Solid Wood Flooring

Your guide to solid wood flooring.

When it comes to choosing a flooring surface for your home or business, nothing can match the beauty, elegance and feel of solid wood flooring. But selecting the right floor for your space can be challenging – with so many types of wood and options for customization, how do you know what type of floor will best suit your needs?

Here’s a short introduction designed to answer frequently asked questions about the ins and outs of solid wood flooring.

The ease of installing wide plank solid wood flooring.The ease of installing wide plank solid wood flooring.

With more than 50 years of experience designing and handcrafting wide plank floors, the artisan craftsman at Carlisle are experts in preparing floors for smooth and easy installation. Many installers prefer working with Carlisle floors because there are fewer seams and fewer boards to install. Our floors can be installed using a combination of staples, nails and/or glue, or with direct glue down installation. Our prefinished floors make installation even easier as there is no sanding, staining or finishing required on site. We provide installers with helpful tip sheets that can help to maximize the beauty and durability of a new Carlisle wide plank floor, ensuring it will stand the test of time.

With more than 50 years of experience designing and handcrafting wide plank floors, the artisan craftsman at Carlisle are experts in preparing floors for smooth and easy installation. Many installers prefer working with Carlisle floors because there are fewer seams and fewer boards to install. Our floors can be installed using a combination of staples, nails and/or glue, or with direct glue down installation. Our prefinished floors make installation even easier as there is no sanding, staining or finishing required on site. We provide installers with helpful tip sheets that can help to maximize the beauty and durability of a new Carlisle wide plank floor, ensuring it will stand the test of time.

Carlisle: a global leader in solid wood flooring.

For more than 50 years, Carlisle has provided leadership and innovation in the solid wood flooring industry. Our expertise, pride and passion for creating masterpieces in wood ensures that your Carlisle floor will exceed your expectations and delight you for years to come. Our craftsmen are true New England artisans with a love and feel for fine wood. They painstakingly scour every board to understand the story it is telling through color variation and grain patterns, and they attend to every detail to make sure your floor meets your high expectations.

Our forest-to-floor ethic and our commitment to sustainable forestry ensures that we can preserve natural resources while producing the most beautiful solid wood flooring in the world. Our unwavering commitment to customer service means that our representatives will be available every step of the way to answer questions, offer guidance and make the process of creating your floor as pleasurable as living on it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is rift sawn or quartersawn solid flooring?

Rift sawn and quartersawn floorboards are cut with special techniques that help to minimize grain variation and produce a more consistent look. Quartersawn oak flooring, for example, is cut at 90° angles to produce straight parallel lines that run the length of the plank, with vibrant ray flecks radiating across each board. The result is a strikingly beautiful hardwood floor that is perfect for more modern, elegant home decor.

What is reclaimed solid wood flooring?

Reclaimed wood flooring refers to floors made with boards that have been salvaged from old buildings like barns, factories and warehouses. These aged timbers, complete with nail holes, wormholes, cracks splits and discoloration, add an instant sense of history and authenticity to any floor.

Can I change the color of solid wood flooring?

Yes. Solid wood flooring can usually be sanded and refinished with different stain colors, depending on how many times the floor has been previously refinished.

Can solid wood flooring be textured or distressed?

Yes. There are a number of ways to distress solid wood flooring to give it the appearance of floorboards that have been lived on for generations. Common techniques include adding saw marks and hand scraped edges. At Carlisle, we offer proprietary techniques that give new boards the appearance of wood that has been worn down by weather, age and traffic. Distressed flooring can add warmth and visual interest to any room.

What is engineered vs. solid wood flooring?

While solid wood flooring uses boards cut from a single piece of hardwood, engineered floorboards are made by gluing multiple layers of material together. Engineered cherry wood flooring, for example, has a top veneer of cherry wood which is glued to layers of backing material such as plywood, pressboard, fiberboard or, in the case of Carlisle’s superior products, Baltic Birch. This type of construction forms a strong core that is more resistant than solid wood flooring to large changes in humidity or temperature. Engineered flooring is ideal for homes where the relative humidity is much higher in summer, or in places like basements, over radiant heating systems and on concrete slabs.

What is prefinished solid wood flooring?

Typically, solid wood flooring is finished on site, meaning it must be sanded, stained and sealed after it has been installed. The result can be messy and inconvenient – sawdust seems to find its way into every crack and the premise must be vacated for a day or more while the sealants are applied. On the other hand, products such as prefinished oak flooring are sanded, stained and sealed before they are delivered and installed in a home or business, eliminating all the mess and inconvenience.

Any suggestions for how to care for solid wood flooring?

Solid wood flooring is easy to care for. In addition to sweeping the floor to keep it free of debris that may create scratches, you can use a simple mixture of vinegar and water to loosen dirt and contaminants and keep the floor clean.

What is wide plank solid wood flooring?

Wide plank wood floors are made with floorboards that are anywhere from 5″ to 20″ in width. When compared to standard commercial flooring, which uses boards that are no more than 3″ wide, it’s easy to see why wide plan floors are so prized. With fewer seams between boards, wide plank floors have a much more spacious and harmonious feel – they lack the “busy” appearance of standard commercial floors. Wide plank floors also allow the grain patterns and personality of the hardwood to shine through, and give any room a greater sense of elegance and luxury.

What are the benefits of solid wood flooring?

Solid wood flooring offers a number of benefits over carpet, the other most common flooring surface.

  • Easy to clean. Solid wood flooring is much easier to clean than carpet and is more resistant to spills and stains.
  • Longer lasting. While carpet must be frequently replaced, solid wood flooring is designed to last a lifetime.
  • More flexible. With many options for coloration and design, solid wood flooring will complement any décor.
  • Improved air quality. Solid wood flooring offers no hiding places for allergens, dander, pollen and other matter that can reduce air quality and plague allergy sufferers.
  • Better acoustics. Solid wood flooring makes for a more acoustically pleasing space.
  • Cost-effectiveness. While installing solid wood flooring may initially cost more than carpet, wood floors last much longer and are a more cost-effective alternative over time.

Does solid wood flooring come in different colors?

Hardwood floors can be easily stained to a wide variety of colors. At Carlisle, we offer stains in a virtually unlimited assortment of hues, allowing you to select light Ash floors or dark Maple floors, for example.

What is solid wood flooring?

Solid wood flooring is a surface that is fashioned with strips or planks of hardwood that are adhered to a subsurface such as plywood or concrete to form a stable floor. Solid wood flooring is typically made from species of hardwood trees such as Oak, Birch, Walnut, Cherry, Maple, Hickory and other species. Each type of wood offers differences in coloration and grain patterns. For example, Reclaimed Chestnut hardwood flooring has a rich brown or cocoa color with red and gold highlights, along with prominent dark wood grain, while Cherry solid wood flooring offers a burnished auburn color with subtle but distinctive flowing grain patterns.