Across the wood flooring industry there are many different types of woods and finishes available. This can make it difficult to decide which one to choose and what finish to have. We have compiled a guide to encompass the many styles of wood flooring.
Deciding what type of wood flooring is right for your project
The best way to determine the style and finish is to consider what you need from your flooring. Consider questions including:
- Where will you your flooring be fitted?
- What is the foot traffic likely to be in the room?
- What is the level of humidity?
We will provide a full consultation to help you determine which style and finish that will encompass your perfect wood flooring.
The Types Of Wood Flooring Available
There are a number of wood flooring options available and each one has a range of uses, these flooring options are generally:
- Solid Hardwood/Real Wood
- Engineered Wood
- Floating Wood
- Reclaimed Wood
Types Of Imitation Wood Flooring
Solid Hardwood/Real Wood
What Is Hardwood?
Real wood flooring is exactly how it sounds; it is made up of cuts from a particular tree and then shaped to create solid wood boards. There are many varieties of solid wood available including: Oak, Maple, Beech, Cherry and Ash. You can also use more exotic varieties dependant on the style of flooring that you would like and what character you would like to bring to the room.
Where Should I Lay Solid Hardwood Flooring?
Solid Hardwood looks particularly impressive in a lounge, bedroom, hall or dining room. It is popular with visiting guests, and homeowners often find it a naturally beautiful addition to their home.
What Is The Best Wood To Use In My Room?
Each wood has its own properties, with a variety of grains, colours and levels of hardness to choose from. We find that oak flooring is particularly reliable, strong and adaptable for many areas of the home especially if you follow the correct care and maintenance required. You can alter the colour and style by choosing a finish that complements your taste (please see further down for finishes).
Oak has been used for many years across Europe and the World, for everything from building ships to creating homes. This has given oak a reputation for being sturdy in nature and filled with long-lasting charm.
How Long Will My Solid Wood Flooring Last?
Solid wood and particularly solid oak, if cared for correctly, can last a long period of time. Solid oak can quite literally last a lifetime, making it a solid investment for any home. Hardwood oak flooring can be re-finished meaning you can revive and reinvent your flooring style when as your style changes.
What Is Engineered Wood?
This variety of wooden flooring involves the composition of several layers of wood fixed together. It is generally made up of a plywood or veneer base with softwood boarding and a top wear layer of your chosen wood.
Where Should I Lay Engineered Wood Flooring?
Engineered oak flooring is ideal for areas prone to higher humidity rather than using solid oak flooring, which may struggle with damp a little more. Engineered wood flooring is specially treated to prevent swelling and cracking, which can occur from varied temperatures and damp. Due to this feature, is has become a popular addition to kitchens where spillages and varied cooking temperatures often occur.
How Long Will My Engineered Wood Flooring Last?
We want your engineered oak flooring to last as long as possible, which is why we recommend that you have at least a 4mm wear layer. This way your flooring can last for a longer period as the surface can be repaired, if need be, over time.
What Is Floating Wood?
Floating wood is essentially another form of engineered wood. It is placed above the sub-floor rather than directly onto it. This can prevent damp and moisture affecting the floor. It can be installed over almost any surface and is a very versatile floor.
Where Should I Lay Floating Wood?
Due its protection against damp, floating wood can be useful for areas that suffer with humid sub-flooring. Kitchens, utility rooms and hallways could be ideal places for floating wood.
How Long Will My Floating Wood Flooring Last?
Due to its protection from sub-flooring and its damp treatment, floating wood flooring is very durable. Not only can you repair the surface like a regular engineered wood floor but you also have the extra damp protection creating a longer lasting floor.
What Is Reclaimed Wood?
Reclaimed Wood is a way to upcycle old wood that has literally been reclaimed from another home, building or project. There are a huge variety of styles available from different periods of time.
Where Should I Lay Reclaimed Wood Flooring?
As reclaimed wood can be a variety of styles and finishes, the recommended application for this type of flooring can vary. We advise you find as much information as possible, such as the type of wood and finish to fully determine where it would fit best.
How Long Will My Reclaimed Wood Flooring Last?
This can vary dependant on the weathering of the wood, how old the wood is, the finish, the type of wood and many other factors. Look for a well-maintained and quality wood to get the most out of your floor.
Vinyl Wood Imitation Flooring
What Is Vinyl Wood Imitation Flooring?
Vinyl flooring gives the appearance of wood flooring when really the boards are flexible and bend like plastic.
Where Should I Lay Vinyl Wood Imitation Flooring
Due to its water resistance level, Vinyl is often used in areas like kitchens and bathrooms where the humidity level is higher.
How Long Will My Vinyl Wood Imitation Floor Last?
If you chose to have vinyl you need to ensure you take care not to mark or damage it. Damage to vinyl cannot be sanded away like wood. Movement of furniture can scratch vinyl and sharp objects falling onto the floor could cut the surface. Due to these issues, vinyl may not last as long as other flooring options.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate is made up of a photographic image layered onto plastic and then backed onto a board. Laminate has been said to occasionally look artificial and so if you are looking to portray a rustic wooden finish then this may not be the best option for you.
Where Should I Lay Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring can be used in kitchens and other high moisture areas as long as standing water is not left on the surface for long. Laminate can swell and look unsightly if consistently exposed to standing water.
How Long Will My Laminate Floor Last?
This can depend upon a few elements; laminate flooring cannot be sanded and re-finished like real wood so it is important to take great care not to damage the surface. We also recommend you try to ensure that your laminate does not become exposed to consistent standing water.
There are a number of stunning finishes available that can be applied to wood flooring. Whether you prefer a clear, smooth, amber, low-lustre or other finish; each one provides a different style and varied level of protection. It is important to consider what you need from your flooring and also what style you would like. We provide stunning and long lasting finishes including natural oiled, dark-oiled and lacquered.
Oil-based finishes sink in to the surface and enhance the grain of the floor, giving the floor a natural finish. Oils are generally easy to apply enabling surface repairs to often be simple. Stains to the wood can be easily repaired as they can be scoured and the oil can then be re-applied.
Lacquers are fast drying and dependable; they deeply penetrate the wood creating a protective seal. Lacquers produce a range of beautiful finishes including matt, medium and high gloss so you can choose your own style. It also leaves a clear coat and resists yellowing.
This finish can be moisture-resistant and durable but when applying it is important to have good ventilation. The fumes when applying this finish can be particularly strong during application.
Water-based finishes are usually clear in colour and resist yellowing, so they produce a clear coat whereas oil-based finishes produce a warm amber finish. Although water-based can take less time to dry they can require more coats.
This finish is very durable and is fast drying; unfortunately it can omit high odours and be difficult to re-finish.
If you prefer a low-lustre finish then wax may be a good option for you. It soaks into the pores of the wood for a protective seal but can unfortunately need regular application.
This is done using an ultraviolet light and there are multiple levels of sheen available. If applying, please be aware that ultraviolet rays can be very dangerous to the skin and eyes; always wear specialist equipment.
These are usually made of natural oils like Tun and Linseed; these are then blended with additives. Products that both penetrate and harden the wood can have strong durability.
This is injected into the wood for durability and due to its strength is often used in high traffic commercial buildings. It does not tend to be used in residential homes.
Now you have seen the variety of wood, imitation wood and finishes available, you can begin to plan your perfect room. We have an elegant range of free samples for most of our flooring styles but for more information on the options available please contact us.