1. What are the differences between solid wood, engineered and laminate flooring?
Engineered flooring consists of layers of ply that have been bonded together with a top layer of solid wood. The advantage of engineered flooring rather than solid wood is that it has less tendency to expand and contract – meaning that it can be used with underfloor heating and in areas where moisture and temperature levels may vary, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
2. Should I consider using reclaimed wood?
The charm of a reclaimed wood floor is hard to define and impossible to replicate, flooring that has been crafted from reclaimed wood, whether engineered or solid, not only gives the timber a new lease of life, but also prevents the need for more trees to be harvested, so has the lowest environmental impact of any floor covering.
3. What are the options for fixing wood flooring together?
Tongue and groove is the most traditional type of floor fixing. The tongue (a protruding edge) fits into a perfectly sized gap (the groove) to allow two planks to slot together; it is secret nailed, secret screwed (the nail or screw goes through the tongue and is not visible from the surface), glued directly onto the subfloor, or can be floated over an underlay.
Modern click-fit wooden boards, where two planks fit together and audibly ‘click’ into place, are easier and quicker to install, but are not suitable for solid wood flooring.
4. How are parquet floors laid?
From the middle of the room, working outwards. The most popular patterns are herringbone, brick bond and diagonal basket weave. Your chosen pattern does not affect the installation method. It is important to leave a gap of around 12mm around the edge of the room (which will be covered by skirting), so that the parquet can expand if necessary.
5. What finish should I choose for my wood floor?
Before choosing a finish for your wood, think about the look you are trying to achieve, the environment the floor will be used in and the amount of maintenance you are prepared to take on. For high-traffic areas, go for a lacquered finish, which requires virtually no maintenance. The drawback is that scratches are hard to mask and the floor will typically require a full sanding after about seven to ten years.’
Scratches on oiled floors are easier to maintain by applying a new coat every year or so. Also consider colour. The spectrum of shades you can achieve with traditional oils is limited, especially when clients are looking for different modern tones, such as grey. In theory, any colour can be achieved with a varnish or lacquer.
If you need help and advice on installing a wooden floor then please see your listed Teachers Discount company for help and advice.