To Knot or Not to Knot: Is It Alright to Have Knots on Your Hardwood Floor?

Nothing is more satisfying than looking at the shiny, parallel lines of hardwood on the floor of a freshly renovated kitchen — that is, until you spot a big dot on one of the planks. You take a second look at the floor and discover that the dark spot isn’t alone; the entire floor space is speckled with these blots, ruining an otherwise perfectly lined hardwood floor.

These dark spots are called knots, and they’re a natural feature of anything that’s made out of timber. They aren’t imperfections; if anything, they make the hardwood panels look more authentic.

They may seem to spoil the look of the wood, but trust us, they make for beautiful hardwood flooring that can’t be replicated in the entire Orange County, CA.

How Knots Are Formed

Wood knots develop from two circumstances. First, a new branch grows from the trunk or another branch. When cut, the conjunction forms a huge, dark spot. This is called a “live knot.”

Second, the knot forms due to a tree scar. Much like the skin of people, the tree trunk sustains damage, either from human activity or natural forces, which leaves a mark. If the tree’s nutrient delivery system fails to reach the damaged area, a tree scar forms. These scars then manifest as “dead knots” on wood panels.

As a tree grows, it develops many branches and sustains a lot of injuries. Older trees, therefore, produce panels rich in live and dead knots. It signals that the wood used to make the hardwood panels has grown to maturity and lived a full life.

Floor Strength

Despite looking different from the rest of the wood grain, knots do not affect the strength or durability of the wood panel — they have little impact on the longevity of the floor. In fact, you’ll do better to pay more attention to other wood imperfections like broken tongues, split ends, and warped boards. These are more likely to cause trouble on your hardwood floors than both live and dead knots.

Are They an Eyesore?

Live and dead knots differ greatly in terms of appearance and strength. If you look closely, live knots are connected to the surrounding wood grain, and they’re only a few shades darker than the rest of the wood panel. On the other hand, dead knots are much darker and seem to be disconnected from the rest of the wood grain patterns.

Despite this difference, however, wood knots create authentic, beautiful patterns that enhance the visual appeal of the hardwood floor.

This is what makes natural wood more special than tiles and stones. Each panel is markedly different from the rest, thanks to the swirling wood grain and knots. The huge, dark patches make your floor one-of-a-kind. You can be sure that there’s nothing like it in the neighborhood.

If you’re worried about knot holes, don’t. The Main Street Kitchen & Flooring team vets the wood panels that would go into your hardwood floor. We’ll fill up the huge holes, so you’d be left with smooth, lovely planks with beautiful, natural knots.

Get in touch today, and let’s discuss your hardwood flooring.