More about Solid Wood Flooring
What are the Benefits of Solid Wood?
Solid wood is one of the most popular types of floors. This is because nothing quite beats the luxury of real, solid hardwood. However, because of its popularity and quality, solid wooden flooring is often more expensive than engineered wood or laminate, which only imitate hard wood flooring. While the cost is usually more than other floor styles, cheap solid wood flooring does exist. And despite the minimal cost, you can still expect longevity with this type of floor.
Where Should You Lay Your Real Wood Floor?
While real wood flooring looks great in every room, there are certain guidelines you should follow to avoid excessive damage. Primarily, this hardwood flooring is not suited to rooms which will see a lot of moisture, for example bathrooms. This is because wood will absorb water and expand, which will ruin the overall appearance of your floor and weaken the floorboards. You’d be better with a solid wood living room floor, or one in a bedroom, or office.
Choosing Your Real Wood Flooring Grade
Solid wood flooring is available in four different grades, all of which have their own unique qualities. For example, they differ by the number of knots – these are the oval shapes you often see in certain types of solid natural wood flooring.
- Classic or select grade flooring is free from sapwood, so you won’t find any knots. There is also little variation between each board of this hardwood flooring.
- Prime grade flooring has very few knots and has little variation in colours throughout the whole pack of floorboards.
- Rustic grade flooring offers the full characteristics you’d expect of wood, including knots varying in size and shape, shakes where the wood has split, sapwood and a significant variation in colour between each board.
- Finally, natural grade flooring is the balance between rustic floorboards and prime flooring. As it features more knots than most floorboards, but not as many as a rustic floor.
Read more here: A Guide to Different Flooring Grades
How to Install Solid Wood Floors
One of the most important steps of installing your new floor is allowing it to acclimatise before you start to lay it. Moisture in the air makes floorboards expand slightly, so you’ll need to let the floor get used to the room first. We recommend leaving your flooring out of its packaging, in the intended room, for roughly one week before installing.
Make sure your subfloor is completely clean and dry before laying your new floorboards. Use a pre-glued solid wood flooring underlay to make the process easier.
Start from the left-hand corner, fixing each board down with either glue or nails as you go. With either method, ensure you leave a gap of roughly 15mm around the perimeter of the room to allow for skirting.
If you’re using glue and have not opted for a pre-glued underlay, apply the glue to the subfloor and not the panels. Spread this evenly using a notched trowel and place your board firmly on top, wiping away any excess glue.
If you’re using a hammer and nails, insert these at a 30-degree angle into the tongue of the board and the subfloor.
Once your boards are neatly stuck down, simply add the skirting to the expansion gap around the room. Fix this into place using a hammer and nails.
How to Maintain Your Solid Wood Floor
Once your real wood flooring is complete, most flooring companies would recommend applying a finish or varnish. This acts as a barrier to protect your floor against any spillages, however, it also creates a beautiful sheen over the wood. Use a lacquer or varnish and apply using a brush.
The benefit of a solid wood floor, instead of engineered or laminate, is that if your floor undergoes excessive damage, you can simply sand away the damage to reveal a good-as-new floor underneath. This is the best way to deal with any dents or scratches. After sanding, ensure you refinish the floor to keep it protected.
Finally, to keep your floor clean, it’s recommended to sweep away any dust or dirt as often as is possible. If your floor is particularly dirty, use clean or distilled water on a mop. However, use as little water as possible to avoid damage.
Read more here: How to Clean Your Solid Wood Floor
FAQs about Solid Wood Flooring
Here you’ll discover some of the most frequently asked questions regarding solid wood flooring.
Solid wood flooring has long been considered the most luxurious type of floor for the home. However, did you know that there are several factors you need to consider before you buy? Solid wood isn’t suitable for every room in the house and it also requires specialized installation to ensure it lasts the length of its guarantee.
It is recommended that solid wood flooring is acclimatised in the room it will be installed in for a minimum of 120 hours. The room temperature should be between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity level should be from 40-50 RH.
You will find full installation instructions on each of our product description pages. We have provided a downloadable PDF guide which offers detailed instructions on both installation and maintenance. This can be found under the installation tab within the product description pages.
Yes. No matter which brand or range you choose, solid wood flooring always requires at least a 10mm gap. This will need to be done around the entire floor. This is because real wood has a tendency to expand and change with the seasons. If you will be installing the floor in over 40m2 then it is recommended you contact us for further advice.
You should avoid installing solid wood flooring in any room that has extreme changes in temperatures, bathrooms should also be avoided and other areas of high moisture. While it can easily withstand small spills, it is not designed to withstand large amounts of moisture. It should ideally be installed in a controlled environment.
Providing the floor is fitted directly onto the subfloor, there shouldn't be hardly any movement between the boards and the under-floor. Therefore noise is greatly reduced when compared to laminate.
It is a common misconception that solid wood floors will be cold underfoot. However, they tend to absorb the temperature within the room. They are warmer than stone and ceramic floors, though will obviously be slightly colder than carpet. You should find them warm to touch.
Yes. Each floor we sell comes with a warranty ranging from 5-30 years. You can find out exactly how long your solid wood floor will be protected for within the product description page.
Yes, we believe you should be able to see and feel the quality of a floor before you invest your hard earned cash. All of our solid wood ranges provide the option to order a free sample, simply follow the link provided on the product description pages and they will then be shipped directly from our samples warehouse, usually the next day.
You will find that the majority of solid wood flooring has a tough finish which makes it resistant to scratches. However, this doesn’t mean that it is 100% scratch proof. While it can withstand daily wear and tear with ease, there are some things that will cause your floor to scratch. These include moving heavy furniture and walking across it in high heels. If scratches do occur, you can invest in affordable scratch repair kits. It is advised to prevent damage by using felt pads underneath furniture legs and carrying out regular maintenance with specialised cleaners.
Unfortunately solid wood flooring isn’t water resistant. It does have a water resistant surface that can withstand small water spills. However, if it comes into contact with a lot of water or if it is exposed to moisture over a long period of time, it can cause discolouration and distort the planks.
Factory Direct Flooring has been operating online since 2005 and has since built up a reputation for providing excellent hardwood flooring solutions, alongside customer service. So, if you have any further queries about our solid wood floors, please contact us on 0330 100 00 15, or request a free sample. And remember to keep an eye out for our solid wood flooring clearance sales.