A Homeowners Guide to Wood Flooring

In this guide we will explain about the various options a typical homeowner should consider when buying wood flooring. Whether you plan to purchase online or at your local retailer, the outcome is the same. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to make an educated decision as to the right wood floor for your home.

Fitting Costs

The cost of fitting wood flooring must be taken into account when you’re budgeting your renovation. There are two aspects that will influence the cost. The first is the fitting method that you choose and the second the labour cost of actually fitting the floor.

  • Fitting methods – There are several methods of fitting wood flooring and some are dearer than others. The most cost effective method is ‘floating’ and as the name suggests, the floor is neither nailed down nor glued down. Floating will only work for large floorboards.The most popular method is ‘glue down’. A method that requires more time compared to the previous one, but suitable for all wood flooring technologies. The last method is ‘nail down’. The most time consuming method, nail down is however considered the most stable.
  • Labour costs – Assuming you don’t have the necessary skills to fit wood flooring, you will require a contractor to fit it. Your first and most cost effective means is to negotiate the fitting price with the supplier at the time of buying the wood.If the negotiations haven’t succeeded or the retailer doesn’t offer these services, you have a few options. You could try yellow pages for local contractor or why not look for a supplier in our directory.When choosing a supplier, make sure that they have hands on experience in fitting floors and remember to ask for references. Additionally, find out what sort guarantee you’ll get.

Flooring Technology

There are two wood flooring technologies available and for most homes either technology is fine. On the surface, both types look identical and are equally priced. The differences lie underneath and your decision needs to take into account the qualities of each technology.

  • Solid Wood Flooring – Solid wood floorboards are made from 100% wood. Their most obvious quality is extreme durability, however these type of floorboards tend to come in smaller sizes and are therefore unsuitable for ‘floating’ installation.Additionally, in its natural state, wood tends to expand in hot conditions and retract in cold conditions. Solid wood flooring is made from complete natural wood and therefore inherits this quality.
  • Engineered Wood Flooring – Engineered floorboards are made from three or four layers of wood, Plywood, MDF and Softwood. Their most obvious quality is better suitability in areas that might experience damp or wet conditions (such as a bathroom or kitchen area).Engineered wood flooring is suitable for all three fitting methods and does not share solid wood’s quality of expanding and contracting. However, their durability of 25 years is significantly less than solid wood flooring which has an expected lifetime of 50 to 100 years. Durability is heavily influenced by basic care and maintenance of course.

Wood Flooring Grade

In their basic form, Solid and Engineered flooring costs the same. Each type is then broken-down to grade, which is where the difference in price comes in. Grade is an indicator of how fine the floorboard is in terms colour variations, knots and mineral streaking. There are four grades and each is available in Solid or Engineered form.

  • Prime – The highest and most expensive grade. All of the floorboards will match in colour. Knots will be infrequent and very small.
  • Select – Floorboards will start showing differences in colour and knots are expected throughout.
  • Natural – Depending on the precise species of wood, significant colour variations and knots of various sizes are expected.
  • Rustic – The most affordable and therefore popular grade of wood flooring. Heavy grain markings, colour variations and large knots feature throughout.

Caring for your Wooden Flooring

To achieve the durability potential of the floor, wood flooring requires conservative care. Maintenance includes proactive steps to reduce accidental damage and correct cleaning procedures.

  • Proactive – Never drag objects on the floor and try to place objects on furniture pads to reduce contact with the wood. Fit doormats at the entrance of the house to reduce the build up of dirt and dust and scuffs from tiny stones.
  • Cleaning – Sweep the floor on a daily basic with a soft brush or using a soft extension on your hover. Never wet the floor during the cleaning process, use damp microfiber cloth. For the best long-term result, use dedicated wood flooring cleaning chemicals from a known brand.

A homeowner guide to buying wood flooring by online wood flooring vendor, WoodandBeyond.com.

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Formerly Finance and Operations Director of anmarketing agency. Now luckily semi-retired. Amateur interior design buff, constantly experimenting on my own home (much to the chargrins of hubby) and passionate about anything to do with home interiors and improvements. Wish my house was bigger!

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