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The Online Experts
for Oak Flooring.

The Engineered Sample Comparison Test – Value for Money

  1. Strength and Reliability
  • Do I believe this product has the best structure and strength for my personal installation situation; important facts to remember are;
    • Plywood underside is stronger than softwood or constructed core
    • Plywood underside will provide better stability than softwood or constructed core after installation
    • Plywood provides a stronger fix when secret nailing installation method is being used
    • Does the underside have a stabilising veneer?
      • If yes, is the stabilising veneer sealed for better moisture protection?
    • Do I believe that this product will provide the reliability that I expect?
    • Taking into consideration my preferred installation method, do I believe this product will feel like a natural oak floor when walked upon?
      • Sometimes a product under 15mm in thickness, when installed via the floating method, can ‘spring’ and ‘bounce’ when walked upon, giving the feeling of a cheap laminate instead of an oak floor
    • Is there a better product available for my situation?

My score on a scale of 1 to 10 for Strength and Reliability is….

  1. Performance and Durability
    • Thicker wear layer means more durability, so your floor will last longer; important facts to remember are;
      • 4mm wear layer will last 33% longer than a 3mm wear layer
      • 6mm wear layer will last 50% longer than a 4mm wear layer
      • Some companies state that every sanding required for refinishing will remove 0.5mm of the oak wear layer, and yet they supply products with only a 2.5mm layer
    • Do I believe this product will perform better than the other floor samples I have for my personal situation?
    • Do I believe that this product will perform well enough and for long enough, when installed in my personal situation?
    • Does the product meet the required specification for my situation?
      • An example here would be whether or not you have Under Floor Heating
      • Another would be if you are fixing directly to joists or battens because the product would need to be structural grade

My score on a scale of 1 to 10 for Performance and Durability is….

  1. Specification, Conformance and Serviceability
    • Is the product specification sufficient to meet the demands of my personal situation?
    • Are the machining tolerances sufficiently accurate to enable fast and simple installation?
      • Accurate tolerances make installation easier because every board fits into the next without leaving unsightly gaps between them
      • Sometimes if the tolerances are too great, remedial work can cost as much as the floor
      • At the very least, if tolerances are not accurate enough, the installer will need to spend more time selecting boards of similar width during installation
      • In some cases of extremely poor production, the floor will need to be replaced, which will cause further delays, costs and inconvenience
    • What will the cost of installation be for this product?
    • Is the product specification sufficient to avoid defects or floor failure after installation?
    • Does the product meet the required industry standards for sustainability; FSC etc?
    • How easy will the product be to maintain and repair?
    • How long will the product take to maintain and repair?
    • How often will this product need to be maintained or repaired?
    • How much disruption will maintenance and repair cause?

My score on a scale of 1 to 10 for Specification, Conformance and Serviceability is….

  1. Features and Aesthetics
    • Does the product look and feel like I want it to?
    • Will I be satisfied with the overall appearance when this product is installed in the area I intend to install it?
    • Do I believe that this product has the required features to satisfy my requirements?
    • Do I believe that by spending the amount of money this product costs, I will be happy with the end result after installation is complete?

My score on a scale of 1 to 10 for Features and Aesthetics is….

  1. Perceived Quality; this can only really be defined by the person considering purchase and will vary from person to person, depending on their personal assessment
    • Do I believe this product is the best quality I can buy for my personal situation?
    • Am I being led by the company description and sales talk, rather than actual facts?
    • Is there a better, more suitable product for my situation?
    • When I consider the quality and cost of this product, do I believe that it offers the best value for money?

My score on a scale of 1 to 10 for Perceived Quality is….

From a possible 50 points, this product scores a total of…..

Perceived Value for Money

The above questionnaire/guide goes some way to reducing the risk of making emotional decisions about the product we are buying, but we must now convert the points comparison into value for money terms, so this is where personal assessment and emotion must now play a part.

The big question is when you consider the score for each product sample, how do I link the points earned to the price for that particular product, so that I can reach a value for money score?

For example, one sample may score 48 points from a possible 50 but it costs £250 per M2, and another may score 8 points and cost £6 per M2, so how do you evaluate value for money for these two products, being that they score so differently?

Obviously budget and personal preference must play a part in this stage of the decision making process, so we think the best way to do this is for each individual considering the purchase to apply the following questions;

  • What is my budget and can it realistically achieve what I want as a finished floor?
  • Which products are within my budget that I like?
  • Will I be happy and satisfied with my purchase if I buy one of these products?
  • Is it worth increasing my budget to buy the best product for my situation, or is there one available that will satisfy my needs and desires?

The final decision must be yours, the buyer.

Nobody else knows the full details of your personal situation, so you are the only person who can make the most informed decision about your needs and wants.

We just hope that this information has helped you to make the right decision, and one that you will be happy with for many years to come.

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