One of the most important interior elements is flooring. Flooring may provide that feel of wellness and comfort, and therefore it is worth spending some time researching what option suits your needs best. In this article we will discuss pros and cons of different types of flooring.
In property refurbishment projects, wood flooring is always installed last. So, usually there is plenty of time for our customers to choose it mainly from two types of flooring: solid wood (hardwood boards) and engineered flooring.
Solid wood flooring is made from one piece of hardwood timber, such as Oak or Walnut. This type of flooring is fixed to the base (which has to be level) using special adhesive. Depending on finish after the flooring is installed you may need to sand it and varnish or oil it (or it comes ready finished, just installation needed). The good things are: durable, well insulates floor, nice solid feel when you walk on it – no any movements. The downside things are: expands and shrinks in reaction with the room humidity level – gaps appear; also, not suitable for under-floor heating; installation is more complicated, requires skills – thus the overall costs are higher (as always with natural things).
Engineered flooring – planks, made up of three layers of wood glued together under extremely high press. The top layer is hardwood, protected by extremely tough varnish coat. The middle layer is made up of pine wood, made with tongue and groove to join separate planks. And the bottom layer made from softwood – reinforces the middle layer. The boards are joined together using click system (tongue and groove) This construction creates wood flooring that is stronger and more durable than solid wood. The advantages are: easy and quick to install - no special tools required and it doesn’t shrink or expand – no gaps appearing after few months. The overall costs of this type of flooring are much lower. Besides, you can have under-floor heating, having followed the installation guidelines. The downside is (if used with underlay) – when you walk on it, you just feel - it’s not solid wood, although it looks like it. Also, there may be some movement and squeaking sound – if the floor base is not level enough.
Therefore the best decision, in our experience, is to glue down the engineered flooring – you get solid wood feel, no gaps, no squeaks, but the costs are higher (compared to engineered flooring installed with underlay).