A Guide to Wood Flooring

I have been very lazy this month and I have also been dragged out Christmas shopping…Ugh! So unusually for me I have agreed to post this guide from a company who sells wood flooring. I have read through it and I think it’s a pretty good heads up guide to purchasing wood flooring, with some useful tips.

However, as always I am not suggesting that you should use this particular firm as there are many good & bad firms selling this product, but if you are looking for this product then it might be a good idea to check out their website.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.





Your Guide To The World Of Wood Flooring

Of the many flooring solutions available nowadays to self-builders, perhaps the most seemingly complicated solution appears to be wood flooring. Prospected owners are often confused when industry and technical buzzwords fill the product description pages. In this guide we look to simplify your options.

Types of Wood Flooring


Solid Wood Flooring – Each floorboard of the solid type is made from 100% natural wood, hence the use of the term ‘solid’. These are particularly strong floorboards that are suitable in most areas of the interior. The exception to the rule are the bathroom, kitchen or on top of under floor heating. The bathroom and kitchen areas tend to become temporarily humid and may cause natural wood to expand and misshape. Similarly, natural wood will expand if it is fitted over under floor heating.




Engineered Wood Flooring – Each floorboard is made from a top layer of solid wood, however the core is constructed using layers of  MDF and Ply, hence the use of the term ‘engineered’. These floorboards are perfectly suitable in all areas of the interior, even in humid areas and even on top of under floor heating, as they are impervious to expansion. The one drawback is a shorter service life when compared to the solid wood flooring type.



Type of Wood Finish

A clear liquid is often applied onto the exposed wood to improve its service life. Options of finish are based on variations of either oil or lacquer coatings.

Oil Finish – Oil is the most common finish, mainly because it will not alter the look of the wood, thereby helping retain a natural authentic look. Oil is also slower to wear off.



Lacquered Finish – Lacquer is the rugged finish of the two, meaning it is often applied onto floorboards that are exposed to higher foot traffic, fitted in direct sight of sunlight for prolong periods or when water resistance is required. Lacquer might change the look of the floorboard by giving it a slight lustre finish (semi-gloss).



Colour Of Wood Flooring

In its natural state, wood comes in honey gold colours. This can be made lighter or darker; however it will still retain its original golden tones. While this fits many interiors, in recent years dark and white floorboards have been introduced to the mix.

White Wood Flooring – These floorboards are made white using a technique called ‘whitewashing’. The end result is a durable white floorboard. Great at making smaller spaces appear bigger.




Black Wood Flooring – These floorboards are made dark, even black, using a number of processes, from staining to oven baking. If the floorboard is made too dark, you stand a chance of covering the natural signs of wood.




Grey Wood Flooring – In recent years more and more home owners wanted a shade in between the light and dark and brands came up with the grey floorboard. The colour is achieved using diluted paint over the floorboard.



Grade of Wood Flooring

The final consideration is the grade of wood. Do not mistake ‘grade’ as an indication of quality. It is an indication of how refined the floorboard is. High grades will feature a clean uniform look, while basic grades will feature sapwood, fillers, knots and colour variations.

Prime and Select Grades – These are the two luxury grades in which natural features are muted, making way to a more clean look. Sapwood, knots and colour variation is limited. Prime and select grade have limited availability.



Natural and Rustic – These are the two basic grades in which natural features are more abundantly observed. Knots of varying sizes are to be expected, sapwood content is high and colour variation is certain.



When choosing wood flooring, start by deciding between solid wood flooring or engineered wood flooring, then decide on finish, typically between oiled or lacquered finish. Once the decision has been made, look at the creative aspect in terms of colour and grade.

Thank you for reading. To discuss further aspects of your self build project, contact Stephen F Smith Management Contracting.

Information written by Jonathan Sapir, CEO of Wood and Beyond http://www.woodandbeyond.com/ an ethical hardwood company (FSC C007915).


 Well That’s it folks

See you soon


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