Things to Consider When Buying a Wooden Floor
Nothing can match the beauty, luxury and convenience of a natural wooden floor. This buyer’s guide gives you seven basics to consider when buying and fitting a wooden floor.
1) What kind of wear will the floor be subjected to?
People, pets, wheelchairs, furniture on casters? Outdoor shoes or slippers only? Will it be in a kitchen or bathroom where spills are common, or in a living room or bedroom where they are hopefully rarer? Some kinds of wood are much more hard-wearing than others, even if they may look similar.
2) What are you fitting it to?
This will affect what kind of wood you can have, and also the fitting method. For more information, speak to your supplier or fitter at an early stage.
3) What kind of surface treatment is right for you?
Some people prefer a natural feel, including the unevenness that is characteristic of wood that has only been waxed or treated with a natural oil. Others prefer a more lacquered effect: either matt or glossy.
4) Is it solid or multi-layer?
Traditionally, wooden floors are solid, but nowadays they can be made in a multi-layered way which uses less materials and does not change with seasonal fluctuations in temperature or humidity. Some kinds of wooden floor are specifically designed to be suitable for use with underfloor heating.
5) Is it renewable?
If your timber has been certified by the FSC, that means that it has been grown from sources where the trees that have been cut down are replaced.
6) What is the grading of the timber?
Flooring is subject to a grading system which specifies the appearance of the wood, including, for example, the extent of knotting and natural unevenness in colour and texture. Unfortunately, the grading system is not standard between makers, and so it’s important to see plenty of examples of what ‘rustic’ or ‘prime’ means in the case of the specific product you are buying.
7) How thick is it?
There can be a dramatic difference in how much vertical space different kinds of wooden floor take up. Different ways of fitting can also affect this. If you have a modern house with low ceilings, it is particularly important to talk about this with your fitter.
8) How does the wood you’ve chosen change over time?
Because wood is a totally natural material it will be affected by wear, exposure to sunlight and other factors. Some kinds of wood get darker quickly, others mature far more slowly. Make sure that you will still love what you’ve chosen in a decade or more.
Do your research properly, and you will fit a wooden floor that stays beautiful for a lifetime and longer.