When it comes to re-flooring your home, you have a myriad of choices to choose from! Engineered, vinyl, parquet, laminate? It can be hard to know what's best for your home, so read on and learn from the experts.
Solid hardwood flooring is the original wood floor type.
It’s easy not to underestimate how much of an effect your choice of flooring has on your home, but beautiful floors are the very foundation of a welcoming interior. Taking time to ensure you make the right choice is essential. With a rise in the number of flooring types from which to select, it might seem a little overwhelming. We’ve created this informational guide to show you why solid hardwood is still the number one floor type, what other hardwood floors are available and how hardwood flooring can transform your interiors.
Read on to find out how solid hardwood floors can enhance the look of your home.
Why Choose Solid Hardwood Flooring
Versatile flooring that will suit most rooms, solid wood floors add warmth and character to your home while increasing its resale value. It won’t retain hold of dangerous allergens in the same way as carpets, and a weekly sweep and mop will easily keep floors spick and span. Hardwood ages gracefully; colours stay bright without fading, floors are difficult to scuff irreversibly, and floorboards can be sanded down and refinished multiple times. In fact, solid hardwood floors have been known to last generations.
While new, less expensive floor types have become popular in recent years, nothing is quite able to mimic the natural look and feel of genuine hardwood. These floors look timeless, as though they hold a wealth of history in their deep grooves. One of the only flooring types to completely transform a room to an inviting, pleasant space, these floors are a major selling point as new buyers won’t be looking to replace them.
Solid hardwood flooring is also strong and durable, which will save you money in the long run. Celebrity fans who have had hardwood floors in their homes include Kim Kardashian, Nicolas Cage, Matthew McConaughey and Raquel Welch.
Solid Hardwood Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring
The most budget wood floor type, laminate flooring is comprised of compact planks of fireboard covered by a wood effect photographic image. These floors are generally hard-wearing, come in a range of near-limitless styles and designs, and require fuss-free installation. Most importantly, the average cost is far less than many other wood floors.
However, laminate flooring also brings with it some disadvantages that have led to a decrease in popularity, unaided by the demand for similar floor types. In effect of its budget price tag, laminate floors can reflect its wood-effect appearance (not being real wood) by looking shabby or unrealistic. Unlike genuine hardwood, laminate flooring cannot be refinished or sanded, meaning that in case of unsightly scuffs or disastrous moisture damage, the full floor would need to be replaced.
Laminate flooring might not stand up to the test of time but it’s a quick and easy option if your need for floors outweighs its potential to last.
Solid Hardwood Flooring vs. Vinyl Flooring
The revolutionary alternative to laminate flooring, vinyl plank floors are a modern and affordable choice for both home and commercial spaces. These are durable, versatile floors that can easily be installed by a novice homeowner. Incredibly popular, vinyl flooring is impervious to water, making it suitable for kitchens and bathrooms, having been known to survive flooding. The floorboards are also finished with a slip-resistant coating, making vinyl ideal for family homes with lively youngsters or pets. Vinyl flooring is available in a variety of colours and wood types.
As with all floor types, luxury vinyl comes with its drawbacks. While this flooring type is hard-wearing, it is prone to scuffs from sharp objects or high heels, which may cause irreversible damage. Vinyl flooring can become discoloured from continuous exposure to direct sunlight, losing its attractive lustre, which impossible to refinish. Further, glue down vinyl flooring is notorious for its difficulty to remove, having stuck down firmly to the subfloor. This flooring type may also be a cause for concern for the environmentally conscious, as it is currently not biodegradable.
Solid Hardwood Flooring vs. Engineered Wood Flooring
A less costly substitute for solid hardwood flooring, engineered wood floors are crafted from multiple wooden layers (likely of plywood) with a solid hardwood veneer placed on top. Extremely durable and long-lasting, these cost-effective floors can be placed anywhere in your home, including in basements. The high quality veneer gives this floor type a convincing authenticity, and the layered construction provides more stability than hardwood, as changing humidity levels will not cause unwanted movement. This makes engineered wood a good choice for basements and rooms with underfloor heating.
The biggest difference between engineered wood and solid hardwood is the lifespan. Unlike solid hardwood flooring, which still fill the floors of century-old country houses, engineered wood will never last as long; this floor type can only be sanded and refinished a handful of times, depending on the thickness of the wood. Style options are more limited than vinyl or laminate as engineered wood flooring contains a solid wood upperlayer, not a photographic wood-effect coating. This layer of real wood also increases the price, making engineered wood one of the more expensive floor types.
Solid Hardwood Flooring vs. Parquet Flooring
While technically not a floor type in itself, as parquet can be found in both solid and engineered wood, parquet is a decorative flooring that dates back to the 17th century. Producing a wooden mosaic-like effect, its geometric, angular style is incredibly elegant and enhances your home with an inviting warmth. Generally associated with high-end houses and country manors, parquet floors look stunning in all environments. Like solid hardwood, parquet flooring is available for order in a vast number of styles and patterns, all of which have a beautiful natural finish.
While parquet flooring is easy to maintain, though scratches are unfortunately par for the course, it does require frequent upkeep: parquet floors must be polished and sealed to keep them looking beautifully new. Like solid wood planks, they also have the potential to be damaged by high moisture levels. Try not to place these floors in direct sunlight, or be aware that this will lead to colour fading and diminish lasting appeal. Moreover, parquet flooring is a luxury product and comes with a price to match so make sure to place it somewhere you can show it off.
When to Use an Alternative Wood Flooring
While solid hardwood is generally considered to be an excellent choice, there are some occasions where another floor type would better suit your circumstances.
Moisture-heavy environments like bathrooms and basements are a bad idea as solid hardwood expands and contracts depending on the levels of moisture in the air, causing damage to the wood itself. Kitchens, however, are a more unusual choice, though all spills will need to be mopped up almost immediately. Solid hardwood in children’s bedrooms and playrooms can cause accidents but a warm, fluffy, slip-resistant rug should prevent these missteps. Otherwise, these floors work pretty much perfectly everywhere else.
If you’re looking to update your floors and give your home a makeover, solid hardwood flooring is a firm favourite with many households. Great for opening up a space, adding resale value and protecting against allergens, solid wood floors are built to last with timeless charm.
With countless colours, styles and finishes, browse our catalogue to find that perfect floor.