Is Wood Flooring the Best Option for Your Property? The Benefits, Types, Uses, and Cost
The market is flooded with many types of wood flooring, each with its own unique properties.
But before you make a choice, is wood flooring the best option for your property? If so, do you want hardwood like oak or maple, or are you looking for something more affordable, like pine or bamboo?
In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about wood flooring to help you choose the perfect flooring solution for your property.
What Are the Primary Advantages and Disadvantages of Wood Flooring?
As a popular choice for homeowners and commercial spaces, wood flooring has many benefits that make it reliable. But despite these advantages, you should also consider its drawbacks before buying.
The following table is an overview of its pros and cons:
|Adds warmth, elegance, and natural beauty to your space.||Prone to scratches by sharp objects, pets, or heavy furniture.|
|Lasts for decades with proper care.||May warp or swell when exposed to moisture, making it unsuitable for bathrooms and damp areas.|
|Available in a variety of wood species, colours, and finishes, encouraging versatile styling options.||Genuine wood flooring is more expensive to install than other options.|
|Easy to clean by sweeping and occasional mopping.||Exposure to direct sunlight makes wood flooring fade over time, especially in darker wood species.|
|Doesn’t harbour dust, pollen, or allergens (hypoallergenic), making it suitable for people with allergies.||May produce noise when walked on, which is a nuisance in multi-story buildings or apartments.|
|May increase your property’s resale value as it’s popular among homebuyers.||If you don’t treat wood flooring, it may be susceptible to termites and other insect infestations.|
|It’s a renewable resource, and sustainable harvesting makes it eco-friendly.||Regular maintenance, like resealing and polishing, is required to prolong its lifespan and appearance.|
|Has natural shock-absorbing properties, making walking more comfortable than harder flooring.||May expand or contract with temperature changes, causing gaps or buckling.|
What Are the Many Types of Wood Flooring?
There are three kinds of wood floors, engineered, solid, and reclaimed. Let’s take a closer look at these variations below:
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring has multiple layers to improve its stability in high-traffic spaces. The top layer is a thin veneer of solid wood that gives the floor a natural look with a beautiful grain pattern.
The bottom layers contain moisture-resistant plywood or fibreboard that can withstand wear and tear and is affordable, making this flooring a good choice if you’re on a budget.
This wood type is also resistant to fluctuating humidity, so you can use it in rooms with AC.
- More affordable than other wood floorings
- Less susceptible to moisture damage
- Available in a variety of wood species and finishes
- Requires special maintenance and cleaning products
Solid Wood Flooring
This is the oldest type of wood flooring made from a single piece of wood. It’s less likely to warp or split, even with heavy use, making it more durable than other variations.
Solid wood floors give your space a classic and elegant look that you can refinish multiple times to keep them looking brand new.
- Natural appeal that adds elegance to your home
- Can be refinished multiple times to extend its lifespan
- Comes in different grain patterns and knots for creating special floors
- Increases your home’s resale value
- Difficult to install and requires professional services
- More expensive than other wood flooring variations
Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Reclaimed wood is made from wood salvaged from old buildings, barns, or other structures. It’s a sustainable choice for any home.
Each plank is also unique, giving you a one-of-a-kind flooring option with a remarkable story.
- Sustainable and eco-friendly choice as it uses repurposed old wood
- Has a distinctive character as each plank has distinct markings
- Can be refinished multiple times
- May be expensive due to the labour-intensive salvaging process
- Has imperfections like knots and cracks
What Are the Species of Wood Flooring You Can Get?
There are many varieties of wooden floors, from classic favourites like oak and maple to more exotic choices like bamboo and teak.
Here are the different species available on the market:
Oak flooring is made from the wood of oak trees and has a natural, warm look and feel with smooth, even grain. Its colour is usually light to dark brown, making it a versatile choice for both traditional and modern interior design.
It adds warmth and sophistication to living and dining rooms, creates a relaxing atmosphere in bedrooms, and can handle a lot of traffic in hallways and entryways.
- Made of hardwood that can withstand high foot traffic
- Has a natural beauty that adds warmth and elegance to your space
- Easy to clean by sweeping and occasional damp mopping
- Vulnerable to scratches and chipping by sharp objects
- Sensitive to humidity changes which cause uneven expansion or contraction
Ash flooring is made from the ash tree and has a light colour that brightens any space. Each plank has a straight grain with a subtle figure, making your floors smooth and soft underfoot. The flooring complements both residential and commercial spaces.
- Has a distinct look with pronounced grains, suitable for contemporary designs
- Resilient material that can endure high foot traffic
- Easy to stain and customise to your liking
- Limited colour options, especially if you prefer darker wood tones
- May be more expensive than other options
If you’ve ever enjoyed walnuts, you’ll love the rich and elegant grain of walnut flooring. It has a straight and undulating pattern, with occasional swirls and knots and comes in different colours, ranging from light brown to dark chocolate.
Walnut flooring is also a durable, timeless choice for any room in your home or business.
- Good stain absorption gives you more customisation options
- Unique grain patterns create a lavish look
- Durable hardwood material suitable for high-traffic spaces
- Vulnerable to sunlight as prolonged exposure fades the colour
- Requires special care to preserve its beauty
Maple flooring comes from the maple tree and has a light, creamy colour that brightens up any space and makes it feel more spacious. It has smooth, even grain with a clean, polished look that’s easy to care for and less likely to show scratches and dents.
And since it can be stained or finished in different colours, it goes well with both traditional and contemporary interior designs.
- Resistant to scratches and dents
- Smooth, even grain adds elegance to your living space
- Doesn’t require frequent finishing
- Sensitive to changes in humidity, causing gaps between planks
- Can be noisy in high-traffic areas
Hickory flooring is produced from the hickory tree, a large hardwood tree that can grow up to 80 feet tall. Its straight grain pattern gives your floors a clean and modern look, while its medium to coarse texture provides more grip and traction.
The flooring’s colour varies from light to dark brown, depending on how much sunlight it has been exposed to, making it a versatile interior addition.
- Can withstand heavy loads and is less likely to warp or crack
- Stains well so you can customise your floors to match the interior decor
- Susceptible to dents and scratches if it’s not properly maintained
- Can be noisy when you walk on it
This flooring comes from the mahogany tree and is a dense, durable wood with a rich, dark colour, adding a touch of sophistication to your home.
The flooring also creates a sense of warmth and welcome, encouraging customers to linger and shop in retail stores.
- Will last for many years, even with heavy use
- Smooth and comfortable to walk on, even barefoot
- Distinctive grain pattern for special floors
- More expensive than other types of flooring
- Can be difficult to install
- Requires regular maintenance, such as waxing or staging
With a golden brown colour, teak flooring brings elegance to any space. It’s harvested from the teak tree and has straight grain patterns, making it feel smooth underfoot.
The flooring is a great option for patios and decks because it’s naturally water-resistant and can withstand the elements.
- Naturally water-resistant, so it’s less likely to warp when wet
- Less likely to show damage from scratches and dents
- Smooth feel that’s comfortable to walk on
- Durable material that can handle pets running around or children playing
- More expensive than other options
- Requires regular maintenance like oiling or waxing
This flooring is made from pine trees, a softwood, making it less dense than hardwoods like oak or maple. It has a light, open grain and is often finished with a clear coat to make it stand out in rustic or traditional homes.
Pine flooring is also a warm and inviting choice for any room in your home. Its pale yellow tone reflects sunlight beautifully, making it a great choice for sunrooms and hallways.
- More affordable than other floorings
- Easy to maintain with a damp mop and a mild soap solution
- Suitable for different interior designs, from rustic to traditional
- Softer than hardwoods, so more susceptible to dents and scratches
- Can warp or cup over time if not correctly installed
Cork is a natural, sustainable flooring material made from the bark of the cork oak tree. It has a warm, earthy brown hue and can be finished to look like wood, stone, or concrete, giving you versatile styling options.
The flooring is soft, resilient, and comfortable, making it suitable for residential spaces like kitchens and bathrooms, as it’s also moisture-resistant and easy to clean.
- Sustainable and renewable material harvested without harming the cork oak tree
- Naturally moisture-resistant
- Easy to clean with a damp mop
- Can be scratched by sharp objects
- More expensive than other flooring options
Bamboo is a sustainable and eco-friendly flooring material harvested from bamboo, a fast-growing grass. The flooring feels smooth and natural and can be finished in multiple colours to suit different designs. It’s also stain-resistant and easy to clean, making it a good choice for kitchens, living rooms, and retail stores.
- Renewable resource that grows quickly, making it sustainable
- Resistant to pests and mould
- Can last many years without needing a replacement
- Less resistant to water damage than hardwoods
- Susceptible to scratches and dents
What Are the Various Patterns and Designs of Wood Flooring?
Wood flooring is versatile and comes in different styles and designs, each with its own look and feel. Your choice will greatly impact the room’s overall style, so it’s important to consider your options carefully.
What Exactly Is Parquet Wood Flooring?
Parquet flooring is made from small pieces of hardwood arranged in geometric patterns and has a smooth or textured finish. It creates a warm and luxurious space, making any room feel cosy. It’s also a beautiful, durable, and versatile choice that can be styled to match any decor.
It comes in the following patterns:
A herringbone pattern looks like the bones of a herring fish. It’s created by arranging a series of parallel lines at an angle to each other to create a series of V-shapes. The design creates a sense of movement and dynamism and adds visual interest to a space.
You can use this pattern in high-traffic commercial spaces like offices, restaurants, and hotels.
A chevron is a decorative pattern consisting of V-shaped stripes arranged in a zigzag pattern and has been used for centuries in architecture, textiles, and graphic design. The pattern has two or more colours and can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.
It’s commonly used in offices, retail stores, and restaurant floors.
Mixed Horizontal or Diagonal
This pattern combines both horizontal and diagonal lines, creating different looks depending on how the lines are used. For instance, if the lines form a grid pattern, they create a sense of order and structure. But if the lines are random, they create a more dynamic and energetic look.
You can use these patterns to create different designs in your home or business. If you want to display a sense of movement and direction, diagonal lines will do the trick. But if you want to break up a large area, use mixed lines to create smaller spaces.
What Are the Various Wood Flooring Finishes?
Now, let’s see some of the popular wood flooring finishes out there.
Wood Flooring That Has Been Naturally Oiled
This flooring has been finished with a natural oil like tung or linseed oil, highlighting the wood’s natural beauty while providing protection. It has a warm, inviting look with a soft, smooth texture that’s both comfortable and durable.
Natural oils are breathable, allowing the wood to breathe and preventing moisture buildup that leads to mould growth. They’re also made from renewable materials and have low VOC, making them a sustainable and eco-friendly finishing option.
UV-Oiled Wood Flooring
This flooring has been finished with a UV-cured oil (natural oils treated with UV light ) to harden it and protect the wood from wear and tear. The result is a natural, matte appearance that’s soft and smooth to the touch, making it comfortable to walk on.
Brushed and Oiled Wood Flooring
This type has been finished with natural oil and then brushed to create a textured surface and remove the softer wood grain. This creates a smooth, satiny finish with a raised grain pattern that protects your wood floor from damage and maintains its natural appearance.
Lacquered Wood Flooring
This is a hardwood flooring finished with a clear lacquer, creating a hard protective layer on the wood surface that’s durable and easy to clean.
Lacquered wood flooring has a smooth, glossy finish that highlights the wood’s natural finish and makes it resistant to scratches and dents. It’s great for home settings (both formal and casual) and goes well with most luxurious decors.
Hand-Scraped Wood Flooring
Hand scraping wood involves using a hand plane to remove the top layer, creating a textured surface with a rustic look. This surface offers depth and character.
It should be your go-to option if you want one-of-a-kind flooring, as each finish is unique.
Distressed Wood Flooring
Distressed wood is produced by sanding, scraping, or burning the material to make it look old and worn. This also adds character to your flooring.
While it complements traditional decor, it can also create a contrast in modern settings.
Unfinished Wood Flooring
Unfinished wood flooring is just what it sounds like: wood flooring that hasn’t been finished with any sealant or stain. After installation, you can stain or finish this flooring to match your living room, kitchen, or office, creating the perfect decor for your taste.
However, note that unfinished wood flooring requires high maintenance.
Wood Flooring Cut Patterns
The shape of wood flooring planks greatly impacts how your floors look, and there are different cut patterns, each with a special style.
Plain or flat sawn is created by cutting the log parallel to the growth rings, resulting in wider boards with less waste. The grain pattern is wavy because the growth rings are exposed at an angle, creating a variation in the width of the annual rings. The grain can also be quite pronounced, depending on the wood species.
This pattern is created by cutting the log at a 60 to 90-degree angle to the growth rings. This results in boards with a straighter grain pattern because the growth rings are exposed more perpendicularly. The grains are usually more pronounced and may have a quilted or honeycomb appearance.
Since the straight grain patterns have a formal and elegant look, quarter sawing is suitable for professional spaces like offices.
This pattern is created by cutting a log at a 90-degree angle to the growth rings, resulting in boards with a straight, uniform grain pattern that looks somewhat silky or waxy.
Rift sawn wood is less likely to warp or cup, making it suitable for spaces with high humidity and regular temperature changes.
Live sawn wood is created by cutting a log straight through, without turning it, creating boards with different grain patterns.
It’s a unique design with different widths and colours to match multiple interior decors and create different appearances.
What Are the Possible Uses of Wood Flooring?
Wooden floors can be installed in various applications, depending on your needs and preferences. Here are the two main uses of wooden flooring:
- Wooden floors for the home (bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, etc.)
- Wooden floors for businesses (hotels, retail shops, etc.)
Wood Flooring for the Home
Wooden floors are common in residential properties because they’re beautiful, easy to maintain, and increase the home’s resale value. They come in multiple colours, styles, and finishes to help you find the perfect match for your interior design. When choosing wood flooring for your home, you need to consider its durability, versatility, and budget.
One of the most common wood flooring used in homes is oak hardwood flooring.
Wood Flooring for Businesses
You can use wood in commercial settings because it’s durable, stylish, and adds value to a property. When selecting wood flooring for your business, you have to consider the type of business, the amount of foot traffic it receives, and your budget.
For instance, if you own a restaurant, you’ll need a more durable type of wood flooring like oak, maple, and hickory because it should withstand wear and tear from heavy foot traffic. But if you have an office, which receives low foot traffic, you may want to consider walnut and cherry species as they’re stylish and increase your property’s value.
What Are the Many Wood Flooring Brands and Manufacturers?
There are lots of wood flooring companies and producers out there, each with their specialisation.
Check out these popular examples:
- Ted Todd
- Quick-Step Doma
- Sanders & Fink
- Chêne Wood
What Is the Price of Wood Flooring?
The price ranges from £10 to £120 per square metre, depending on the type of wood you choose, the size of the room, and the installation costs.
Is It Possible to Get Low-Cost Wood Flooring?
Yes, you can get cheap wood flooring if you’re on a budget, but it depends on the species, its grade, and the finish used. Softwood species like pine are more affordable than hardwood but still look great.
Low-grade wood with a few defects and water-based finishes can also be more affordable than perfect high-grade materials.
Is It Possible to Have High-End Wood Flooring?
Yes, you can install high-end wooden floors made from rare and exotic species, such as Brazilian walnut, teak, or ebony. They have a distinctive grain pattern and are finished with a high-quality stain or varnish to protect the flooring from wear and tear. You can also customise luxurious wood flooring to your home’s specifications, from the plank width to the type of pattern.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Wood Flooring?
It usually costs between £6 and £18 per square metre, depending on the type of wood, the size of the covered area, and the installation method used. Certain hardwood species are rare and more expensive to install, especially if the covered area is large.
And since there are different methods for installing wood flooring, each with different costs, your choice will affect the overall price.
Does Wood Flooring Increase or Decrease the Value of Your Property?
Wood flooring can increase your home’s resale value if you’re serious about maintenance. But the value it adds depends on the type of wood and your flooring’s condition.
Some hardwoods, like maple and oak, are built to last, making them more expensive to install, which raises your home’s value. Also, if your floors look good, without significant damage, your home will be worth more than if they’re beat up and need repairs.
How Do You Fit Wood Flooring?
Since there are different types of wood flooring, each variation has different installation requirements. But here are the general steps for installing wooden floors on your property:
- Inspect the Subfloor: Ensure the subfloor is level, dry, and free of any damage
- Install the Underlayment: Once you’ve confirmed that the subfloor is even and smooth, you can install the underlayment to protect your floor from water damage
- Install the Flooring: You should choose the right installation method depending on your wood flooring and then start laying the planks
- Finish the Flooring: After installation, you’ll need to finish the flooring by staining, sealing, or waxing
What Preparations Must Be Made Prior to Installing Wood Flooring?
To make sure the installation process is a success, follow these tips:
- Prepare Your Room: Before you install your flooring, you need to measure the room, determine how many planks you’ll need, buy the underlayment (if you’ll add one), and prepare your subfloor
- Let Your Flooring Acclimate: Prior to installing, allow your wooden floors to acclimate to the temperature of the room by leaving them there for a couple of days. This way, you’ll avoid any expansions or contractions post-installation
Is Underlayment Required for Wood Flooring?
No, you can do without underlayment, but it’s often recommended. It reduces noise from footsteps and other activities, so your kids and pets can walk on them quietly.
Is Hiring a Professional to Install Wood Flooring Necessary, or Can You Do It Yourself?
No, hiring professionals isn’t necessary, but it’s still risky to do it yourself. Even if you’re handy and have handled DIY projects before, wood flooring installation is a complex process that requires specialised knowledge and tools. One mistake could ruin your flooring and cost you a lot of money to repair.
How Do You Maintain Wood Flooring?
Here are some tips on maintaining wood flooring:
- Use Felt Pads Under Furniture: This will help protect your floors from scratches
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals or Abrasive Cleaners: Corrosive chemicals will damage your floor’s finish and expose the wood to wear and tear, so avoid using them
- Refinish Your Floors Every 3-5 Years: Professional refinishing will keep them in good condition and extend their lifespan
What Is the Best Way to Clean Wood Flooring?
Here are the best ways to clean your wood floors:
- Sweep or Vacuum Your Floors Daily: This will remove dust, dirt, and debris that scratch and dull the finish
- Spot Clean Any Spills or Messes Quickly: Use a damp cloth or paper towel to blot up the liquid and mild cleaner to remove residue
- Damp Mop Your Floors Once or Twice a Month: Mix a mild cleaner with warm water and mop your floors towards the grain
- Rinse Your Mop Head With Clean Water After Each Pass: This will prevent the cleaner from drying on the floor and causing streaks
How Long Can Wood Flooring Be Expected to Last?
Wood flooring lasts anywhere from 20 to 100 years, depending on the type of wood, the amount of traffic it receives, the type of environment, the quality of installation, and the level of maintenance.
What Is the Definition of Wood Flooring Restoration?
It’s bringing old, damaged, or neglected wood floors back to their former glory. The process involves sanding to remove the old finish, staining to add colour and depth, and finishing to protect the floors from scratches and fading.
What Exactly Is Wood Flooring Renovation?
It’s a great way to give your floors a new lease on life. It can be as simple as a quick sanding and refinishing or a more extensive project that involves replacing damaged boards.
Is It Possible to Paint Wood Flooring?
Yes, you can paint your wooden floors, but you need to consider the type of wood flooring you have, its condition, and the type of paint you’re using. Softwoods are more porous than hardwoods, affecting how the paint adheres to the surface. Also, if your flooring is damaged or stained, you may need to sand it down before painting.
How Efficient Is Wood Flooring for Your Property?
Since wood is a renewable resource, wood flooring is energy-efficient. It also regulates temperatures, insulating heat in the winter and releasing it in the summer. This way, your floors remain warm when it’s chilly and cool when the heat is unbearable, lowering your energy bills and saving you a fortune.
Is Wood Flooring Good for the Environment?
Yes, wood flooring is a sustainable solution since it’s renewable and is harvested without destroying the environment. And because your floors will last decades before they require a replacement, wood flooring reduces the amount of waste produced during manufacture.
Is Wood Flooring a Good Choice of Flooring?
Yes, it’s an excellent flooring choice since it comes in different variations and species that go with every decor, from traditional to contemporary designs.
Is Wood Flooring Suitable for Pets?
Yes, wood flooring is good for pets, but it depends on the type of wood, its finish, and how active your pet is. For instance, hardwood can resist scratches and dents more than softwood floors. And although a high-quality finish will protect the wood from wear and tear to some extent, some finishes may be toxic to your furry friends.
Is Wood Flooring Safe for Children?
Yes, wood is soft underfoot, so your kids will be comfortable walking or playing on it. You also don’t have to worry about them tracking in dirt and debris from outside, as the floors are easy to clean with a damp mop or vacuum. And if your kids have allergies, you may rest easy knowing that wood is a non-toxic and hypoallergenic material.
Is Wood Flooring Appropriate for High-Traffic Areas?
No, it isn’t always appropriate for areas with heavy traffic because it’s vulnerable to scratches, dents, and water damage. Hallways, kitchens, and living rooms are prone to spills, messes, dirt and debris, especially if you have kids and pets. And when you expose your wooden floors to these elements for a long time, they get damaged and need costly repairs.
If you must install wood flooring in your home, choose a durable wood species and finish to protect it from everyday wear and tear.
Is Wood Flooring Suitable for Moist or Wet Areas?
No, wood is a natural material susceptible to moisture damage. Exposing it to spills or excess moisture causes it to swell, warp, and rot, creating costly damages requiring specialised repair services.
What Exactly Is Wood Effect Flooring?
It’s any flooring designed to resemble natural wood but is made of a different material from timber, such as laminate or vinyl. It gives your home a warm and inviting feel and is more affordable and easier to clean than real wooden floors.
What Exactly Is Laminate Wood Flooring?
It’s a type of flooring that looks like natural wood but is made of a composite material with multiple layers (a core, image, and wear layer).
The core layer is made of plywood or fibrewood, which offers structural support, while the image makes your floors look like the real deal. The wear layer protects your floors from scratches and dents in high-traffic areas like living rooms and kitchens.
What Exactly Is Wood Effect Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)?
Wood effect LVT is a great way to make your floors look like real wood but with a more affordable price tag and enhanced properties. For instance, it can withstand wear and tear from heavy traffic and is easy to clean.
What Exactly Is Wood Effect Vinyl Flooring?
This vinyl flooring is designed to look like real wood. The surface is printed with a realistic image of wood, giving your floors a natural timber look and feel that’s affordable and easier to maintain.
Whether you’re renovating your property or building from scratch, wood flooring is a timeless and unbeatable choice. But it’s important to carefully select the type of wood species that best suits your needs.
As you take the next step towards enhancing your space, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you select the best flooring for your property.