A Buyer Guide to Wood Flooring
As you now, flooring made from wood is natural and most of it comes from Oak trees and there’s nothing synthetic about it. Which is why its one of the most expensive types of flooring to buy and maintain.
Wood flooring comes in different types and It can be confusing and a difficult choice to make with many decisions to tackle including: Which type to buy, where you can use it, and how to install it.
To help you decide, firstly it’s important to understand what wood flooring and distinguish between the different types.
We’ve put together a complete buyer’s guide about wood flooring so after reading this you can be confident at making your choice.
Golden oak brushed lacquered 18mm solid wood flooring
By definition, Wood flooring is a timber product made using natural hard wood, designed and manufactured for flooring.
Like all natural material products, every piece has a unique combination shade of colour and pattern which gives your floor a unique look.
Before you buy wood flooring, it’s worth noting that wood flooring does not simply come in one type. There are different types of wood flooring, each of which is suitable for its own purpose of use.
When you’re comparing wood flooring products it’s often between Engineered and Solid Wood.
However, there’s lot of confusion about wood flooring with laminate flooring. The truth is that all may come under the umbrella of wood flooring, but laminate flooring is a manmade product constructed using HDF with a photographic top layer to give the appearance of natural wood.
Like Laminate flooring, engineered wood flooring is also made up of several layers but it to increase strength of the product and the main difference is that engineered flooring’s top layer is a real piece of treated wood which gives the floor its natural wood character.
Solid wood flooring on the other hand is the real thing as you would expect. A single piece of 100% natural wood. It may be also referred to as hardwood flooring which is made up of planks milled from a single piece of timber or manufactured using two or more layers to form a plank.
Since Engineered wood flooring is typically made up of layers of wood bonded together instead of a solid piece it’s often cheaper to solid wood.
Wood flooring is available in different types of wood species and finishes; it’s a matter of personal preference and what type of look you are after.
If you want a rustic look and feel find an untreated hand-scraped type of wood flooring.
If you’re after a clean natural wood effect search for an oak wood flooring with dark knots and swirls in the wood for a natural look.
If you want a balanced natural but treated wood effect, try an oiled or lacquered surface which is more uniform and smooth for a more polished and sleek look for a modern home.
Oak antique hand scraped lacquered engineered wood flooring
You can install wood flooring in any home, restaurant, office or commercial place.
However, it’s only certain climate conditions in which wood flooring is best suited for if you want longevity.
Although wood flooring can be used in Hallways, living and dining rooms including reception rooms and even staircases it is not recommended to be installed where moisture or dampness is common such as bathrooms and wet rooms.
This is because wood is a porous material, and if water seeps into the cracks or the material itself, it can easily warp or become damaged. Likewise, if your kitchen has a particularly humid environment, wood flooring might not be the best choice for it otherwise it can make a good choice for larger open plan kitchens.
Wood flooring is commonly used to give a natural warm character that adds a rich statement and gives personality to a home.
There are many benefits to consider when choosing wood flooring.
Not only does it give a timeless and elegant quality to your home décor, but it’s also relatively straight forward to install and very resilient if its looked after well. Even under heavy foot traffic, wood flooring is incredibly hard-wearing, although it should be noted that it can be a little noisy under the foot, particularly in upstairs rooms or stair cases where there is cavity under the subfloor.
Since wood flooring is made from natural timber it can be sanded or buffed several times during its lifespan without being damaged and each time it will give a fresher and more vibrant surface.
Engineered wood flooring has a thinner wood top layer, so you can only sand it down a couple of times, whereas solid wood flooring can be sanded even five or six times to keep it looking in top condition.
Wood flooring may also add value to a property especially to buyers who appreciate it.
Wood flooring comes in planks that can vary in thickness and width. Thicker ones are able to be laid straight over joists as structural floorboards whereas thinner planks need to be laid onto a smooth subfloor.
Both engineered wood flooring and solid wood planks can be bought with the click system that makes it easier to fit together whereas the tongue and groove versions can be trickier to fit if you’re not experienced with it.
Even if you are good at DIY it can be tricky to install and if you want a perfect job it’s always worth hiring a professional to help you as this will save on time and avoid costly mistakes.
Install wood flooring
Once you’ve decided on a style and type of wood flooring, it’s time to pick the specific one for your budget.
There is a common thought that wood flooring is always far more expensive than its synthetic counterparts, but this is not always true. In fact, wood flooring can be priced just as competitively, and it’s likely to last far longer than its synthetic counterparts.
While it may seem like an expensive purchase up front, one of the biggest advantages of wood flooring is that you’re not likely to need to replace it for a very long time, if ever. The life expectancy of well-cared for wood flooring can be anything from 10 years up to 75 years.
Wood flooring is highly durable and can last a lifetime if it is well maintained.
Remember you want to install wood flooring in a relatively climatized area and you certainly don’t want to get it wet too often and if you do by quick to wipe it dry.
It’s important to keep the surface free of particles with a soft brush or vacuum as walking on any dirt can cause scratches.
It is recommended to regularly treat your flooring – either sanding it down and resurfacing or simply oiling it during its lifetime, depending on what finish you have chosen.