Types of wood Flooring, which is best for you?

Laminate Flooring.

What is it?

The laminate core is made from highly compressed wood fibres

Laminate flooring is a compressed fibreboard plank, covered by a photographic image of wood, stone or tile and a protective overlay.

How much?

Prices start at £5 a square metre, but the cheapest kinds are smooth and appear relatively unrealistic.

Beveled edges, a more varied set of photos and registered embossing of features such as knots give higher-priced versions of brands such as Quickstep (£6-£19 a sq. metre) and Pergo (£15-£30 a sq. metre) a more natural look and texture.

Where to lay it?

Click-lock laminate flooring planks

Living areas, studies and playrooms. Some products include a waterproof core, and manufacturers claim they are suitable for bathrooms and kitchens. Check the guarantee carefully before buying to ensure you won't breach the stringent conditions (personally we do not recommend this).

Pros

  • It's cheap and fairly hardwearing.
  • Click-lock designs are simple to install (supposedly but can be worse to fit).
  • A wide variety of imitation woods are available.

Cons

  • Even the best laminate won't look or feel exactly like real wood.
  • The joins wear over time, it scratches easily and once the surface is damaged it's hard to fix. It's easily swollen by moisture, and the damage can't be repaired.
  • Poorly laid laminate is a turn-off for house-buyers.

Engineered wood flooring

What is it?

Several layers fixed together keep engineered planks solid

Each board consists of three or four layers of wood, glued together at right angles to create a plank around 14mm thick. It has a real wood veneer of around 4mm thick on top, which means it can be sanded back and treated to restore the original finish if it becomes scuffed, worn or damaged

How much?

Prices range from £15 a sq. metre to more than £85 a sq. metre for expensive woods such as olive, maple, teak and walnut.

Where to lay it?

Anywhere it won't be exposed to water or a humid atmosphere. It is time-consuming, fiddly and noisy to lay wood on stairs, and in some places it is hard to achieve a good finish – for instance, around toilets and sinks.

Pros

  • The way it is constructed makes it more stable than a piece of solid wood and less prone to changes caused by a room's temperature or humidity.
  • It is more attractive than laminate and cheaper than comparable solid wood planks.

Cons

  • There are very few cons, but tongue and groove is harder to install than click-lock.
  • It can be a lot dearer than laminate.

Real wood flooring

What is it?

Natural, beautiful and unwieldy wood.

Solid wood planks are often thicker than laminate or engineered wood.

Each board is made from a single piece of wood, typically 18-20mm thick. It is usually fitted using tongue-and-groove. All types of wood have a hardness score, which indicates how easily they can be damaged, dented or worn by every day wear and tear.

Solid wood flooring can be sanded back to restore the finish – the number of times is determined by how deep the tongue is set from the top of the board.

How much?

Prices vary, depending on the cost of raw wood, from £25 a sq. metre for Para wood to £90 a sq. metre for IPE tropical hardwood.

Where to lay it?

Anywhere with a relatively constant atmosphere, particularly in hallways and living areas where you can show it off.

Pros

  • It looks fabulous and, provided it's installed correctly, is an appealing feature if you decide to sell or rent out your home.

Cons

  • Solid wood swells in damp conditions and shrinks in dry ones.
  • It's the toughest to install because it has to be glued or nailed down, and fitting the individual boards together can be difficult because they change shape once they've been manufactured.
  • Highest price for entry-level products.

All Enquiries Welcome - Contact Us

For further information on any of our flooring services, please call us today using the telephone number at the top of this page or alternatively, please complete the form on our contact us page and a member of our friendly team will be happy to respond to your query.

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