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The Art of Wood Flooring: Direction, Joists, and Beauty

Posted on August 7, 2023

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Understanding Wood Flooring: Hardwood vs Engineered & Joist Direction

In the intricate dance of wood flooring, one might find themselves lost amid the cacophony of advice that echoes from every corner. Questions arise like whispers from ancient trees: should wood be laid across the joists, a framework of support? Or is it free to meander in any direction? And does this sacred wisdom change when the debate moves from the heartwood of traditional hardwood to the innovation of engineered floors? The essence, distilled from the wisdom of craftsmen and nature, is this: be it the timeless hardwood or the modern engineered variant, both are best honoured by laying them perpendicular to the joists. With the authentic wooden floors, this is imperative. The nails seek the firm embrace of the joists, anchoring the wood in place. Engineered floors, with their promise of simplicity—whether clicked in embrace or sealed with adhesive—are no different in their yearning. Though they could align with the joists, aesthetically, this might not be the most harmonious choice. For in those planks that lie atop a joist, the support is sturdier, a stark contrast to their unsupported brethren. Once touched by the artistry of sanding and finishing, even the faintest flex in the plank can distort the dance of light upon it, revealing the architecture beneath. Yet, if one’s heart is steadfast, desiring engineered planks to flow in tandem with the joists, nature and craftsmanship offer a solution. An intermediary layer, a canvas of half-inch plywood, can bridge the dreams of design and the exigencies of structure, before the final act of laying the flooring strips.

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This organic finish not only adds beauty to your home but also has exceptional water-repellent characteristics, making it easier to clean and maintain.

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This natural floor finish offers the softest and most mellow appearance – and leaves your floor able to breath.

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We offer a full assessment of your wooden floors to determine what repairs are needed to provide the perfect working surface for the later stages of sanding, staining and sealing. 

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