Solid Wood Flooring: A Beginner’s Guide

For the complete wooden floor experience, then solid wood flooring (also known as hardwood flooring or real wood flooring) is difficult to beat. As the name suggests, it’s machined from solid pieces of wood, usually 18-20mm thick and looks absolutely fantastic. Solid floors are generally made using hardwoods, such as oak, as softwoods like pine dent too easily.

If you’re unsure about whether solid wood flooring is right for you, here is rundown of most of the important things you need to know…

 

Types of solid wood flooring

Here at Discount Flooring Depot, we currently offer three different species of real wood floors: Oak, bamboo and birch. Each of these species has its own unique properties and can add something different to a room.

 

Dark brown bamboo solid wood flooringBamboo flooring

Bamboo is an increasingly popular choice for wooden flooring thanks to its attractive aesthetic that looks great in just about any room.

Bamboo flooring is available in a wide range of colours, with its natural colour being a pale, almost blonde colour. It can then be carbonised (heating the wood so that the natural sugars darken) to produce a darker tone or stained for a wide array of colours and finishes.

It’s also considered one of the most sustainable woods as it only takes around 3-5 years to return to full maturation, as opposed to other woods that can take a lifetime to mature fully, meaning it’s a more eco-friendly choice.

 

 

 

Oak solid wood flooringOak flooring

Oak is considered by many to be the standard of wooden flooring, primarily because it’s one of the hardest woods used for flooring and is widely available around the world. It’s also an incredibly attractive wood that really embodies the aesthetic to springs to mind when you imagine solid wood, making it perfect if you want to show it off to friends and family.

It has a rich, attractive grain pattern that is really brought out when lacquered or oiled, making it perfect if you want to create a rustic look for a room. It also makes great parquet flooring.

Oak is widely recycled and sustainable, making it an environmentally friendly choice of wooden flooring.

 

 

Birch flooring

Birch might not be a wood that many immediately associate with solid wood flooring, but it’s still a fantastic choice. It features natural ‘highlights’ and has a wide colour variation from lights to darks that makes it suitable for a range of interior decors.

There are three different types of birch available – paper birch, yellow birch and sweet birches – all of which have their own unique properties.

 

How much does solid wood flooring cost?

Being made from solid pieces of wood, this real wood is generally more expensive than other types of wooden flooring. However, hardwood is less likely to dent and damage than most other types of flooring and therefore usually has a longer lifespan, and it can also help to increase the value of your home.

Of course, here at Discount Flooring Depot you can still great solid wood flooring at great prices, so it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

 

Looking after your wooden floor

If you’ve got a stunning looking hardwood floor then you’re going to want to keep it looking that way. If you don’t care for it properly then before long it will end up covered in scratches, so with that in mind, here are some quick tips for keeping your wooden floor looking great:

  • Use felt furniture tips to protect from furniture legs
  • Regularly brush the floor to reduce dust and dirt build-up
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Don’t clatter around in high heels
  • Beware of pets scratching the floor with their claws

There are also various products you can use to clean the floor and waxes available to apply as a maintenance layer.

Solid wood flooring doesn’t play well with moisture, so you have to be careful. Spillages should be cleaned up straight away, and you should never steam clean your floor. It should only be mopped with a damp mop and then with a dry one straight away to soak up the fluids. A lacquered floor does offer some protection but not as much as a hydro-guard laminate or vinyl flooring would. With all that in mind, real wood flooring is not recommended for bathrooms and probably not for kitchens either.

Read more in-depth tips for looking after your solid wood floor, or find out more about laminate flooring with one of our informative and insightful blog posts.

 

Person sweeping up dusty solid wood flooring

 

 

Is solid wood best for pets?

Solid wood flooring can be susceptible to scratches from pets claws, with dogs the biggest culprit. Solid wood is hardwearing but due to its nature is more likely to scratch than laminate flooring.

The finishes you have on the wood can have an effect, however. A lacquered finish will provide a bit of extra strength if enough coats are applied, whilst a brushed and oiled finish is more likely to hide scratches if they do occur as brushing actually enhancing the grain.

Take a look at this guide to the various types of finish for solid wood flooring.

 

Is this type of flooring right for my room?

Solid wood isn’t suitable for every kind of room or environment in your home. It can be susceptible to warping under changes in moisture and humidity levels, so is a good choice for homes and rooms that provide a constant atmosphere with little change. For example, it would not work well in a bathroom where there is a lot of moisture present. It should also not be used if there is a lot of damp in a room as, again, this could cause the wood to warp.

It is, however, perfect for living rooms and hallways where moisture levels are usually lower. These are also great rooms for showing off how great your flooring looks!

 

Person fitting solid wood flooring

 

Fitting a solid wood floor

Hardwood flooring usually comes as either tongue and groove or click-lock fitting, both of which are reasonably simply to lay.

When your flooring arrives, it needs to acclimatise to your home’s environment. It should be left in the room in which it will be laid and should take about seven days to acclimatise if left out of the box. If left in the box, it can take longer.

Real wood is more likely to move and so it’s best to fix it to the floor, either to concrete, floor joists or to an existing timber floor. If you’re fixing it down to concrete then glue is probably your best bet, whilst if laying on wood, it’s probably best to nail it down.

This can be a DIY project or you can get a fitter in to do it for you if you’re not confident. We work with MyBuilder.com, which is an excellent site for finding a fitter for your wooden flooring.

 

If you have any questions about wooden flooring, then browse our blog or get in touch and we’ll do our best to help you out.

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