Guide to wood flooring
Guide to wood flooring
|Page 1: Why choose wood flooring?
Page 2: Types of wood flooring
Page 3: Floor repair
Hannah Shanks - Editor
The variety of different flooring surfaces available today is vast, catering for all price ranges and styles. Wood flooring is becoming increasingly popular and fashionable, and many people are getting rid of their existing floors in favour of the wood that can be found underneath. Alternatively, wood is being laid, or mock-wood laminate floors, in order to create this effect if existing wood flooring is not available.
Why should I choose wood flooring?
- Wood flooring provides a naturally beautiful effect which gives the house a warm feeling.
- Pure wood flooring is environmentally friendly, and is hypoallergenic.
- Wood floors can often resist wear and tear much better than other types of flooring, such as carpets. They can often last well over 100 years with only a small amount of maintenance.
- Any maintenance that the floors might need can usually be done by the owner and is relatively cheap. It is very easy to re-varnish or refinish wood floors to protect them, or get rid of scratches or stains.
- A great variety of styles of wood flooring is available to suit all areas and rooms of the house.
- Wood flooring adds value to a house so it is a great investment.
- Any spillages on wood floors are easier to clean up compared to surfaces like carpets, which are often ruined in the same situation.
What type of jobs will wood flooring services companies carry out?
The main job that these companies perform is floor installations, although they will also carry out board replacement, refinishing, floor repair and floor staining.
There are several species of hardwood that can be used for flooring, providing a variety of colours and grain variations.
Hard wood characteristics are all different, but can include a variant of grain patterns, black or dark gray marks, and knots of varying sizes. These characteristics are all products of each species' individual growth process, and when they are influenced by sunlight, climate and the soil.
Each plank of the wood used will be different, and the grade of the floor depends on how much variation there is between each plank.
When using wood, you should make sure that you use one which has a high hardness, ensuring it will be able to withstand wear and tear better than softer woods and will subsequently have a longer life which requires less maintenance. Examples of hard wood are maple, mahogany, white oak, ash, beech, red oak and birch. Pine and douglas fir are among the softest.
When hard wood is used, it comes in strips, planks or parquet tiles. These shapes can also have a variety of edge treatments, for example square, micro or bevelled edges.
Wide planking floor is the term used for planks which are over 4 inches in width, whereas strip flooring defines strips of wood that are between 2 ¼ inches and 4 ¼ inches in width. Strip flooring is the most common type of hard wood flooring used.
Hardwood flooring grades
Hardwood flooring is graded according to the variation of the colour, knots and grain patterns of each plank or strip. These definitions will help you decide which type of colour you would like and the wood flooring company can then recommend wood that would be suitable for each grade. The price also varies greatly, with the grade 1 flooring being more expensive than the grade 3.
- Grade 1 flooring – This is a clear floor which has very few knots in each plank, and the various planks have a similar colour making the visual of the floor consistent. It provides an elegant, beautiful appearance which is characterised by clean, straight lines of wood.
- Grade 2 flooring – This floor has more variety in its colouring, so that each plank is a slightly different colour to the ones next door to it. The planks or strips will also have small knots in them, and will often have wormholes. The grain of the wood is also more visible, which can give a stronger character to the floor.
- Grade 3 flooring – With this type of flooring there is a much greater variety in the colour throughout the floor, as well as it having large knots and many character marks. The design could be described as rustic.