Wood Facts


Hardwood flooring is renowned for its natural beauty and durability. Its classic good looks harmonize with any architectural theme or interior design, and it’s an especially good choice to create visual room-to-room continuity for homes with open floor plans.

Hardwood flooring comes as strips or planks 4 to 8 inches wide. Domestic species include oak, maple and black walnut. Regional varieties, such as pecan and mesquite, are not widely distributed but offer distinctive grain patterns. The availability of exotic species of hardwoods varies with market conditions, and popular imported varieties include Brazilian cherry and more.

Coatings for prefinished hardwood have benefited from technological advancements, and finishes may include additives such as ceramics, aluminum oxide, and acrylic monomers that produce incredibly tough surfaces.

Hardwood retail costs $5 to $8 per square foot, and specialty products and select varieties may be as high as $14 per square foot. Expect to pay $6 to $12 per square foot for professional installation.


This increasingly popular flooring material is often thought of as wood, although it isn’t a hardwood but a grass. Bamboo strands are glued together to form solid strips or engineered planks, just like hardwood. Bamboo has many varieties of species and this can greatly effect the quality. Sapphire is made from High grade materials. Cost to purchase and install are comparable to wood products.

Grain patterns include flat, vertical and woven. Flat grains display the intermittent growth nodes characteristic of the grass; vertical grains pack the strands closely together to produce a fine-grained appearance. Woven types have sinewy patterns.

Bamboo is tough and durable. Because it comes from plants that are easy to grow and regenerate quickly, bamboo is considered a sustainable material and an environmentally friendly flooring choice. N

Expect to pay $1 to $3 for a low grade bamboo, $5 to $8 per square foot for high grade bamboo flooring, and $6 to $12 per square foot installed.

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