How Do I Choose Between Solid & Engineered Wood Flooring?

engineered-wood-solid-woodChoosing the right flooring for your home can be a difficult task, one which needs careful consideration. It can transform the way a room looks and is something that you will live with on a daily basis. Investing in a beautiful wood floor can make the world of difference to your home, making it stylish and adding that ‘wow’ factor that will invite compliments from your visitors and simply look amazing.

Once you’ve decided that wood flooring is the way to go you then need to choose the type of wood, light or dark, the finish you want and you’ll also need to consider if you should use an engineered or solid wood flooring to boot! So to help inform your choice we thought we would put together this handy article to explain the differences between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring.

The basics of Engineered Wood & Solid Wood

Before we start comparing the two, it’s worth explaining what each type is. Solid wood flooring is made from a whole single piece solid wood and it’s usually 3/4 of an inch thick.

Engineered wood flooring is also made from 100% real wood, but it has been constructed in a different way. Engineered wood is made up with layers of plywood or hardwood, it’s then finished with a layer of solid wood on the top. It should never be confused with laminate flooring – laminate is a synthetic product that looks like wood because it’s essentially got a photographic image of a wood finish printed on the top layer, overlaid with a ‘wear’ layer.

When you compare solid and engineered wood floors it can be very difficult to tell the difference between them once they’re laid, as they’re both real wood. Price wise there’s not a huge difference either, however in certain situations there are reasons for using one type of wood flooring over the other.

When Is Engineered Wood Flooring The Best Choice?

Moisture content: You’ll need to check the levels of moisture in your sub floor, ideally with an RH test and if the moisture levels of are higher than 2-3%, the best choice for your situation would be engineered wood over an underlay or a membrane. Engineered wood flooring is really good at coping with changing moisture levels and heat. This makes it an ideal choice for bathrooms or kitchens.

Underfloor heating: If you’re going to be installing underfloor heating, you will definitely need to opt for engineered wood, as the fluctuating heat will damage a solid wood floor. Because of the way engineered wood flooring is constructed, a good quality floor can handle fluctuations in temperature and moisture without any damage.

Easier to install: It can also be easier to install engineered wood than solid wood flooring. It can be laid either using the ‘floating’ method where it floats on an underlay, or the ‘gluing’ method where each board is glued to your sub floor.

When Is Solid Wood Flooring The Best Choice?

Heavily used areas: If the area you are going to be flooring has a heavy or high footfall then solid wood flooring is a good option. A solid wood floor can be sanded and refinished up to six times to restore it after heavy use and still look great, whereas engineered wood can usually only cope with being sanded a couple of times before the top layer of wood becomes too thin.

Longevity: A solid wood floor can last 100 years, making it a fantastic investment if you plan to stay in your home long term or want to pass property down to future generations!

Choosing The Right Flooring For Different Rooms

Bedroom flooring: Engineered wood flooring lends itself really well to bedrooms, usually light use and footfall. Solid wood flooring is also a good option for bedrooms.

Hallway flooring: Solid wood flooring is the smart choice for hallways due to these areas being more in use on a daily basis and prone to wear and tear. You’ll be able to sand and finish this time and time again to restore it to its former glory.

Living room flooring: Engineered wood flooring lends itself really well to living rooms, usually light use and footfall. Solid wood flooring is also a good option for living rooms.

Dining room flooring: Engineered wood flooring lends itself really well to dining rooms, usually light use and footfall. Solid wood flooring is also a good option for dining rooms.

Bathroom flooring: Due to the typical usage of a bathroom and moisture levels fluctuating engineered flooring is the best choice as it copes with these conditions really well.

Kitchen flooring: Due to the typical usage of a kitchen and moisture levels fluctuating engineered flooring is the best choice as it copes with these conditions really well.

Conservatory flooring: Due to the typical usage of a conservatory and moisture levels fluctuating engineered flooring is the best choice as it copes with these conditions really well.

Cellar or basement flooring: Due to the typical usage of a cellar or basement and moisture levels fluctuating engineered flooring is the best choice as it copes with these conditions really well.

Business flooring: Solid wood flooring is the smart choice for business flooring due to it typically being more in use on a daily basis and prone to wear and tear. You’ll be able to sand and finish this time and time again to restore it to its former glory.

There are a wide variety of different woods and finishes available so you can choose the right ones to match your home décor. Having the same wood and finish throughout your downstairs can help make your home look more spacious, but if you’d prefer to have a different wood in your kitchen compared to your hall and living room you can always break the rules! You can also achieve very close matches between solid and engineered wood planks, which can give the illusion of one material being used throughout the house.

Top tips

  • In small rooms with dark colours on the walls,or low ceilings, it’s best to opt for a light shade of wood flooring. White and grey can help make your rooms seem bigger
  • If you want a modern and chic vibe, opt for the opposite – wood in dark shades.
  • To make a statement, you could opt for flooring in primary colours. Perfect for art studios or children’s playrooms.

Want To Order Some Samples?

Take a look on our site to see our full range of flooring to choose a few that you’d like to compare and request some samples to see how they would look in your home. You can alternatively visit us at our showroom.

Our Showroom is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm. Our showroom address is Unit 1a Drakes Drive, Crendon Industrial Park, Long Crendon, Bucks HP18 9EJ.

Still undecided? Why not give one of our experts a call on 01844 217075 and they will advise you on the best options for your needs.

 

Tips & Tricks On How To Care For Your Hardwood Floor

Hardwood Floor CareYou’ve got a great looking beautiful hardwood floor that’s just been installed and now you’re thinking to yourself how can I maintain it and keep it looking gorgeous? With proper care and maintenance you can extend the life of your lovely new wood floor, the same principles apply to both engineered wood and solid wood as they are both made from real hardwood. The only difference is that engineered wood flooring has top layer of solid wood that provides you with the desired wood finish. Repeated sanding of this layer will eventually remove this layer entirely. However, as you should only need to sand your floor every ten years or so, it’s unlikely you’ll ever remove a significant amount of this layer.

We’ve written another handy article on the differences and uses of solid wood vs engineered wood flooring which you can read by clicking here.

Our Top 5 Tips To Maintaining Your Hardwood Flooring:

Here’s our top 5 tips that should be included in a typical cleaning and maintenance routine for your solid wood floor. As you can see it’s really easy to keep your floor looking great without a huge amount of effort. Jobs like sanding and refinishing can be done by anyone with basic DIY skills, or if it feels a bit daunting for you you could call in a professional or handyman for help.

  1. Give your hardwood floor a quick sweep every day
    To keep your floor looking great a quick ‘once over’ every day or two is ideal. Use a nice soft microfiber mop or soft bristled broom and sweep daily. This will remove particles and prevent any grit or dirt build up between floorboards and in the grain.
  2. Give your hardwood floor a vacuum at least once a week
    It’s a great idea to vacuum regularly to remove particles and dirt that has lodged in gaps between the floorboards or in features such as knots and deep grain. Vacuum at least once a week using the bare floor setting.
    Top Tip!: If you have an upright vacuum cleaner make sure the rotating brush is turned off as this can scratch the floors’ surface.
  3. Once a month use a nice wood floor cleaner on your hardwood floor
    At least once a month use the recommended wood floor cleaner on your floor. When you buy your flooring make sure you ask what product to use when you buy your floor, or call us and we can advise you. Most wood floor cleaners come as a spray that will dissolve dirt, especially any ingrained dirt and dust that your vacuum hasn’t been able to shift. Simply spray a small area with the cleaner, finish with a microfibre mop, and work your way around the room.
  4. Apply a maintenance finishing coat top up every 3 to 5 years
    Once every few years to keep your floor vibrant and looking great, simply apply a top up of whatever finishing coat it was given when it was installed. This might have been a floor wax or oil, or a polyurethane surface finish. Make sure you know what was used, as the wrong product could affect the appearance of your floor and also its longevity. If you’re in doubt give us a quick call and we can advise you on the top coat you will need.
  5. Give your hardwood flooring a sand and refinish every 10 years or so
    There is no hard and fast rule to predict when your floor will need sanding and refinishing as it depends on the type of wood used and how much traffic it gets. High traffic areas such as hallways will need sanding more frequently than a floor in a quiet study or living room. If you’re confident in your DIY skills you can hire a floor sander and do the job yourself. Alternatively ask the company who supplied your floor to recommend a local tradesperson to do it for you.

Our handy emergency clean up hacks:

Scuff marks: Scuff marks can be buffed out using a fuzzy tennis ball.

Heavy marking: A small amount of baking soda on a damp cloth can remove heavier marks.

Scuffing protection: Use stick-on felt protectors on the legs of furniture (particularly chairs) to prevent scuffing.

Permanent markers: Permanent marker can be removed with a lightly abrasive paste such as baking soda or toothpaste and a damp cloth.

Spills: Mop up spills quickly. The sooner you act the less impact they have.

Dirt build up: Strategically place floor rugs in doorways to minimise the amount of dirt and grit being walked onto your floor.

If you have any other questions or need help with a specific maintenance problem please call us on 01844 217 075 to speak to one of our experts or Get In Touch viasales@oakleywoodtimber.co.uk

Grey Wood Flooring

Grey wood flooring is one of the most popular flooring colours on the market. Taking over modern interiors, we can’t seem to get enough of grey laminate, grey solid oak, grey engineered wood or grey luxury vinyl tiles. Perhaps it’s due to the effortless blend with décor and furnishings, the practicality of the colouring or simply the fresh, clean feel it brings to a room. Regardless of the reasoning, grey wood flooring has become a strong contender in the industry. If you’re considering it for your home, these handy tips will help you get the most from your new flooring.