Popular Hardwood Flooring Types For 2011

Hardwood flooring are floorboards made from timber and used widely in commercial and residential properties due their structural practicality or aesthetic appearance. There are many types of hardwood flooring, which is why we decided to summarise the information you will need in one handy guide we call ‘2011 guide to hardwood flooring’. 

So, what do you need to know?

Hardwood Flooring Type:

Not all hardwood flooring are equal. In fact, there are two groups, which are quite dissimilar so your first considering is the type of floor most suitable for your circumstances.

Engineered Floors - This type of hardwood flooring started to appear in the late 90’s and has been growing in popularity since then. Each floorboard is comprises from three different layers of bottom layer, middle core and top layer. The mid core is made from plywood, softwood or even MDF layers and the top layer is hardwood.  The popularity of engineered flooring comes from their ease of installation and ability to sand the floor depending on the thickness of the top layer.

Solid Floors - These are the traditional hardwood flooring, which are still extremely popularity. Unlike engineered floors that are made from three layers, solid floors are made from complete 100% wood. The popularity of solid flooring comes from their reputation of been extremely strong and their ability to react well to many sessions of sanding.

Hardwood Flooring Wood Species:

By now you know that both types of hardwood floors comprise of wood, but at different quantities.  Solid floors contain complete wood, while engineered floors contain slightly less. The question is which wood species is most suitable?

The answer will depend on a few aspects such as:

1. The availability of the wood - The wood species needs to be widely available which will be reflected in a competitive price.

2. Sourced from sustainable forests - The wood must be sourced from sustainable forests. These are managed forests where trees are replenished.

3. Durability and strength - Wood species vary in their strength. Because hardwood flooring are expected to last for 50 years (even more in the case of solid flooring), the wood has to be durable.

The wood species that tick all the right boxes are Oak and Walnut. Each represents a group of sub-spices, so you will come across variations such as Brazilian Walnut or European Oak. There are more exotic wood species that you may come across and consider, but we encourage you to check the origin of the wood so to ensure it is sourced ethically.

Hardwood Flooring Grade:

Mistakenly thought as an indication of quality, grade is an indication of the visual aspect of the hardwood board. The different grade will mean more or fewer knots and colour variations.
1. Prime Grade - The highest grade for wood flooring, prime has only minimal variation of colour between the different boards and limited infrequent small knots and character marks.
2. Select Grade - The middle range grade, select is the most popular grade. It displays the odd infrequent knots, colour variations and mineral streaking together with grain pattern.
3. Rustic Grade - The most basic grade, rustic displays heavy grain markings and figuring, wider colour variations and frequent knots of varying sizes.
Hardwood Flooring Wood Finish:

The last consideration and probably the most fun part of the buying process is deciding on the finish of the floor.

1. Oiled - This finish is the most popular for engineered and solid wood flooring. It gives the floor extra protection from minor damage and a nice shine.
2. Brushed - Similar to the benefits of oiled finish in terms of protection, the brush affect makes the floor seem more mature.
3. UV Lacquered - The finish of the floor is almost glowing.
4. Smoked - The floorboards are baked in an oven to give the floor a smoked visual affect.
5. Combinations - Two or more finishes mixed together such as brushed and oiled board of Walnut flooring.

6. Bespoke - Recent technology allows designers to order bespoke flooring colours. This means that the wood species will no longer determine the colour of the floor and outstanding shades could be achieved.

If you have any questions about hardwood flooring, please leave them in the comments below.