EXPERT ADVICE ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT WOOD FLOOR
It’s the time of the year, when sprucing up your floors just seems like the right thing to do. With the last long weekend of the year on the horizon, it’s the perfect opportunity to give your floors a quick makeover and add that perfect finishing touch to create a beautiful interior.
If you’re looking at replacing your ordinary flooring with wooden flooring, then make sure you do your research before you go ahead with this simple, yet effective move. Thankfully, wooden flooring is comfortable, durable as well as light on the pocket, which makes the benefits all the more interesting and worthwhile.
There are a myriad of options available in the market and it’s easy to get completely confused! We spoke to Irsan Mehar from west London based Nexus Flooring, to get some tips and guidance on what to look for when making the move to wooden flooring.
What’s the difference between solid wood and engineered wood flooring?
The first thing you need to decide is the type of wooden flooring you would like to get for your house. There are two common types of options available – solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Let’s take a quick look to see the difference between the two types and figure out which one would be more appropriate for your home.
Solid hardwood flooring: Solid wooden flooring is essentially thick planks of solid wood, usually joined by a traditional tongue and groove mechanism. The strips are usually available in pre-finished and unfinished types; the wooden flooring width ranges from 1-1/2″ to 2-1/4” while the thickness ranges from 5/16″ to 3/4″.
Whilst aesthetically it is beautiful and very authentic, you need to be aware that solid wood flooring can often raise the height of the floor, so you need to be prepared to adjust existing doors. It can be a little cumbersome to maintain with more care being required than its engineered counterpart, and in periods of humidity, solid wood tends to expand and contract, so it’s far more advisable to only lay it on ground floors rather than the upper floors.
Engineered hardwood flooring: This type of wooden flooring often emerges as a preferred option for most customers. Its long list of benefits makes it an obvious choice over its counterpart. As the name implies, engineered hardwood is made up of various layers of plywood and composite material, topped with a layer of solid wood. Its thickness varies from 3/8″ to 3/4″ while the width varies from 3″ up to 10″.
Since engineered hardwood is easier to maintain, it can be used anywhere in the house, irrespective of the placement or the level of installation. This type of wood is ideal for basements and bathrooms, since moisture and dampness has no effect on it.
Grain, color and appearance
Wooden flooring is not only in fashion, but it goes with all kinds of interior trends. Since wood flooring comes in so many shapes, sizes, colors and finishes, it’s fairly easy to match your floor with your room’s décor. Depending on the kind of house you have, the wood grains would vary, making them ideal for whatever style and atmosphere you’re trying to create.
For example, if you have country-style interiors, you should choose planks which are wider and have highly defined wooden grains in them. On the other hand, if you are more of a Colonial person, you can choose wide planks in Oak and Maple. If traditional designs get you going, feel free to choose from Oak, Maple or Walnut with widths varying from 2-1/4″ to 3-1/4″. The choice is yours.
At the end of the day, the finishing is what adds a lot of glamour and style to the end result. You can choose from different types of finishing, which include but are by no means limited to, clear gloss, distressed, hand scraped and wire-brush finish. The core decision you need to make even before you select the actual finish is whether you want to buy pre-finished wood or unfinished wood.
Prefinished wood: It is one of the most commonly found hardwood varieties in the market. It is considered to be ideal for people who want to see what they are getting into beforehand. As the name suggests, prefinished planks usually come with the stain and top coat already applied to them. This helps avoid any nasty surprises at the time of installation. You can mix and match the stain and colour with your interiors, so that everything goes according to plan and your interiors don’t hit a snag, post installation.
Unfinished wood: These kind of wooden installations are finished on site. This is probably the right option for the brave and committed among you – given that there is a lot of work that goes into actually preparing the flooring. Along with the amount of work involved, there is also an element of chance since one can’t predict the actual finish, post installation. Definitely not an option for the faint-hearted.
People looking for quick results should go for prefinished flooring, since these types of floors are often easy to install and covered under a warranty by the seller.
Things to consider
So, as the Bank Holiday approaches, our advice if you’re considering wooden flooring is to not only do your research on the types of flooring that are most suitable for you, but also think carefully about:
*The type of look you want to create – are you going for a rustic or the sleek and contemporary look?
*Do you want a traditional feel or do you want to make a statement with painted effects?
*Do you want a floor that is easy to look after and you can whizz the hoover and a mop over, or do you have time to care for it properly?
Whatever you decide, there is no doubt that wood is the new mantra for all interior designers these days and you can truly transform the look and feel of your house within the space of a weekend!
Nexus Flooring has a full studio and warehouse in Hanwell, where you can meet with a specialist advisor and view their wide selection of floorings, or you can order samples direct online from nexusfloooring.co.uk