The thought of fine wood flooring evokes beauty and charm combined with classic looks and durable performance. Wood floors can last a lifetime, gaining character over time, as long as they are well protected and maintained. With so many options from bamboo to mahogany, the colours in wood flooring can run the gamut from nearly white to light blonde, rich tan, dark cherry, and even black. You want a wood floor that shines with natural beauty.
Solid Wood Flooring
Sometimes called wooden floors in Perth, the term “solid wood flooring” means just what it sounds like it means: flooring that is comprised of individual pieces of solid wood. Solid wood flooring is available in many species of wood with varying colours, hardness, and aesthetic characteristics such as darkness, grain pattern, and knots. It is installed as strips or planks that run side by side or as parquet squares, squares, or rectangles that are secured to sub-flooring with nails or floor tacks and then typically stained and finished after installation is complete. Solid wood stains and finishes well and is the only flooring that material can look as good or better after 50 years than it did when it was installed.
The hardness of wood flooring depends on the species of tree that is used for the material. Wood species such as cherry, maple, and oak are hardwood and demonstrate the most resistance to wear, while softer species such as pine, mahogany, and bamboo (actually a grass rather than a tree) are more susceptible to wear. Hardwoods are typically chosen for their hardness and durability while softwoods are typically chosen for their appearance, such as the knots in pine flooring and the rich dark colour of mahogany flooring. Regardless of the hardness of wood you choose, you will need to give your flooring proper care and maintenance to keep it looking good year after year.
Most solid wood flooring is finished on-site after it is installed although some flooring, typically squares or rectangles, is finished at the factory. Pre-finished flooring is becoming more popular as it is backed by longer warranty periods than site-finished flooring. Wood flooring finishes may be clear or stained and include a clear protective coat of hard urethane. Solid wood flooring can be stripped, sanded, and refinished time after time to provide the best protection to the wood.
Engineered hardwood flooring is constructed of cross-grained laminated layers that are bonded together with a durable adhesive, much like plywood, with a top layer or veneer of hardwood. Engineered hardwood is factory-finished with an extremely hard and durable finish that can outperform most solid wood finishes. Engineered hardwood flooring is also more versatile than solid wood flooring because it may be installed in damp areas such as bathrooms and basements, with or without sub-flooring, or over bare concrete. Engineered hardwood may be secured to a subfloor with nails, tacks, staples, or glue and it also may be installed as a floating floor with each piece of flooring secured to the next piece.