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Flooring Types Explained

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is made up of different layers which results in a very hardwearing floor covering.

  • The bottom layer is the stabilizing layer which gives the flooring its stability.
  • The middle being the core layer made from high density fibreboard (HDF) or medium density fibreboard  (MDF), which is treated with resins to make it extremely hard. To prevent the flooring from being penetrated by moisture, most manufacturers also apply a moisture resistant resin to the core.
  • Then comes a decorative paper layer (DPL) which gives the floor its unique individual appearance, ranging from natural wood styles to ceramic, stone and tile designs.
  • Finally there is the top wear layer made from highly wear resistant material which makes the flooring so hard wearing. This makes the floor highly resistant to stains, scratches and dents. 
  • Laminate flooring mimics the look of natural wood flooring whilst offering an easy installation clic system which has been adopted by most manufacturers allowing for a fast and easy fit. Laminate flooring is a floating floor which means it does not fasten to any sub-floor, simply the planks are clicked together and the floor can be walked on straight away. You will however firstly need to lay down an underlay which has a built in damp proof membrane if you are laying over a concrete sub-floor to protect the flooring.
  • Laminate flooring has vastly improved in recent years with new designs, styles and finishes. Laminate flooring is a great addition to any home, especially in area's of high use due to its durability. Easy to install and affordable, a good quality laminate floor once laid can now look as good as the real thing.

 

Solid Wood Flooring

All wood flooring that is one piece of wood from top to bottom is considered solid flooring.         

  • Solid wood flooring comes in a wide variety of species, stains and finishes that create a unique individual look full of warmth and character to enhance any suitable room of a home on the ground level or above. 

  • Solid wood flooring is machined from one piece of wood and is available in a range of widths and thickness's. Most solid flooring is 18mm in thickness with a range of widths most commonly between 90mm to 150mm with the cost increasing the greater the width or thickness.    

  • Manufacturers are now enhancing their ranges to meet the growing demand with better quality finishes such as hand scraped and wider varieties of wood species. 

  • Solid wood flooring has to be nailed down or glued to the sub-floor. We recommend you always follow the manufacturers installation instructions or instruct a professional flooring installer. 

  • Solid wood flooring comes in an array of different species with the most common being Oak (White Oak), Beech and Maple, however manufacturers are now producing flooring from more exotic species such as Merbau, Iroko and Wenge. 

  • Solid wood flooring comes in a range of grades from clear to rustic each with its own individual characteristics in colour and grain markings. 

  • Most solid wood flooring is supplied in packs containing random lengths of flooring rather than a set length most commonly found with laminate floors. 

  • Solid wood floors are the finest, providing longevity and durability which exceeds all other types of wood flooring because of its thicker wear layer. Solid wood floors also contribute to the overall structural strength of a home and even when your floor ages with time, you can achieve an entirely new look by sanding, applying a new stain or finish, making it appear new again every time.

  • All solid wood floors will react to the presence of moisture as they are a natural product. In the winter months, moisture leaves the wood causing the floor to contract which leaves unsightly gaps between each plank. In the summer months when the humidity is higher the wood will expand and the gaps will disappear. If there is too much moisture it may cause the wood planks to cup or buckle. This is why it is important when installing solid wood flooring to leave the proper expansion area around the perimeter of the room and to acclimatize the wood prior to installation. Nearly all problems relating to solid wood flooring are due to improper installation and sub-floor preparation. That is why it is important when installing solid wood flooring that you follow the correct installation methods or appoint a professional wood flooring installer.

 

Engineered Flooring

        Engineered wood flooring responds better to the climate change of your room.

  • Where solid wood floors are typically 18mm thick planks cut directly from a tree, engineered floors are constructed of layers of wood pressed together, with the grains running in different directions called a cross-ply construction.This means that the flooring is more stable than one solid piece of wood and will withstand varying temperatures more effectively than solid wood flooring.    

  • Engineered flooring has several layers and the greater the layers, the greater the stability. This stability allows the floor to be installed as a floating floor directly onto timber or concrete sub-floors. It can be laid in several ways with the most common being glue between the tongue and groove joint. 

  • Engineered wood flooring is made from layers of inexpensive wood materials with a solid wood veneer top between 1.5mm and 6mm thick and the overall thickness of the flooring can range from 10mm to 22mm. 

  • Engineered wood flooring is available in a range of oiled, lacquered and hand scraped finishes that look elegant, adding warmth and character to any room in a home. 

  • There are several good reasons for choosing an engineered wood floor. In cases where the solid wood is expensive like walnut, only the top layer will be walnut with the remaining layers being constructed from more inexpensive wood materials. This creates a more affordable option than a solid wood floor and once laid, only a flooring professional is likely to notice the difference. 

  • Engineered flooring is perfect for underfloor heating and those areas of the house where solid wood flooring may not be suitable such as kitchens, utility rooms and basements because the grains run in different directions making it more stable than solid wood flooring. This means that when an engineered floor absorbs moisture, it counteracts the natural tendency of solid wood to expand, contract, warp or cup. 

  • Engineered wood flooring like solid wood flooring, comes in a wide variety of species, stains and finishes that create a unique individual look full of warmth and character to enhance any room of a home. 

  • Engineered flooring, has a top layer vaneer of solid wood which comes in an array of different species with the most common being Oak (White Oak), Beech and Maple, however manufacturers are now producing flooring from more exotic species such as Merbau, Iroko and Wenge. 

  • Engineered wood flooring comes in a range of different widths and lengths to meet everyones taste and desire. Engineered flooring is supplied in packs containing set plank lengths rather than random lengths which is most commonly found with solid flooring.