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 – Square edges on a hardwood flooring board are exactly what they sound like – perfectly square edges that fit together smoothly and almost seamlessly. These boards are usually used to create a look that is very uniform and rather contemporary.
Eased Edges – Hardwood planks with eased edges have been carefully beveled but just a little. Sometimes a hardwood flooring manufacturer will bevel both the length of the plank itself as well as the end joints to create a slightly different look. Eased edges are also rather good for disguising an imperfection in the wood itself, such as slightly uneven plank heights (which can happen)
Beveled Edges – If you want to create a room that has a more informal, even perhaps “country” feel to it then hardwood boards with beveled edges are just the ticket for you. These boards display a groove that is far more distinctive and noticeable. Some people shy away from bevel edged boards because they think they might be harder to take care of once the flooring has been installed, fearing that dust and dirt will become trapped in the grooves. This however is not the case these days as the urethane finishes applied at the factory seal them up completely.