The Different Types Of Hardwood
Hardwood flooring is not only beautiful but is hardwearing, easy to maintain and retains more warmth than other hard flooring options.
If you are considering renovating your floor whether in a small space or over a whole house you will undoubtedly be spending some time thinking about which type of hardwood is the right choice for you and your home, office or other building. This guide is made with you in mind and covers all the different types of solid wood flooring that we supply at Wooden Floors UK.
We will explain the pros and cons of each hardwood type that we stock: Maple, Oak and Beech, the differing costs of each type, variations in hardwood costs, the availability of hardwoods, and the different types of coatings and finishes such as lacquers and oils to ensure your new floor is protected against water and damage and maintains it’s beauty and lasts for years to come.
Characteristics of Hardwood
Hardwood timber generally speaking comes from deciduous trees, that is broad-leaved trees that lose their leaves in the winter.
Hardwood trees are usually slow-growing trees which also means that their wood is denser, or harder. This is why hardwood timber products including floors are generally of superior quality; they are stronger, more durable and last longer than softwoods such as pine.
Different Types of Hardwood
There are over 600 species of oak that grow all over the world most are slow-growing and live long. Some say that English oak trees take 300 years to grow, 300 years to mature, and 300 years to die. Though typically oaks grown to be used as timber are harvested at around 30-60 years old. European oak especially English oak considered especially good for use in furniture and fittings including flooring. This is in part because of its high density (around 0.75g per cubic centimetre) which makes it very durable, strong, warp-resistant and both fungal and water-resistant It is also because of its beautiful grain with distinctive dark and light rings and because it takes a variety of treatments and stains very well. For these reasons oak solid wood flooring can be expensive, however, we do have options for every budget, including engineered oak flooring if you have decided that oak flooring is the right choice for you.
A cheaper option than oak but with many similar benefits, beech is a medium to hard density wood (around 0.50g per cubic centimetre). Beech grows in many places around the world including Europe, Asia, and North America and is used in a variety of items from furniture and fittings to sports equipment and musical instruments. Many people opt for beech in their large pieces of furniture and flooring because it has a fine, straight grain which, for a natural product, gives about as uniform a look as you can get. It is a durable and tough wood that will last well. However, it does not have the same water resistance and fungal resistance as oak. This means your beech solid wood flooring will need to be treated or coated for it to last without warping or experiencing other damage.
Beech is a more affordable choice than oak and at Wooden Floors UK, we stock a wide range of colours and styles.
A dark and dense wood (around 0.60g per cubic centimetres) Walnut is strong and durable and has antifungal and water-resistant properties. As a slow-growing wood, this also makes it expensive, more expensive even than oak. Walnut has a tight grain and the appearance can vary enormously even within one plank this makes it unsuitable for those who prefer a more uniform finish. The durability of walnut is superior even to oak and it requires little to no maintenance. If you want a touch of luxury and like the dark and natural patterns that walnut offers it is an excellent option, particularly for herringbone wooden flooring.
Also known as acer, maple is common in many areas around the world and as such, it is claimed by some to be one of the most plentiful trees on our planet. It is strong, dense (at around 0.60g per square centimetre) and easy to work with making it a popular choice in a huge variety of uses from bowling pins to furniture and flooring. Generally, maple is not used in areas where it may get wet regularly, outside furniture is not usually made of maple, as it tends to split and rot. However, when well maintained and treated it can make a beautiful and long-lasting flooring solution. Maple is light in colour and takes stains well due to this. It is also very affordable.
Use of Coating
To ensure that your wooden floor keeps looking its best for years or decades to come you will need to maintain it. This includes applying a coating or finish to your floor to protect it.
Many people also choose to stain or colour their wooden floors to better suit their homes and their individual tastes.
Generally speaking, lacquers offer increased protection, particularly against water damage. However, they also add shine which not everybody wants.
Oil coatings on hardwood floors bring out the natural look of the wood but do not provide as much water resistance or other protection as lacquered or varnished coatings.
At Wooden Floors UK, we stock only the best products at the best prices and can advise you to ensure you are getting the right finish for your floor and your individual needs.
Contact Us for Advice
Hardwood flooring is a great choice for a long-lasting, beautiful and practical flooring solution and at Wooden Floors UK, we can help you decide which option is the best for you, your home and your budget. Whether you choose from walnut, beech, oak or maple in solid wood or engineered wooden flooring and whether you want parquet style or regular planking under your feet you will get the best quality at the best price from us.