Janka Hardness Scale

Click on any of the wood species listed and you can read all about its origin, country of origin and other interesting facts about each species. If you don't see a species list here, call us Toll-Free and one of our helpful service representatives will definitely be able to help you find the flooring you are looking for.

Definitions and Frequently Asked Questions

The grade of an installation site is determined by the relative elevation of the subfloor compared to the ground level around the house. On grade is the most standard grade, representing a subfloor of elevation at or very close to ground level. With this in mind, above grade then is the elevated status of a subfloor, such as a second floor or attic in which the installation site is significantly above the surrounding ground level. Below grade usually refers to a basement, sometimes specifically with a concrete subfloor.

To determine where your floor can be installed, you would refer to the manufacturer's recommendations. Usually, engineered hardwood floors are compatible with any of the three grades, while solid hardwood floors are only for use on or above grade. The reasoning behind this recommendation is that basements are extremely moisture retentive.

Solid hardwood floors, while being durable and attractive, are not as fundamentally stable as an engineered hardwood floor. Thus, they are vulnerable to moisture related issues that will cup and damage solid wood floors below grade. Manufacturer warranties will almost always be voided if a solid hardwood product is installed below grade.


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