Wood flooring is more popular than ever. In Arizona, I have more clients requesting wood flooring over tiles which were the prior go to flooring option for most. There are so many options not only in how the wood floors look, but how they are constructed and it can get a bit confusing . S Interior Design thinks that this guest posting will help take away some of that confusion. If you love the look of the wood floor, but your budget doesn’t allow for that, there are also some good alternatives available; wood look laminates (have come sooo far!) and even tile that emulates wood planks.
Until just a few years ago your options when fitting wood flooring were very straightforward. Equally they were also limiting, as wood in its natural form does not fit outdoors nor does it fit well in areas that experience humid and damp conditions such as the kitchen, bathroom and basement. So what has changes and what are your options nowadays?
Types of Wood Flooring: Today you can choose between two types of wood flooring technology, each offering its pros as well as cons. The two are engineered wood and solid wood.
Engineered Wood Flooring – Each planks is made of three syntactic materials and a layer of solid wood. The use of solid wood on the top means that they look exactly like traditional wood flooring, however the use of syntactic materials underneath means that engineer type does not inherit the limitations of wood.
Typical Uses – If you intend to fit wood flooring in a potentially humid area such the bathroom, your only safe option is engineered wood. If you intend to fit the floor yourself, it is possible to fit these planks in a floating installation so glues, nails and staples are not required and it therefore makes engineered easier to fit.
Solid Wood Flooring – Each planks is made from complete natural wood. These are the traditional types that until a few years ago were also your one and only option.
Typical Uses – If longevity and durability are an issue, such as in commercial properties, solid wood offers a service life potential of 100 years. Additionally, the surface can be sanded and coated again every few years thereby making the floor look brand spankin new.
Grades Of Wood: Both solid and engineered types are made from solid wood. Made completely from solid wood in the case of solid floors or as a top layer in the case of engineered floors. The solid wood is divided into levels of grade. It is an indication to the visual side of the plank, nothing to do with quality. Your choice of one grade over the other depends on your design taste and budget, as the higher grades will cost slightly more.
Prime grade – Prime grade wood flooring are cut from the middle of the tree which means that the floorboard will have the least amount of colour variations between the planks and knots are very few in between.
Select grade – Select grade wood flooring are cut from the second ring from within the core of the tree which means that the floorboards will show some colour variations between the plank and some knots can be expected.
Natural grade – Natural grade will feature sapwood and black knots of up to 30cm in size. Compared to the previous two grades, price difference will become more substantial making this grade very popular when fitting wood floors on a tight budget.
Rustic grade – Floorboards will feature sapwood and black knots of 35cm. There might be unlimited colour variation between the floorboards. Rustic is the most affordable option.
Colours Of Wood Flooring – Another changing aspect of wood flooring are the colours of the planks. In the past the species of wood (e.g. Pine, Walnut, Oak etc) would have determined the colour of the plank. While this is still true, flooring technology has allowed for special colours to cover the planks and thereby meet the precise shade to compliment your interior. Examples of bespoke colour include:
It is always a good idea to consult with professional interior designers prior to fitting wood flooring. These options and considerations make wood flooring less straightforward than it used to be. However, it also means that wood can fit more interiors than ever before as well as suitable across more areas in your home or commercial property.
Guide and images by Oak Flooring company Wood and Beyond. London based company of solid oak flooring, engineered, decking and worktops. Its woods are FSC sourced (stands for Forest Stewardship Council).