Wood Flooring Finishes Explained

Wood is a naturally beautiful material. People love wood flooring because the colour and texture of wood go well with just about any type of home décor. You could have oak, cherry, or walnut wood, and it’ll look great on any of your floors. However, the beauty of the wood must be preserved to ensure its durability and longevity. That is what a protective finish can do for your wood flooring.

Think of finishes as protective coatings or layers which go over the surface of your wood flooring. It serves as a shield that blocks any environmental elements from harming the wood. For instance, if you spill food or beverages on the floor, you don’t need to worry as much about the wood getting damaged or stained. You can simply wipe up the mess with a clean cloth, and there won’t be a mark left on the floor.

The finishing doesn’t only protect the surface of the wood, though. Since natural oils are mostly used to make wood finishes, they won’t just sit at the surface of the wood. The oils will find their way through the little cracks, crevices, and other imperfections in the wood. As the oils get deeper into the wood flooring, they’ll make the wood stronger and impervious to things like scratches and scrapes.  

If you care about aesthetics and presentation, then think about how shiny and vibrant the finishing will make your wood floor look. You can select from a variety of shades and colours for your finishing. Everything about your wood will appear more natural after you apply the finishing. It’ll truly create a homely feeling.

Do you hate maintenance? Well, your maintenance work will get a whole lot easier if you have a finished wood floor to work on. Normal wood floors need to be re-sanded every so often, but not finished wood floors. If you clean your floors regularly, then they will last for a long time. 

Let’s not forget about the environment. If you’re using natural oil finishes, then you won’t have a sea of chemicals on your flooring. That means it’ll be safe to breathe the fumes of the finishing because they’re coming from natural sources.

How do I pick the right colour floor?

The colour of your flooring can set the aesthetic appeal of an entire room. Not only that, but it can make a smaller room look more spacious, and a larger room look less spacious.

For instance, if you want to transform a larger room into a smaller and cosier room, then you’ll want to choose darker colour tones like walnut or hickory. On the flip side, you can increase the spaciousness of a smaller room by utilising lighter tones like oak. Therefore, darker tones make rooms appear smaller and lighter tones make rooms appear larger.

Another thing you need to consider is the feeling that people will have when they enter your room. Darker coloured floors may appear luxurious and powerful, while lighter coloured floors may appear energetic and fun. In other words, people will have a more serious feeling if the floors are dark and are happier, more energetic feeling if the floors are light. 

Room lighting is also an important consideration to make for your flooring colour. For instance, if you want to light up a room and make it look more vibrant, you can have natural sunlight shine through the windows onto a lighter-coloured floor. The brightness level of the floor will be magnified as the sunlight hits it. You can also have the same effect by using artificial lighting throughout the room too. Install LED ceiling lights and have them shine down onto the light-coloured flooring.   

Finally, choose a colour floor which matches the other objects and items in the room. Floors can become very personal things, just like your cabinet, furniture, bed frame, and so on. Perhaps you could choose a floor colour which matches the colours and tones of these personalised items of yours. Of course, if you ever get new items in the room, then you’ll need to replace the flooring or stain it a different colour if possible.

Before you make a final decision on a floor colour, there are virtual online tools which let you see how your flooring will look in your room before it is installed. This is a great opportunity for you to try out all different kinds of colours before committing to any of them.

What is the most durable wood floor?

Wood is a popular choice for flooring due to its durability. But did you know that certain types of wood are more durable than others? The level of durability you’ll need for your wood depends on the conditions that it’ll be subjected to. If you have pets or children on your property, then you’ll want to focus on the durability of your wood flooring.

The level of hardness of a wood species is measured by using the Janka scale. Basically, the Janka scale measures how much force is required for a 0.444-inch steel ball to be embedded into a wood species in order to reach 50% of its diameter. The higher the number on the scale, the more durable the wood species is.

Below are 4 of the most durable hardwood species used for flooring. If you maintain these floors with the proper finishing, they’ll stay beautiful and last for a long time.

Brazilian Walnut

Brazilian walnut is definitely one of the hardest wood floors available. It has a 3,680 rating on the Janka scale. If you have a home with a lot of people walking and running around constantly, then Brazilian walnut flooring can handle this kind of consistent impact. You don’t really need to stain or seal the flooring either.


Hickory is another highly durable hardwood floor. It has a 1,820 rating on the Janka scale. Some people don’t like the appearance of hickory, but it does a good job as far as durability is concerned. It can withstand most scratches and dents.


Bamboo can rank anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 on the Janka scale. It all depends on whether you’re using standard bamboo boards or strand-woven composites. Even though bamboo is really grass, it is harder than a lot of other natural woods. A good durable finish will ensure it lasts a long time on your floors.

Red Oak

Red oak has a 1,300 score on the Janka scale. This is considered to be one of the softer hardwoods in comparison to the others. It can handle a few scratches and dents, but nothing too extensive. If you’ve never installed a hardwood floor before, then red oak might be a suitable starting point.

How Much Does Engineered Wood Flooring Cost?

When homeowners are ready to have new flooring installed in their homes, they must choose which type of flooring they want to have. The most common choices are hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, and ceramic flooring. But what about engineered wood flooring? Is that better than hardwood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is growing in popularity amongst homeowners. It is basically composite wood flooring because several wood fibres are placed together to produce a single solid layer of wood. This is often a very durable and sturdy wood layer too. The adhesive used to stick the wood fibres together is a special type of glue. Sometimes there are other materials placed along with the wood fibres to fill in the extra gaps of the layer.

The cost of engineered wood flooring ranges between £18 and £55 for every square meter. This price range is about in the middle as far as expense goes. Laminated flooring only costs between £5 and £15 for every square meter, while hardwood flooring is between £16 and £80.

The exact price you pay depends on the size of the area where the flooring is getting installed. And, of course, the rates of your service provider may be different than other providers. For this reason, you need to research which installer you want to use ahead of time.

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. Suppose you want to install engineered wood flooring on 1,000 square feet of living space. One thousand square feet is equal to about 93 square meters. With a price range of between £18 and £55 for every square meter, that means your cost for engineered wood flooring would be anywhere from £1,674 and £5,115. 

The quality of the composite materials will play a huge role in the price too. Some manufacturers use lower quality materials, which will put the price in the £18 per square meter range. But that doesn’t mean you should always go with the most expensive choice either. Try to settle for a price in the middle of this range, like at around £35 per square meter. Make sure the manufacturer is reputable too. If you do this, then you’ll be all set.

Selecting and Installing Hardwood Floors

Are you renovating your house and stuck having to choose between engineered hardwood flooring and solid hardwood flooring? This is a common problem that many homeowners face because they’re both so similar.

Most professional flooring companies will tell you to choose engineered hardwood flooring. It is comprised of a hardwood upper layer that is bonded to lower base layers which prevent floor shifting. Solid hardwood flooring is comprised of planks that were cut from solid wood pieces. There are no separate layers to these planks like there are with engineered flooring.

The only downside to engineered flooring is its surface cannot be refinished or sanded down because it’s too thin for these actions. If you install the engineered flooring someplace with a lot of people or heavy items consistently on the surface, then the flooring won’t last very long. Engineered flooring is better for environments with fewer people.

Solid hardwood flooring has a more durable surface because the entire piece is one wooden layer. You just need to worry about the contraction cycles of the wood. However, you could install the solid hardwood planks over concrete or plywood to make it more like engineered flooring.

The Installation Process

After you’ve chosen the hardwood flooring that you want, the next step is the installation of the flooring. Usually, you nail or staple down the solid hardwood flooring and glue or mechanically fasten down the engineered hardwood flooring. It all depends on the thickness, construction, and width of your wood planks. If you’re installing a hardwood floor for the first time, you might want to have a more experienced person assisting you.

The first step is to acclimatise the wood planks in the room where the installation will take place. This means leaving the wood in the room for a couple of days in order to get accustomed to the environment and its moisture content. Try to keep the humidity between 35% and 55%. 

Read the instructions of the installation carefully. Some video tutorials online are also available to assist you. Clean and dry your subflooring before the installation. If you already have ceramic or marble tiling on the ground, then you can just install the engineered hardwood flooring over it with adhesives. If you’re nailing down solid hardwood flooring, then put vinyl tiles or a vinyl sheet down first.

For expert advice get in touch with the TimberZone team to help you with the installation of your wood flooring.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring

It is common to think that one type of hardwood flooring exists. After all, wood is wood, right? Well, there are two different types of hardwood flooring: engineered hardwood flooring and solid hardwood flooring. If you were to look at them after they’re installed, they would look almost identical. But there is a difference between them. What is it?

The difference between engineered hardwood flooring and solid hardwood flooring relates to how their planks are constructed. The planks of engineered hardwood flooring contain several wood layers, while the planks of solid hardwood flooring are just whole solid hardwood pieces.

The wear layer represents the surface of the engineered hardwood flooring. This is the layer which everyone sees, and people walk on. It is made of either walnut or oak wood and is anywhere from 2.5 to 6 millimeters thick. The other layers of the flooring are base layers which provide it with durability, stability, and strength. You can expect the base layers to be made from eucalyptus or plywood rather than hardwood.

When the planks of the solid hardwood flooring are first prepared, the wood is taken directly from the trunk of a tree. A chainsaw is the preferred tool of choice for this task. Once the wood is taken, it is cut, sanded, and sized appropriately as planks for the flooring. A finish is also added onto the top of it too, although you can choose unfinished hardwood flooring if you want.

Which is Better?

Now you’re probably wondering, which type of flooring is better? The answer depends on where the flooring is being installed in your home or building. Basically, any room or environment with fluctuating temperatures and regular humidity would be better off with engineered hardwood flooring. After all, this type of flooring is designed and manufactured to adapt to moisture or changing temperatures in the air. Kitchens and conservatories would be good examples of rooms which should have this flooring in it.

As for solid hardwood flooring, that might be better for living areas and hallway entrances. Any area with a lot of people walking back and forth each day would be better with solid hardwood flooring. The wood must be sanded and finished repeatedly, though. If you don’t mind the extra maintenance, then solid hardwood flooring is the more durable choice.

For more information on the differences between Engineered Hardwood Flooring and Solid Hardwood Flooring get in touch with the TimberZone team today.

Things That You Must Know About Engineered Timber Flooring Materials

When you are out choosing the flooring of your home, you are likely to come across the term engineered timber flooring at some point of time. Plenty of people use engineered timber flooring materials these days so it is not surprising that you may get intrigued by this product. Basically, engineered flooring is just what it states; it is engineered by a special group of experts by combining multiple layers of wood together. Among these layers, the topmost layer is actually 100% natural wood. This wood can be obtained from a variety of different species of trees. The bottom or lowest layer of the engineered flooring material is also wood. The middle section is made up of a core that is comprised of around 5-7 layers of plywood which are arranged in a crisscross manner in different directions.

The engineered timber flooring materials are known for their highly stable core which is not likely to contract, expand or shift even when exposed to humidity, moisture and temperature. Such benefits really make engineered wood flooring one of the best options when it comes to installing flooring materials in rooms which are subjected to moisture. They can be installed in rooms that have radiant heating systems or concrete slabs. It is therefore no surprise that this form of wooden flooring is often used in basements where there is always a high risk of exposure to moisture. They are also a popular choice for places and areas where solid hardwood flooring materials cannot be installed.

Another reason why many people choose to go for engineered timber flooring these days is that they often present greater durability and endurance features, particularly while dealing with moisture, humidity and temperature changes. Temperature alterations are one of the major reasons due to which wooden flooring materials can get damaged over the years. However, with engineered timber flooring that never seems to be a problem. Engineered wood materials can be easily sanded and refinished multiple times over the lifespan of the floor. So if you have a home, office or store area where humidity, moisture and temperature changes seems to be a major problem, you can easily go for this type of flooring material as it can ensure you smooth performance over the years. The layered construction of these flooring materials ensures greater stability against any kind of environmental changes. The premium engineered timber products always comes with warranty coverage which provides with the assurance of their performance.

There is yet another reason why this form of flooring product is more popular among many buyers and that is lower price. Generally, engineered timber flooring products tends to be much less expensive compared to solid hardwood products. While premium engineered timber collections that come a with thick hardwood top layer and features like enhanced durability and uniquely artistic designs that make it costlier than the average products, the standard versions are actually quite pocket friendly. The high performance engineered timber products are known for their solid pricing which is why they are favored by many consumers.

So if you choose to get engineered timber flooring products for your flooring needs, make sure that you get in touch with an Engineered Timber Flooring London manufacturer who can get you reliable products. These companies make use of innovative techniques to create these flooring products that can ensure reliable performance for many years. The leading manufacturers of these products can also offer you great choices in terms of the wood variations they come in, such as Maple, Oak, Hickory, Cherry, Birch and Walnut as well as exotic woods such as Acacia, African Mahogany, and Tiger wood.