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Wood Flooring Key Words

Wood flooring is a traditional product that has recently become extremely popular due to the character it adds to modern homes and offices. There is a large variety of wood flooring products now available due to new manufacturing techniques and this has led to the purchasing process of flooring to become fairly difficult. However, it is difficult due to the vocabulary used that the average individual does not understand. Once you understand the key vocabulary it makes purchasing a lot easier.

The first step of purchasing floor is understanding the two main types of wood flooring, which are solid and engineered wood flooring. Solid wood flooring is constructed from one layer of solid wood whereas engineered wood flooring is having a plywood or HDF core that is topped with a layer of real wood. Once installed you can’t tell the difference between solid or engineered, however solid wood is potentially the better option as it is cheaper, and the multi-layer construction increases the stability of the flooring. An engineered floor will also have 2 measurements for the thickness, for example a plank may have a thickness of 14/3mm. This means that the overall thickness is 14mm, however 3mm of the 14 is the wear layer that is made from solid wood.

The next step is to discover what finish you may require. The most popular two finishes are oiled and lacquered. An oil will soak into the floor to protect the floor and creates a matt shade of finish. Whereas a lacquered floor sits on the surface layer and creates a shinier finish that scratches easier but will not damage the actual flooring.

Once you have chosen your finish then you should choose whether you would like a fixed length or random length product. This is fairly self-explanatory as fixed length boards have the same length planks throughout and also include a starter plank, so you can stagger your boards. A random length flooring product is where the planks come in a variety of lengths usually between 300mm to 1200mm, this will create a more natural looking effect.

Most flooring products have bevelled edges; however, some products have straight cut edges. A bevelled edge is where a groove is cut alongside the plank edge and it allows each individual board to stand out. You can have a 2V bevelled edge which is a groove on 2 edges or a 4V bevelled edge which is a groove along all 4 edges. A straight edge does not have any grooves and therefore sits completely flush and can sometimes become hard to identify when one plank starts and another plank ends.

Finally, you should always check the grade of flooring you are wanting to purchase. Each grade determines how clean a board may be in terms of the number of knots on a product. Each flooring company may have slightly different grading systems and therefore is always important to ask them to describe the grade. Most products are graded using letters such as ABC.