25 August 2023

Ultimate Guide to Wood Flooring

V4 Deco Collection Herringbone ZB102 Nordic Beach

V4 Deco Collection Herringbone ZB102 Nordic Beach

Sustainable, eco-friendly and hard wearing; wood flooring continues to be incredibly popular choice. There are many different types of flooring that are designed to look like wood, so why choose real wood? Here’s are ultimate guide to wood flooring and how to help you choose the right one for your home.

Solid Wood vs Engineered Wood

Firstly there are two different forms of real wood flooring. Solid or Engineered.

Solid Wood is one piece of hardwood timber. It is available in different thicknesses. The thicker the flooring the more you are able to sand and reseal over time.

Engineered Wood is essentially very similar to solid wood. The base of the plank is layered plywood, spruce or MDF and the surface is a section of solid wood. The top layer of solid wood comes in different thicknesses. Depending on which wood you choose, typically each board measures around 14-20mm thickness (including the base). Unlike solid wood, there is more of a limit to how much this type of flooring can be sanded and resealed. This is because the solid wood layer is thinner.

 

It’s important to consider the depth of the flooring you choose. If you currently have flooring which is dramatically thicker or thinner you may find your doors and architraves will either need to be trimmed/adjusted or you will be left with a gap.

Understanding the detail of your flooring can be determined by the labels on the sample. For example if the label says 18/5, this means the overall thickness is 18mm and the top layer of oak is 5mm.

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Brushed or Sanded?

There are many different variations of colour, style and design to chose from; but essentially this can fall into two different textures. Wood flooring is either sanded or brushed. The description speaks for itself..

Sanded – the surface is sanded smooth.

Brushed – the surface is brushed and textured.

Oiled or Lacquered?

In order to protect the flooring, from everyday use, each design is finished with a protective layer. There are many variations (Hardwax Oil, UV Oil, Matt Lacquer) available but essentially this falls into two categories. Oiled or Lacquered.

Oiled – The appearance of an oiled floor will change more rapidly. A perfect choice if you are wanting to add character to your home. It is advised to re-apply oil, as and when needed to ensure your flooring is protected and look’s new for as long as possible. Oiled floors are easier to treat in isolated areas, as the over all effect blends in. Typically oil provides a matt finish, compared to a traditional lacquer finish.

Lacquered – Though typically a shiny finish, it is now possible to chose a matt lacquer. This provides the protection of a lacquer, without the shine. A lacquered floor will keep it’s appearance for longer. Providing your flooring is cared for, it can take up to 10-15 years before it needs to be re-lacquered. Unlike an oiled floor, it is not advised to treat isolated areas.

How is it installed?

Wood flooring is manufactured as either a click or tongue and groove. Click flooring clicks together and sits on top of the sub floor (floating floor).Tongue and groove, is either glued together and floated or glued to the subfloor.

Whichever installation method you chose, wood flooring requires an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room. Wood responds to the atmosphere in your home (temperature, moisture) and will need room to move. The expansion gap allows the flooring room to expand and contract.

The expansion gap can be covered using beading (scotia) or by removing and refitting the skirting boards. If you have just redecorated, removing your skirting boards, will most likely be the last thing you want to do! There are plenty of stylish oak accessories available, to help embellish and compliment your flooring.

Do I need underlay?

Underlay, is only required if your flooring is installed as a floating floor (not glued to the sub floor). There are a number of different underlays available on the market, to help provide the protection you need; sound-proofing, thermal etc. You will find that laminate underlays are also appropriate for wood.

Colour variation and character

The natural beauty of wood is utterly unique and full of character. Each piece of wood will react in it’s own unique way to colour and finish. No two planks will look exactly the same and there is no way to predict how each plank will respond. If you are wanting to control how each plank looks, a wood effect flooring (man-made laminate, LVT) may be the best option for you.

Each manufacturer will grade their flooring ranges, to give you an idea of how many knots and how distressed the flooring will be. There is only so much a single sample can show. If you are concerned about the overall grading of the flooring you have chosen, most manufacturers will have images on their websites. Room setting images will allow you to get an idea of how the flooring will look in your home. Look out for terms such as ‘Rustic Grade’ ‘Grade D’ ‘Distressed’ this will help indicate the character of the flooring. If in doubt ask a flooring expert for advice.

Cleaning and Maintenance

How to care for your Wood Flooring

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