Thin Solid Hardwood Floors
Those choosing thinner solid hardwoods do so for several reasons. Naturally many would assume these types of floors command a lower price tag because the amount of material milled to make the product is reduced compared to traditional 3/4" hardwoods. This is true of several prefinished manufacturers shown below, but others offering longer length material lands them into a custom category.
From a historical perspective, thinner wood floors (most notably 5/16") were used in several time periods and are still being used today in some markets with the California Bay region being one. The older product had one common characteristic; they were milled without a tongue and groove that required top nailing or fastening into the face with a specialized tool called a Cavanaugh nailer. No longer manufactured, a new pneumatic fastener made by High Pro Tools (right) uses 15 gauge barbed nails that allow for firmer installations.
Using Thin Products Today
With today's thinner end matched or tongue and groove flooring, two functional elements are considered for their use. First, they offer a lower finished vertical floor height and secondly it becomes an easier product to work with when installed in apartment or condominium high-rises by the direct glue down method.¹ The latter also eliminates any additional wood sub floor systems that would be needed had it been installed by the direct fastening method of nailing or stapling with common hardwood flooring fasteners.
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What Thicknesses Are There?
Those seeking price and in the prefinished form, we've listed some of the more widely available brands and their species. Also shown are custom unfinished products and length factors with many considered random length. Please consult each individual manufacturer for more specifics.
¹ Gluing thin hardwoods are not as susceptible to the problems associated with solid ¾ inch hardwoods. Some of these products (rift, quarter sawn) are milled in a way that offsets horizontal expansion and contraction. Others are produced in shorter lengths enabling improved installation without gapping.
² Offers prefinished and unfinished
³ Square edged flooring (no tongue and groove) Widths include 1 1/3", 1 1/2", 2"