At Real Wood Floors, we're committed to environmental stewardship. We work to achieve this by manufacturing intelligently designed hardwood flooring. We partner with like-minded lumber suppliers and make our products with a thick wear layer of hardwood to last for years. Our environmentally conscious manufacturing process begins in the Eastern and Midwest forests of the U.S. There, only the finest quality hardwoods are selected and cut into lumber, which is then properly dried. This drying process ensures stability in the finished product. Once dried, the lumber is re-sawn into veneer that will later be used as the top layer of your finished hardwood floor. Real Wood Floors only uses sawn-cut veneers to produce the look of a real solid floor. This provides the stability and functionality of an engineered floor.
Your final hardwood floor product is composed of a top layer of veneer and a backing made from Baltic Birch. The Baltic Birch is processed into the plywood to lend greater dimensional stability to your Real Wood Floors product that can be achieved in solid flooring. Once the veneer and Baltic Birch have adhered, we place the product in a hydraulic press to ensure a good bond before adding the molded tongue and groove to each product.
Our manufacturing process provides added stability to each piece of hardwood flooring we produce. This added stability allows our engineered flooring to be installed directly to concrete subfloors and unlike solid flooring, our products can be installed below grade in basements.
The backing of our flooring is made from a variety of hardwoods that are chosen both for their hardness and stability as well as abundance. We conserve our most precious hardwood resources, the top wear layer, by attaining a higher yield in the engineering process and combine it with the backing made from plentiful woods that form a stable and durable floor. These floors are more dimensionally stable than solid wood flooring and can be glued directly to concrete.
The picture below illustrates a typical solid wood floor manufacturing process. In it, a 1-inch thick piece of lumber yields one plank of traditional 3⁄4 inch wood flooring.
Real Wood Floors uses the same 1-inch thick piece of slow-growth hardwood lumber to create at least 4 veneers which are then applied to a multilayered, plywood style bottom which utilizes fast growing, plantation-harvested hardwood. This final multilayered product has a fraction of the hardwood but still contains virtually the same amount of usable, sandable top layer thickness as solid flooring. This is because solid flooring requires nails, cleats, or staples to attach it to a subfloor, lying only about 3/16 to 1/4 of an inch from the surface. Over the life of the solid floor, only that amount of wear-layer can be sanded.
Without properly understanding the manufacturing process, designers can unknowingly specify wood flooring that is inherently wasteful of the raw materials. By utilizing multiple widths, grades and species, wood flooring specifications can keep resource stewardship in mind. For more information about Green Specifying, read our article published in Hardwood Floors magazine.
Contrary to popular belief, the hardwood forests of the United States are now more than sustainable. They've effectively been sustainable for many years. The reason is the harvesting rate is far less than the rate of growth. According to the U.S. Forest Service, there were 119 percent more hardwood trees in America in 2007 than in 1953, with the growth-to-removal ratio of 2.00 (two new trees for every one removed). Hardwood flooring is the only truly sustainable flooring product.
While we are known for our quality engineered hardwoods, we have always appreciated the classic elegance and sophistication of a well-made solid wood floor. This appreciation, combined with an innovative design sense, has inspired the team at Real Wood Floors to craft a line of premium solid hardwood flooring for your home.
Our process for building high-quality floors begins with the materials. We use only the finest quality lumber while keeping our environment in mind. Through practices such as green specifying and sustainable forestry, we are able to cut down on waste while making sure that the forests we harvest our supplies from remain healthy and thriving.
Our next step is to dry out the wood in order to improve the strength of the finished floor. After the wood is properly dried, we cut in a tongue and groove functionality to make installation easier and more efficient. Once completed, we finish the surface with the proper stain and texture resulting in a beautiful ¾ inch piece of wood flooring.