Solid wood flooring has been used for centuries as a flooring option. Obtained from the bark of a tree, solid wood floor planks were solid timber that were cut to a specific size and then air dried and then installed on the floor with nails or screws.. The floor planks were sanded and oiled to keep them fresh and protected. This was the traditional way to use solid timber floors. As technology evolved the flitches were then sized with tongue and groove and instead of air drying, which took time, kiln drying became the norm and the product got better in terms of stability. The surface finish was improved using better surface lacquers and today the product is all factory finished.
How to choose the type of species or wood when selecting solid wooden flooring
Normally solid wooden flooring is typically made from hardwoods since the planks are going to be used on a floor that needs to take the impact and wear and tear the type of wood becomes important. Essentially woods are classified as hardwoods and softwoods. Hardwoods is what we look at when we use them for the flooring. Some species are stable and some not and more often than not we prefer the species or type of woods that tend to be stable on the floors. Normally we find species like Oak, Maple, Teak, jatoba, Merbau, Ipe, Walnut etc. that are used for flooring applications. So, when choosing your floor ensure that they are hardwoods and make sure they are stable woods that you can use for flooring applications. Each of the above stated wood species have their own unique aesthetic appearance to enhance your space.
Is solid wooden flooring really the right choice for you for your home?
Well with today's technological advances in the flooring industry, it's always a debate. As humans, we tend to prefer something always natural and solid wooden flooring does exactly that. When you see the product and compare them with the other types of wooden flooring options (as detailed in my previous blog) you always tend to like the more natural product. This is nothing new. However, it's always important to know the advantages and disadvantages of solid wooden flooring before you sign that cheque!
Advantages of solid wooden flooring
- It's a 100% natural product.
- It’s a homogenous one layer thick product.
- It is very appealing to the eyes and to touch.
- It can be used for a number of years.
- Solid wood floors act as an insulator and hence warm on the feet in winter and not hot in summers.
Disadvantages of Solid wooden flooring
- Being a 100% natural product, the wood can be unstable and expand and contract depending on the atmospheric condition in the room and building.
- Solid wood by nature is soft per se (even though we use hardwoods) and hence susceptible to indentation if pointed objects fall on the floor or with stiletto heels.
- Solid wooden floors are expensive.
- Once the lacquer (polish) wears off it may need re-sanding and re-polishing which is expensive and time consuming.
- Installing a solid wood floor requires a plywood base or a reapers underneath which makes installation expensive and moreover requires an additional height which may be a problem when you are renovating or refurbishing your home and wanting wooden flooring in your home. In India glue down is generally not preferred due to several reasons.
I hope this has cleared some of the doubts that often come to a customer's mind and makes it easier for you to choose the right wooden flooring for your home. Visit our showroom to check out our selection and to learn more!
Wood on the blog is written by Priyesh Mody who has 25 years of experience in this industry