Flooring Trends in Arizona
If you live in Arizona, you know that most sections are known for their hot, dry, desert like climates, warm summers and mild winters. In fact, this climate is so dry, some say that it is too dry for wood floors to be installed. Our mythbusters can assure you that this is far from the truth. However, there are some considerations to be made if you are thinking of installing hardwood flooring in your Arizona home.
Acclimation: When you are in a climate that has extreme weather conditions, like the Arizona climate, your wood may need to acclimate before it’s ready for installation. Acclimation will allow the moisture content to adjust to the optimal level suitable for installation.
The wood floor should be within 4% of the moisture content of your subfloor. For solid wood flooring with planks wider than 3 inches, the flooring should be within 2% of the subfloor. If wood has lower moisture contents, they can lose moisture and shrink.
Acclimation can be difficult and requires special tools as well as a knowledge of acclimation requirements and the species of wood you are dealing with regarding how quickly it can lose or gain moisture. When in doubt, it may be best to consult a professional.
Types of Flooring to Choose From
Keeping the need for acclimation in mind, here are some floors that will work well with an Arizona climate:
Hickory is a good choice for flooring because it is hard and moderately stable. It is a lot less common than classic oak giving it a distinctive look. It is available in a variety of shades although lighter tones can give a nice cool look to an Arizona home. Light colored flooring will also be less likely to keep in unwanted heat.
Hickory is characterized by a dense grain that gives it its lovely character but can look overly busy when featured on narrow planks.
Walnut is another good choice for hot, dry climates because it is dimensionally stable. It is best known to be featured in a dark or chocolate wood but can also be found in lighter colors. More exotic species can even give off reddish or purplish tones.
Walnut usually has a straight grain pattern but variations like curl, crotch or burl can also be seen to give flooring an unusual look.
As apparent in its name, cherry features a reddish brown tone. The color can darken with age and exposure to light. It has a straight grain and a uniform, smooth texture. It’s durability and dimensionally stable properties make it ideal for Arizona’s hot, dry climate.
4. VERTICAL GRAIN
When thinking of a vertical grain, this does not refer to the type of tree, but rather the pattern on the surface of the board. Boards can either be vertical grain or flat sewn. Vertical grains run from one end of the board to another whereas flat sawn has more of a loopy pattern.
Vertical grains are ideal for hot and dry climates because they increase the hardness of the surface. This keeps it more resistant to expansion and contraction making it more durable overall.
If you live in Arizona and think having a hardwood floor is not a reality, think again! As long as you choose the right type of wood, you can have the flooring of your dreams no matter where you live. Good luck designing your dream house, from the ground up!