Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Square Edge vs. Beveled Edge: Which Is Best?

We get this question a lot, though sometimes more in the form of, "What kind of edge do your floors have?", or "What's the difference between a square edge and a beveled edge floor?". Well, we thought we'd settle this long-standing debate once and for all. Enjoy!

What Is Square Edge?
As the name suggests, the sides of each plank of a square edge hardwood floorboard meet squarely. A square edge floor looks something like this:

When the flooring is laid absolutely flat and the installation is superb, a square edge floor can feel practically seamless. This creates a very formal, contemporary look and is favored in high-end flooring applications. However, if there are subfloor imperfections, or if the installation isn't done properly, a square edge floor can show gaps more noticeably than a beveled edge floor.

A square edge floor is a tell tale sign that the floors have been sanded and finished on-site. Square edges are found almost exclusively on unfinished hardwood flooring products. Micro-bevels are needed on prefinished boards to give the illusion of a flat floor.

What is Beveled Edge?
A beveled edge floor, also known as a micro-beveled edge, has strips or planks with a 1mm to 2mm 45 degree angle on the top edges of the board. Beveled edge hardwood strips look something like this:

A beveled edge is necessary to help mask any slight imperfections in the subfloor and reduce the obvious highs and lows that are present in all subfloors. Micro-bevels give the optical illusion of a flat floor. Most prefinished floors have a tight micro-beveled edge treated with a high-quality finish, making it easy to sweep or vacuum dirt and debris out of the floor grooves. The downside of a beveled edge floor is that sometimes the grooves can be felt when walking on the floor in bare feet or thin socks.

The Verdict
So, which edge type should you choose? Well, that all depends on your personal preference and your budget. Square edge unfinished flooring material costs less to purchase, but the labor needed to site sand and finish the material can cost you a pretty penny. Prefinished flooring's strong factory finish makes it a pricier material option, but it installation costs far less. When it comes to aesthetics, some people absolutely hate beveled edge floors. Some people don't mind. It's really a matter of personal preference, and there is no wrong answer to the square versus beveled edge debate.

All of the solid prefinished hardwood flooring products available at Fantastic Floor have a slight micro-beveled edge to eliminate those pesky uneven joints that can pop up between boards sometimes. Do you prefer the flat, smooth look of square edge unfinished floors? Good news - we have a extensive selection of those varieties as well! Call us today to learn more about the different square and beveled edge flooring products we carry.

What type of board edge do you prefer? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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