Artisan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Aluminum Oxide?
Refers to one of the newest and most durable finishes for wood flooring, that can only be factory-applied. Aluminum oxide is a suspension of aluminum rust particles in a urethane base. This finish is highly abrasion resistant, but slightly clouds the woods’ color and grain. In addition, pure aluminum oxide finishes cannot be screened and recoated. Therefore, the most high-quality prefinished products feature multiple base coats of aluminum-oxide, urethane mid layers, and hard anti-scratch top layers. These top layers can be screened and recoated, and provide the best balance between durability, maintenance, and clarity.
What does CSA mean?
Refers to the Canadian Standards Association. Much like the SFI, this organization sets high standards for 'wise use' of our forests. CSA certification ensures that the product comes from a responsible and renewable source.
What is an Eased Edge?
Refers to a square edge cut that has been rounded-off. This edge cut is essentially a combination of the square edge and microbevel.
What is an End Match?
This would be the answer to question 1.This would be the answer to question 1.This would be the answer to question 1.This would be the answer to question 1Refers to a tongue and groove that is cut into the short edges of a wood flooring product. This product feature helps keep a floor uniformly flat once it is'in service. Products that are end matched are often referred to as “four side tongue and groove'.
What is Engineered Wood?
Refers to a wood flooring product that is manufactured by gluing a hardwood veneer (layer) onto a plywood base. This type of flooring product is much more dimensionally stable than solid products, and can often be installed in a basement and over concrete.
What does floor grading mean?
Refers to the allowance of natural character marks, such as knots and mineral streaks, in a wood product. Consistent and accurate grading is critical to achieving the desired aesthetic in a wood floor.
What is Heartwood?
Refers to the older, non-living wood found at the core of a tree, which serves the sole function of support. Heartwood is usually darker and more durable than the surrounding sapwood.
What does Pre-Finished mean?
Refers to wood flooring products with a factory-applied finish. Prefinished wood flooring is installed much easier and quicker than unfinished flooring. Prefinished floors often feature a microbevel or an eased edge to compensate for the fact that these floors cannot be sanded for uniformity during installation. The modern factory finishes used on these products are more durable than site-applied finishes. Many different types of factory finishes are in use today, most of which are urethane based. The most modern prefinished wood floors feature multiple base coats of aluminum-oxide, urethane mid layers, and hard anti-scratch top layers. These modern finishes can be screened and recoated.
What is reclaimed wood?
Refers to material that has been salvaged from an existing building for reuse. Often, reclaimed materials undergo some remanufacturing to make them more suitable for reuse in construction.
What is Sapwood?
Refers to the softer live wood that grows on the outer portion of the tree, just under the bark. The sapwood is responsible for managing sap and mineral flow, and ultimately for the growth of the tree. Sapwood is usually lighter in color and softer than heartwood.
What is Solid Wood?
Refers to a wood flooring product milled from one solid piece of wood. Solid wood flooring generally should not be installed in a basement or over concrete.
What is tongue and groove?
Refers to “tab and slot” features cut into the edges of a wood product. T&G construction allows for easy assembly and allows nails to be hidden from view once the flooring has been installed. This product feature also helps keep a floor uniformly flat once it is in service. Nearly all modern wood flooring features T&G construction on the long edges; many products also feature a T&G groove on the short ends as well.
What is 'un-finished' wood?
Refers to wood flooring products that are intended to be finished at the job site, after installation. Unfinished wood flooring is more complicated to install than prefinished product, and requires much more time to complete the job. Because most unfinished products feature a square edge, the floor ultimately appears more uniform. Many people believe that these site-finished floors have a more elegant appeal because of their uniformity, and because many site-applied finishes also enhance the woods’ color and grain.
What is a square cut?
Refers to a sharp 90 degree edge cut. Square edges are most commonly used on unfinished flooring products which will be sanded after installation for uniformity. Most prefinished wood flooring products feature a microbevel or eased edge.
Urethane
Refers to polyurethane: a clear, elastic, petroleum based varnish commonly used to prefinish products at the factory, as well on unfinished products at the job site. In modern times, urethanes are modified with additives to affect drying time, durability, and clarity. Currently, aluminum oxide modified urethanes are one of the most common varnishes used on prefinished product. Respectively, oil-modified urethanes are the most commonly used site applied finishes; acid cure urethane (Swedish Finish), moisture cure urethane, and water-based urethane are also used on today’s unfinished floors.
Acid Cure Urethane (Swedish Finish)
Refers to a durable, non-yellowing site-applied finish. This type of finish dries by off-gassing heavy VOCs, and should be only used by professionals.
Moisture Cure Urethane
Refers to a very durable, non-yellowing site-applied finish, that has more moisture resistance than other types of finishes. Moisture cure urethanes dry by off-gassing heavy VOCs, and are difficult to apply. Therefore, this type of finish should be applied only by professionals.
Oil-Modified Urethane
Refers to the most commonly used site-applied finish. Oil-modified urethane is very easy to apply on most unfinished wood products, usually dries within eight hours, and ambers with age.
Water-Based Urethane
Refers to a durable, non-yellowing site-applied finish. This type of finish dries by water evaporation in about three hours, and releases comparatively few VOCs in the process. While water-based urethanes are more expensive, they are the only option for site-finishing some exotic species of wood.
Wax Finish
Refers to the oldest method of site-finishing unfinished flooring products. This finish is applied and maintained in thin layers which are then buffed, much like waxing a car. While this type of finish is easiest to apply and maintain, it does not protect the wood from wear.
What is Domestic Hardwood Flooring?
Domestic Hardwood Collection is where high-quality meets “green”. All domestic wood species that we offer are available 100% FSC Certified. This allows you to capture a traditional look while doing your part for the environment. All of the tongue and groove (T&G) domestic flooring is available in multiple grades, from regional wood species, and manufactured to the highest standards.
Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Reclaimed wood flooring encompasses a wide range of domestic and exotic species. These products are milled from antique timbers which are recovered from historical buildings. There is a finite supply of these antique wood products, and each has a story to tell, which is why these products are highly coveted by those of discriminating taste. Reclaimed hardwood products are environmentally responsible
Gloss finish?
Refers to how “shiny” a finish appears. Gloss levels are defined as a percentage; matte finishes having a low percentage of gloss, and mirror-like finishes having a high percentage of gloss.
Clear Grade
Refers to a wood flooring product that has been selected for near 100% heartwood content, and exhibits an absolute minimum occurrence of knots and mineral streaks. Some exceptions are made for certain species.
Select Grade
Refers to a wood flooring product that has been selected for a minimal occurrence of knots and mineral streaks, but may include sapwood.
Common Grade
Refers to a wood flooring product that exhibits a full range of natural character. Sapwood and heartwood are both allowed in this grade, along with full range of knots and mineral streaks. This grade is sub-divided into #1 Common and #2 Common, the former exhibiting less character and closed knots, and the latter exhibiting more character and open knots.
Rustic Grade
Refers to a wood flooring product that exhibits a full range of natural character, and in some species, allows the occurrence of holes through the pieces of flooring. In exotic species, this generally indicates high sapwood content and filled knots.
What is Aluminum Oxide?
Refers to one of the newest and most durable finishes for wood flooring, that can only be factory-applied. Aluminum oxide is a suspension of aluminum rust particles in a urethane base. This finish is highly abrasion resistant, but slightly clouds the woods’ color and grain. In addition, pure aluminum oxide finishes cannot be screened and recoated. Therefore, the most high-quality prefinished products feature multiple base coats of aluminum-oxide, urethane mid layers, and hard anti-scratch top layers. These top layers can be screened and recoated, and provide the best balance between durability, maintenance, and clarity.
Urethane
Refers to polyurethane: a clear, elastic, petroleum based varnish commonly used to prefinish products at the factory, as well on unfinished products at the job site. In modern times, urethanes are modified with additives to affect drying time, durability, and clarity. Currently, aluminum oxide modified urethanes are one of the most common varnishes used on prefinished product. Respectively, oil-modified urethanes are the most commonly used site applied finishes; acid cure urethane (Swedish Finish), moisture cure urethane, and water-based urethane are also used on today’s unfinished floors.
Acid Cure Urethane (Swedish Finish)
Refers to a durable, non-yellowing site-applied finish. This type of finish dries by off-gassing heavy VOCs, and should be only used by professionals.
Moisture Cure Urethane
Refers to a very durable, non-yellowing site-applied finish, that has more moisture resistance than other types of finishes. Moisture cure urethanes dry by off-gassing heavy VOCs, and are difficult to apply. Therefore, this type of finish should be applied only by professionals.
Oil-Modified Urethane
Refers to the most commonly used site-applied finish. Oil-modified urethane is very easy to apply on most unfinished wood products, usually dries within eight hours, and ambers with age.
Water-Based Urethane
Refers to a durable, non-yellowing site-applied finish. This type of finish dries by water evaporation in about three hours, and releases comparatively few VOCs in the process. While water-based urethanes are more expensive, they are the only option for site-finishing some exotic species of wood.
Wax Finish
Refers to the oldest method of site-finishing unfinished flooring products. This finish is applied and maintained in thin layers which are then buffed, much like waxing a car. While this type of finish is easiest to apply and maintain, it does not protect the wood from wear.
Gloss finish?
Refers to how “shiny” a finish appears. Gloss levels are defined as a percentage; matte finishes having a low percentage of gloss, and mirror-like finishes having a high percentage of gloss.
What is tongue and groove?
Refers to “tab and slot” features cut into the edges of a wood product. T&G construction allows for easy assembly and allows nails to be hidden from view once the flooring has been installed. This product feature also helps keep a floor uniformly flat once it is in service. Nearly all modern wood flooring features T&G construction on the long edges; many products also feature a T&G groove on the short ends as well.
What does CSA mean?
Refers to the Canadian Standards Association. Much like the SFI, this organization sets high standards for 'wise use' of our forests. CSA certification ensures that the product comes from a responsible and renewable source.
What is an Eased Edge?
Refers to a square edge cut that has been rounded-off. This edge cut is essentially a combination of the square edge and microbevel.
What is an End Match?
This would be the answer to question 1.This would be the answer to question 1.This would be the answer to question 1.This would be the answer to question 1Refers to a tongue and groove that is cut into the short edges of a wood flooring product. This product feature helps keep a floor uniformly flat once it is'in service. Products that are end matched are often referred to as “four side tongue and groove'.
What does Pre-Finished mean?
Refers to wood flooring products with a factory-applied finish. Prefinished wood flooring is installed much easier and quicker than unfinished flooring. Prefinished floors often feature a microbevel or an eased edge to compensate for the fact that these floors cannot be sanded for uniformity during installation. The modern factory finishes used on these products are more durable than site-applied finishes. Many different types of factory finishes are in use today, most of which are urethane based. The most modern prefinished wood floors feature multiple base coats of aluminum-oxide, urethane mid layers, and hard anti-scratch top layers. These modern finishes can be screened and recoated.
What is a square cut?
Refers to a sharp 90 degree edge cut. Square edges are most commonly used on unfinished flooring products which will be sanded after installation for uniformity. Most prefinished wood flooring products feature a microbevel or eased edge.
What is Domestic Hardwood Flooring?
Domestic Hardwood Collection is where high-quality meets “green”. All domestic wood species that we offer are available 100% FSC Certified. This allows you to capture a traditional look while doing your part for the environment. All of the tongue and groove (T&G) domestic flooring is available in multiple grades, from regional wood species, and manufactured to the highest standards.
Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Reclaimed wood flooring encompasses a wide range of domestic and exotic species. These products are milled from antique timbers which are recovered from historical buildings. There is a finite supply of these antique wood products, and each has a story to tell, which is why these products are highly coveted by those of discriminating taste. Reclaimed hardwood products are environmentally responsible
What is Engineered Wood?
Refers to a wood flooring product that is manufactured by gluing a hardwood veneer (layer) onto a plywood base. This type of flooring product is much more dimensionally stable than solid products, and can often be installed in a basement and over concrete.
What is Heartwood?
Refers to the older, non-living wood found at the core of a tree, which serves the sole function of support. Heartwood is usually darker and more durable than the surrounding sapwood.
What is reclaimed wood?
Refers to material that has been salvaged from an existing building for reuse. Often, reclaimed materials undergo some remanufacturing to make them more suitable for reuse in construction.
What is Sapwood?
Refers to the softer live wood that grows on the outer portion of the tree, just under the bark. The sapwood is responsible for managing sap and mineral flow, and ultimately for the growth of the tree. Sapwood is usually lighter in color and softer than heartwood.
What is Solid Wood?
Refers to a wood flooring product milled from one solid piece of wood. Solid wood flooring generally should not be installed in a basement or over concrete.
What is 'un-finished' wood?
Refers to wood flooring products that are intended to be finished at the job site, after installation. Unfinished wood flooring is more complicated to install than prefinished product, and requires much more time to complete the job. Because most unfinished products feature a square edge, the floor ultimately appears more uniform. Many people believe that these site-finished floors have a more elegant appeal because of their uniformity, and because many site-applied finishes also enhance the woods’ color and grain.
What does floor grading mean?
Refers to the allowance of natural character marks, such as knots and mineral streaks, in a wood product. Consistent and accurate grading is critical to achieving the desired aesthetic in a wood floor.
Clear Grade
Refers to a wood flooring product that has been selected for near 100% heartwood content, and exhibits an absolute minimum occurrence of knots and mineral streaks. Some exceptions are made for certain species.
Select Grade
Refers to a wood flooring product that has been selected for a minimal occurrence of knots and mineral streaks, but may include sapwood.
Common Grade
Refers to a wood flooring product that exhibits a full range of natural character. Sapwood and heartwood are both allowed in this grade, along with full range of knots and mineral streaks. This grade is sub-divided into #1 Common and #2 Common, the former exhibiting less character and closed knots, and the latter exhibiting more character and open knots.
Rustic Grade
Refers to a wood flooring product that exhibits a full range of natural character, and in some species, allows the occurrence of holes through the pieces of flooring. In exotic species, this generally indicates high sapwood content and filled knots.

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