Everyone's project is unique and comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles, but often clients will come up against similar issues.
Below I take you through the most common questions about hardwood flooring, that I get asked the most
DO I NEED A SOLID OR ENGINEERED CONSTRUCTION?
The answer is almost always Engineered.
The reason for this is that most clients now opt for under floor heating which not compatible with Solid planks.
You can also install a wider board if you have Engineered as the construction makes it more stable. Engineered boards are generally manufactured with long lengths, making your room feel bigger.
For more detail to this question on hardwood flooring, grab my article: The Differences Between Engineered & Solid Hardwood Flooring which is a more in depth look at these two constructions
SOLID HARDWOOD PLANK CONSTRUCTION
Solid boards will be made from a solid piece of hardwood from top to bottom.
ENGINEERED HARDWOOD PLANK CONSTRUCTION
Engineered boards will consist of a hardwood top layer that is adhered to plywood or a soft wood core.
I WANT A LIGHT FLOOR BUT I DON'T WANT IT GOING YELLOW!
This is an especially popular question of hardwood flooring that I get asked.
Oak finished in a Natural colour can take on a yellowish tone over time, especially in sunny room.
The way to get around this is by choosing a white or light grey wash.
By adding a cool colour pigment it prevents the Oak from going yellow.
If you want a raw timber or blonde colour, there are varnishes available that will achieve that, but keep in mind that these do need more ongoing maintenance.
SHOULD I HAVE PARQUET OR PLANK WOOD FLOORING?
There is no technical reason that one is better than other, so this is purely a personal design choice.
I like having Parquet in the main rooms of the house such as kitchen diners and plank flooring in areas like the utility room and hallways.
This saves on cost and gives a sense of separation from formal to less formal rooms in the house.
INDUSTRY INSIDER TIP:
Think about if you want to have a perimeter border with the parquet flooring.
The more corners and doorways you need to get around, the more the pattern will break up.
To avoid this, run the parquet continuously from room to room to create a sense of spaces and flow through the property.
Go for a Chevron pattern if you want a timeless look.
WHAT WIDTH OF BOARD SHOULD I GO FOR?
Plank flooring will come in a wide selection of widths, you could also do various widths for added interest.
Most interiors will suit a 180mm - 220mm width and that will give you a wide board but without going super wide.
WHAT DO THE DIFFERENT GRADES MEAN?
Clients often think that the lower grade the less quality the timber is.
This is incorrect, the grade has nothing to do with the performance of the wood floor.
Rustic B grade will have more knots, sapwood and character
Rustic A is usually a good option as it has character but fewer knots than the Rustic B.
Prime Grade will have tiny knot and be more uniform in pattern.
Cadogan Time Worn Oak by Urbane Living
INDUSTRY INSIDER TIP: Fall in love with the natural character of wood flooring; Rustic grade will usually be cheaper than a Prime grade as there is more timber that you can yield for that grade per tree.
WHAT FINISH IS BEST? OILED OR LACQUERED?
This depends on kind of look and feel you want on floor.
Lacquered finishes are highly recommend in kitchens as they create a protective film on the surface of the board.
Hard-wax oil penetrates the pores of the wood and help to protect from within.
This finish does feel more natural but keep in mind that oiled floors will need an going maintenance to keep them looking fresh.
Hard-wax oiled floors tend to have a more washed look as this finish is usually applied by hand.
If you are looking for a more contemporary look opt for products where the finish has been sprayed on.
Another option is a brushed and lacquered finish, this gives you maximum protection but a lovely texture.
Antigua Oak by Urbane Living
PRE-FINISHED OR FINISHED ON SITE?
With site-finished flooring, you have many possibilities when it comes to customising your floor’s final appearance.
You will have full creative control and choose the kind of finish, stain, and sheen to apply to your final product.
However, sanding and finishing a floor does create a lot of disruption, including dust and noise.
With pre-finished hardwood flooring, you don’t have the same customisation possibilities you do with on-site finishing but, the benefit of these floors is that the installation process involves minimal noise and dust.
In addition, you can walk on the flooring immediately following its installation.
WHICH HARDWOOD FLOORING IS MOST SUITABLE FOR PETS?
You can take a couple of steps to keep your pets from scratching your wooden flooring.
Keep your pets nails trimmed regularly and put rugs on the floors to reduce the number of scratches that end up in the flooring’s finish.
Consider products that have been brushed as this adds texture to the product and hides small surface scratches like pet's scratch marks.
Avoid high gloss finishes as these will show up all the scratches and indentations.
Walnut Planks by Urbane Living
WHAT IS THE BEST SPECIES OF WOOD TO CHOOSE?
The most versatile is European or American Oak.
Oak can be easily treated to achieve a range of colours and it has a beautiful natural wood pattern.
Its also hard enough to live up to family life.
Walnut is another popular choice, with its gorgeous tones of chocolate brown and streaks of blonde from the sapwood found in the tree.
Walnut is a bit softer than Oak, so is recommended for more formal areas with light traffic.
WHAT MAINTENANCE DO HARDWOOD FLOORS NEED?
To keep your floors looking fresh, be sure to clean them regularly.
You can do this by simply sweeping, damp mopping or vacuuming the floors.
Don’t use steam mops or wet mops on your hardwood floors because steam and water can make the finish dull or damage the floor long term.
Place a throw rug at each entrance to assist with dirt on shoes, avoid rugs that have rubber backs, as they can discolour your floors.
If you have a question about hardwood flooring please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org for complimentary help and advice.