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The Different Types of Wood Flooring for Your Property

31/08/2023

From the faded tones of ash and oak to the rich darkness of mahogany and teak, wood flooring leaves little to be desired when it comes to style. The texture, grainy pattern, and colour of the floor combine to give you an elegant masterpiece that speaks luxury.

In addition to styles, wood flooring comes in endless patterns, finishes, and species, which is a mixed blessing. While you’re guaranteed to land a floor suitable for your needs, you’ll have a challenging time finding it amidst the vast options. And that’s why we’re here!

We’ll go through the different types of wood flooring for your property, sparing no effort to give you all the information you need. By the time we’re done, you’ll have a perfect idea about the wood flooring type, pattern, species, and finish your property needs, so keep on reading!

Engineered

Engineered wood flooring combines a thin hardwood layer with one or more plywood layers. The combination of natural and synthetic materials gives you the best of both worlds. You get the boosted durability of plywood and the natural charm of hardwood. On top of that, engineered wood floors come in every shape and style, making them suitable for all types of properties.

Pros:

  • More budget-friendly than other types because of the incorporation of synthetics
  • Easy to install, clean, and maintain

Cons:

  • It can’t be refinished to change its look and feel

Solid

Solid wood flooring is made from hardwood species only, without the incorporation of any synthetics. Because of this, it’s stronger than engineered wood and can be refinished multiple times. It’s also resistant to signs of wear, making it ideal for high-traffic properties. However, given its hefty price, it’s rarely seen in commercial and industrial places.

Pros:

  • Lifespan can go up to 100 years if maintained properly
  • It boosts property values in resales

Cons:

  • Not as easy to install as engineered wood

Parquet

Parquet wood flooring is made from hardwood and arranged in a characteristic geometric mosaic pattern. It flaunts a timeless design that has put it at the top of the flooring industry for years. From managerial offices and lavish commercial settings to elegant residential places, parquet has endless applications. Its only drawback is its expensive price.

Pros:

  • It can be refinished multiple times to refresh its appearance
  • Durable and can last up to an entire century

Cons:

  • Susceptible to water and UV damage

Laminate

Laminate flooring isn’t made of wood; instead, it’s made of a combination of resin, wood, fibreboard, and a design layer. It resembles the grainy appearance of wood, letting homeowners enjoy the charming look and feel of the natural material without paying high prices for it. Better yet, it’s highly versatile and suitable for industrial, commercial, and residential properties.

Pros:

Cons:

  • It can’t be refinished

Vinyl

Vinyl flooring’s selling point is that it combines the natural appearance of wood and the favourable qualities of synthetic materials. It’s mostly made from PVC, along with other synthetics, to boost its durability and resistance. Because of its features and affordable prices, it’s ideal for high-traffic commercial and residential properties.

Pros:

  • Resistant to signs of wear and water damage
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons:

  • Lifespan is shorter than natural wood, with a maximum of 20 years

Reclaimed

Reclaimed wood is made from centuries-old wooden structures, giving it a historic charm and rustic appearance like no other type of flooring. Given its recycled nature, it’s an eco-conscious choice, ideal for environmental enthusiasts. It fits like a puzzle in countryside houses and cabins because of its battered look.

Pros:

  • Durable and resistant to signs of wear
  • It features unique grainy patterns and charming appearances

Cons:

  • Pricier and rarer to find than the other types

Wood Effect Tiles

Wood effect tiles are manufactured from porcelain but are made to resemble natural wood. They sport unprecedented durability as they’re resistant to scratches, dents, and wear signs. Also, they’re easier to clean and maintain than natural wood because they’re waterproof. Wood effect tiles are most suitable for high-traffic damp rooms, but they don’t boost resale value.

Pros:

  • More affordable than natural wood
  • No need for a protective finish

Cons:

  • Tougher and colder underfoot than wood

What Are the Different Types of Wood Flooring Patterns?

Wood flooring comes in a myriad of patterns and styles that evoke luxurious and cosy feelings. Here’s a roundup of the most famous ones and their intended use.

Herringbone

Herringbone is a sophisticated geometrical pattern, most famously associated with parquet floors. It consists of diagonally laid wood tiles that connect to make a ‘V’ shape. Sometimes, the tiles are coloured in different shades to give the floor a rich, standout style. Because of herringbone’s uncontested elegance, it’s meant for classical residential settings.

Chevron

Chevron is another famous parquet pattern that consists of diagonally laid wood tiles. However, unlike the puzzle-like appearance of herringbone, the tiles are connected seamlessly without interlocking. From a birds-eye view, it looks more neat than herringbone but lacks its charming and classical character. That’s why it’s best left for modern settings.

Mixed

Mixed wood floors consist of equally sized wood squares framing narrow tiles that are either laid horizontally or diagonally. They’re a modernised version of herringbone and chevron, making them ideal for contemporary residential interiors.

Horizontal or Diagonal

The most basic wood flooring patterns are horizontal and diagonal. The first one consists of wood planks laid parallel to two walls. Meanwhile, the diagonal pattern consists of planks laid at an angle. It’s pricier to install than the horizontal pattern because wood planks have to be cut to fit the awkward angles. Both are suitable for endless properties because of their simple designs.

What Are the Types of Wood Flooring Cut Patterns?

Wooden logs are cut at specific angles to produce the unique grainy patterns that you see atop wood floors. The four cutting patterns are plain-sawn, quarter-sawn, rift-sawn, and live-sawn.

Plain/Flat-Sawn

The plain-sawn method consists of cutting the log from outside towards its centre, producing tall parallel planks. Once the centre of the log becomes visible, the woodcutter turns it at a 90-degree angle and starts cutting again till all four sides of the log are cut. The resulting planks spot a cathedral-grainy pattern and are affordable because of the easy cutting method.

Quarter-Sawn

In this cut, the woodcutter quarters the wood log into four equally sized pieces. Then, they cut each quarter into parallel planks, starting from the outer side and working their way to the centre. This cutting method results in visible growth rings atop each plank, which makes for a unique appearance. Because it’s more challenging than plain-sawn, it’s slightly less affordable.

Rift-Sawn

The rift-sawn method is similar to the quarter-sawn, only the woodcutter cuts planks from the centre towards the outer side, not the other way around. The growth rings also show clearly on the planks. Rift sawing results in a lot of wasted wood, so it costs more than other cutting methods.

Live-Sawn

Live sawing is the most straightforward wood-cutting method. The cutter cuts the log horizontally into planks without turning it at any angle. Some planks show the tree’s growth rings clearly at various angles, resulting in unique and rustic patterns.

What Are the Types of Wood Flooring Species?

The species of the tree where the wood is taken dictates the floor’s colour, durability, and price. Here’s a detailed roundup of the most famous wood flooring species and their favourable qualities.

Oak Flooring

Oak flooring sports light golden hues and a dense grain appearance that boosts its resistance to wear. It’s highly affordable because of the wide abundance of oak trees, and you can find it almost anywhere in the world. Given its stylish nature and durability, it’s a famous option in high-traffic residential rooms.

Ash Flooring

Ash flooring comes in light grey hues and is extremely dense, giving it unprecedented durability and resilience. It absorbs noise better than many types of wood, making it perfect for loud commercial settings like shops and offices. Best of all, it’s as affordable as oak flooring.

Walnut Flooring

Walnut flooring is best known for its rich, chocolatey shades and polished appearance that screams luxury. It’s slightly pricier than average and can be refinished multiple times to change its look. While it’s durable enough for high-traffic areas, it’s prone to scratches. That’s why it’s a better fit for houses with no pets.

Maple Flooring

Maple flooring features pale sandy tones that go perfectly in contemporary interiors. It has one of the densest wood structures in the world, giving it uncontested strength. That’s why it’s common to see it in bowling alleys and high-traffic places. Better yet, these favourable qualities don’t come at a high price, as maple is reasonably affordable.

Hickory Flooring

Hickory flooring combines light sandy tones, reddish hues, and knotty grains to give you an art piece. In addition to its characteristic appearance, it’s decently durable and resistant to wear signs. For these reasons, it’s a smart option for mid to high-traffic residential properties.

Mahogany Flooring

Mahogany flooring is famous for its rich, dark appearance and luxurious feel. It gets darker with age and is favoured in classical residential settings because of its sophisticated aura. However, its best quality is strong resistance to water damage because of its pocketless structure.

Teak Flooring

Teak flooring has the ‘basic wood’ look with golden brown shades and a grainy texture. It’s most famously used in modern and classic residential interiors because of its durability. One of its finest qualities is that it naturally repels insects and termites. However, it comes at a high price, as teak is one of the priciest types of wood on the market.

Pine Flooring

Pine flooring features a stylish casual appearance, complemented by golden brown streaks and occasional dark spots. It’s made from softwood, making it comfortable underfoot but prone to scratches and dents. Its selling point is the highly affordable price and versatility. As long as you place it in low or mid-traffic places, you can put it on any property you want.

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring has a characteristic textured appearance that doesn’t look as grainy as other wood types. It’s a famous choice for kitchens because of its resistance to water and fire. Another favourable quality it holds is its excellent absorbance of shocks and noise. However, it’s pricier than most of the other types.

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is made from grass, but it sports a woodsy appearance and a rich brown colour. It’s famous in houses because of its high durability and resistance to insects. Also, it can be restyled by removing its finish and applying another one. While it’s resistant to scratches and dents, it’s prone to UV damage if exposed to sunlight for too long.

What Are the Types of Wood Flooring Finishes?

Most wood floors require a finishing layer for enhanced protection against scratches and wear signs. Luckily, the market doesn’t lack wood flooring finishes. Here’s a rundown of the most common ones.

Natural-Oiled Wood Flooring

Natural-oiled wood flooring is covered with a layer of air-dried matt oil to enhance its resistance to scratches. It doesn’t do much to protect against UV damage, unlike other finishes. However, it’s a favourite for many because it preserves the polished, grainy appearance of wood.

UV-Oiled Wood Flooring

UV-oiled wood flooring is covered with the same material as natural-oiled. But the oil is treated with UV light, hardening it and improving its resistance and durability. This finish results in a matte look, concealing the natural shine of the wood.

Brushed and Oiled Wood Flooring

Brushed and oiled wood flooring has the same protection level as UV-oiled. However, the brushing involved preserves the natural grainy texture of wood without polishing it. Because of this, it’s common in rustic settings.

Lacquered Wood Flooring

Lacquered wood flooring is protected by a matte or satin layer that keeps UV damage and darkened spots at bay. It’s also resistant to scratches and signs of wear, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.

Hand-Scraped Wood Flooring

After its name, hand-scraped wood flooring is scraped manually, plank by plank. This unique method conceals any existent scratches and dents and boosts the floor’s resistance to wear signs. However, it has a rough texture that’s tougher to clean than polished finishes.

Distressed Wood Flooring

Distressed wood flooring is achieved by scratching the top layer to give the floor a battered and rustic appearance. Like hand scraping, this method hides signs of wear efficiently but results in a rugged texture.

Unfinished Wood Flooring

Unfinished wood flooring is installed without a finishing layer. After the flooring installation is complete, the owners take a look at the room and decide on the colour and finish they want. While this method is tricky because the floor stays a while without any protection, it’s more versatile in terms of style.

Which Type of Wood Flooring Is Best?

As you’ve seen, wood flooring is available in many types and patterns, making it a joker of all trades in the renovation business. However, each type of wood flooring is best suited for a specific purpose, as you’ll find out in this section.

What Are the Best Types of Wood Flooring for the Kitchen?

Hardwood types are better for kitchens than softwood because they’re more resistant to water damage and scratches. The best and most resilient options out there are oak, maple, and ash.

What Are the Best Types of Wood Flooring for the Living Room?

Oak floors are the best option for living rooms because they combine style and durability. Generally, hard floors are best suited for high-traffic areas because they show signs of wear slower.

What Are the Best Types of Wood Flooring for the Bedroom?

Bedrooms are mid-traffic rooms, making softwood floors a perfect option. You can go with bamboo or pine floors if you’re looking for a budget-friendly choice. Meanwhile, mahogany and walnut are ideal options if you don’t mind their high prices.

What Are the Best Types of Wood Flooring for the Bathroom?

Wood effect tiles are the best option for bathrooms because they’re made of porcelain, which is waterproof. Natural wood won’t stand a chance against the constant dampness, making synthetic materials a must.

What Are the Best Types of Wood Flooring for Dogs?

Maple floors are an ideal choice for houses with dogs because they’re extremely durable and resistant to signs of wear. However, it’s still recommended you keep your dog’s nails short if you have natural wood floors.

What Are the Best Types of Wood Flooring for Children?

Hard types of wood like oak, walnut, maple, and hickory are ideal for you if you have children. They’re comfortable underfoot and absorb impacts well. Also, they don’t show signs of wear easily.

What Are the Best Types of Wood Flooring for Wet or Damp Environments?

Engineered wood flooring is a wise choice for wet environments because it’s partially made from synthetic materials. It combines the elegance of natural wood with the water resistance of synthetics, giving you the best of both worlds.

What Type of Wood Flooring Is Cheapest?

Bamboo and pine wood floors are among the cheapest on the market because of the abundance of their source plants. They’re both an ideal option for limited budgets.

What Type of Wood Flooring Is Most Expensive?

Walnut, teak, and mahogany are among the priciest wood flooring types on the market. Also, as a rule of thumb, solid wood floors cost more than engineered floors because they’re made solely of natural materials.

What Type of Wood Flooring Is Most Durable?

Solid hardwood floors like hickory and walnut are the most durable options on the market. They’re your best bet if you want your floors to last years without showing signs of wear.

Engineered vs. Solid Wood Flooring

The choice between engineered and solid wood depends on your needs and budget. Solid wood is the better choice for high-traffic areas because it’s more durable and scratch-resistant. However, it’s pricey. Meanwhile, engineered wood is more affordable but better suited for low to mid-traffic areas.

Laminate vs. Engineered Hardwood

If you prioritise style and longevity, then engineered hardwood floors are the best choice for you, given that they resemble natural wood and can last up to 100 years. However, if you have a limited budget and prioritise practicality, you can go with laminate, which is more resistant to wear. In the end, the choice depends on your needs.

To Wrap Up

Wood floors have an unbeatable charm in the renovation industry. They come in a myriad of designs and patterns to satisfy every taste. On top of that, they’re suitable for a wide range of applications. If you’re having a hard time choosing the right wood flooring for your property, our guide will lead you to the best fit according to your needs!

Also, if you’re renovating your floors and want professional help, set up a free consultation with us today!

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