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Key considerations when choosing timber flooring

Timber flooring is a wonderful investment to add to your home, its natural beauty can act as the foundation for the look and feel of your interior, while adding character and texture that cannot be achieved with any other floor covering.

Look & feel
Floors with lots of knots and feature lend themselves to a rustic homely feel, while floors with minimal knots and features can create a modern minimal feel. Lighter coloured floors can open up a space while dark floors can make a space feel smaller. Plank size also plays a part; narrow planks can make a room look cluttered, medium planks suit most spaces and wide planks can be used to add a feeling grandeur and spaciousness.

The more different tones and textures in your flooring, the more it will hide – and vice versa. The more solid a colour you choose, the more it will show. For ultimate practicality we recommend avoiding very light or very dark colours with little colour variation. 

For ultimate durability and scratch resistance we recommend using a hard timber species such as oak together with a hardwearing finish. Lacquers are usually a great finish option, being very hardwearing, stain resistant and requiring very little maintenance. Alternatively, oil finishes are extremely natural looking but require regular maintenance and can be susceptible to staining.  

If you want a timber floor that is going to stay looking great for a long time, engineered flooring is the way to go! An engineered structure helps to resist movement in the floor and keep the boards straight and true. Some of the most common types of engineered flooring are 3-layer and multi-layer – we believe the multi-layer type is the most stable type.

The lifespan of a timber floor is related to the wear layer (area of real timber above the tongue). The thicker the wear layer, the more times the floor can be sanded back and re-finished and therefore the longer the expected lifespan of the floor. The wear layer also affects the price – if you have a smaller budget you may want to choose a thinner wear layer.

Height requirements
With new builds there are often levels set up such as the height of your joinery or kitchen, which can determine the thickness of flooring you need to choose. For renovations, you may be overlaying the flooring on an existing surface and need to minimise thickness. Or if removing and replacing old flooring you may like to match the previous height, so it matches up with your existing joinery.

As with most products you usually get what you pay for. Try to buy from a reputable store that is able to provide sound answers to any questions you have about the product. If you are trying to choose between a number of different products, ensure you are comparing like with like. Remember not to judge solely on price, but to compare the quality also!

Jemima Wiltshire, Forté Flooring

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