If you’re considering a flooring project for your home extension, the chances are that you’re either planning an extension or you’re in the throws of planning to re-floor an existing extension and are thinking about wood. When it comes to choosing the most suitable wood flooring for your home extension, there are a number of questions you need to ask. Here are some of the main ones:
1. What level of traffic will the extension experience? The traffic your home extension is likely to experience will impact on your flooring choice. There is no getting away from the fact that solid wood flooring will stand up to a life-time of hard wear and tear (and probably a whole lot more). Although engineered wood flooring will withstand heavy traffic, there are only a limited number of times you can re-sand and re-finish an engineered wood floor. So, if you’re envisaging the need to re-sand and re-finish your floor on a regular basis, unless you’re forced to go the engineered route by one of the other considerations we’ve outlined below, then solid wood is likely to be your best bet.
2. Would solid or engineered flooring be best? Solid wood flooring, as the name suggests, is made from single pieces of your chosen wood, and nothing else. Solid wood flooring typically comes in oak, teak, walnut, cherry, pine and the likes. Engineered wood flooring is flooring boards which are made by bonding a number of layers of ply or high density fibreboard (HDF) together to create a core board, which effectively becomes the inside of a “sandwich” which is then topped with a solid wood lamella or top layer.
When it comes to choosing which option would work best in your home extension, the main factors you need to take into consideration are temperature and humidity fluctuations. In any space in the home where you are likely to experience significant temperature or humidity fluctuations, there is little doubt that engineered wood flooring is the best option. This is also the case if you are planning under floor heating.
That said, if your extension is neither going feature under floor heating, nor significant temperature or humidity fluctuations, then solid wood flooring will work equally well.
3. Which finish should I choose? Wood flooring comes in a whole host of finishes, including lacquered; UV lacquered; oiled; brushed and oiled and thermo treated. Which you choose, will depend to a large extent on the look you’re hoping to achieve and the traffic your floor is likely to experience. A lacquered finish, for example tends to have a bit of a shine, but is, without a doubt, extremely hardwearing. Oiled and oiled and brushed finish floors tend to look more natural and although being slightly less tough than lacquered, will still stand up to a good amount of wear and tear. If your home extension is a conservatory or enjoys a lot of sunlight, a UV finish will help protect your floor from the negative effects of excess sun.
4. Is there an existing floor that needs to be extended/matched up? Many home extension projects involve the extension of one or more rooms directly. If this is the case in your home extension project, unless you plan to change the flooring in the original space, you’ll need to pay some respect to the original flooring you’re trying to match up. That said; don’t allow yourself to become a slave to a floor you don’t like. With a bit of planning and some imagination, there is no need to feel forced into extending a floor you don’t particularly like. Use borders or clever effects to create an obvious and eye catching divide between the old and the new. That way, you can achieve the best of both worlds.
5. How do I want the final result to? At the end of the day, in most interior projects, the overall look is what drives the decisions and this is very often the case in flooring projects. Two of the major factors in creating an overall look when it comes to wood flooring are colour and grade of wood. Getting these right will make a huge impact on the end result.
A. Colour. Natural wood flooring colours range from light maple and beech to walnut and ipe, which are almost black. The colour you choose will depend to a large extent on personal preference and the look you’re hoping to create. Many modern interiors call for really light or really dark wood, whereas a country style or rustic interior normally involves a more golden, reddish colour.
B. Grade. Wood comes in 4 main grades, Prime or AB; Select or ABC; Natural or ABCD and Rustic or CD grade. Prime Grade is the highest grade of wood flooring and is highly uniform in its appearance and has very few knots. Select Grade is the next grade and contains some knots and some colour variation. Natural Grade comes next on the wood floor grading ladder. This wood grade sports knots of up to 30mm in size, contains sap and has some colour variations. And finally Rustic (or country style) is the grade of wood that has significant colour variation, quite a bit of sap and typically has knots of up to 35mm in size.Google+