Wood flooring: a buyer’s guide

The advantages and disadvantages of different types, plus installation tips.

By Andrea Manley | 6 October 2020

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.

Wooden flooring in a dark, oiled rustic oak finish

Rustic oak boards from the Reclaimed Flooring Company

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.

View of a kitchen with a pale oak wooden flooring

Pale oak boards from Russwood

Design ideas

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 flooring suit spaces of any size. And wood blocks with square edges create a seamless look. While traditional hand-rolled edges define each block, emphasising the pattern.