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Tips For Wood Flooring

As part of your property’s renovation or restoration work you may decide to fit new flooring. In this guide by period property we will cover the most important aspects to consider when deciding on wood flooring for your period home as wood is one of the more common flooring choices. Choosing the right wood flooring will have an impact on the durability of the floor and on the interior design look of the complete project, which is especially important in restoration work.

1. The traditional wood flooring also known, as ‘real wood flooring’ is in fact a type of wood flooring called solid wood flooring. These are made from 100% solid wood commonly Oak or Walnut and feature in many period homes. Solid wood flooring enjoys an outstanding service life of around 100 years when care has been applied in the correct manner, which helps explain solid woods popularly. They are suitable for a wide range of properties.

2. Solid wood flooring does have one drawback that makes the wood unsuitable for some properties or in some locations. Wood has a natural reaction to expand in hot conditions and contract in cold conditions. Because they are made from 100% real wood, solid wood flooring inherit this reaction. If that is likely to present a problem in your period home, engineered wood flooring is the alternative.

3. Engineered wood flooring contains real wood, but only as a top layer. This top real wood layer is called the lamella and three or four layers of Plywood, HDF, and Softwood underneath support it. The result is a strong board of wood flooring that looks precisely like solid wood flooring but is immune to the natural reaction of wood to expand and contract. They are suitable for any type of period property, though their durability will cannot complete with solids.

Laquered Floor
4. If you are looking to fit wood flooring in a moist and damp area such as the kitchen, a bathroom or a basement or even if your period home is located next to a water source such as stream, engineered wood flooring are strongly recommended. Using a heavy lacquered finish, the wood is made effectively waterproof thereby greatly eliminating damage from damp and moisture.

5. The main benefits of solid wood flooring are its durability, extensive service life and strength. On the other hand, the wood may expand or contract and the floorboards are limited in size as the core and only material is real wood. The main benefits of engineered wood flooring are their fitting suitability when solid is not an option, ease of installation using floating method and their real wood looks. Floating installation that is offered only in the case of engineered wood flooring can help when restoration work is done on a tight budget. On the other hand, they will never match the service life of solid wood flooring.

6. Both solid and engineered wood flooring contain real wood (100% in solids and as a top layer in engineered case). The wood that is used will vary depending on the grade of wood. You will need to decide on a suitable grade to match your interior design style and budget. The highest grade is prime grade and the most basic grade is rustic grade. In between you will come across natural and select grade. The higher the grade is the more refine the wood is in terms of colour variations between the floorboards and fewer knots. Equally, the higher the grade is, the more it would cost so your decision as to the grade should be based on your interior design requirements and budget.

Oak Floor
7. Solid and engineered are further divided by the style of wood. The style will have the biggest impact on the interior design look of the finished property. For example, if you are considering having your period home restored you may think that only reclaimed flooring is your option, however reclaimed (used wood flooring) may cost 20 times the price of normal wood flooring. Using various methods, wooden flooring companies are able to offer types of antique look in the form of distressed and hand-scarped styles that look as if the floor has been fitted for many years, but at significantly less compared to reclaimed wood flooring.

8. Next you will be required to choose a finish to cover the floor. The finish is important to provide a basic level of protection to the wood. The most common are oiled, UV oiled (stronger of the two) and lacquered. Each is slightly different in how you are meant to care for the floor so further reading is recommended.

9. After deciding between solid or engineered wood flooring comes the stage of choosing the fitting method. If you are using an expert, they will know which fitting method is more suitable. The options are floating installation that is the easiest and quickest type, though only available for engineered wood flooring. The other common options are glue-down and nail-down. These will make the cost of fitting slightly more expensive, however it will create longer lasting result. Glue-down and mail-down are your only options when solid wood flooring is concerned.

10. Fitting wood flooring during your renovation or restoration work could uplift the project. It is important that you choose wisely and that you have the floor fitted by an expert as the quality of fitting will have a direct impact on the longevity of the floor.