooth.

Tongue and Groove

Standard floor boards have a tongue and groove which allow them to slot into each other. This creates a much stronger structure for the finished floor.

Furthermore, floor boards will expand and contract in response to temperature and humidity changes and the tongue and groove helps prevent gaps appearing at the sides of the boards in the completed floor.

A machine is used to cut a tongue in one side of the board and a groove in the other side. The slots are tested for consistency so that they do in fact interlock securely.

Sorting and Grading

At this point they are complete floor boards and they are sorted into grades:

  • Select
  • Natural
  • Rustic
  • Utility
  • Odd Lots

They are bound into batches and sent to the warehouse. Some of the boards are ready to be sold and the rest of the boards will go through a finishing process which adds a surface to it.

Refinishing Plant

The pre-finished boards are sent to the finishing plant where they are run through a finishing machine. The machine uses a roller to paint the surface.

Once they leave the painting area of the machine they dry instantly and are immediately arranged and boxed. The boxes are placed onto a pallet and transported to the warehouse ready for distribution.

The finished boards are considered to be of a higher quality and certainly more expensive. They don’t have the same problems of uneven finishes or discoloration compared with the boards that are finished after the floor has been fitted.

If you’ve ever had wood floors before, you know how important it is to maintain it with a proper hardwood vacuum. Using a regular top rated vacuum intended for carpets can actually cause more harm than good.

Written by Rachel

July 1st, 2013 at 3:42 am

Posted in Home & Family

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