A-MAX Hardwood Floors

Installing and Refinishing Hardwood Floors in Boise since 2000
Call 208-724-3827 or request a quote today

Hardwood Selections

Common / Domestic Hardwoods Species

Here are some samples of domestic hardwoods that are commonly used in hardwood floors. Hickory, Oak and Maple are very typical of hardwood floors in the Treasure Valley. Click on an image to see it enlarged.

Ash (White)

Pine (Yellow Heart)

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Exotic / Imported Hardwood Species

Exotic hardwoods are imported from tropical regions and can vary greatly in cost and availability but offer unique and stunning colors and grain patterns not found in domestic hardwoods. The following Species (and others) are available:

Cherry (Brazilian), Cypress (Australian), IpÍ, Mahogany (Santos), Merbau, Padauk, Purple Heart, Rosewood (Brazilian), Sapele, Sucupira (Brazilian Chestnut / Walnut), Teak (Brazilian), Tigerwood, Wenge, Zebra wood

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Hardwood Grades

The grade describes the appearance of the wood. The Higher the grade, the more expensive it will be. A grade of "#1 Common" is very typical for a hardwood floors in the Treasure Valley.

  • Clear
    Premium appearance practically free of defects with only minor imperfections, very slight color variations with consistent grain patterns (almost all heartwood), longer board lengths average 3 3/4'.
  • Select
    Almost clear but contains some natural characteristics (mineral streaks, burls, pin wormholes), minor color and grain variations, board lengths average 3 1/4'.
  • #1 Common (Cabinet grade)
    Contains some natural characteristics (small sound defects, bird pecks), medium color and grain variations, board lengths average 2 3/4'.
  • #2 Common (Economy grade)
    Contains more natural characteristics (small sound knots, checks, flags, wormholes), major color variations, board lengths average 2 1/4'.
  • #3 / Rustic
    Rustic appearance - contains all characteristics of the species (unsound knots, open knotholes, grub holes, splits), drastic color and grain variations, shorter board lengths average less than 2'.

(NOTE: Characteristics included in a higher grade are automatically accepted in lower grades. Some wood species such as Maple, Beech, Birch, and Pecan are graded as "Firsts", "Seconds", and "Thirds" that are comparable to "Select", "#1 Common", and "#2 Common" respectively.)

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A-MAX Hardwood uses only the finest finish products available. We apply one coat of sealer and 2 top coats for a superior 3-coat finish that is durable and easy to maintain. The following options are available:

  • Swedish Finish
    1 coat of Glitza® (acid cure) sealer (42-50% solid content build)
    2 coats of Bona Traffic® (water based) top coat
  • Green Friendly (or for those with Chemical Sensitivity)
    1 coat of Bona Bonaseal® (water based) sealer (~20% solid content build)
    2 coats of Bona Traffic® (water based) top coat

A-MAX Hardwood typically recommends a natural color finish (no stain) with a Satin sheen. Semi-Gloss and Gloss sheens are available but imperfections and scratches will be more apparent. Wood stain can also be applied (prior to finishing) to enhance the color and grain on bolder grained hardwood species. Read more about hardwood flooring finishes here.

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Plank Styles

Hardwood floor planks are available in several widths: 2 1/4", 3 1/4", 4 1/4", 5 1/4", and 7". While wider planks have an elegant appearance, the wider widths have lower dimensional stability. Mixing widths (alternating 4 1-4" with 5 1/4") can add some stability while maintaining that wide plank look. Wider widths will also be more expensive than a typical width of 3 1/4".

Most hardwood flooring is plain or flat-sawn. Flat sawing produces tangential grain that is characterized by cathedral arched and flame-shaped patterns. Rift and quarter sawing produces a tighter radial or vertical grain that appears as roughly parallel lines with medullary ray fleck and figure. Because flat sawing is faster, easier and cheaper, rift and quarter sawn hardwood is more expensive. However the radial grain greatly increases the planks dimensional stability and yields a more consistent appearance than flat-sawn hardwood, especially in bold grained species such as Oak.

log sawing diagram
Example of flat sawn Oak grain pattern

Flat Sawn Oak

Example of rift sawn Oak grain pattern

Rift Sawn Oak

Example of quarter sawn Oak grain pattern

Quarter Sawn Oak

Other specialty planking includes pre-engineered surfaces that have a rustic country appearance such as Rough Sawn, Hand Scraped, and V-Grooved.

Example of rough sawn hardwood floor planks

Rough Sawn Planks

Example of hand scraped hardwood floor planks

Hand Scraped Planks

Example of v-grooved hardwood floor planks

V-Grooved Planks

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