Wood Flooring Types:
There are two types of wood flooring that you can choose between. The traditional type that has been around for centuries and can be seen in period and historical properties and an alternative that has been introduced in recent years. The traditional type is called solid wood flooring, while the alternative is called engineered wood flooring.
Engineered Wood Flooring – Each plank is made of wood and syntactic materials mixed together, hence the use of the term ‘engineered’. The top layer is made from wood such as Oak, walnut and other common species and supported by three to four layers of MDF, Plywood and Softwood (the syntactic layers). The result is a plank of wood that looks precisely as you would expect wood flooring to look, but acts differently in challenging conditions for natural wood.
Pros – If you are looking to fit traditional wood flooring in surroundings that include humid, wet or damp conditions (for example the bathroom, kitchen, conservatory etc) an engineer plank is the only choice. Furthermore, if the property benefits from under floor heating, again an engineer plank is the only wood flooring solution that will last.
Cons – The varied construction of wood and syntactic materials means that service life does not match the likes of traditional wood floors. Furthermore, sanding and recoating, a process that can rejuvenate the planks is limited in the number of times the process can be repeated.
Solid Wood Flooring – Each plank is made of 100% solid hardwood (hardwood as opposed to softwood takes longer to grow and this leads to greater strength) such as Oak, Walnut as well as some exotic wood species. The result is a plank of natural wood that can exceed 100 years of service life when correct care is adhered to.
Pros – The complete solid build means that properties that experience high level of foot traffic, for example commercial properties often prefer solid wood flooring. Furthermore, each plank can be sanded and recoated from time to time. The process rejuvenates the planks by removing a 1mm layer of old wood to expose new wood.
Cons – When solid wood flooring is fitted, an expansion gap around the perimeter of your room is left. This tiny gap of around 15mm allows the wood to contract in cold temperatures or expand in hot temperatures. When fitted over under floor heating or in areas that experience humid, wet or damp conditions solid wood flooring will damage quickly and require an expensive fix.
Your decision as to which type to fit should revolve around practicality, type of property and the area. Contact Central Decorators for further help with your project.
Information by Wood and Beyond and written for Central Decorators. Wood and Beyond are London based hardwood merchants offering wood floors, kitchen worktops and decking.