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Pros & Cons of Micro-Beveled or Flat Edges on Hardwood Floors

Updated February 21, 2017

Hardwood floors are a timeless option for your interior design, and one of the choices you'll need to make regarding your flooring is the edge style of the boards. Two of the common edge styles are micro-bevelled edges and flat edges. Micro-bevelled edges, also known as eased edges, feature tiny grooves along the edge of the plank, while flat- or square-edged boards are smooth and even. Each edge offers both benefits and drawbacks for installation, maintenance and aesthetics.

Cost

Several factors impact the cost of hardwood flooring, including the plank size, wood type and number of boards. The edging style also impacts the cost of the boards. Flat-edged hardwood planks tend to be slightly more expensive than micro-bevelled planks. The milling process to create perfectly square boards is more extensive than the process to micro-bevel plank edges. If you are comparing the cost of two identical woods and the only distinction is the edge, the flat edge is likely slightly more expensive than the micro-bevelled edge.

Installation

One of the benefits of micro-bevelled hardwood floors is that the grooves in the edges of the board allow for more forgiveness if your existing floor is not perfectly level. In older homes, micro-bevelled edges allow floor installers to quickly install planks without releveling the base floor first. Flat-edge boards must be installed over a perfectly level surface to maintain a flat, even look in the finished floor.

Care

The grooves in a micro-bevelled floor provide a reservoir space for dirt and dust. When dirt collects in the grooves rather than on the floor planks, your floor is less likely to be scratched or damaged. One of the drawbacks of bevelled grooves is that thorough cleaning requires the use of a vacuum rather than a simple broom to pull dirt out of the grooves.

Aesthetics

The largest distinction between micro-bevelled floors and flat edge floors is the visual differences of the final floor. Flat edge floors are smooth and cohesive; the edges of the boards blend together to create a single floor space. Micro-bevelled floors maintain a visual distinction between each individual board, transforming the flooring from a functional walking area to a distinct design element of the space.

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About the Author

Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.