If you’re planning replacing an existing floor, or are in the process of a new build, there are likely to be lots of questions running through your head about the different options. If you’ve decided that carpet definitely isn’t for you and that you want a wood surface for your flooring, you’re likely to be debating between the likes of solid wood, engineered wood and laminate flooring (which looks like wood).
Not all that long ago, a wood floor was a wood floor, but that is no longer the case. The whole flooring industry has grown rapidly over the past 10 years or so and there’s now a whole host of wood (and wood look-alike) flooring options on the market.
Which you choose will depend on a range of things like: the look you’re hoping to achieve, your budget, how hardwearing you need your solution to be, and so on. Although there’s no best wood floor option that suits everyone, if it’s the first time you’ve bought wood flooring and you’re feeling a bit confused, you’ll find a great guide to help you here.
In this particular article, we’d like to give you a broad overview of the different features of solid, engineered and laminate flooring to help you work out what might best suit your project. The table below demonstrates the areas of the home where each option might pose a problem (basically anywhere there’s likely to be high moisture or temperature fluctuations); a price range overview; fitting options and ease; ease of maintenance and durability as well as suitability for installation over under floor heating.
|Type of flooring||Solid wood||Engineered||Laminate|
|Suitable for use in bathrooms/kitchens/
|Price range||Low to high||Low to high||Low|
|Easy to fit?||Medium||Low-medium||Yes|
|Easy to maintain?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Long lasting?||Very||Can be||Not normally|
|Suitable over under floor heating?||No||Yes||Yes|
Solid wood flooring
In a nutshell, this is a great option if you’re looking for an authentic, long term flooring solution in a part of the home that’s not subject to significant temperature or moisture fluctuations. Solid wood flooring are known for their durability, but also for their expansion and contraction as humidity and temperatures change. There’s a whole host of solid wood flooring colours, species, finishes and grades available and once your floor’s laid, it couldn’t be easier to maintain. All that’s required is a regular vacuum and a going over with a damp mop.
Engineered wood flooring
Engineered wood flooring is often confused with laminate flooring, but is a completely different kettle of fish altogether. Engineered wood flooring is made up of layers of real wood, which are bonded together to create a really stable board. Because of its structure, engineered flooring looks just like the real thing. Where engineered scores over solid wood is that it can be used in rooms where moisture and temperature changes are anticipated. It can also be laid over under floor heating.
A relatively cheap flooring option, laminate flooring has improved in both appearance and general quality over recent years. Essentially a “photo” of real wood, it is far from the real thing, but does have its own qualities. With ranges developed specifically for bathrooms and kitchens, it’s relatively scratch resistant and can be installed over under floor heating. Add to this the fact that laminate was created with the DIY market in mind, if you’re looking for an inexpensive “quick fix” that you can lay yourself, this might just be the answer.Google+