SOLID AND ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING TYPES
SOLID WOOD FLOORS
These are usually 18 – 20mm thick of solid hardwood in a variety of species oak, maple, cherry, walnut etc – produced in random lengths and tongue and groove all round. They can be laid as a structural floor or overlaid over your existing sub floor.
Solids are best secret nailed, with a portanailer machine (available for hire), or stuck to your sub floor using special adhesive. Generally narrower strips are more stable. Up to 83mm is described as strip and above 83mm as plank. Pre finished or pre lacquered saves considerable installing expense.
The higher the grade the less colour variation and less knotting. Floors can be expected to last many lifetimes with appropriate care and attention. Some specialised manufacturers produce solid hardwood flooring that can be floated over your existing floor using a metal clip system.
ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORS
These are generally 14mm thick with approximately 4mm of hardwood on top of a plywood backing. They are available in a number of formats e.g. 3 strip or plank and can be floated over an existing sub floor or bonded directly to the subfloor using elastic polyurethane.
They are generally easier to install and inherently more stable and can be re sanded. However they are at best an imitation of solid hardwood flooring.