Choosing Wood Flooring For Use In Your Home
July 28, 2015 Steven Murphy
Wood is beautiful and superb for flooring. It looks classy and all natural, and there are lots of different types of timber for you to choose from. From light pigmented woods to dark, you can find a hardwood out there to complement your home and preference
Any hardwood that you make use of for flooring will certainly have been tested using the Janka scale. This tests the hardness of the timber and consequently determines its appropriateness for use on the floor because of the wear it will get from people walking on it and putting furniture on it. At the top end of the Janka scale are woods such as Brazilian ebony and Bolivian cherry and at the bottom end are the softwoods such as Balsa and Eastern White Pine.
Undeniably the most popular is oak flooring and oak is available in two types: red oak and white oak. The red oak is still the most popular because it is warm colour and generally available, but the white variety is becoming more popular with trends for paler colours. White oak is also good for areas of the house that may get wet such as the kitchen area because it is relatively impermeable to water. Oak is an enduring flooring favourite and the versatility makes it convenient to lay. You’ll find it takes colour stains well if you wish to change the colour.
Maple is a popular choice if you want something dent and scratch resistant. It isn’t as stable as oak so will possibly need a perimiter boundary to protect it from damage because it expands and contracts. The grain on this wood creates eye-catching patterns and if you decide on this wood it will be to some extent because of this. The wood is not going to take a stain well so be certain that you’re happy with the colour and grain before you lay it in your home.
Warm coloured woods for the floor include cherry and walnut. Cherry, like oak, is available in two varieties: American and Brazilian. The Brazilian is the darker of the two and is very hard. The American is a delicate pink and one of the softer hardwoods. Both can shift colour after exposure to the sun so dont count on it to stay the same colour as when it was laid.
Walnut is a stunning wood but also very costly. It is unlikely that you would lay an entire floor in walnut but it can be used as an accent in small areas. It is really strong and flexible with an even, fine grain. If you’re able to afford walnut on your floor, you wont regret it.
If you’re more in to paler wood, ash or birch may be the way to go. Paler woods are particularly great in small rooms because they make the room look bigger. If you couple this with a pale wall, the room will look much bigger compared to if you used darker colours. Ash is durable and very strong. It isnt susceptible to splitting and has very good shock resistance. An added advantage is that it also takes a stain well should you wish to vary the colour.
Birch can be creamy in colour but is also available in redder hues. Young birch will be at the creamy end of the spectrum, whilst the older birch (the heartwood from the middle section of the trunk) is at the redder end. It is a particularly good wood for high traffic regions of the house.
If reclaimed timber is a bit more your thing, beech might be a good choice. It is one of the most well-liked reclaimed woods used for recycled flooring and it will take a lot of usage. It’s strong and resistant to splitting. You will often find floors of beech with a clear urethane covering to help protect it. The grain is straight as well as being fine, giving it a uniform overall look. You will find it available in dark brown to pale white.
You can’t really go wrong with a hardwood floor, but make sure that you select something that is suitable for your property and financial situation.
Oak flooring should be readily available from your hardwood flooring supplier. Try Vastern Timber in Wiltshire, who are FSC certified.
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