Wood flooring: a buyer’s guide
The pros and cons of different types of timber, plus installation tips
Wood flooring is an eco-friendly investment that can last a lifetime. Whether the natural appeal of solid boards, the versatility of engineered planks or the sustainable qualities of reclaimed wood, there are options for almost all spaces and every style of home. Whichever wood flooring you choose, make sure any new product is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certified. This guarantees it’s from a responsible source.
Planks, boards and blocks
Solid wood flooring looks glorious for many decades. Even when wear and tear become noticeable, the surface can be sanded back and refinished to look like new. Hardwood species such as oak, walnut and teak are durable and scratch-resistant options for busy spaces. Softwoods such as Douglas fir, pine and larch are less robust but great for the dining area, upstairs landing and bedrooms.
Both planks and blocks can be supplied pre-finished or delivered untreated to be customised on site with the finish of your choice. Herringbone, chevron and geometric-block wood flooring suit spaces of any size. And timber blocks with square edges create a seamless look. While traditional hand-rolled edges define each block, emphasising the pattern.
Go for multi-layers
Engineered boards have a top layer of solid wood that is bonded to several layers of softwood. This gives a wooden floor great stability and allows it to cope with a certain amount of heat and humidity. Tongue and groove edges make the boards easy to fit together. There are a variety of species and finishes available.