In any home, the flooring which is used brings an element of luxury and a pick into the interior design taste of its residents. For those who are looking to achieve a classic look together with adding real value to their property, wood flooring is unmatched. In this article we will cover all aspects of wood flooring, for interior designers, decorators and architects.

What is wood flooring made from? (other than wood of course…):

In the market you’ll normally come across two types of wood floors. One which is made completely from wood and is called, solid wood floor and the second which is made from plywood, hardwood veneer and wood, and is called engineered wood floor.

Confusing?

It does not have to be. The important part to remember is that both floors are made from wood, both look precisely the same and the only difference is in the floor properties. Because solid floors are made from complete wood, they will often expand or shrink due to temperature changes in the summer or in the winter, which is a natural property of some woods. While engineered floors are immune to this because of the various materials which construct the floor.. In the past, solid floors were regarded as stronger, so builders and architects who were looking to add reinforcement to their structure recommended solid wood, however today there isn’t a difference in strength and both are the same in that sense.

Solid wood floors – made from complete wood and considered by some to be the strongest of the two floors.

Engineered wood floors – made from wood, plywood and hardwood veneer, a combination which makes the floor immune to temperature fluctuations.

Which wood species are best for flooring?

As you have just read, both solid and engineered floors are made from wood. The wood species which is used, varies from Oak, to Walnut and of course to the more exotic species such as Iroko. The species which is used does not determine the color of the wood, as it is possible nowadays to color match the floor to almost any color. The most widely used species are Oak and Walnut due to their price and availability.

Walnut Flooring:

Oak Flooring:


The last consideration of wood flooring is the type of top layer coating which is used. The coating is used to prolong the lifespan of the floor, to color match it for specific decor and to reduce damage from scratches. The most common floor coats are oiled, UV Lacquered brushed and of course oiled and brushed.
Oiled Coating:

UV Lacquered:

Oiled and Brushed Coating:

A word about environmental responsibilities and concerns:

Most sellers source their stock from sustainable forests. This means that the wood comes from managed forests, were one tree is always replaced after one tree is used. While sellers do their best to ensure ethical sourcing of the wood, buyers should refrain from buying species which are endangered. These appear on the IUCN Red List which is managed by www.iucnredlist.org

About the writer: Flooring guide by the team at wood flooring supplier Wood and Beyond. UK based seller offering wood floors, from engineered wood flooring to solid wood flooring.