Types Of Wooden Flooring
When choosing wooden flooring, you need to consider a number of factors before making a decision. In this hub I look at the 3 main types of wooden flooring for domestic purposes, listing the pros and cons of each.
Laminate flooring is compressed fibre or chipboard, with a photographed image of wood layered on top. This layer is then covered with a protective finish.
Laminate is the cheapest type of wooden flooring available, starting from as little as £3 per sq meter. However the bottom line range is normally unrealistic and looks cheap. Consider adding grooved edges or embossed top layers to for a more realistic finish.
Cheaper laminate is a staple choice of landlords because it is cost effective, durable, and easy to maintain. Non wood finishes have become very popular, and you can now get laminate to create a tiled or stone look ideal for bathrooms and kitchens.
PROS: Cheap and durable.
CONS: Can look unrealistic.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring usually consists of three or four layers of cheaper wood or fibreboard glued together at right angles. This is then finished with a layer of veneered real wood in the desired finish to create the illusion of solid wood flooring at a much cheaper price.
It is more expensive than laminate, because it requires greater production and is finished with a more expensive wood. However this has the benefit of being able to be sanded over time to remove scratches and scuffed.
Engineered wood floor can be fiddly to fit and you may wish to consider some professional floor fitters rather than attempting a DIY job.
Avoid laying in environments where the flooring may be exposed to moisture such as bathrooms or kitchens.
PROS: More stable than solid wood. More attractive and realistic when compared to laminate.
CONS: Higher price than laminate, can be very difficult to fit without professional help.
Solid Wood Flooring
Solid Wood Flooring is made from a single piece of wood, usually around 18 or 20mm in thickness. When considering solid wood, you should consider the hardness score. This will indicate how easily the wood is scratched or dented when in use. Harder woods are more resilient to damage, but usually cost a lot more.
Solid Wood Flooring is usually layed with a tongue and groove style fitting, and will need to be glued or nailed. For this reason it is highly recommended that it be fitted by a professional flooring company.
It is also the most expensive type of flooring available, even cheaper, soft options like bamboo can start at £12 per sq meter, with tropical hardwoods coming up at £80+ per sq meter.
It is also very sensitive to its environment and will swell heavily when in damp, cold conditions, shrinking on dry warm days.
PROS: Incredibly attractive, will add value to a house when fitted properly, and feels great underfoot.
CONS: Expensive, temperamental, and very difficult to fit without professional assistance.