With so many flooring options available, it can be tricky to know what the best type of flooring is for your home or project. However, wood flooring continues to be a customer favourite flooring option in our homes. This is because it looks beautiful even as it ages and is wonderfully versatile. The variety of natural colours, grains and stains available makes wood the perfect option for any room in the home and it is certainly one of the main types of flooring we supply and fit at Pietra.
The most common option that our clients choose with wood flooring is engineered wood or solid wood.
Engineered Wood Flooring
High quality engineered oak floors are crafted from natural hardwoods that are used to create a very stable ‘core’ of multi-layered plywood. This is topped with a layer of real hardwood (oak or walnut), giving the distinctive finish of a solid wood floor, with the underlying benefits of a stable and reliable plywood base.
There are many great benefits to engineered wood flooring, but the key one is that it gives greater stability than solid wood floors as engineered wood is far less prone to warping and moving. It’s therefore perfect for fitting above under-floor heating systems and in areas where moisture content may be too high for solid oak.
It is often more costs effective than the solid wood alternative especially with the cost of European oak currently increasing substantially and the value of American black walnut being high. Sometimes an engineered hardwood floor is both a more practical and affordable option as less valuable hardwood is used to make up the floorboard
Engineered wood is a more environmentally friendly floor – The beautiful hardwoods such as European oak and walnut are slow growing timbers and therefore it can be said that anything beneath the wear layer is a waste of valuable hardwood. The timbers that make up a plywood are much faster growing and therefore better for the environment.
What we are also finding is that engineered wood allows for longer & wider boards as, with a long and wide board, you don’t have to worry about it having a negative effect on the stability of the floor. Finally, there are also larger variety of boards & finishes available.
Solid Wood Flooring
A stunning floor which is made from one piece of timber. Being labelled as solid is just what it says on the tin – solid hardwood throughout. It’s for this reason that a solid wooden floor can be sanded back numerous times and are usually nailed or stapled to a wooden subfloor or glued to a screed when using narrow planks up to 150mm wide. Solid wood floorboards are actually made from solid planks of hardwood, but they are more susceptible to movement and cannot be used over underfloor heating.
So, which do I choose?
Ultimately, the best wood flooring option depends on your budget, your personal preference and the type and size and condition of the area of your floor. If you have a slightly larger budget, are looking for real quality and are not a fan of laminate, it is well worth investing in solid wood or engineered wood flooring. When you’re looking for a beautifully natural look, then both engineered and solid wood options will achieve that plus there is a huge choice in their finishes, colours, conditions and grains.