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Here we describe all you need to know about how hardwood flooring is manufactured and the different species and finishes available

Written by: Yarl Christie

Published on: June 26, 2023

How Solid Wood Flooring is Made

There are a number of different factors when it comes to solid wooden floor manufacturing. Things like the finish, type of construction, different species, plank dimensions and joining methods are all things to consider when you are looking to buy a new hardwood floor.

To simplify matters for you, we have outlined each of these distinct factors in this article.

How Solid Wooden Floors Are Made

Solid wood flooring is obviously made from real wood. However, there are a number of ways these floors can be constructed. As well as 100% solid wooden floors, you can also invest in structured or solid VFJ flooring.

Solid Wood Flooring Construction Advice

100% Solid Wood Construction

Floors which are created with 100% solid wood are constructed from a single strip of real wood. They are the most traditional style of solid wood flooring, benefitting from a super-strong and durable design. As the floors can be sanded down and refinished a number of times, they have the potential to last for decades.

The only thing to watch out for with 100% solid wood flooring, is that it will be affected by temperature and humidity. Therefore, it shouldn’t be installed in the bathroom or moisture-prone areas.

Structured or Solid VFJ Construction

One of the newer types of solid wood flooring is solid VFJ or structured flooring. With this type of construction, the floors have a solid oak veneer, followed by layers of solid wood which have been finger jointed together. This gives the floor an extremely strong design and it is a lot more resistant against warping and expanding.

When choosing the right solid wood construction, think about where you’ll be installing the floor. If it will be exposed to moisture or fluctuating temperatures, structured or solid VFJ construction would be the best choice.

The Different Finished Of Solid Wood Flooring

Solid wood floor planks comes in a range of beautiful finishes. The one you ultimately choose will depend upon the overall look you are hoping to achieve. Different finishes also provide varying levels of protection.

Solid Wood Flooring Finishes

Below we explain the different finishes available.

Oiled Finish

Many of our solid wood floors feature an oiled finish. Fast becoming one of the most popular finishes, oiled planks provide a natural and traditional look. The oil soaks through into the wood, protecting it from the outside in. This also means if you need to sand the floor down, you won’t need to reapply the oil anywhere other than the damaged sections of wood.

One thing to keep in mind with an oiled finish is that it will be affected by natural sunlight more than a lacquered finish.

Lacquered Finish

Floors with a lacquered finish have a smooth, glossy appearance. This is because the lacquer sits on the top of the planks, rather than soaking into the wood. A benefit of this is that it makes the floors really easy to clean, as well as highly resistant to daily wear and tear such as scratches.

The glossy finish helps to reflect light back into the room, giving it a more spacious and brighter look. Lacquered floors are also protected against natural sunlight. You can read the difference between lacquered and oiled finishes here.

Brushed Finish

Our range of brushed finished floors provide a beautiful, stand-out effect. You can invest in either brushed and oiled or brushed and lacquered solid wood flooring.

The brushed and oiled finish boasts a lot of character. A wire brush is used to scrape off the top layer of wood, revealing the older wood with its stunning traditional grains and rings. Like standard oiled wood flooring, the oil seeps through to protect the wood from within, as well as on its surface. You will need to re-oil the floor occasionally, but you should find this to be a simple process.

The brushed and lacquered finish has also had its top layer brushed away. Its surface is then protected with a lacquered coating. Compared to the brushed and oiled finish, this one is better at covering up everyday scratches. Read more about what brushed wood flooring is here.

Unfinished

If you would prefer to apply your own finish to your new solid wood flooring, you’ll want to opt for our unfinished floors. These allow you to create any finish you desire, enabling true personalisation of the floor. Before purchasing, we recommend experimenting with different finishes on or great unfinished samples.

Hand-Scraped Finish

Once the most expensive type of finish, hand scraped floors can now be created more affordably using machines. They provide a worn, aged appearance which is sure to add a unique and striking look to the room. You’ll find this style of finish is available in lots of beautiful designs.

If you choose to alter the finish of your solid wood floor after owning it for some time, then you can sand down and refinish the planks to your desired finish. The option to refurbish solid wood flooring is an additional attractive aspect of this flooring type.

What are the Different Species of Solid Wood Flooring?

When trying to choose your new solid wood floor, it helps to familiarise yourself with the different species of wood available. As you will see from the photos of the floors on our site, the different species of wood produce a very different look. However, it still helps to have some knowledge on the different species.

Solid Wood Flooring Species

Find out more about the species of wood used in our flooring products below…

Solid Oak

You will find that oak is the most common and popular species of wood used to create solid wood flooring. It contains knots, along with a variety of looping and straight grains within the wood. When installed, it provides a traditional, natural and chic look to the home.

We have a wide range of solid oak wood flooring available in a variety of finishes and sizes. It has been grown in Europe to ensure consistency and exceptional quality.

Solid Walnut

With its rich, dark tones, Walnut floors boast a beautiful luxurious finish. They feature exclusive knots, burrs and grains, either in an irregular or linear pattern. The only thing to consider with this species of wood is that it does have a tendency to fade when exposed to natural sunlight.

Solid Acacia

One of our more unusual species of wooden flooring, Acacia benefits from a dark and light multi tone design. This makes it instantly recognisable and it produces a more exotic look to the room. If you’re looking for a floor that’s going to add a chic, beautiful look, this could be the best species of wood to invest in.

Solid Ash

Ash solid wood floors are known for their remarkable durability. They will withstand heavy foot traffic with ease and are especially complementary in darker rooms. The light colour of the wood helps to brighten up the space, helping it to feel larger than it is. Prominent grains of wood provide the floor with a lot of character, and it manages to retain its colour for many years to come.

Solid Bamboo

Our hardest wearing solid wood floors are constructed with bamboo. This unique species of wood is created by sealing bamboo strips together. Not only are bamboo floors extremely durable, they are also environmentally friendly. Made from sustainable materials, this is an ideal choice for those looking to do their part for the environment.

Hardwood Plank Dimensions

You will quickly discover solid wooden floors come in a wide range of widths and thicknesses. This can make it difficult to know which floor is right for your home. While the different measurements in no way affect the quality of the floor, it is still useful to understand more about solid wood plank dimensions before you buy.

Solid Wood Flooring Plank Dimensions

Learn more about plank dimensions below, and the things to keep in mind when choosing the best floor for the home.

Width – The width of the floor doesn’t affect the quality, but it will make a difference to how it looks and how versatile it is to install. You’ll find a variety of widths on offer, ranging from 50mm to over 400mm. Think about the size of the room you’ll be installing the floor into, along with the effect you’re hoping to achieve. If you choose a shorter width, it’s going to make the room look bigger, while a longer width will make it appear smaller.

Thickness – The thickness of solid wood flooring matters more than the width. It determines how durable and solid the floor will be. We stock solid wood floors ranging from 8mm to 22mm thick. The thicker the planks, the more times you’ll be able to sand them down and refinish them. If the floor isn’t being installed onto a solid base, you’ll need to ensure you invest in a thicker floor that’s a minimum of 18mm thick.

Length – Like the width of solid wood flooring, the length is largely a personal preference. It will affect how the floor visually looks, with longer planks best suited in larger, open spaces. The length can also impact how easy the floor is to install. Some of our solid wood floors come with a variety of lengths to ensure installation is easier.

Solid Wood Plank Joining Methods

Solid wood flooring comes with either a tongue and groove system or a click system for installation.

Solid Wood Flooring Joining Advice

Discover the differences between the two to help you choose the best system to fit your requirements.

Click Fit Joining Method

If you want the simplest and fastest installation method, our click system solid wood flooring is recommended. Each plank simply clicks and locks into place with minimal effort. You won’t need much equipment and you can eliminate the need for glue or screws. Click system floors are especially popular with DIY amateurs.

Tongue and groove Joining Method

The traditional installation method for solid wood floors, tongue and groove systems require a little more effort than the click system method. Each plank features a protruding edge, along with a rebated edge. These are designed to fit perfectly into one another. You can install these floors onto any type of subfloor, using screws, glue or nails. Once installed, the planks have a tight interlocking fit for a more uniformed finish.

Solid Wood Flooring Joining Advice

When choosing the right joining system for your floor, it’s a good idea to take into account your level of experience you have if you are installing your floor yourself.

We have other informative articles if you are still wanting to know more. You can read what solid wood flooring is here.

We also have an article that compares solid wood flooring vs engineered wood flooring here.

About The Author

Yarl Christie

Yarl is the Managing Director of Stories Flooring. started his career in the flooring industry by becoming a floor fitter at the age of 18 (2004). Yarl finally decided to move with the times and set up an online flooring store (Flooring Yorkshire, 2018). He works closely with the business managers and resource team to source new products from wholesalers, which in turn brings down the sale price. This enables Stories Flooring to be one of the leading UK flooring retailers.