Our house is in desperate need of a makeover and what better place to start than at the very bottom; the floors. The rooms in the firing line are the lounge and bedroom, both of which look to be getting the wood treatment.
Our living room is open plan so I have no doubt in my mind that a wood floor will look absolutely stunning and will transform the space. With the living room being such a busy room it’s important that we choose a floor that’s set to last, which is why we’ve opted for something like wood.
The same goes for the bedroom, at the moment we have a carpet down and to be honest it’s looking a little dated. The goal for in there is to install a wood floor but cover it with a huge rug – although we haven’t decided what type of rug to go with yet, that’s a whole other issue!
When it comes to wood floors I didn’t realise how many choices there were to be made. Do we go for engineered or solid wood? In fact what’s the difference between the two? Well, I’ve acquired the assistance from the lovely folks at Luxury Flooring who have given me some info on the two.
Lets start with the basics, solid wood flooring (as the name would suggest) is made from a piece of solid timber. Engineered wood on the other hand is made up of boards that are constructed using layers of ply (and other manmade wood) that are then bonded together. Once the layers are bonded the board is topped with a final layer that is actually made of solid wood. This is why the two of them look very alike, because they pretty much are!
Although they appear the same there are some differences in the flooring, starting with where they can and can’t be installed within the home. Solid wood, although incredibly durable, can be volatile in environments that have changes in moisture and temperature levels. Such activity can cause the floor to expand and contract which as a result will ruin your overall floor. This is why solid wood flooring is not recommended in rooms like the kitchen or bathroom. Due to the unique way that engineered wood floors are constructed they are less likely to react to temperature and moisture changes than their solid counterparts, this means that engineered wood can be installed in both the kitchen and bathroom – should you wish to do so.
One of the best things about both solid and engineered flooring is that they can be sanded and refinished multiple times should they end up looking a little worn or torn over time. Again though there are a few slight differences when it comes to sanding and refinishing the two, engineered can probably be sanded up to 3 times but it all depends on the thickness of the top layer (ask the retailer about this when you purchase the floor), whereas solid wood floors can be sanded much more, maybe even up to 10 times (again ask the flooring retailer about this when you purchase it).
Installing a wood floor can be a job for the DIY enthusiast but if like me you’d rather have a professional do it then that’s perfectly understandable. Again the two somewhat differ in the way that are installed, solid wood floors can be glued, nailed or stapled to a wooden subfloor (see what I mean about leaving it to the pros?), engineered wood can be either nailed or glued down or even installed as something called a floating floor. This is where the boards attach to one another and float above a subfloor. In terms of installation, engineered wood tends to be the easiest and fast floor to install as solid wood takes a lot more skill and knowledge to install.
That’s the physical stuff out of the way, now on to the most crucial matters.. how much is this going to set me back? Again it differs on which material you choose! 9/10 solid wood flooring is a lot more expensive then engineered wood floors, which initially puts people off. It’s clear to see why many choose to opt for engineered wood, it looks exactly the same as real hardwood but comes at a fraction of the price – each to their own though!
Keep an eye out for further interior updates, we’re hoping to get on with the work soon, any suggestions are welcome if you’ve had experience with either engineered or solid wood flooring!