Plank flooring is a term that we’re coming across more and more at Wood and Beyond. Traditionally, plank flooring would have simply referred to a wooden board, but today it’s a term that’s spanning much wider than that. That’s why we thought we’d share our thoughts in an article. Hopefully, what we’re seeing and hearing around us in the industry right now will help you de-mystify what you’re hearing and reading around the web, in mags, in shops etc.
Traditional plank flooring
Traditional plank flooring is an easy concept to get your head around. Think of planks of solid wood and you’ve got it. A style of flooring that’s been used for centuries, solid plank flooring went slightly out of fashion for a while but has recently been making a real come back. Although it’s not recommended for use in the likes of kitchens, bathrooms or in rooms where you have under floor heating, there’s no getting away from the natural charm and character of solid plank flooring.
Available in a variety of species of wood, grades of wood and finishes, solid plank flooring is a real investment. It looks a million dollars and when it does start to get tired looking, you can always re-sand and re-finish it, giving it a whole new lease of life. Add to this, the fact that it’s a walk in the park to maintain and you soon see why this style of flooring has stood the test of time.
Engineered plank flooring
Thought by many as fake solid plank flooring, engineered wood flooring is as clever as it is versatile. Made by bonding together layers and layers of ply, engineered plank flooring can be used throughout the home, including in bathrooms, kitchens and rooms where you have under floor heating. How can that be so? It’s simple really. The way engineered flooring is constructed means that it doesn’t expand and contract to nearly the same extent as solid wood. What this means is that when temperatures go up and down it barely bats an eyelid.
Like solid wood flooring, you can choose virtually any species of solid wood lamella for your engineered plank flooring as well as any grade, and so many finishes it’ll virtually blow your mind. And the great thing about engineered plank flooring is that you can sand it and re-finish it to freshen it up too. So this option really does have it all.
Laminate plank flooring
Laminate plank flooring is flooring that is made to look like wood. Often a mixture of a backing board, topped by an image that’s made to look like wood, this flooring is finished off with a clear covering. A clean and stylish flooring solution, the only real disadvantages with laminate plank flooring are that it’s not the real thing, and it can get tired looking very quickly if you don’t buy a top quality product. Ideal for use in rooms where traffic is relatively light and where you’re not too concerned about having a solid and robust flooring material, it’s easy to maintain and looks clean and fresh, particularly when it’s newly laid.
Vinyl plank flooring
Vinyls can be made to look like any material you wish. If you shop around for vinyl, you’ll soon see that the selection available on the market is immense. With everything from bright acid colours to fake monochrome tile arrangements, vinyl also comes in plank flooring styles. With solutions that resemble a whole host of different species and grades of wood, good quality vinyl can be really convincing when it comes to imitating wood.
A highly practical choice that can also be low cost, vinyl plank flooring is a great solution in a room that’s likely to have its fair share of spills and splashes. Easy to mop and fast to install, you can see why this one is still popular.
If you’re looking for plank flooring, of course we’d say that you can’t beat either solid or engineered wood, but if your lifestyle or your budget doesn’t allow for these options, then laminate or vinyl are well worth checking out.
1. What is traditional plank flooring?
Traditional plank flooring refers to planks of solid wood used as flooring. This style of flooring, used for centuries, provides natural charm and character. Although it’s not suitable for use in kitchens, bathrooms, or rooms with underfloor heating, its durability and ease of maintenance make it a popular choice.
2. Can solid plank flooring be used with underfloor heating?
No, solid plank flooring is not recommended for use in rooms where you have underfloor heating. This is because the wood can expand and contract with changes in temperature, potentially causing damage to the floor.
3. What is engineered plank flooring?
Engineered plank flooring is a versatile alternative to solid wood, made by bonding together layers of ply. The way it is constructed means it does not expand and contract to the same extent as solid wood, making it suitable for use throughout the home, including bathrooms, kitchens, and rooms with underfloor heating.
4. What is laminate plank flooring?
Laminate plank flooring is made to look like wood. It typically consists of a backing board, topped by an image designed to resemble wood, and finished with a clear covering. While not the real thing, it’s an easy-to-maintain, clean and stylish flooring solution, especially when it’s newly laid.
5. What is vinyl plank flooring?
Vinyl plank flooring is a practical and potentially low-cost option that can imitate the look of various materials, including different species and grades of wood. It’s easy to mop and install, making it a great choice for rooms prone to spills and splashes.