While bevels in prefinished wood flooring can seem more of a decorative element to the floor, they also serve a purpose. In prefinished flooring, they are intended to form a smooth transition between each plank. They can also be more forgiving by hiding any inconsistencies in your subfloor or the material itself.
There are different types of bevels found in wood flooring. Micro bevels, also referred to as eased edge, which show only a slight notch between the boards. A full bevel has a deep “V” shape between the boards. Distressed or chiseled edged is usually more shallow or wide and is found on textured and handscraped floors to give a more time worn look. A squared edge, more often found in site finished floor installation, is when all planks meet squarely for a smooth uniform surface.
The bevel on your wood flooring depends upon what kind of plank you choose. The majority of smooth finished floors have a micro or full bevel. Micro bevels give a more formal look depending on the species and the coloration of the wood. Handscraped and textured floors have a chiseled edge and give a more casual and less formal look to a home. So once you decide on the look you are going for and what best suits your lifestyle, then you can further choose the type of wood you want and the bevel you like to go along with the look you want to achieve.