Timber is arguably the most popular, versatile, hard-wearing and visually stunning of all building materials. The versatility of timber has ensured it has been used in constructing every aspect of the home, including the framework, façades, roofing, furniture, decorations, and in this case, the flooring.
The floor is the first part of the room we notice whenever we enter a space. It is the aspect of a room that is the most used, and the floor is the part of the home that often remains the same throughout time. For this reason, your choice of flooring is of utmost of importance, and must be carefully considered to ensure it stands the test of time both physically and aesthetically. Timber floors are timeless, and are available in an endless amount of tones, finishes, shapes and sizes, and to suit all budgets. Today, we want to give you a brief breakdown of wooden flooring options, to help you better understand which timber floor might be best suited to you and your home.
Parquet floors, or parquetry in general, is the geometric and angular mosaic of of wooden pieces, used for visual effect. Aside from flooring, parquetry is also used for decorative effect on timber furniture. By using glued down tiles of real timber, the design and effect created by your floor is really only limited by the imagination. Here we see a parquetry pattern known as French Versailles, also referred to as basket weave, which instantly draws our eyes to the floor.
Aside from Versailles, there are many other traditional parquet patterns, including chequerboard, Chantilly, petit marly, bourbon, chenonceau, and the pattern seen here, commonly known as herringbone. By combining various timbers in different stains, the pattern effect is enhanced even further.
The next common wooden flooring option we want to take a look at is solid hardwood flooring. By definition, solid hardwood floors are those made with 100% solid hardwood pieces milled from timber. These types of flooring are renowned for their durability, often lasting decades before showing any signs of wear. On top of this, the feeling of real, solid timber underfoot is hard to beat. Oak is a common timber used for wooden floors, for solid floorboards or otherwise.
A great advantage of solid floorboards is the ability to sand back and re-oil your solid floorboards when you feel they need a fresh look. A solid hardwood timber floorboard will show all the timbers imperfections, adding texture and dimension to any room.
In contrast to solid timber floorboards, a more affordable flooring option is engineered floors. What is an engineered floor, you might ask? Put simply, these are built up layers of wood. It consists of three to ten layers glued together, which provide much more stability than solid hardwood, which can shrink and expand depending on temperature and humidity. Here, we see oak feature again as the choice of timber, only in a completely different form to its solid floorboard counterparts.
Engineered floors have come a long way in recent years, and can be hard to distinguish from solid hardwood flooring. So, if you are wanting the look and feel of solid hardwood floorboards, but feel they might be out of your price range, an engineered floor is perfectly suited to you.
Another flooring alternative is laminate flooring. These are a type of flooring designed to imitate the look of hardwood, without compromising on durability.
Traditionally, laminate flooring was much cheaper than a hardwood floor, but in today's market, a cheaper engineered floor can cost around the same as a high quality laminate. Laminate floors tend to have a surface that is highly scratch resistant, but when it comes to longevity, they will not stand the test of time compared to engineered or solid hardwood floors.
Hopefully we have given you a small insight into flooring that will help you make the right decisions for your next renovation. To find a flooring professional, click here.