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9.03.2014

How to Choose Your Wood Flooring With Wood and Beyond

I don't know about you but there are a ton of wood flooring options available! When my clients ask me more often than not, "What do you recommend?" there is inevitably a long discussion of what will work with our design concept, while maintaining some practicality if they have pets or children. 

There are so many types available, so when Wood and Beyond offered JWS Interiors' readers a wood flooring guide with images , I thought it would be a great opportunity to help us all decipher our best options!

In an nutshell there are 4 categories to know when selecting your floors (read on for the great tutorial!):
Species
Types of Wood
Grade
Coating

Thanks to Wood and Beyond for offering these helpful hints!

Modern Wood Kitchen - Walnut Kitchen Cabinets - House Beautiful


Species

You may come across species such as Teak, Iroko, Ash and Bamboo, however these tend to cost more and therefore less popular. Popular species include:

Walnut Flooring – In most cases, unless the colour has been altered, Walnut flooring will appear dark in color, which looks smart in areas that feature white fixings.





Oak Flooring – Its colors range from light to dark brown. Oak flooring is considered good value for money, extremely hardwearing and available from managed habitats in North America and Europe


Maple Flooring – The maple wood is extremely strong, which at times makes working with the material challenging. It comes in light to dark honey colors and often more affordable than the previous two examples.




Types

Real wood flooring is available in two types. One which is made from 100% hardwood and one which is made from hardwood on top of artificial materials.

Solid Type – Solid wood flooring is made from whole hardwood and suit most interiors. Each floorboard is extremely strong and has a typical lifespan of 50 to 75 years. The solid type can be fitted in most areas, but for warm or wet areas because in such conditions, the solid floorboard will misshape.


Engineered Type – Engineered wood flooring is made from an external layer of hardwood on top of Ply, MDF and Softwood (artificial materials). It looks identical to the solid wood type, but this time you can safely fit the engineered floorboard in all areas of the interior, even in wet areas (bathroom and kitchen), cold areas such as the basement and even areas that enjoy under floor heating. Lifespan is slightly shorter at 25 to 50 years.


Grade

Natural wood features characters such as sapwood, knots, grain pattern and color fluctuations. Some homeowners like to see plenty of these features, while others would prefer a more uniform look. Grade means how many (or few) of these natural features are present. 

Rustic Grade – Often referred to as ‘barn grade’ or ‘country grade’, it is the most character rich option in which plenty of sapwood, isolated knots and color variation is present.



Natural Grade – Each floorboard of the natural or character grade will also feature infrequent knots, more variations in color and texture, some mineral streaking and grain pattern.



Select Grade – The select grade is where the floorboard starts to display a more uniform look. It features some knots, which may be up to 20mm in size, some sapwood and some color variation



Prime Grade – The highest and most expensive is the prime grade. Each floorboard is derived from the middle of the tree which in terms means very few knots, limited colour variation and minimal sapwood.



Coating

Basic protection from daily wear and tear is achieved by covering the floorboard in translucent coating. Today’s most common options are oil based or lacquered based liquids.

The Lacquered Option – Lacquered coating will make the floorboard almost waterproof and suitable to repel water (when fitting wood flooring in the bathroom for example). In terms of décor, note that lacquered is often shiny in appearance.



The Oil Finish –The oil finish has a more muted appearance and helps keep the look of the floorboard natural. Unlike the lacquered finish, it sinks into the wood thereby making it slower to wear. It does not provide any form of water protection.  




This post was contributed by Wood and Beyond



2 comments:

Tiffani said...

I love that you took the time to explain the different types of hardwood flooring, the different grades, popular species, and finishes. You are correct that most people prefer walnut, oak, and maple. All three of those species work well in any home and they offer so many color options. They are also durable and beautiful pieces of wood. Thank you for writing this blog and if you ever would like to see some creative flooring ideas with hardwood or any other flooring, please check out http://www.carpetexpress.com/blog/

Melissa Cruz said...

Reclaimed wood are really good for flooring as it adds warmth and character to any environment. I like real wood engineered flooring, I am planning to get my house a wood flooring for which I need some good examples. Thanks for this, i will surely include one.