For a timeless, luxurious and authentic look that improves and develops with age, and particularly great for high-traffic areas such as hallways, kitchens and lounges, it’s hard to go wrong with natural hardwood flooring.
No other flooring materials provide the same strength, durability and warmth as real solid timber. Hard, clean and smooth, Oak is particularly popular for a reason.
This article will vent the benefits of investing in a beautiful oak hardwood floor that will increase the value of your home and heighten its looks for generations to come.
If you would like to compare these ideas with specific visual examples, our wide range of hardwoods come in a selection of finishes, specifically processed and machined for best solid wood flooring practices.
The durability of solid hardwood ensures the long-term value of wooden flooring and is the primary reason home-owners choose it.
Contrary to other flooring materials, the looks of hardwood tend to improve with age. A professionally-installed hardwood floor can last generations: the colour and character will not fade, and properly maintained tiles will not buckle or splinter. Once laid, Oak is very stable and happy in its end-use environment. It also has good impact resistance – except maybe for stiletto heels!
Pine can be warm and beautiful, but soft. Rich and amber-coloured Douglas Fir is quite durable and ideal for flooring purposes. But as Oak specialists, we can say that few materials rival oak in durability, hardness and beauty. Today’s floor seals offer excellent resistance to scratches, while hard wax oils and water-based polyurethanes align the flooring style with the property’s atmosphere.
Note: if you already have a hardwood floor and a change is precisely what you want, you can have your floor refinished rather than replaced. This can change the colour and aspect of your floor and give whole fresh new look without ripping anything out or breaking the bank. Sanding and sealing these days is not a trauma!
Hardwood Floors Are More Hygienic
Organic in origin, natural hardwood floors are a lot more hygienic than other flooring materials: the smooth surface avoids collecting dust, foul odours and bacteria like the petri dish that is carpet, and unlike peeling laminate or chipped ceramic it retains its hard and beautiful surface.
The sheer nature of hardwood ensures there is a significant respiratory health advantage too: aside from keeping asthma and allergy-triggering parasites away, timber absorbs carbon, thus maintaining a healthy air balance in busy areas and remaining carbon neutral overall.
The non-toxic and sanitising properties of hardwood floors make them ideal for families with babies, young children and pets, who spend a great deal of time on the floor.
Timeless, warm and authentic. Tons of options are available, so far from looking stiff or old-fashioned, hardwood flooring comes in a plethora of shades, finishes and species to match the specific style you want.
Given the nature of oak hardwood, while uniform tiles and planks are manufactured bespoke to fit your project, each plank features swirls, shades and grain characteristics that are unique to your home.
Timber flooring gives you the opportunity to be creative with interior design. A kitchen, for instance, will convey more depth and warmth even with a cool-toned timber floor rather than a floor of solid ceramic or disguised concrete. The warmth is subtle yet can provide a great contrast with an otherwise all-white kitchen.
Increases the Value of Your Home
According to 87% of home-owners surveyed last year, the long-term value of hardwood floors is worth the initial investment. Over time, the durability and ease of maintenance of hardwood floors will reduce cleaning and repair costs over the years to come.
Prospecting home-owners do not want carpet – especially someone else’s carpet. Features such as oak wood flooring and underfloor heating are highly sought-after in real estate and can significantly boost the sale speed of your house.
Great Medium For Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating is the most effective way to heat your home and increasingly popular for home renovations. What’s more, you can install underfloor heating without the need for unsightly radiators or heating vents.
All wood is hygroscopic, and if correctly installed, the swelling and contraction of a timber floor can impact on the responsiveness of a floor heater. The thickness and density of timber flooring can impact on the performance of the system, so timber thickness should be about 19 mm unless for overlay work.
Cleaning hardwood floors is easy.
A lot more stain-resistant than carpets, all you have to do to keep hardwood floors clean is sweep dust off with a dry cloth.
High-quality timber flooring is especially quarter-sawn to ensure that moisture absorption will not result in the timber easily warping or bowing. In the case of spilt liquid, mop up and dry immediately, and use a proven floor cleaner to restore its shine.
Scratches are easily restored as well with the help of a specialist wax product, and individual replacement pieces are easy to manufacture with the help of a contractor that specialises in bespoke timber projects.
As with underfloor heating, hardwood flooring can have a multitude of features that benefit your home but are better out of sight. Adequate insulation and noise-cancelling foam (otherwise known as acoustic or thermal underlay) are ideal for engineered wood flooring. Meanwhile, hardwood floors can act as an effective and solid seal to block out surrounding noise from neighbouring homes or traffic, reducing hollow sounds and vibrations often associated with cheap or thin flooring.
Don’t believe us? It’s true that centuries-old wooden floors can crack and creak enough to wake an entire household (although not with WLWest’s undercarriage system), but such is not the case with freshly installed timber floors. Have a careful look at dance and music studios next time: they’re all fitted with close-fitting, noise-absorbing hardwood floors, usually of oak or beech.
Hardwood Floors Integrate Perfectly With Modern Architectural Elements
Tongue and groove wood flooring installation is a specialist service that needs careful attention and professional installation.
To flooring experts, doors, skirting and architraves are generally not restrictions as these can be undercut to accommodate the new floor, but when considering your timber floor options, do take time to consider which type of subfloor you have. This is important to research before making a decision as this could impact the possibility for features such as insulation or underfloor heating.
Plywood and chipboard sub-bases are versatile and ideal to fit a hardwood floor. Most fitters prefer these.
Concrete absolutely has to be dry and level to directly glue an underlay and the hardwood planks on top. If not, rectification will be necessary before installation. Screeds need to be more + – 3mm in 3.00m permanently dry and hard, and acrylic underlayments may need testing before installation.
Joists are often exposed to damp and need a specialist nailer to install each hardwood plank. They need to be in at a maximum of 400 / 450mm centres for each hardwood plank. This makes them go in tight and quickly.
The perimeter of any hardwood floor has to allow for an expansion gap, which is generally covered by the skirting or a bead profile.
A Multitude of Options
You can have your contractors supply you with pre-finished planks of unique size, specific shade, or wood type. Contractors like W L West & Sons Ltd even manufacture treads and risers for matching staircases (pictured above).
When it comes to the wood material itself, you can keep it natural or have it treated, stained or refinished as you wish.
Oak, Bamboo, Elm, Ash, Maple, Walnut and Pine are all popular types of wood with their own set of characteristics and downsides.
If you’re unsure how to narrow down your options, we recommend seeking a quote or professional advice.
Despite a wealth of other options readily available to customers such as ceramic tiles, concrete or engineered wood flooring, hardwood floors retain their popularity for a reason. It’s hard to go wrong with it.
Still need help? One of our experts will be glad to guide you.
WL West & Sons Ltd is a timber merchant and sawmill business with 150 years of experience. We provide a wide range of timber products and supplies. We also build and install custom projects for our customers.
For entirely finished products, timber supplies or woodworking tools, have a look at our Retail Shop.
Liked this article? More like this: