If you are considering new flooring for your residential or commercial property, there are lots of options ranging from carpet to vinyl. One of the most popular is the hardwood type. Aesthetically pleasing, hardwood flooring is widely considered a luxury option amongst many property industry professionals.
If you are thinking about getting hardwood flooring, you will come across many types. You can consult with a flooring fitter to help you chose the most suitable option, as well as, reading our handy guide below.
Hardwood Flooring Types
Natural wood does not react well to heat e.g. the warmth from under floor heating. Nor is it suitable for damp and humid conditions from bathroom, kitchen and basement areas. To overcome the natural limitations of wood in these conditions, the industry has two types of wood flooring to offer.
Solid Hardwood – Made from 100% natural wood, these are the most common of the two, widely seen in all types of properties. The extensive use of wood accounts for their durability and service life that can exceed 100 years. In period and historical homes, you will widely come across solid hardwood floors that have been fitted some time ago as the floors stand the test of time.
Engineered Hardwood – Made from natural wood and artificial materials, it overcomes the aforementioned limitations, though at the expense of a shorter service life. Natural wood is used as a top layer, meaning that visually it looks identical to solid wood. Three to four layers of manmade materials such as MDF and Plywood support this layer of natural wood to create one floorboard.
Benefits of One Over the Other
Both solid and engineered hardwood look identical when fitted, and each will benefit different areas based on its limitations.
Commercial and Retail Properties – Long service life, stability and durability are paramount to commercial properties in which down time due to floor replacement may account for loss of production. Solid timber with its longer service life potential is often the preferred choice.
Areas With Under Floor Hearing Or The Presence Of Humid Conditions – As a natural material, wood has only a small number of limitations. In the face of hot temperatures, it will expand in size and in cold temperatures it will logically contract. This reaction can damage solid hardwood timber, however not engineered timber due to its varied construction.
All Other Areas – If given the choice of either, solid hardwood is a sensible choice due to its longevity potential. However, engineered hardwood is often a more affordable option and should be seriously considered.
The solid layer of wood that exists in both construction types is divided based on the level of grade. Grade is an indication of how refined the wood is in terms of perfection within the timber boards. The higher the grade is, the more refined the planks are. The four common grades of wood flooring are prime, select, natural and rustic. Prime is the highest most refined grade of wood, while on the other hand rustic, also known as country grade, the most basic option.
Wood Flooring Colours
Until recently the colour of the boards were determined based on the type of tree. In recent years suppliers have been able to colour the wood to match a particular interior design. It is possible to colour the boards thereby achieving certain shades from white effect to dark grey shades, which was unheard of in the hardwood flooring and interior design market just a few years ago.
So when it comes to deciding on hardwood flooring, your options include the construction type, grade and colour of the wood.