How to Choose the Right Flooring
What to look for in your hardwood flooring
Engineered or solid?
Engineered boards are more stable than solid wood boards due to their cross-grain construction. This construction type means that engineered floors tolerate natural expansion and contraction better than a solid board.
Engineered floors have a number of benefits linked to the performance of the floor and also use less precious hardwood than a solid so is more environmentally friendly.
Solid boards are the oldest and most traditional method of hardwood floors.
The illustrations below will demonstrate the difference between solid and engineered flooring.
[placeholder for images of solid wood / engineered wood]
Engineered wood flooring is made up of layers of wood that have been glued and then pressed together under high pressure. The top layer, is the decorative layer you see and walk on, also known as the ‘wear layer’. This layer, dependent upon which flooring you choose, will be anything from 2.5mm to 6mm thick. The thickness required is dependent on the amount of traffic a floor will receive. Obviously a thicker wear layer can be sanded and sealed more frequently than a thinner wear layer.
In a commercial area with heavier traffic a thicker wear layer would be the best solution as it would last longer.
Grading of hardwood flooring is all about selection of the timber produced from the logs, which contain naturally occurring knots, splits, grain and colour. Every piece of wood is unique, so we use grades to separate into categories.
We have a large variety of grades which allows us to help you find the best board for you. There are ‘Prime grades’ which is the ‘cleanest’ boards with small-to-no knots with little changes between boards.
We also have more Natural grades which mean that the knots and colour variation are expected to be present on a large number of the boards.
Rustic grades will include all characteristics in most boards, giving a very traditional look to the wood.
One grade does not have a benefit over. This is where your own personal tastes are important.
Some species of wood are harder than others and this can impact on the type of wood you choose. Harder woods are a good solution in heavy traffic areas. It can be useful to assess your lifestyle needs and choose your wood based on these.
We offer a variety of all finishes on our floors, natural lacquered or oiled which are clear finish’s and serve to protect the wood. We also have stained boards to offer a change to the colour of the wood and steel brushing techniques to enhance the grain and add texture.
These finishes are factory applied and UV-cured which provides an extra-hard finish for added durability. There is also unfinished options to which allow you to create an entirely individual look for your home.
Tongue & Groove or Floating, click system?
Eco Wood Flooring various options for installing your hardwood flooring. Traditionally T&G was the main method installations. However, manufacturers developed their own glue-free installation systems that can float over your existing subfloor. This floating installation is now has the market share in new wood flooring due to the ease in which it can be fitted and there is no drying times necessary.
Our flooring comes in square edge or micro bevelled edges.
Pre-finished floors are generally supplied with a micro-bevelled edge as it adds a more traditional and individualistic look to each board.
Square edge is used on all unfinished products as standard as these floors will be sanded on site and then have a finish applied. This gives a flush, seamless appearance.
Where to install and how to maintain
What type of sub-floor do you have now – wood, concrete or battens?
If you will be laying your flooring directly onto battens (250mm c/s), choose either engineered or solid that is between 18mm – 22mm thick as this thickness is load bearing.
If you will be laying our new floor on a wood-based or concrete subfloor, then solid or an engineered flooring can be the solution.
We would generally advise purchasing an engineered board and an underlay with a Damp Proof Membrane (DPM) where a concrete subfloor is present. Concrete typically creates moisture and this can affect how your floor will last, especially solid boards.
Kitchens & Basements
Remember water and wood don’t mix!
Engineered is always the preferred choice where humidity and low ventilation is present.
If you spill water on wood, clean it up right away.
We do not recommend hardwood flooring for bathrooms.
Cleaning & Maintenance
All our floors are easy to maintain. We recommend market leading Bona products for cleaning and maintenance. Bona are also committed to creating products that will look after your flooring, your health and the environment. All of their products are low in chemical content and emissions.
If you already have or intend to install a water based underfloor heating system, then choose an engineered board and avoid solid wood flooring.
As an engineered hardwood floor is more stable it is able to cope with natural changes in the temperature and enviroment.
Water-based underfloor systems heat up and cool down more slowly than electric underfloor heating systems. If you intend to install underfloor heating at the same time as laying your flooring, choose a water-based system rather than electrical.
Glued or Nailed, which underlay? – Installation advice
These questions are best answered by your installer. They can advise based on your property and your insulation / noise reduction needs.
Finishing the job
We offer a range of finishing accessories, including edge trims, door profiles and pipe covers.
Call us at 01698 769875 and a member of the team will help you find what you need!