Over the past few years it seams that everyone 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 wood flooring from very cheap to very expensive this will depend upon the type of flooring it is and the sizes of the boards over the next few 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 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 usually very good the engineered term coming 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 type of timber be it ply (birch etc) there are many benefits from this type of flooring, the base of the boards are usually very stable (there are less to consistent and cupping) and this type of flooring can also be used in rooms where under floor heating is present.
As with 100% solid wood flooring engineered flooring can also be sanded and re-finished (as long as the top solid wood is thick enough).
Some engineered floors can also be used to replace existing floorboards or for new properties that 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 many different types of actual flooring there are also many 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 wood 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 more restraint to the effects of the sun and general wear and tear, the only problem with these pre-finished floors is that although they look great id they are damaged while being laid it is very hard 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 comes a number of different sizes, with solid flooring normally the smaller the boards the less likely you are to have any problems with consistent etc but large boards create a fantastic 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.