If you have been shopping for new hardwood flooring you have probably realized that you have many choices to make. What species of wood, what finish, and of course what board size. There are several different standard hardwood board sizes available but they all fall into two basic categories – strips (narrower boards) and planks (wider boards). Which size you opt for can change the way the finished floor looks completely. Usually strips work well in smaller rooms as they can give them a larger appearance while wide planks work better in larger spaces.
Various different hardwood boards also have differing edge styles which can also impact the way the finished product will look. Here is a brief explanation of the edge types that are most commonly available.
Square Edges – If a hardwood board has square edges the edges of all the boards are quite literally designed to meet squarely which creates a neat uniform smooth surface that blends together almost seamlessly. Square edges boards usually work very well to lend a very contemporary air to the room in which they are installed.
Eased Edges – Eased edges are created when the edges of each plank or strip are beveled just a small amount. Some hardwood boards that are labeled as eased edge have been beveled along the length of the entire plank as well as at the ends to create a rather different look when the floor is laid. Eased edges are often used to camouflage slight imperfections in the planks themselves as well.
Beveled Edges – if you idea of a great room has a more informal, or even perhaps “country” feel to it then you will probably like the look of hardwood boards with beveled edges. These strips and planks have beveled grooves that are rather distinctive. Some people do not consider beveled boards as an option as they fear that dirt and debris trapped between the grooves will make the finished floor harder to clean. This is not true in the case of modern hardwood flooring though as the way they are finished at the factory means that those grooves are completely sealed with urethane.
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