Are you considering having a wooden floor? Not sure where to start?
This article is designed to give you some helpful tips to save you some time and possibly some money.
So where to start, firstly we need to decide what type of flooring we are going to go install. Spend some time here because when the project is finished you really do not want to think I wish I had had "X". You really have three options to decide on, Sold Timber, Engineered Timber or Laminate. Each has a massive range of manufacturers and colour choices, so you need to decide which one should you consider for the rest of your time in your current property, because that is the life span of these products. (Certainly the timber products.)
Locate a local supplier to start your search as here you will be spending quite a bit of time looking at products etc. What you also need to decide at a very early stage, are you going to DIY or are you going to get a professional fitter to install the product? A very big question, personally unless you have fitted several floors before (of the type you have selected) I would always pay to get a professional to fit the job for you. These can be located quite easily in the local directories or of course yellow pages.
Before we go any further I think we really need to decide on the type of product we are going to have installed. The cheapest is of course is good old laminate flooring. Now you may or may not be aware of how this product is made, or indeed what of. Today the whole product is nearly always made of HDF machined to very fine tolerances and the final paper wood effect look which is laminated to the top to give it its finish. These papers are called craft papers and the difference in quality of laminates is generally decided by the amount of paper layers that are applied. This also makes the variance in the prices of the product. Finally several coats of clear lacquer are applied to finish off the laminate flooring. The overall length is more or less the same and this has been decided by the boot space of the average family saloon.
Solid timber which is the most expensive based purely on the amount of hardwood that is used in its production. One thing I would like to add is that when the floor is laid you just do not know how thick the wood is. So whether the top layer is 4mm or 28mm it all looks and feels the same.
The final product type is engineered hardwood. Why engineered, well the process involved is very technical and extremely precise hence the use of the word engineered. This in my opinion is by far the very best of all three types of product. It uses less hardwood and is designed in such a way as you will have very little movement due to humidity changes in your home. It is warm to the feel, easy to maintain, will last forever. Comes in every hardwood, and a few more that you have probably have never even heard of.
Several different finishes are also available for you to consider, take a little care at this point as once again this is what you will be living with for a very long time. Personally I prefer the oiled natural look but you will find out from your local retailer who will have a great range to look at.
Onto the major thought process of the final installation, which normally nobody thinks about because very few people have had a wooden floor fitted before.
All three types of floor can be fitted as to what is referred to as a floating floor. What this effectively means is that the floor is all joined together (clicked or bonded) but not secured to the floor or walls and just floats on the floor. Now with this thought in mind you now need to ask yourselves do we really want to redecorate or not? If the answer to the question is no, then you will need to place a scotia trim around the perimeter of the room to hide the expansion gap that is a mandatory requirement of this type of flooring.
If however the answer is yes then I would recommend that you replace the skirting boards and then the fitter will refit hiding the expansion gap under the new skirting boards. As the old saying goes if a job is worth doing etc.
The whole installation will only take a few days, depending of course on how many rooms you do decide to have fitted.
I could go on the topic forever but hopefully there is a couple of money saving tips in this article to help you make the correct choice for your family.