Discover everything you need to know about solid wood flooring is and its pros & cons.Written by: Yarl Christie
What is Solid Wood Flooring?
Solid wood flooring has always been the preferred type of flooring for homeowners. While there are a lot of great wood-effect alternatives on the market today, solid wood floors remain the most sought-after in terms of aesthetics and performance.
So, what is solid wood flooring, how is it made, and what are its pros and cons? Find out everything you need to know in the brief guide below…
So, what is it?
Solid wood flooring is also referred to as hardwood flooring. It can be constructed from a variety of wood species including oak, walnut, beech, mahogany, and teak. The species you choose will greatly influence how the floor looks. For example, oak has a beautiful light design, while walnut floors boast a dark, luxurious effect.
The planks are available in a vast range of sizes. Lengths range from 300mm to 2200mm, while the depth can vary from 10mm to 21mm. You also have solid wood parquet floors which come with much smaller plank sizes. The sheer amount of choice available ensures you will find something to match the dimensions of your chosen room.
How is solid wood flooring made?
Solid wood floors are constructed from a single piece of real wood. While they can be made from different species of wood, oak tends to be the most popular. This is down to its natural hardwearing properties and easy availability.
The raw wood is sawn and then air-dried before it is graded and refined. The air-drying process is essential as it helps to remove moisture from the wood. Once they have been dried, the timber is separated into grades depending upon how clean or rustic they appear. It is then cut to size and sanded, ready to be finished.
For added durability, solid wood floors come with either a lacquered or oiled surface. You can also purchase them in an unfinished state if you would prefer to finish them yourself.
To help reduce their impact on the environment, solid wood floors are now made from materials taken from sustainable forests. At Stories Flooring, we make sure all the floors we source are made using sustainable methods.
What are the benefits?
The main benefits of solid wood flooring include:
- It enhances the look of the home
- A strong and durable choice
- Naturally hygienic
- Can be refinished when needed
- May increase the home’s value
Whichever type of solid wood floor you choose, it is guaranteed to enhance the look of the home. Real wood floors cannot be beaten in terms of aesthetics. They produce an authentic, warm, and cosy feel in the space. There are also a lot of different designs available, ensuring there is something to suit any interior.
Solid wood floors are also renowned for their strength and durability. Provided you take care of the floor, it is sure to look and perform like new for many years to come. This enhanced durability adds long-term value to the floors. The fact you can re-finish them when needed is also a big plus point. They can be re-sanded and finished multiple times over their lifetime.
If you suffer with allergies or asthma, solid wood floors can also help you to breathe much better. This is because they naturally repel dirt and dust. They also do not release any harmful chemicals into the air, making them naturally hygienic.
Finally, if you are looking to sell your property further down the line, solid wood floors can add value onto the asking price. Solid wood floors are highly sought-after, and buyers are prepared to pay a little more to benefit from this feature.
What are the disadvantages?
Now that you know the benefits of investing in solid wood floors, what about the potential downsides? The main things to consider before investing in solid wood flooring include:
- They need to be installed over a wooden subfloor
- It can be expensive
- More difficult to install and maintain
- Potentially noisy underfoot
- Cannot be installed in moisture-rich environments
Although you could install a solid wood floor over a concrete subfloor, over time it would pose a risk of moisture damage. So, if you do not have wooden subfloors, you may find it more difficult to install solid wood floors safely.
They are also one of the most expensive types of flooring on the market. While solid wood floors will never be considered cheap, at Stories Flooring, we do offer them at up to 65% off RRP. Also keep in mind that these floors provide long-term value for money. They may cost more to purchase outright than other types, but they will not need to be replaced as often.
The installation process can be tricky with solid wood floors. Although the process can be carried out by yourself, it is always recommended you invest in professional installation for real wood floors. This is also one type of floor you absolutely need to maintain. The maintenance is not difficult, but it a requirement if you want the floor to look and perform like new for years to come.
Like all wooden floors, solid wood flooring can be noisy underfoot. As it cannot be installed with underfloor heating, you will find it much colder to walk across in the winter months.
Finally, as solid wood floors can easily become damaged due to changes in moisture, they should not be installed in the bathroom. Any area of the home that is prone to high levels of moisture will not be suitable for solid wood flooring.
As you can see, solid wood floors have a range of pros and cons that you need to consider. When looked after correctly, these floors can last for decades, adding a luxurious touch to the home. Why not browse our range of solid wood floors now to see how affordable luxury flooring can be?