Picking the right flooring can be a hard decision to make. In this post I am going to do my best to give you some options and help you make up your mind while looking to install timber flooring.
While there’s a wide range of flooring options to choose from nowadays, timber flooring remains a timeless classic, guaranteed to give your home warmth and character. However, not all timber floors are created equal and, given that this should be a long-term investment, it pays off to do your research and find the right one for you. Here are 4 easy tips to help you make your selection.
Assess your needs.
This may sound self-evident, but you’ll find it is much easier to zoom in on the timber flooring best suited to your needs if you list your requirements before browsing through options. Chances are warmth and durability will be important criteria for you, but other requirements might be worth considering, depending on the actual use of the room. You will probably need soundproofing for a bedroom, a softer material for a nursery, while timber might not be the best choice for a bathroom floor.
Consider durability and maintenance.
Be sure to choose high endurance timber, ideally with a scratch-resistant coating, for living rooms, hallways or any other areas likely to get high traffic. Equally important, do your homework on the type of maintenance a particular product needs and make sure you provide the right care for it.
Find the right style.
While functionality criteria are important and should not be left to chance, it is equally important to get the right look and feel, so make sure the timber flooring will match the overall setting you have in mind for the room. As a rule, a casual setting is best complemented by lighter colours and composites, while darker hardwood floors work best when aiming for a traditional setting.
Do your research.
Once you have a fairly clear sense of what you want, it’s time to learn more about the various timber flooring options you can choose from. Here is a quick overview of the most popular types:
Cork has long been looked down on, but is making a comeback. It can give both a warm and modern feel to your room and it scores high on the softness scale as well.
Hardwood timber is made out of solid, raw lengths of timber, cut from the same piece of wood, whose natural differences in colour and grain give them an authentic feel.
Engineered (or floating) timber flooring is made of several layers of plywood, with a layer of hardwood on top. It is a sustainable, affordable and convenient option (it is pre-finished, so it can be laid over the pre-existing floor surface).
Parquetry is a mosaic-like structure made from pieces of timber arranged in various geometric patterns. Since it is pre-assembled and uses timber off cuts, it is both convenient and eco-friendly.
Bamboo is a favourite with many contemporary architects, because of its many benefits. It is fast-growing and harder than most so-called “hardwoods”, which makes it a more sustainable and affordable alternative to “traditional” timber.
Depending on your particular needs and budget, you’re sure to find a type of timber flooring that works for you, though, especially with more complex renovation projects, it pays off to turn to a specialist.
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