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Choosing the right flooring for an older home

If you are lucky enough to own an older home, you will know just how special they can be, thanks to the many unique features they possess. This means that, if you are looking to renovate your period home, you will need to take much more time and care in choosing your fixtures and fitting than you would in a new home. This is especially true, when choosing a new type of flooring.

Matching the right flooring to your period home is not always easy, but it is well worth taking the time to find the right fit, as it will help to keep the right atmosphere in your home, as well as increasing durability and functionality.

With that in mind, here are a number of helpful tips for choosing the right flooring for your older home:

Go for solid wood flooring

The first piece of advice that we can give is that, in the vast majority of cases, it pays choose real hardwood flooring in your period home. Oak and Walnut woods are particularly good for older homes, as is woodblock flooring, especially if you are going for a classy elegant look.

When not to use solid flooring

Solid hardwood flooring may be one of the best looking and durable floor coverings available to you, but there are certain conditions under which you should look to choose a different kind of flooring for your home.

Since hardwood floor expands in hot conditions and contracts when the temperature is cool, you may not want to use solid flooring in a home that experiences extremes in temperature, which cannot be adequately controlled.

In these situations, engineered wooden flooring is a good alternative as it has been manufactured in such a way that this is no longer a problem, whilst still giving the appearance of hardwood flooring.

Engineered wood flooring

Not only is engineered wood flooring ideal for rooms with temperature extremes, but it is also a great option for anyone who is looking to renovate their period home while working to a strict budget.

Basically, engineered flooring is when only the top layer is made of real wood, with three or four layers of plywood or other softwoods beneath. This brings the price down quite a bit, whilst still giving the stylish appearance of a hardwood floor.

Engineered flooring is also much easier to fit as in most cases it will simply slot together. However, this kind of flooring may not last quite as long as your average hardwood flooring would, which is why hardwood flooring is such a great investment.

Lacquered Floor

Although normal solid flooring is a good fit in most rooms of the home, depending on climate conditions it is not always the best choice for bathrooms and kitchens, which are prone to getting damp, especially in older properties.

Lacquered flooring, on the other hand, is ideal for damper areas as it features a top layer of heavy lacquer, which basically acts as a waterproofing agent and ensures that flooring is not damaged by damp and spillages, like many other inferior floorings would be.

Grading

Another thing that you must consider when purchasing either solid flooring or engineered flooring is the grade of the wood. Floors containing real wood come in a number of different grades, which means that you will need to take your time and look at a number of different samples in order to determine which grade would look better in your home.

The highest grade of solid flooring is prime grade, whilst the simplest grade is rustic. The higher the great you choose, the more impressive your flooring will be in terms of colour and variation High graded wood also has fewer knots in it than cheaper alternative.

Reclaimed wood

If you are looking to give your home a real period feel then you might want to look for reclaimed wood, which would have been around at the time your home was built. This is a great way to get a completely unique floor, which fits perfectly with the style and tone of your home and make you the envy of your friends. However, reclaimed wood can be extremely expensive, so unless you have a very high budget, you may want to look at reproduction floors, which have the same look and feel as the real thing at a fraction of the price.

Finish

Once you have chosen the right material for your period property flooring, you will need to decide on a finish, which will cover your flooring. Choosing the right finish is very important because it is the thing that protects your flooring.

The most commonly used finishes are UV oiled, oiled and lacquered, and you will need to either do your research or talk to a flooring professional to find out which type of finish would be the best for you.

Fitting

Once you have sorted out all of your flooring choices, from hardwood or engineered to oil or lacquer, you will need to give some thought to fitting. Unless you have experience of fitting flooring, we would recommend that you hire professional floor fitters to fit any hardwood flooring you install, simply because it is much more complicated to install than engineered flooring.

Whatever you decide to do, we really would recommend that, at the very least, you consult with a local floor fitting professional, not only when it comes to having your floor fitted, but also when you are in the early stages of trying to choose the right wood.

A good company will be knowledgeable about a range of flooring issues, so making use of their knowledge is a sure fire way to ensure that you make the right choices and get the best quality flooring you can afford on your budget.

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