There are numerous flooring materials that are suitable for residential and commercial properties. A popular option and the topic of this blog post is real wood flooring. If you are considering wood as the basis of your new floor, here are a number of considerations to take into account to help secure a long service life from the floor.
Types of Wood Floorboard
The definition of real wood comprises of two options, each containing real hardwood in different concentration. During your research and quotation stage, you will likely hear terms such as ‘solid wood’ and ‘engineered wood’. Here’s what these terms stand for.
Solid Wood Flooring – It is a type of real wood flooring in which each floorboard is made from 100% hardwood, typically Oak and Walnut. Thickness and width will vary between suppliers, however, length is often naturally limited based on the tree from which the boards were taken from. Benefits here.
The solid construction featuring complete wood means that the floorboards are extremely strong and this should equal a lengthy service life when due care is applied. It also makes it possible to sand the floorboards a number of times during their fitted life thereby reducing the need to replace the floor too often.
Engineered Wood Flooring – It is also a type of real wood flooring in which each floorboard is made from a top layer of solid wood in typical thickness of 3mm, 4mm, 5mm or 6mm thick. The rest of the floorboard is made from layers of syntactic materials such as Plywood and MDF. Laminate timber flooring is a great option for your home.
The use of wood as the top layer helps ensure that these floorboards look identical to solid floorboards. Although service life isn’t as extensive as solid wood, you should still expect over 25 years of service life thereby exceeding other flooring solutions such as carpet (10 years) and laminate (15 years).
Often the decision between the two types will be based on the area within the property. The solid type may seem the clear winner due to its long service life; however, as a natural material, it has a number of physical limitations. On the other hand, the engineered type is more versatile in terms of suitability around the property. It is easier to explain based on the room type and intended use.
Over Under Floor Heating – Solid wood when fitted over under floor heating will expand causing the floorboard to lift. In such areas, only engineered wood should be fitted. Its manmade core makes the floorboard immune to such a reaction. See: Bedroom Flooring Guide.
Other Areas – As long as the above constraints do not apply, you can safely consider either of the two types. Points to bear in mind when it comes to decision time:
- The use of artificial materials makes the engineered boards slightly more affordable so budget wise it might be easier on your wallet
- Of the three common fitting methods, floating is the quickest fitting method and only possible in the case of engineered wood