The beauty of hardwood flooring - Grand Designs Magazine

The beauty and flexibility of hardwood flooring

Transform your home with a luxurious hardwood floor

Promotional Feature By Caroline Rodrigues |

Thanks to the sheer range of hardwood flooring available, there’s bound to be a design that takes your fancy. But with so much to choose from, where do you start? Here’s how quality hardwood flooring can upgrade your home…

Durable flooring

Solid wood boards are durable and have the advantage that, if damaged, they can be sanded back a number of times and refinished. Engineered wood flooring, made up of a sandwich of layers with a decorative top layer of wood, is more resistant to moisture and changes in humidity, making it much easier to maintain. But if you do need to sand it back, the wear layers are typically 4mm-6mm – similar to any solid floor.

In the UK, the market is moving towards engineered wood flooring because it is more sustainable. Only the top layer of engineered wood flooring utilises wearable hardwood, which is slower to grow. The softwood at the core grows faster, meaning those trees can be replaced more easily. Both solid and engineered wood flooring are available at Maples & Birch, and can be supplied unfinished or with an oil or lacquer finish.

Hardwood flooring from Birmingham-based Maples and Birch

Photo: Maples and Birch

Selecting a wood type

Hardwood floors have a lot to offer. Oak is one of the most popular choices thanks to its warm tones and huge range of colours and textures. But don’t make up your mind too soon. Explore maple, cherry, walnut, ash and beech for distinctive grain patterns that look glorious underfoot. Have a look at the Kensington Collection if you’re seeking out darker and more distinctive tones. And if you fancy a particular exotic or ethically sourced wood, Maples & Birch will source it for you.

hardwood flooring in a modern open-plan home with wood burning stove and modern kitchen

Photo: Maples and Birch

Designer or reclaimed flooring?

When you’ve put your all into a Grand Designs-esque build project, you’ll want very special flooring to give it that extra finesse. The Designer Collezione from Maples & Birch brings together stylish engineered hardwood flooring influenced by current colour trends and includes oiled or lacquered finishes. All of the designs have been selected by interior designer Georgie Osborne.

Not all projects need a pristine finish, though. For a barn conversion or renovation project, reclaimed flooring that’s steeped in character, sourced from Baltic lands or as old beams from France and Germany, will tell a unique tale on floors.

should you choose brand new flooring or reclaimed wood for your home renovation?

Photo: Maples and Birch

Parquet flooring

For a distinctive look, select hardwood flooring laid in a decorative pattern. Traditional parquet flooring is a grand finish for period homes that can also work its magic in a contemporary apartment or house. Lay individual blocks in a popular herringbone or a lively basketweave or brick pattern. There’s no restriction on woods or finishes. Consider dark-stained American walnut parquet for a dining area or grey-stained oak parquet for a bedroom.

modern parquet flooring in a decorative herringbone pattern

Photo: Maples and Birch

Can I have wooden flooring in the bathroom?

Yes, you can – but you’ll need to pick with care since hardwood flooring and water aren’t usually the best of friends. Although engineered boards can be used in a bathroom, a specialised flooring is a far better choice. Navylam+ flooring by the French firm Design Parquet, available from Maples & Birch, comes as pre-oiled engineered parquet strips with rubber sealing strips, which also help make the flooring slip resistant. When fitting, you simply apply a specialist glue to the joints on each board. Choose from a number of exotic woods for a unique look. These include acacia, doussie, iroko, mutenye, teak and wenge.

wooden floor in a bathroom can work so long as you seek advice

Photo: Maples and Birch

Find out more

Maples & Birch, part of the Kirklees group, specialises in an extensive range of quality hardwood floors. The company offers a lifetime structural guarantee and 25-year finish guarantee on all floors except Navylam+, which comes with 10-year manufacturer guarantee. For further information or advice, call 0333 533 3330.