4 Step Guide to Choosing the Right Hardwood Flooring

September 30, 2015 9:36 am Published by

Choosing the right Hardwood Flooring Are you looking to transform your home? Changing your flooring is a fantastic way of doing so and can give you subtle elegance, practical everyday comfort, or even make a dramatic statement in any room in your home.

Thanks to its timeless elegance and style, hardwood flooring is a popular option for many. But the decision to invest in your home’s aesthetics, particularly wooden flooring, shouldn’t be taken lightly. Therefore we have put together a 4 step guide to help you on your way. Take a look below:

  1. Solid wood or engineered wood?

Solid or Engineered Hardwood FlooringSolid wood floors are traditionally considered to be the most durable, whilst offering beautifully unique character. Created from a single piece of wood, which is then split into various sections, solid wood boards fit into each other at the tongues and grooves. Due to this process solid wood possesses a great deal of natural texture and desired irregularity. Choose solid wood flooring and you can rest assured that it would not need replacing for at least 50 years; simply sand and re-coat the surface when necessary and it’s as good as new.

However, solid wood is more likely to react to moisture and as a result buckle or warp. We would therefore highly recommend that you avoid installing solid wooden flooring in basements, bathrooms, or any place that is susceptible to high volumes of moisture.

Engineered wood has a different structure and for this reason it has gained a reputation to be the most dimensionally stable wooden flooring option. The specific manufacturing process used means that engineered wood has a comparable structure with plywood where sections are placed in a cross grain pattern and bonded together using heat.

You can also get what is called a “factory finish” enabling you to add effects and stains for varying textures and designs. Engineered wood is less expensive than solid wood and is less susceptible to damage from water exposure and moisture giving greater stability. It can also offer a more contemporary look but scratches, gouges, dents or stains are far more difficult to remove as sanding is not an option, making engineered wood less practical when it comes to everyday wear and tear.

  1. Type of Finish

The practicality of each option is a key area to consider, however aesthetics and visual satisfaction also play a large part in the overall decision. When it comes to the type of finish there are 2 options to consider: pre-finished and site finished wooden flooring.

Pre-finished flooring:

Pre-finished wood is commonly seen as the best option in order to protect each board against stains, discolouration and water penetration. With multiple layers of finish applied to the wood before installation, it allows for a more refined and accurate application giving a perfect and uniform look and a hard and durable finish.

Site finished wood:

Sanded and finished on site after installation, the wood becomes more impenetrable to moisture, dampness and liquids. With the finish being applied across the entire floor after installation the visibility of cracks or gaps between the boards is reduced as well as providing a barrier to moisture slipping between them. The end result, if applied professionally, will usually only be subtly different to the finish obtained on a pre-finish floor.

  1. Durability and Sound

Whatever type of flooring you choose for your home the amount and type of foot traffic will need to be considered. For example, young children running and jumping around the house or frequent use by family pets will dictate which type of wood you should select.

The Janka Hardness Rating Chart is a great place to start. Higher numbers on the scale indicate harder woods that are going to have a greater resistance to denting from every day wear and tear.

Sound is also an important consideration particularly on upper floors and the varying hardness of different woods can make a considerable difference in the amount of noise they generate.

Harder woods are much tougher on your legs and feet and will create louder sounds when walked upon. Scratches appear more regularly in hardwoods, but they seldom dent and so have longer lasting durability.

Woods that fall into the centre of the hardness scale are more likely to dent, but hold more heat and are easier on the feet, meaning less impact from sound. Soft woods however are the easiest on your legs providing a springy bounce and a bit of give, are resistant to scratches, scuffs and grit marks.

  1. Existing Décor & Style

As with any type of new flooring it is important to consider your existing furnishings, décor and Home Consultation with Rivendelloverall style when selecting your wooden floors.

Whilst wooden flooring is timeless and can transform both a contemporary or traditional home there are such a wide range of colours, finishes and woods to choose from. It is important to think about what you want to accomplish in terms of the style of your room and what flooring will compliment your existing furnishings and décor.

In particular, the ambient light within your room can make a significant difference to the way in which your finished wooden floor will look and so you should always see samples within the actual room rather than just under the harsh lighting of a studio before you make your final choice.

More Information and Advice

If you are looking to transform your home with the addition of wooden flooring why not give our team a call on 0117 963 9797 for more information and advice? You can also arrange a convenient, no obligation Home Consultation where we bring the studio to you.


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This post was written by Binks

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