If you’re a first time wood floor buyer, we recon you would maybe welcome some help?
The wood flooring market is now so big and so competitive that it can become really confusing making sure you get what you want, at the right price. It’s for this reason that we’ve put this guide together.
1. Different types of wood floor - There are two main types of wood flooring, and they are solid wood and engineered wood. Solid hardwood flooring, as the name suggests is made from planks, which are created from one single piece of timber eg. oak or walnut, whereas engineered hardwood flooring is based on a combination of wood and other materials. Engineered wood flooring is made of three layers of hardwood plus a layer of plywood or MDF and is finished off with a layer of hardwood. Because of the make up of the top layer of engineered hardwood flooring, the look of both solid and engineered hardwood flooring is the same.
The main advantage of engineered wood flooring over solid wood is that it withstands better any temperature and moisture fluctuations. That said, solid wood has the advantage of being able to be sanded and re-finished more often than engineered wood flooring which can be sanded up to a maximum of 6 times only.
2. Different fitting methods - There are 4 main floor fitting methods, from which you can select the most appropriate for your project. They are:
A. Glued – Fully glued floor fitting is arguably amongst the most popular choice for fitting a wooden floor in this day and age. To glue a wooden floor, a full coverage of flexible wood adhesive is applied to the sub-floor and the boards are placed directly on top. A glued floor will feel as solid as a nailed floor as well as allowing for expansion and contraction (due to the flexibility of the glue). Furthermore, when fitted on top of UFH (under floor heating), glueing will also prevent existence of any air pockets which might otherwise occur.
B. Nailed or stapled – Nailing is the traditional method used to fit wooden floors. Nailing generally involves what is known in the trade as “secret nailing”. Secret nailing means putting nails through the tongue of the wooden boards. Those nails are then covered when the groove is butted up to the secured board. Nailed floors can be laid over timber battens; directly on to timber floor joists or on to concrete sub-floors after fitting a layer of plywood or an Oriented Strand Board (OSB). Staples are now commonly used in place of nails to speed up the process.
C. Floating - A floating wood floor is a floor that is neither nailed nor glued to the sub-floor. The only place glue might be used in this type of installation is between the tongue and groove. In a domestic situation, a floating floor might be laid over a sub-floor or over an existing floor after laying an appropriate underlay. Floating floors are not recommended for solid wood flooring unless the dimensions of the floor board and the room are small.
3. Different finishes - Flooring comes in a whole host of finishes, which can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the terms. Here’s a guide to the terminology you’re likely to come across:
A. Lacquered Finish – This type of finish gives the wood floor an extra strong, protective coating and creates a smooth, gloss surface. A lacquered finish is best for flooring areas where there is little sunshine.
B. UV Lacquered Finish – This type of finish gives the wood floor an extra strong, protective coating and creates a smooth, matt surface. UV lacquered finish is a particularly popular option designed for rooms where there is a lot of sunshine, and the desired finish is matt.
C. Oiled Finish – An oiled finish effect gives the floor an extra strong, natural look and a sound protective coating. Oiled finishes are particularly popular with people keen to retain a natural look, but also protect the wood at the same time.
D. Oiled and Brushed Finish – An oiled and brushed finish is similar to a straight oiled finish, where the floor is coated in a protective coating, but has an even more natural look to it as the brushed effect creates a naturally textured surface that gently highlights the natural grain structure.
E. Thermo Treated, Brushed & Oiled Finish – The Thermo Treated technique allows the floor to reach a very dark color, almost black (very similar to Wenge). Thermo Treated finishing is popular with those who are seeking a strong, dark colour floor within a competitive budget.
4. Different species - Wood flooring comes in a whole host of species, most of which have their own specific characteristics of, for example, durability, grain and colour. In many respects (apart from durability), the species you choose will depend on the look you’re seeking for your room and of course your budget.
5. Different costs you need to take into account - Essentially, the costs you’ll need to allow for when calculating the final bill for your new flooring are: the flooring itself, fitting and accessories.
A. In order to calculate the cost of the flooring itself, you’ll need to work out exactly how much flooring you need before you can calculate how much the final bill will be. You might find this article helpful if you need help calculating the cost of your flooring.
B. When it comes to calculating your fitting costs, many people assume that a DIY option = zero cost. This is not the case. While you may completely willing to give your time to your project for free, there are other costs which need to be taken into account. Hiring or buying tools for example as well as the buying of all the finishing items can begin to add up. So, if you’ve rejected a professional fitter in the belief that you’ll gain huge financial advantage, it’s worth thinking again. Take a look at this article to get the up and downsides of DIY versus a professional fitter.
C. Accessories to finish your flooring project to a high standard need to be taken into account when you’re working out your final costs. Underlay, which is an important part of a successful project, as well as reducers, nosing, beads and pipe ferrules all give your floor that really stunning finished look and can add up, throwing you quickly off budget if you haven’t allowed for them, so don’t be caught out!
6. Maintenance – The great news about a high quality wooden floor is that it couldn’t be simpler to maintain. A quick vacuum and a wipe over with a moist, not wet mop should keep your floor looking great. Things like a high quality doormat will help, by keeping damaging dust and grit to a minimum. In the event of damage, there’s a whole host of rescue remedies which you can employ and if all else fails, you can take on a complete re-sand and re-finish. Now that can’t be said for carpet, can it?Google+