Wooden Flooring

Wooden flooring offers natural beauty and elegance and is a fantastic alternative to carpet, laminate or tiles.  There are many different types, styles and colours of wooden flooring and there are numerous factors that need to be considered before buying a wooden floor.



What type of room is the wooden floor going in?

Wooden flooring is durable and versatile and can be installed in almost any room in your house.  The two main types of wooden flooring are solid and engineered.  Solid wood flooring is made from one whole piece of solid wood. Engineered wood flooring has a real wood top layer with plywood base layers to give additional strength and stability. Both solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring are ideal for any living space, bedroom, study or hallway.  If however, you are thinking about having a wooden floor in a kitchen or conservatory then we would strongly recommend using engineered wood flooring.  This is because the construction of the planks of engineered flooring have extra stability to withstand any fluctuations in temperature, heat, moisture or humidity.

The only areas that it is not recommended to use wooden flooring is any areas with excessive water that could get dripped or spilt onto the floor (like bathrooms).  Wooden flooring is water resistant to an extent but if water or liquid is left to soak into to planks of flooring then it can cause irreparable damage.  We would recommend that you use Vinyl flooring in bathrooms as they have a fully waterproof range.



How busy is the room the wooden floor is going in?

This is an important question to ask yourself.  Wooden floors of different species of wood are all different strengths so you may require a more durable species of wood if it is a particularly busy area like a hallway.  There is a test called the Janka Hardness Test that scientifically determines how hard one species of wood is compared to another. This will help when choosing a wooden floor. Oak flooring is popular because it is relatively durable and can cope well with the daily wear and tear in busy areas.  One of the hardest types of hardwood flooring is Jatoba, but it is also very rare which makes it extremely expensive. On the other end of the scale is Walnut flooring, which is a softer hardwood flooring option but makes up for this with its beautiful dark and caramel tones.

Whichever wooden floor you choose, you will need to make sure you look after it by taking preventative measures to avoid dents and scratches and keep it clean and dirt free.  Have a read through our Wooden Floor Care Guide for more information.


What type of subfloor do you have?

The subfloor is the existing floor that is in your property.  Usually it is either joists, concrete, wooden floor boards, plywood or chipboard.  If you have joists then you will need to choose a wooden floor that is at least 18mm in thickness so that it has the correct load bearing properties to cope with the extra pressure put on the flooring.  If you have concrete, wooden floor boards, chipboard or plywood then you can choose any type of flooring.  For more information please read the following: Fitting wood flooring to different subfloors.



Do you have or want underfloor heating?

If you are thinking about using underfloor heating with your wooden floor then you will need to use engineered hardwood.  This has been designed and approved to be used with both electric and water underfloor heating systems.  The engineered planks of flooring are stable enough to cope with the constant changes in temperature.



How do you want to fit your wooden floor?

Installing your wooden floor depends upon the type of subfloor that you have and the type of flooring that you choose.  Solid wood flooring usually has a tongue and groove fitting system and must be fixed into position using either a flexible flooring adhesive or secret nails or screws.  Engineered wood flooring is available with either a tongue and groove fitting profile or a click fitting system.  The click fitting system is easy to use and requires no equipment or specialist knowledge.  Any type of engineered wood flooring can either be loose laid over an underlay or fixed directly to the subfloor.  For more information about installing a wooden floor, please have a look at our Installation and Fitting Guide



Do you have a budget?

Prices of hardwood flooring differ quite significantly depending upon the species of hardwood, the type of flooring and the size of the planks.  Generally speaking, solid wood flooring is more expensive than engineered wood flooring because more solid wood is being used.  Also, wider, longer or thicker planks of flooring are more costly, again because more wood is being used in the production of the flooring.  Prices are also determined by the species of hardwood. The more rare the species, the more expensive it is.  An example of this would be that Oak is a common wood for flooring and can be found at very reasonable prices, whereas Walnut is more rare and is far more costly for a similar style and size of floor.



What style and colour of wooden flooring do you want?

One of the main things to think about when choosing wood flooring is the style and colour of the floor.  This is usually determined by the species of wood and what kind of finish the flooring has.  Different species of wood have different colours, tones and grain patterns so be sure to have a look throughout our whole range before making any decisions.  Light coloured floors are great for adding brightness to a small or dark room, whereas darker coloured wood flooring adds sophistication and style to most areas.  It is important to remember that the planks of flooring can come in a range of different sizes too, including narrow boards, wide boards, 3-strip flooring and parquet block.

When it comes to surface finish you have the choice of either unfinished wood flooring or pre-finished wood flooring.  An unfinished floor is simply the raw wood that will need protecting once it has been installed.  This is a great choice if you want to add your own finishing touches with your choice of colour stain, oils or lacquers.  Alternatively, you could choose a wood floor that has already been pre-finished.  This means that the surface of the wood flooring has already had oils or lacquers added to give either a natural, matt or satin-matt finish.  Some pre-finished floors may have also been stained to change their colour slightly, or may have been distressed to create an aged, worn and textured feel.  The choices are endless.  Have a look at our Wood Flooring Guide which helps to explain the different profile types, constructions and finishes of hardwood floors. 

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