Basically, any flooring made of wood that is installed with nails or staples on a wood foundation is hardwood flooring. The flooring does not have to be a hardwood. It can be made from a range of woods from the very soft wood like pine or to the very hard wood like rosewood.
Most hardwood floors are made of the plentiful and easily attainable oak wood. There are two types of oak, red oak and white oak and it's important to know which on is installed in the home when there is a need of repair. They look similar unfinished but once finished the contrast is evident. Repairs are usually done on a portion of the floor and many times don't require refinishing the entire room after repair. The repaired section of the floor can sometimes be blended closely to match the existing floor.
Oak is also sensitive to climate conditions. During winter months floors may develop spaces or cracks between the planks only to disappear or close during the summer. If water is left standing on the floor or accumulates between the floor and the subfloor (base or underlayment to which the floor is nailed), the planks will swell and cup ( become and appear wavy). With this happening the floor may not need to be replaced because it usually settles back in place after 2 to 3 months.
The most common up keep to the floors is refinishing which, unless something really drastic or catastrophic happens to the floor, may only be required on average every 20 to 30 years. If the floor is not worn through to the bare wood and still have a finish, although discolored, throughout the surface of the floor then re-coating the finish may be all that's needed. The big difference between the two is that refinishing my require up to five days not being able to walk on the floor while re-coating may only require one day.
That Good Ole Handyman can evaluate your floor to help you determine your repair, replacement and finishing options.
Contact us for more information.