Hard Surface Flooring, Harwood Flooring Installation

Hardwood, Ceramic Tile, Stone, Polished Concrete

We love hard surface flooring for its beauty, elegance, and longevity — remembering that it is hard underfoot, often cold, and heavy, requiring a strong, well-built, and even subfloor. Many hard surface floors can be expensive and time consuming to maintain. But still, the most beautiful and the oldest floors are famous throughout history: hardwood, polished stone, ceramic tile ... which to choose?

Wood

Hardwood
Classically beautiful, today’s hardwood floors are more affordable and durable than ever. That’s because manufacturers of prefinished wood floors have developed finishes with long-term abrasive wear resistance and stain and spill protection — and advanced techniques to quickly apply these finishes right at the factory. Using ultraviolet light to cure finishes allows several coats to be applied within minutes. Some finish manufacturers add small chips of aluminum oxide, dramatically increasing the life of the finish.

Hardwood continues to be one of the most popular flooring materials and if sustainably forested, is an excellent environmental choice. Please visit Stile North America for a look at the elgance of this product.

Engineered wood
Made of several layers of different woods, or different grades of the same wood, stacked and glued together under heat and pressure, engineered wood flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed above, on, or below ground level.

Many engineered wood floors can be sanded once or twice. The best, and most expensive, brands have thicker top layers that enable them to be sanded several times. Some of these top-of-the-line products also have tough finishes that carry 25-year wear warranties.

Bamboo
Bamboo is one of the prettiest and most eco-friendly flooring available. The grasses used to make it are prolific and endlessly renewable. Floors made of bamboo are fire and warp resistant, resist termites and other pests, and are easy to maintain with a slightly damp mop. The best grades of bamboo flooring are as hard as oak.

Tile

Clay tile is one of humanity’s oldest products known. It was used for both utility and decor thousands of years ago. Today’s ceramic tile comes in an almost infinite array of colors and designs. It’s impervious to heat and most chemicals. If it’s been properly sealed, it won’t stain — and lasts forever. Because the color and design are baked in, you don’t have to worry about them wearing out.

Stone

Marble
Marble, once polished, has a soft, silky feel that you won’t find in any other stone. It comes in an enormous variety of colors and patterns, huge sweeps of line and color that look like the birth of the universe. Marble adds elegance to any setting.

Granite
Granite comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and is much more resistant to everything than marble; once sealed, it’s impervious to most damage. Like marble, granite is spectacularly beautiful -- and incredibly durable. There’s a color and pattern to suit every taste.

Slate
Slate is very hard, and therefore very durable (slate roofs last practically forever.) The colors tend to be muted and conservative, which can be an advantage when you want something other than a monochrome look but don’t want splashy washes of color. It gives a subdued, earthy appearance, which works well with most colors and styles of decor.

Flagstone
Flagstone is a durable and handsome flooring material that comes in random natural or cut sizes, thicknesses, qualities, and colors. Colors range from soft grays, to beiges and reddish-browns. Flagstone is easily maintained and suitable for heavy traffic areas, such as walkways, patios and foyers.

Terrazzo
Another classic floor, terrazzo is a composite material either poured in place or precast. It consists of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other chips, poured with a binder and then cured, ground, and polished to a smooth surface.

Terrazzo finishes today have, in place of the standard cement finish, a resin or epoxy finish. Epoxies are any of usually thermosetting resins capable of forming tight cross-linked polymer structures characterized by toughness, strong adhesion and high corrosion and chemical resistance.

Concrete
Concrete is a friend of the environment in all stages of its life span, from raw material production to demolition, making it a natural choice for sustainable construction, featuring:

  • Resource efficiency
  • Durability
  • Thermal mass
  • Reflectivity
  • Minimal waste

Polished concrete floors are durable, cost-effective, sustainable, healthy, and very beautiful.

Ask us about recycling, reclamation, and reuse; sustainable products; maintenance; specification; and A&D consulting.