Select a step:

Choose the type of wood

Unfinished flooring requires installation, sanding, staining, and finishing onsite. Unfinished flooring is most commonly installed with a square edge, but is also available with a beveled edge. The square edge custom flooring allows the floor to have a flat surface over the entire area, since it is sanded onsite. The beveled edge custom flooring has a defined edge between each individual plank.

Prefinished flooring is factory sanded and finished and only needs installation. Prefinished flooring is most commonly installed with a beveled or pillowed edge, but is also available with a square edge. The beveled and pillowed edge prefinished flooring hides any unevenness there may be in the subfloor as it is installed, since the flooring is not sanded onsite. The square edge prefinished flooring does not hide any unevenness in the subfloor, so the floor will not be as flat as a square edge custom flooring.

For more information see Our Services page under Installation.

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Pick out a species of wood

There are many wood flooring species, common and exotic, available to the consumer today. Each species varies in color, grain, hardness, and stability. The most common species are pictured below. Place your cursor over the pictures to see the benefits and concerns of each particular specie.

  • American Cherry

  • American Walnut

  • Ash

  • Australian Cypress

  • Beech

  • Birch

  • Brazilian Cherry

  • Brazilian Walnut

  • Heart Pine

  • Hickory

  • Maple

  • Red Oak

  • White Oak

  • Santos Mahogany

  • Sapele

  • Spotted Gum

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Choose the thickness and width of the flooring

Wood flooring is available in thickness ranging from 3/8″ to 3/4″. Depending on the species and thickness of wood the widths available are 1-1/2″ to 8″. Separation and contraction can occur in any wood floor; however, wider widths of wood increase the likelihood of separation between individual planks.

Unfinished standard engineered wood flooring is available in 5/8″ thickness. Prefinished standard engineered wood flooring is available in 3/8″ and 1/2″ thickness. Engineered wood flooring can be used on ground, above ground, and below ground level. Engineered wood flooring is more dimensionally stable so it can be installed in areas where solid wood is not compatible. Engineered is recommended when there is clearance concerns in kitchens or transition concerns from room to room.

Solid standard wood flooring is available in 3/4″ thickness. Solid wood flooring can be installed on ground and above ground level, but not below ground level. Solid wood flooring should be installed in a moisture controlled environment. Solid wood flooring requires a wood subfloor.

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Decide on the grade of wood

All grades of wood are equally strong and of the same quality but allow the consumer different styles. The grades range from cleanest appearance with limited grain, knots, color variation, and limited short boards to a rustic appearance with the most natural features and character. The three most common grades of red oak are pictured below.

With the select grade of red oak, you will notice a uniform color with minimal variation throughout the floor.
With the #1 grade of red oak, you will notice minimal variation in color between planks and a small number of knot holes throughout the floor.
With the #2 grade of red oak, you will notice predominant variation in color between planks, mineral streaks, numerous knot holes, and shorter boards throughout the floor.

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Option for additional features

Wood flooring can be enhanced with a simple strip border around the perimeter of the room or an intricate medallion in a foyer or great room. Custom designs give homeowners a one-of-kind floor and add individual character in a home.

Borders can accent your entry ways or foyer, make an effective combination with an area rug, complement your kitchen cabinets, outline your fireplace, and create a beautiful transition between rooms. Borders are available in a multiple sizes, wood species, and designs.


Medallions can also personalize your entryway or foyer. You can create your own one of a kind medallion for custom order, such as corporate logos. Medallions are available in a multiple sizes, wood species, and designs.


Vents add the final touch to your hardwood floor. Vents are available in self rimming vents, flush mount vents, and custom cold air returns. Vents are available in multiple, sizes, wood species, and styles.


Wood floor are installed perpendicular to the floor joist for stability. Floors can also be installed at a diagonal to add personal design to your floor.

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Decide on the stain color

There are a range of stain colors available to choose. The DuraSeal stain colors we use are pictured below in there straight color. Customer may mix stain colors and thin down stain colors. We prefer customers select the stain color on the jobsite the day we are sanding the floor, so they can choose a color that complements the existing furnishings in the lighting you have in your home. Click the picture to be directed to DuraSeal Product site.


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Choose the finish type and finish sheen level

There are three types of wood floor finishes available with their own distinct benefit and appearance. Customers should select the finish that best fits the customers’ style.

Oil based finishes allow the natural or warmer hues of the wood to come out when finished. These finishes will amber with age or with high exposure to sunlight. These finishes have a moderate odor.

Water based finishes will tone down the natural colors of the wood making red tones into more pinkish tones. These finishes have a UV- protectant, so it will not amber or yellow with age but may lighten color over time. These finishes have a milder odor than oil based finishes.

Emulsion finishes are oil modified water based finished that have the appearance of oil based finished with water based characteristics.

The types of wood floor finish sheens available vary in the degree of luster. Customers should select the best sheen that fits the customers’ lifestyle and needs.

Semi-Gloss sheens have a medium luster.

Satin sheens have a dull appearance. These sheens are easier to keep clean and do not make starches as noticeable.

Our standards are oil base semi-gloss and water base satin, which are pictured below on red oak. All three finish types are available in both sheen levels.


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