My Wood Floor guide to choosing wood flooring Helpful Home Advice Urbane Living

My Wood Floor  guide to choosing wood flooring Helpful Home Advice Urbane Living

My Wood Floor guide to choosing wood flooring

Wood flooring looks great and feels wonderful underfoot. There is a wide range available and the characteristics of your floor will depend on the type of tree it comes from. Wood flooring. as a natural product, offers infinite variations from tree to tree, all of which give your floor its unique character.

Here are some tips to consider when choosing your wooden floors:

Use of the room

As hardwoods are dense and more resistant to damage compared to softwoods they are best for areas of high traffic such as the hall or living room. Dark woods are generally hardest; Merbau being the hardest wearing. Oak is a popular hardwood with a tight, dark grain. Birch and pine are popular softwood. If you maintain your softwood floor, it should last as long as a hardwood.

As a natural substance, wood expands and contracts with extremes of humidity. Sometimes you find small gaps appearing between floor boards especially next to an Aga or conservatory. Don’t be concerned as they will vanish again when the temperature changes.

The colour of the board depends much on personal taste as the size and age of a property. Oak flooring has distinct colour variation in the natural grain and lend themselves particularly well to traditional style properties. Lighter woods such as Ash flooring  suit the modern Scandinavian look. Maple is a good choice if you are looking for a pale and uniform look with subtle grain appearance. Oak and ash floors are well suited to colour treatments such as Limed Oak Flooring or staining with colour oils. Oak and Ash also suit themselves heat treatments such as thermo Oak Flooring and Thermo Oak Flooring  or thermo Ash Flooring  alternatively fumed oak flooring also give some warm shades of brown.

Darker woods such as Walnut flooring  is ideal if there is good natural light or your room is compensated large light walls and good lighting. Some exotic wood flooring  including Jatoba require a maturing period before it reveals the true colour which should become natural within a few months.

Grain Structure

The variations in the structure are technically known in the wood flooring industry as wood flooring grades. The grade of wood is used to determine the degree to which natural characteristics i.e. grain, sap-wood, knothole are allowed in the assortment.

For example, the Select or Prime grade are products made from selected hardwoods. The floor’s overall hue is clean, even and virtually knot-free. The grain patterns delineating the floor’s surface are generally the densest, straightness, and lightest in tone. The Select grade is usually the most expensive.

The Nature grade products are made from core timber. Often the wood’s grain patterns are clearly visible. Small knots are allowed in the assortment giving the floor an interesting appeal.

The Rustic or Traditional grade shows more pronounced variation in the grain. These products are manufactured from heartwood and sapwood. The colouring is variable and contains more natural characteristics than the Select and Nature grades.

My Wood Floor  guide to choosing wood flooring Helpful Home Advice Urbane Living

Solid Wood Floors

Solid wood floors are cut from a single piece of timber. They can be sanded down and refinished over generations of use making them a long lasting interior material. You can lay them directly onto existing boards as long as these are dry and secure. Alternatively replace the existing floorboards entirely and lay new ones directly onto joists using thick boards with 18mm thickness. As solid wood floors are solid all the way through, they are sensitive to moisture. Hence, it is not recommended to install the solid wood floors directly over new concrete slabs or in areas with higher moisture content such as bathrooms or basements.

Engineered Floors

Engineered floors have a sandwich-like construction of three layers; the top layer consists of a solid wood veneer, while the lower layers are typically softwood. As a result of the multiple layers construction, they are able to withstand changes in temperature, humidity and weight. The exceptional stability of engineered flooring means they are suitable for installing over concrete slabs or in high moisture areas such as bathrooms or basements. The thickness of wood veneer is also an important consideration; the thicker the veneer, the more often the floor can be re-sanded, so prolonging its useful life and hence conserving valuable resources. More on engineered wood flooring .


Bamboo flooring  is an increasing popular option for all floors. Bamboo is made from quick growing bamboo stalks. They grow in large amounts and to a height of 60’ within the first several months of growth and thereafter are harvested every 5-6 years. Solid Bamboo floors are a form of engineered floor. The strips of bamboo are engineered into three layers to provide additional stability and minimise natural expansion of the bamboo, therefore, the floor is stable enough to “nail-down” or glue-down. Due to its high fibre density, they are more solid and harder wearing than many hardwoods including oak and maple.

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