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Solid wood flooring is a warm, attractive and sturdy form of floor that offers householders a durable, reliable and impressive base to their interiors. The striking appearance is matched by a long-life expectation that, with the right maintenance, will see the floor provide many years of excellent quality service. The authentic, natural characteristics of real wood flooring also make solid wood floors a beautiful addition to any home.
The wood comes in thick planks and as it can expand or contract with moisture it must be installed in the correct way to allow it space for small adjustments in size. But as long as this is the case it provides a beautiful centrepiece to a home from a completely organic source, with qualities that artificial flooring may struggle to imitate.
The great joy of hardwood is that it is real wood flooring. This means that whether you choose between ash and oak your product will be full of the beautiful character which real wood floors are known for. Hardwood surfaces are not only known for being an attractive and incredibly distinctive style of flooring. They also have the original, natural element which even the best artificial flooring materials would find difficult to match.
It is organic and many products offer the option of distinctive markings from the heart of a tree, such as rings, knots and other features. It offers warmth that helps create an atmosphere of comfort in the home. Solid wood floors are also known for their strength and durability and, if the correct maintenance steps are followed your hard wood flooring will last a long time.
Hardwood floors also have an advantage over wood effect floors in that they can be hand scraped and distressed to emphasize the natural quality of the wood and make truly unique, distinctive boards.
Additionally solid wood flooring can be treated before and after installation to achieve the perfect look. To change the shade of your flooring you can darken the boards by staining, or lighten them by bleaching.
If you're interested in creating a traditional atmosphere with your flooring you can try aging the boards to create the desired effect.
While many people prefer the polished appearance of oiled and lacquer products, others prefer the natural beauty of an unfinished style. In order to create this rustic, authentic element in the home, using unfinished solid wood flooring may be the very best way to do it.
Here at UK Flooring Direct we cater to both preferences with our wide range of finished products and a great selection of unfinished products on offer. All of these rustic solid wood floors come with bevelled edges which add a unique element to your floor with the pronounced join they feature.
Once it has been decided to install a hardwood floor in a home, there are a few preliminary steps necessary before installation.
First choose the hardwood to be used. The factors to consider when choosing hardwood are: pattern, species of wood and pre-finished vs. unfinished. When deciding on a pattern, consider the direction of the sub-floor joists, as the wood flooring should be installed in the opposite direction. A decorative pattern may also be considered as a border or in the center of a room.
The species of wood determines the colour and the grade of the wood. Cost is a major consideration in determining the species of wood. Oak is the most popular species of wood used due to its low cost with continued durability. Harder woods such as maple and cherry are more durable, but also significantly more expensive.
Currently UK Flooring Direct have both solid oak flooring and solid ash flooring available to buy. Find out more about these wood species, their properties and appearance on these info pages:
The layout of the hardwood is a similar discussion as with the pattern, but more thought can be put into the artistic, or decorative, nature of the planks of wood. Different grades of woods can be used to develop patterns alternating throughout a room. Medallions or inlays can be used near focal points in a room, or a whole room may be done diagonally for a more dramatic look.
Pre-finished flooring is certainly more durable, but a customer can expect fewer options in regard to grade and species than if they were to choose unfinished flooring and then treat the flooring after installation. Before choosing a floor you can learn more about the different types of flooring finish to help you make a decision.
We also have different maintenance guides available to help you keep your flooring finish working to protect your floors from scratches, dents and dirt.
Submitted by Jason Ashby, UKFD