A guide by the team at Wood and Beyond, sellers of walnut timber from walnut flooring to walnut worktops since 2005. Wood and Beyond source their woods from sustainable forests.
There are various considerations when choosing wood flooring, some of which will greatly reduce the potential service life of the floor should you choose incorrectly. One way to avoid this unfortunate situation is to use professional builders backed up with years of flooring fitting experience. When Builders SW recommend a type of wood floor for your renovation or new build project, many considerations are taken into account.
Wood flooring includes two varied construction types. The traditional type that most people have come across before and is solid aka ‘real’ wood flooring. An alternative that has been growing in popularity in recent years called engineered wood flooring.
Solid wood flooring explained – Solid boards are often described as ‘real’ wood flooring because each plank of wood is made from 100% solid timber. Its complete wood construction means that the boards are extremely strong (service life exceeding 100 years) and benefit from reacting well to sanding. Sanding is a process that removes a 1mm layer of ‘old’ wood to expose new look wood underneath. The new wood is then re-coated and will look freshly fitted.
Their construction makes solid unsuitable in some areas of the property. Wood has a natural reaction to expand when conditions are hot or contract when conditions are cold. Add the fact that wood and water do not mix well and you will find that solid wood is unsuitable in some areas such as the bathroom or in areas that feature under floor heating. If the property hasn’t got under floor heating and the issue of fluctuating conditions is unlikely, solid wood flooring is likely to be suitable.
Engineered wood flooring explained – Engineered boards are made from solid wood as a top layer of 3mm to 6mm supported by three to four layers of plywood, softwood and MDF. When fitted correctly, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a solid and an engineered board. Its varied construction of solid wood and syntactic material means that you can safely fit engineered wood flooring all around the property including over under floor heating. The boards won’t react to changes in conditions and can withstand heat and humid conditions.
Their construction does mean that service life won’t exceed that of solid wood flooring. Furthermore, while sanding is possible, it will depend on the thickness of the top layer. This layer is typically between 3mm to 6mm thick and as sanding takes away 1mm layer, you can sand the boards anywhere between 2 to 5 times. If you are looking to fit wood flooring above under floor heating or in areas that might experience changes in climate such as the kitchen, conservatory, certain extensions and the bathroom, engineered might be a safer option.
Buying wood flooring needs to be done responsibly. Look for sellers that source their woods from sustainable forests thereby preventing the destruction of forest habitats. Timber which is sourced via unsustainable logging is responsible for the loss of important tree species.