Wood Flooring

If you are contemplating fitting wood flooring in your property, you need to be able to choose the correct type of wood. Durability of wood as a flooring solution will depend on the quality of the fitting and suitability of the wood in the room. Using a professional contractor will ensure that both considerations are taken into account and the best flooring solution is recommended for your project. Here are some of the considerations that property contractors take into account.

Type Of Wood:

There are two types of wood flooring and in most cases either type will suit your property well. However under certain circumstances only one type will suit your property completely and result in the kind of service life you are likely expecting. The two types of construction are solid wood flooring and its alternative engineered wood flooring.

Solid Wood Flooring – Each board is made from complete wood without any other materials added to the mix. The result is a type of wood flooring that offers extensive service life and will allow you to retain its looks by sanding and recoating the floor every few years. However, solid wood flooring is not recommended to fit over underfloor heating or in areas that experience humid or wet conditions such as the kitchen. In all other circumstances, solid wood is a sensible choice.

Engineered Wood Flooring – Each board is made of solid wood (as a top layer) supported by three to four layers of syntactic material (such as Softwood, MDF, Plywood and others). Because the top layer is made from solid wood, an engineered board looks 100% identical to a solid board when fitted. This type can be fitted over underfloor heating and all around the property including the kitchen, bathroom, basement and conservatory areas. However, service life does not equal that of solid wood flooring and sanding and thereafter recoating is limited in the number of times the process can be repeated.

Fitting Wood Flooring:

The quality of the fitting will influence the longevity of the wood as your flooring solution. A professional contractor will be able to recommend the most suitable method, typically one of the three below.

Floating Installation – Floating is the most cost effective method. The boards are simply interconnected and use one another’s weight to support the entire floor. Only engineered wood flooring can be fitted using this method. A solid board that uses this method will not stay in place for long.

Nail Down Or Staple Down – Each board is secured using an industrial nail gun or staple gun. Solid wood flooring must be fitted in this manner (or the next one) due to the weight of the boards, however engineered wood flooring could also be fitted in the same manner. In the case of solid wood flooring, an expansion gap is reserved to allow the wood to expand and contract when temperature changes. Failure to leave an expansion gap will cause damage to the wood over time.

Glue Down – Each board is secured using industrial grade glue. Both solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring will suit this method well, however if fitting solid wood you are better off using nail or staple down method to guarantee durability. Again, when fitting solid wood flooring, an expansion gap must be reserved.

Caring For Wood:

Once your new wood flooring is fitted correctly, you can increase its service life by caring for the floor in the correct manner. The biggest mistake property owners make is using cleaning methods that were correct for other materials. Here are a few top tips to consider:

Water – Wood requires merely a damp mop as opposed to buckets of water. Excessive water can damage the wood or at least reduce the coating of the planks.

Hoover – It is fine using a hoover to reduce the time it takes to clean the area. Make sure to use a soft extension (not the plastic one you use for carpets) and ensure that the hoover maneuvers on the floor with ease as opposed to dragging it on the wood.

Prevention – You can reduce typical wear and tear as well as reduce the duration it takes to clean the floor. Fit doormats at the entrance to the property to capture dust and grains of dirt. As well, fit furniture pads under heavy objects to reduce pressure marks.

Enjoy your new wood floor. Contact Mike Walton Property Maintenance for more information or leave your comment below.

Written by Wood and Beyond. London based timber company offering solid and engineered hardwood flooring, worktops and decking.