Why is wood flooring, especially hardwood flooring, popular?
Wood flooring is becoming increasingly popular because it offers the perfect balance of luxury and practicality in any home. It is good looking, long lasting, feels warm to touch and lends itself to any type of design or colour scheme. Which means that there's no need to change your floor whenever you change your mind.
Furthermore, hardwood flooring will actually add value to your home, as well as making it more saleable, so investing in this beautiful, tough and durable material makes good sense all round.
The hidden benefits of real wood flooring
Natural wood flooring may offer lots of obvious advantages, but it has a good many hidden benefits too.
For example, It may be hard to believe but using more real wood in your home is actively good for your health. This is because it creates a better environment to live in since it is very easy to clean. What's more, unlike carpet, it doesn't provide a cosy home for pollen, pet dander, mould or other nasties, which makes it a great choice for people with allergies.
Using more real timber has now been linked to better mental health too. Indeed, independent research from regions as diverse as Canada, Japan and mainland European all show that significant use of timber in interior schemes has a similar stress-reducing effect to that of nature itself. But don't expect the same effect from lvt flooring, this calming influence only works with real wood.
Finally, timber is a cost-effective thermal insulator with an excellent ecological pedigree. Indeed, every cubic metre that is used as a substitute for other building materials reduces CO2 emissions by an average of 1.1 tonnes. So choosing to use more in your home genuinely can benefit health, wealth and happiness, and help the planet too.
What is the best type of wood for flooring?
Pretty much any type of wood can be used for flooring, but some wood is harder than others so it's well worth doing your research first.
In general, hardwood comes from a tree that loses its leaves every year whilst softwood comes from a conifer that usually remains evergreen. Hardwoods tend to be slower growing and so are usually more dense.
Pine is a softwood so it will tend to dent and scratch more easily than a hardwood, but that doesn't mean that it won't work as flooring, simply that you need to have different expectations. At Havwoods we only offer pine for use as cladding, which doesn't have to withstand so much wear and tear, or in reclaimed pine boards. In our experience, customers looking for reclaimed wood are actively buying into a used look so are more accepting of any dings and scuffs that may appear with use.
Oak wood flooring is our own timber of choice. Oak is a hardwood and highly durable, indeed it has been used for centuries in both building and shipbuilding. It also has a tight, well-definied grain that is extremely attractive. And, perhaps most importantly, it is widely available with a great many well-managed oak forests providing more than enough timber to ensure that its continued use has no detremental effect on the envirnoment.
At Havwoods we stock around 300 different oak flooring options so clearly it's a favourite. But we also offer a number of other hardwood species including acacia, ash, walnut, jatoba and maple. Of course, all of our timber comes from ethically managed sources.
Which types of flooring are real wood?
There are misconceptions as to what constitues a real wood floor, but it is actually very simple.
Solid wood flooring uses boards made from a single piece of wood. Engineered wood flooring has a top layer of solid wood bonded to multiple base layers of other types of wood. Finally, a veneer plank also incorporate a top layer of wood, but it is much thinner than the layer used in an engineered board.
All of these are real wood flooring. All of them are equally durable since durability comes from the species used and the type of finish: the underneath of the flooring does not determine its durability. But each type of construction has its characteristics. See the relevant introductions to find out more.
Laminate flooring, however, is not real wood, it is simply a picture bonded to a manufactured wood fibre product like HDF. And luxury vinyl tiles, sometimes known as lvt flooring, are exactly what they say - vinyl.
Choose your wood flooring from experts
Timber for floors and cladding has been Havwoods' passion and primary focus for well over 40 years. We understand it. We know how it works, and our vast experience has taught us the best type for every situation. And our knowledgable consultants can be contacted by Webchat, email or phone to help with your queries.
We know that you don't always have the time of opportunity to plan ahead so we hold large quantities of a huge number of different products in stock, both engineered and solid planks and parquet. Furthermore, we are continually updating our portfolio to bring you the most technically advanced and aesthetically interesting products available anywhere in the world.
Now find the flooring that is right for you
The search facility enables you to browse all of our wooden flooring products by colour, shade, construction, finish, pattern, species, size and grade. You will find floors suitable for both glue-down and floating installations. And you'll also find unfinished products as well as ones pre-finished with an oil or lacquer. Most are perfect to fit over underfloor heating too: full details are provided on the technical information sheets.
Take the time to browse; send for some free samples, visit a showroom, or simply give us a call. If you are looking for interior cladding, virtually all of our wood flooring products are suitable for use, however we do offer products specifically designed for cladding purposes in our Vertical collection.