If you are considering fitting wood flooring you will soon have to decide between several wood species. These will vary from common species such as Cherry, Oak and Walnut to more exotic species such as Iroko and Bamboo. If you are unsure which species to choose, here is the information you need to pay attention to.
The environment – Buying wood flooring should be done responsibly. Meaning that the wood has to come from managed forests where trees are harvested responsibly and allow to regrow or replaced all together. Often, normal wood species and their sub-species such as Oak and Walnut are sourced from managed forests whereas in the case of more exotic woods you may require further clarifications from the seller. A reputable wood flooring company will often have an ethical statement in which they explain the origin of the wood and by which means it arrives at their showroom.
Durability – An important aspect of wood flooring is return on investment and it is often measured in service life. Therefore, durability is an important factor in your decision. Most common species enjoy extensive durability that is often undermined by poor care and maintenance procedures rather than the type of wood. If you come across a type of wood that you haven’t come across before, it is worth checking the warranty that comes with the floor for extra piece of mind. Certainly you cannot go wrong with one of the mainstream woods.
Looks – Wood vary in their grain markings (open or tight grain) and other visual aspects that are determined by the species. However also bear in mind that the grade of the wood will have a profound affect on the look of the fitted floor. Grade is an indication of the visual perfections of the wood. There are four common grades and the higher the grade is the more expensive the wood is as it includes less imperfections.
Construction – Your choice of species must be available in your desired construction type. Wood flooring are available as solid and as engineered woods. Each type has its benefits so what ever your choice is, it must be offered in your preferred construction. For example, solid flooring is extremely strong (service life expectancy of 100 years with proper care) therefore if you have decided to fit Walnut it must be available as solid walnut floor. As an alternative, if you decide to fit engineered flooring because they are more suitable in damp areas such as the kitchen and have chosen Oak, it must be available as engineered oak flooring and so on. Always allow the construction type to lead your decision rather than the species.
When deciding on a suitable wood species for your new floors, consider the environment, their durability, and looks and ensure to take into account the type of construction required for your personal interior circumstances.