Hardwood flooring generally refers to the more traditional type of flooring installation. (Although many companies may market their flooring as ‘hardwood’, it’s often the case that a softwood engineered backing is used with a hardwood veneer/ top-wear layer.)
Hardwood or solid wood flooring is usually in the form of 18 – 20mm solid planks or Parquet flooring. In the UK the predominant species being Oak, Maple, Beech, Birch or Walnut for Plank flooring. Oak Merbau, Teak and exotic Hardwoods are more prevalent for Parquet installations.
If installed correctly, these products will last a lifetime and can be fitted in a number of ways. The process of installation involves assessing moisture levels in both the room atmosphere and also in the sub-floor.
There may be additional remedial work in the form of floor levelling or floor screeding to achieve a flat, level surface.
It may also be necessary to implement a surface damp-proof membrane so as to suppress any residual moisture in the sub floor. This is usually in the form of a two-part epoxy resin applied with a roller. Assuming no other remedial work is required and conditions are suitable, the wood then requires a period of acclimatisation to allow the wood to ‘settle in’ prior to installation.
An ideal Installation of hardwood flooring would be by secret nailing on to an existing wood sub floor.
Hardwood floor species are numerous: from Oak to Ash, Walnut, Beech Maple and more exotic species such as Merbau and Cherry – each with its individual characteristics.
Hardwood flooring may be sourced either pre-finished or unfinished.
Pre-finished is generally a more economic option, negating the requirement for subsequent time-consuming finishing.
Unfinished wood is normally sourced from smaller suppliers, but does allow a for more bespoke finish.