Over the past couple of years it seams that everybody wants oak flooring but how do you know what is the right option for you home or business, If you go to any large DIY store or flooring store you will be meet by scores of different wooden flooring from extremely cheap to very expensive this will depend upon the type of flooring it is and the sizes of the boards over the next couple of paragraphs I will explain the main differences and the best options for different projects.
Solid wood/solid oak flooring:- This is what it says on the tin! Solid wood be it oak, walnut, or any other timber the boards should be 100% solid timber this is the most expensive option (in many cases) and the price will differ according to country of origin, length of the boards, width of the boards and thickness of the boards.
Solid flooring is great in nice size boards and if thick enough it can be used to replace existing floor boards or in brand new properties it can be laid on the joists (always consult a professional before taking on such projects) the other benefits of solid flooring are that it can be sanded down and re-finished over and over again.
The main draw backs with solid flooring are that when it is laid over under floor heating this can create problems.
Engineered solid wood flooring:- There is much confusion with the word engineered flooring; these types of flooring are always very fine the engineered term comes from the construction of the flooring as apposed to 100% solid flooring these engineered boards are made up from a solid top part of the board (which can be up to 10mm thick) which is bonded on to another kind of timber be it ply (birch etc) there are many benefits from this type of flooring, the base of the boards are usually extremely stable (there are less prone to twisting and cupping) and this type of flooring can also be used in rooms where under floor heating is present.
As with 100% strong wooden flooring engineered flooring can also be sanded and re-finished (as long as the top solid wooden is thick enough).
Some engineered floors can also be used to replace existing floorboards or for brand new properties they can be laid on joists (always consult a professional before taking on such projects).
Different types of finishes on solid and engineered wood flooring:-
As with the numerous different types of real flooring there are also numerous different types of finishes on wood flooring, the most versatile is unfinished (natural timber) the unfinished option can be finished using a Variety of different finishes (ask your local flooring or wooden working store for details) this option offers many different options and you can try different options before covering your new floor.
Pre-finished flooring (boards which are finished using different stains and varnishes) there are lots and lots of these pre-finished options on the market some of which contain different protective chemicals which will make your floor much more restraint to the effects of the sun and general wear and tear, the just problem with these pre-finished floors is that although they look good id they are damaged whilst being laid it is very difficult to match the finish and it is also hard to repair any future damage.
Sizes of wood flooring:- Both 100% solid flooring and engineered flooring come a number of different sizes, with strong flooring naturally the smaller the boards the less likely you are to have any problems with twisting etc but big boards create a wonderful look if fitted be professionals.
Engineered oak floors also come a variety of sizes but with its construction there are less likely to have any problems when in larger sizes.