Your log cabin is made from solid wood logs. Solid hardwood flooring complements and adds to the traditional look of your log cabin log walls. As the name suggests, the flooring is cut from a solid piece of log.
The harder the wood, the longer lasting and less susceptible to wear and ‘dinging’ it is. There is a hardness index (Janka Hardness Scale) that measures the relative hardness of different wood species. The chart below shows this rating for various popular flooring choices.
White Ash 1320
American Beech 1300
Paper Birch 910
Black Cherry 950
Douglas Fir 660
Hard Maple 1450
Red Oak 1290
White Oak 1360
Brazilian Cherry 2350
Hardwoods can be laid down in several styles. Most commonly, they are laid out in linear strips that are 2 ¼” or 3 ¼’ wide. Planks are wider pieces than are also linear but up to widths of 4” and higher. The narrower width strips provide a more formal look while the wider widths are more country looking and log cabin oriented. Finally, hardwood can be put down in a parquet style in which the pieces of wood form a repeated geometric design. The hardwood boards are manufactured in lengths between 1’-7’. The boards are ¾” deep.
Solid wood flooring is available in either unfinished or prefinished versions. Unfinished wood must be sanded and covered with several coats of finish after being installed. The finishing process takes several days to a week to complete. Prefinished hardwood has already been factory finished and is ready for use immediately after installation.
Solid hardwood flooring is sensitive to moisture. It is not recommended for placement over concrete, below ground level or over radiant heated floors. You can sand and refinish it up to seven times during its 80 to 100 year lifetime.
Hardwood flooring pieces are given a grade based on their appearance. Higher graded pieces have better uniformity of appearance. The grades in order of quality are:
Clear grade – has most uniform color, lack of blemishes and knots
Select & Better – has very uniform color, virtually no blemishes or knots
Country or Exclusive – differing color, small pinholes and tiny knots
Traditional, Antique, Character – light and dark color, pinholes, knots and small checks
Tavern or Cabin – light and dark color, pinholes and knots are quite evident
It sounds like from the grades that log cabins should automatically fall into the bottom grade ranking. To be honest with you, I agree. I won’t mind seeing knots and checks on my log cabin walls nor on my floors.