Types of Wooden Flooring
There are a number of different types of products on the market, but they can all be grouped into two main categories: solid wood and engineered wood floors.
Solid wood is one piece of wood all the way through from top to bottom, regardless of width or length. It can be bought unfinished (without polyurethane or oils) or pre-finished. An unfinished floor will need to be sanded after it has been installed, to bring the surface of the floor to a level of smoothness that will accept a polyurethane or oil. A pre-finished floor will normally have been treated in the factory with several coats of polyurethane or oil. It can come in various lengths, shapes, dimensions, etc.
The width of a solid floor will determine how the floor is referred to. Narrow boards up to three inches in width are generally referred to as ‘strip flooring’, whereas boards wider than three inches are referred to as ‘plank flooring’. Both strip and plank solid hardwood floors will normally be installed with invisible nailing.
Industry standards state that a solid floor should be no more than five inches wide (with no restrictions on length) unless glue is used to prevent the board from bowing or cupping. However, this is rarely adhered to by most companies, as the current trends are for long and wide planks. The Gate ranges of planks come in a variety of species, with lengths up to 20 feet, and widths up to 22 inches.
Engineered Wood Flooring
The image to the right shows the typical construction of a ply-backed engineered floor. In general it will include:
- a real hardwood veneer ranging from 4mm to 6mm single strip,
- a base layer of multilayer plywood either 12mm or 15mm thick
Typical board dimensions can be anywhere from five inches – twelve inches wide. The 3/4″ thick engineered floors are manufactured using the principle described above. These products are considered ‘load bearing’ and can therefore be fixed directly to existing floor joists.
Gate Hardwood Floors range of planks come in a variety of species, with lengths up to a breathtaking 18 feet, and various widths up to twelve inches, so choosing the right look for your home or project should be easy, and the resulting floor unique.
Ply backed engineered floors are incredibly stable. This allows it to be installed as a nailed down like traditional solid wood floors or stuck down directly to the sub floor; this kind of installation is in fact the recommended method when certain types of under-floor heating are being used.