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Wood Flooring Options - The Ultimate Guide

wood flooring on display

There was a point in time when a wood floor was just a wood floor for all but the most discerning.  Nowadays, the popularity and competition in the wood floor market has lead to a broad array of choices being open to everyone; even those with the most modest budgets.  Because of this, if you’re on the lookout for a new wood floor, you might be finding all the terminology a bit confusing.  This is why we’ve produced this article.  We hope, in this blog post, we’ll share with you all the things you need to take into consideration when working out the best wood flooring option for you.

Solid Wood Flooring

What is it?

solid wood flooring profile

Solid wood flooring is made from solid planks of a single species of wood and nothing else.  Solid wood flooring provides a beautiful and natural backdrop for any style of interior.

When should you choose it?

- When your room temperature levels and humidity are stable.
- When you don’t have under floor heating.

Engineered Wood Flooring

engineered wood flooring profile

What is it?

Engineered wood flooring durable and flexible wood flooring solution that is made of layers and layers of ply, topped off by a solid wood lamella or top layer.  Again, this option is beautiful and looks just like real wood.

When should you choose it?

- When you anticipate fluctuations in moisture or temperature in your room eg.  in kitchens and bathrooms.
- When you have under floor heating.
- When you want to use a floating installation method.

Oak and Walnut Flooring

Why are they the most popular?

Oak is arguably one of the best and most affordable options when it comes to wood flooring, no matter whether it’s solid or engineered, but sometimes people look around for an alternative and walnut is a species that often gets put into the melting pot because again it isn’t overly expensive and is a nice interesting option.

How do you choose?

Ranging in colour from dark tones to very blonde wood, oak has a very pronounced grain and this is why many people choose it.  Walnut is known for its durability but has a dark overall look, sometimes looking almost black.  That said, close up, it is the contrast of light and dark in walnut wood flooring that makes it so appealing.  Which option will work best for you will depend entirely on the look you’re seeking to achieve.

What are Wood Floor Grades?

When wood is lumbered it is graded into one of four different grades:

Prime Grade:

prime grade- The highest grade of wood flooring,
- Cut from the centre of the log.
- Highly uniform in its appearance.
- Has very few knots.
- Has low sap content.
- Is consistent in colour.

Select Grade:

select grade- The next grade of wood flooring.
- Contains some knots.
- Has some sap present.
- Boasts some colour variation.

Natural Grade:

natural grade- Next on the wood floor grading ladder.
- Sports sizable knots.
- Contains sap.
- Has some colour variations.

Rustic Grade:

rustic grade- The final grade for wood flooring.
- Sometimes features significant colour variation.
- Has the potential for a good amount of sap.
- Sports sizeable knots.

What About Finish?

applying finish

There are many different finishes available, but two of the most popular are oiled and lacquered.  Here’s an overview of each:

Oiled - A natural looking finish that protects both the surface and the core of the wood.

Lacquered - A finish that’s a bit like a varnish that sits on the surface of the wood and generally adds a bit of a shine to the wood.

What about Colour?

The colour spectrum for wood flooring today goes way beyond the palette you’ll see in any forest, but this doesn’t mean that it’s always a good idea to go mad with colour.  Here’s our take on the pros and cons:

Natural colours

- Never go out of fashion.
- Easy to mix and match.
- Will suit most interior styles.

Bespoke colours

- More likely to please today and displease in a few years time.
- Can reduce flexibility regarding colour schemes in the future.
- Normally intended to match up with a specific ‘look’, which could end up restrictive.

So there you have it; our whistle-stop, but detailed overview of the things you need to think about when narrowing down your wood flooring options.  At the end of the day, your choices will be driven by your desired look and your budget, but knowing the key features you need to take into consideration will help make you a wise and informed consumer.  And no matter whether you’re shopping online or on the high street, knowing the rules of the game will help you get the best deal for your needs.

If you’d like to chat through your wood flooring options, don’t hesitate to get in touch or explore the options we have for sale on our website right now.  At Wood and Beyond, we’ll give you our view, without any obligation to buy.

3 thoughts on “Wood Flooring Options - The Ultimate Guide”

  • Susan Baines

    I wish to have an engineered wood floor fitted to my ex conservatory (now a proper room extension). I need a light oak wood to make the room look larger. The floor is 15 square metres (5x3). I need advice about being able to fit it over a concrete flat tiled floor. What would you recommend and do you need glue when using the lock and click system?
    I need to get this flooring ASAP this week for my fitter.
    Please would you contact me?

    • Jonathan Sapir

      Susan, If you wish to fit the click system - than floating (using an underlay) the floor will be the best option. When fitting a click system (not T&G) no need to use glue between the joints. I hope this helps.

  • Daniel

    Excellent advice there on wood types and suitability. Agree 100%. Particularly about grading of wood,there's a grey area there that's got some unfounded myths that rustic grades are of substandard quality to fit.they certainly have more character but are the reason behind the price most times.

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