Guide to Wood Flooring

Posted on September 18, 2012 by davidb There have been 1 comment(s)

Wood floorings are exceptionally popular in the UK in both commercial and residential properties. If you are considering fitting wood flooring during your self build home construction, there are several considerations that you would need to take into account.

Typical considerations include the type of wood technology and the location of the room in the overall building plans.

Wood Technology

When looking at well-fitted wood flooring you are not to blame for thinking that there is only one type of wood flooring in the market. In fact, there are two quite distinct technologies that are used to create a board of wood flooring. In some properties, either type will suit well however in other properties only one type will produce the kind of service life you would expect. The two technologies are solid wood flooring boards vs. engineered wood flooring boards.

Solid Wood Flooring – Made from complete solid wood these are also the most popular. Often featured in period properties, solid boards can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years and even longer provided basic care is adhered to. After many years of use, solid boards can be made to look freshly fitted using a simple process that removes a 1mm layer of old wood to expose new wood. Called ‘sanding’ it can be repeated many times during the lifespan of the boards. While its solid construction helps ensure longevity and fresh looks, it can also cause a few problems.

All natural woods react to changes in temperature. In cold conditions wood contracts and in hot conditions wood expands. This can cause expedited damage to the boards and makes solid type unsuitable for fitting over under floor heating. In fact, it also makes solid boards unsuitable in various areas such as the bathroom or in certain extensions and conservatories. When changes in temperature are irrelevant, solid boards are a popular choice.

Engineered Wood Flooring – Made from a combination of syntactic material and solid wood, when fitted correctly an engineered board looks 100% identical to solid. The reason becomes apparent when you look at how the board is put together. The top layer is made from solid wood (the same solid wood that appears in solid wood flooring) as a layer of 3mm to 6mm thick. It is supported by three to four layers of syntactic material, hence the use of the term ‘engineered’.

Unlike solid wood, it can be fitted all around the property including over under floor heating. Furthermore, its varied construction means that the boards are often more affordable allowing to cover a wide area in larger properties while keeping prices competitive. It is slightly let down by the fact that sanding is limited depending on the thickness of the solid layer (remember sanding removes 1mm of wood each time). In addition, service life does not equal that of sold wood, which is not unexpected, as most flooring solutions cannot equal real solid wood. If your heart is set on wood flooring in areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, conservatory and certain extensions, engineered wood flooring are a popular choice.

These are just a few of the considerations that go into fitting wood flooring in a new self build. Contact Simply Self Build today for any questions about wood flooring in your self build project.

Guide by Wood and Beyond. London based hardwood flooring seller, offering solid and engineered oak flooring. Written for The Benfield ATT Group (

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1 Response to Guide to Wood Flooring

  • All types of wooden flooring are becoming increasingly popular in homes - there are also so many variations to choose from. They look great too!

    Posted on January 10, 2013 at 11:04 am

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