Wood flooring has been one of the most popular choices for a while now. This doesn’t come as a surprise when we consider its timeless look, its impact on your home value, and its warm ambience.
Still, should you pick wood floors for your house? Learning all about timber flooring will enable you to make this choice. We’ll join you on your quest to choose flooring for your property, so let’s begin.
This table illustrates how wood stands out on several fronts.
|Wood is elegant, timeless, warm, and classic.
|It has numerous finishes, colours, grains, and stains.
|With proper maintenance, wood floors can last a lifetime.
|Wood doesn’t trigger allergies or worsen respiratory issues, thanks to its repulsion of dust and allergies.
|Wood floors increase your home resale value, giving you a good return on investment (ROI).
|Timber floors have a soft underfoot.
Understanding the drawbacks of wood floors will help you make the right choice.
|Wood flooring involves high upfront costs.
|It develops scratches and gouges gradually from furniture, shoes, and so on.
|Water can cause wood to swell or cup.
|You need to get your flooring resealed or reshaped in case of damage.
We can classify wood floors into various subtypes. Each has its distinct features, which you must be aware of if you want to choose the right flooring type for you.
Engineered wood floors are made from a thin veneer hardwood layer over several layers of composite materials and plywood. You can install them anywhere but bathrooms.
Solid wood floorings are solid wood planks that are linked with a tongue and groove along the side. Install them anywhere other than humid areas and over concrete floors.
This flooring is processed wood taken from its original application and repurposed in your home the way solid flooring is.
Timber floors come in diverse species. Each has its unique texture, appearance, pros, and cons. Some are harder and more durable, while others are softer. Understanding them will help you make the right wood flooring choice for your property.
Oak is a wood species that has a nice natural colour and stains well. Oak flooring comes in white and red variations. Use it in living rooms, dining rooms, hallways, and walkways.
Ash flooring is typically available in light shades but stains well. You’ll love how it complements contemporary designs.
Walnut has a soft texture and a warm tone. It adds aesthetic appeal to any room you want, but make sure it isn’t one with heavy foot traffic.
Sometimes called sugar maple, hard maple has an even, thin grain and a light, creamy shade. You’ll find it on basketball courts.
Hickory floors have sporadic grains and hues that differ across planks from the same package. They look their best in open areas and accommodate the needs of high-traffic rooms.
Mahogany wood floors are known for their rich colour and grain and soft feel.
Teak is a gorgeous wood floor species featuring rich golden brown tones. Installing it in mudrooms is a great idea.
Pine floors lean more towards softwood floors than hardwood ones. They come in light tones and a uniform grain. They’re suitable for bedrooms and excellent in sunrooms.
You’ll find cork floors in light and dark tones featuring a unique familiar grain. They’re suitable for installation anywhere in your house other than bathrooms.
Although classified as grass, bamboo passes for wood because of its hardness. This flooring option is available in manila, yellow, and dark tones. Install it anywhere but in wet rooms.
Let’s cover the various patterns and designs of wood floors so that you can better visualise them in your house and decide on the right one. Each type has its installation difficulties, intricate designs, and more.
In a parquet pattern, manufacturers lay the planks straight or diagonally in a pattern. Many homeowners love their geometric effects. Traditionally, workers would install parquet one piece at a time. However, modern parquet is almost ready-made as tiles with a backing material holding the wood slats in place. It comes in diverse patterns, including:
Herringbone patterns are the most widespread in Europe. The bricks are laid in a V-shaped pattern, which requires placing blocks perpendicular to one another. If you have an open space, a herringbone floor signals a separate area, dividing the space.
In chevron patterns, bricks are laid at 45 degrees from one another, and people often get them mixed up with herringbone patterns. They’re appropriate for formal living rooms, reception halls, and dining rooms.
Mixed-width patterns feature planks of different widths. You install them horizontally, and the process is super simple. They look great in large rooms with high ceilings.
As the name implies, you can lay wood planks in horizontal stripes. This classic pattern gives a room the illusion of space, which is excellent for small spaces. Also, it works with almost any hardwood or hardwood alternative.
As for diagonal stripe patterns, they’re laid with a 45-degree angle to the room edge. Both patterns are easy to install, thanks to the click-together technique.
Flooring finishes are coatings that enhance the wood features and its aesthetic appeal. Whereas leaving solid wood floors unfinished is an option, some people opt for any of the following finishes:
A natural oil finish is the traditional choice, giving your floor a natural, timeless look. You’ll need to reapply it often, but retreatment is easy. Use it in rooms without much sunlight because it can’t protect your wood against the sun.
Ultraviolet oiled finishes bring out the natural colour of wood with a matte finish, create a warm underfoot, and are durable. Their durability equips them for cottages, lake houses, and suburban and urban homes.
You can brush and oil wood floors to accentuate their wood grain, giving them texture. These flooring finishes are super popular, especially in busy households with frequent dents and scratches.
Lacquered finishes add durability to your wood. They render it splash and scratch-resistant and slow down the discolouration caused by sun exposure. Lacquer finishes come in slightly glossy (satin) and matt finishes.
Manufacturers use a technique called hand scraping to give wood a vintage, distressed, and worn look. It adds character to your flooring. Also, wear and tear adds to this flooring finish’s charm, so you may pick it for high-traffic areas.
Via ageing, wire brushing, sculpting, or hand scraping, your wood can have a rustic distressed look. This finish is perfect for contemporary spaces, infusing them with warmth.
As we’ve mentioned, you can purchase your wood floors untreated. This way, you can apply a custom stain before treating them with several coats of a protective finish. Unfinished floors suit kitchens, as the finish you’ll apply will help seal the seams between the planks, minimising water damage.
Choosing the right grain pattern is integral to making wood flooring work for your home. After all, the cut impacts the pattern of the wood planks. Cut patterns describe the angle of the saw to the log, which alters the grain appearance.
In a plainsawn plank, manufacturers cut the log flat down the centre of the log. Accordingly, planks have diverse grain patterns, such as cathedrals and arched grain in the board’s middle.
Quarter sawn logs are cut at a radial angle into four quarters, which explains the name. The interesting ray flecks give planks a dramatic edge.
Rift sawn wood is the product of using a radical cutting pattern. To illustrate, each board is perpendicular to the log’s concentric annual growth ring (the circles on the wood log resulting from the formation of new cells). As a homeowner, you’ll see straight grain lines.
This European approach involves cutting off the log in a single direction. To you, this cut features the full range of a log’s grain. And it’s a great choice if you’re on a budget.
To decide whether you should install wood in your home, you must look at how wood flooring will benefit you. So, here are the benefits of wood flooring.
Residential wood flooring refers to timber floors that accommodate domestic use and your home needs. These floors experience less spillage and damage and get less foot traffic than commercial floors. So, homeowners typically opt for solid hardwood variations, but engineered wood flooring also works.
Commercial wood floors are designed with the requirements of commercial and industrial work sites in mind, such as offices and warehouses. They need to be highly durable and withstand heavy foot traffic, pressure, spillage, humidity, and moisture.
Engineered hardwood resists humidity, so it doesn’t expand and contract like solid hardwood. It’s also more durable, long-lasting, and stable, with a low risk of buckles and gaps.
Knowing the main brands producing wood floors will facilitate the purchasing process. The biggest wood floor manufacturers are as follows:
Wood flooring prices can be anything from £30 to £85 per metre square, with luxury wood options, such as bamboo flooring, reclaimed hardwood, and hand-scraped wood, being on the high end of prices. Ultimately, the exact price depends on the wood species, brand, cut, and finish.
Yes, you can find cheap wood floors. You can buy unfinished solid hardwood and sand, stain, and seal it yourself. Another idea is engineering wood floors that click-lock together, as you can easily install them and save on labour costs.
Yes, you can get luxury wood flooring if you look into the exotic varieties. After all, they’re extracted from diverse species around the world, such as Kempas and Tigerwood. Other luxury options are reclaimed hardwood and hand-scraped wood because of their difficult manufacturing processes.
On average, you can expect to pay £20/m² or more for a professional installation. But different wood types have unique installation costs, which explains the varying prices. For instance, parquet, which is difficult to install, costs £30/m² to £35/m².
Wood floors increase your home value if you take care of them. With proper maintenance, wood flooring can live forever and appreciate over time, boosting your home’s resale value. For that reason, it’s an excellent choice with a good return on investment.
Different wood types and species force you to use different installation techniques. Nonetheless, we can give you an overview of how to lay wood floors.
You must prepare the wood planks and the flooring base for the wood floor installation process as follows:
No, it isn’t always necessary, but it’s a worthwhile investment, enhancing its features. That is unless you have floating wood floors, which are usually installed with underlayment.
No, you can take on the installation yourself, but it’s an advanced DIY project. You’ll need to buy or rent some equipment and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.
Maintaining your wood floors is necessary if you don’t want them to look dull. So make sure to follow these tips:
A hardwood floor requires frequent cleaning because it shows dirt and dust more than others; however, the cleaning process is simple. You’ll only need to:
Wood floors can last 50 to 100 years, but the exact lifespan depends on several factors, which are as follows:
Wood flooring restoration is a process that retrieves your floor’s original shine and takes care of wear and tear. Sanding the floor is an option, but it’s messy. Recoating it is a better idea. Professional restorations may include mechanical adhesion, in which professionals lightly abrade a wood floor.
Periodic renovations are crucial if you want your flooring to remain in good condition. Professionals can conduct some measures to renovate your floor, which are sanding (to remove the old finish and give you a smooth surface), staining (to ensure consistent colouration), drying, and sealing your wood floors (via a protective coat).
Yes, you can stain your floor in your chosen colour to give it an edge. Make sure you purchase unfinished wood floor types so that you have these customisation options.
It’s very efficient, lasting you up to a lifetime if you maintain it regularly. It’s also sustainable, as it’s extracted from wood flooring, a renewable source. Not to mention, wood absorbs heat well, which means it’s energy-efficient and will help keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
Yes, wood flooring is environmentally friendly as long as it’s harvested and managed responsibly. Even better, when you remove trees, that makes room for younger ones to grow. Then, they’ll produce more oxygen and absorb more carbon dioxide, enhancing the atmospheric output of the area.
It’s hard to answer that question without considering several factors and your circumstances, so let’s get more specific.
No, pets can easily scratch your wood flooring surface with their claws. And they can slip or slide because it’s slippery.
Yes, it’s arguably perfect for kids because it’s easy to clean with a damp cloth. You can dust and sweep it to clean off any spillage or accidents.
No, wood flooring isn’t a good fit for high-traffic areas because its finish will wear off fast and its colour will fade.
No, wood expands with moisture exposure and experiences swelling and cupping, so you shouldn’t install it in bathrooms and wet rooms.
These flooring products have the effect of wood, and they’re a relatively new trend. They mimic the look and feel of wood, thanks to their high-definition images and the groves on their surface. Even better, they don’t come with the drawbacks of real wood, such as high maintenance, low durability, and low slip resistance.
Laminate flooring is composed of a particleboard wood base with an image layer and a transparent wear layer on top. The base is wood, and the appearance resembles wood, which explains why it’s sometimes called laminate wood flooring. This flooring type is super popular in living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and dining rooms.
Short for luxury vinyl tile, LVT emulates real wood flooring without taking on its impracticalities. To explain, LVT flooring grants you an elegant design with low maintenance, high durability, and water resistance, withstanding spills and leaks. It’s also easy to customise, creating unique flooring patterns.
Vinyl floors are synthetic products that assume the look of wood. They contain four layers: backing, waterproof, design, and wear layers. With high durability, functionality, moisture resistance, and affordability, they’ve gained increasing popularity.
Ultimately, determining whether wood is the right choice for your property relies on numerous factors. These include the flooring species, cut, finish, and installation, location, moisture level, and more. So, consider these factors to make your choice. If you’re unsure, contact us at The Ultimate Flooring; we’ll be happy to guide you!