Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber. Solid hardwood floors were originally used for structural purposes, being installed perpendicular to the wooden support beams of a building known as joists or bearers. Solid wood flooring is milled from a single piece of timber that is kiln or air dried before sawing. Depending on the desired look of the floor, the timber can be cut in three ways: flat-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. The timber is cut to the desired dimensions and either packed unfinished for a site-finished installation or finished at the factory. The moisture content at time of manufacturing is carefully controlled to ensure the product does not warp during transport and storage. Many solid woods come with grooves cut into the back of the wood that run the length of each plank, often called 'absorption strips,' that are intended to reduce cupping. Solid wood floors are mostly manufactured .75 inches (19 mm) thick with a tongue-and-groove for installation.
Solid wood has some limitations. Recommended maximum widths and lengths are typically 5" / 127mm wide and 7' / 2100mm long. Solid hardwood is also more prone to "gapping" (excessive space between planks), "crowning" (convex curving upwards when humidity increases) and "cupping" (a concave or "dished" appearance of the plank, with the height of the plank along its longer edges being higher than the center) with increased plank size. Solid wood cannot be used with underfloor radiant heating.
The old style of sand and finish in one’s home today is yesterday's technology. We only use manufactures that use a multiple step finish process. Once a selected stain is applied, each plank is covered with numerous top coats of a protective layering either armomax, polyurethane or aluminum oxide depending on the manufacturer, then flashed cured under UV lights. This process increases the hardness in the planks making it more scratch and dent resistant. Another feature is it minimizes color change when exposed to sunlight over time, so the color of your stain will stay more uniform. Only in a controlled robotic environment can this finished process be achieved.
The Tongue-and-groove method is one side and one end of the plank have a groove, the other side and end have a tongue (protruding wood along an edge's center). The tongue and groove fit snugly together, thus joining or aligning the planks, and are not visible once joined.