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Frequently asked questions about solid flooring for Liverpool residents

If you’ve never had a solid wood floor installed before, you may not know where to start, so here are some common questions about solid wood flooring.

Can I fit a solid wood floor myself?

Installing a solid wood floor is a far more intricate endeavour than laying floating floors like laminate or vinyl. Individual boards need to be carefully cut and nailed or glued down, which only gets harder when dealing with more complicated arrangements like herringbone or intricate parquet patterns. While it is possible that someone with the right expertise and equipment could do it themselves, it is highly recommended to use a professional fitter. Some fitters will work on a fit-only basis, so you then have the option of sourcing the materials yourself, which may open up more options or enable you to take advantage of a bargain.

What exactly is a solid wood board?

Solid wood boards are generally made from kiln-dried timber, which is then machined into boards of set sizes. Every tree is individual, and every part of each tree has its own characteristics, so each board will have its own unique appearance. This contrasts with the simulated wood pattern on laminate flooring, where repetition can often be seen over a floor.

Does solid flooring need time to acclimatise?

Solid wood flooring is made entirely from real wood and not engineered in any way, so it retains wood’s natural tendency to expand or contract in response to changing temperature and humidity. The time to acclimatise depends on the species and the condition it was stored in prior to delivery to your Liverpool home, so be sure to seek advice from your fitter and supplier. In the worst case, it may take up to 14 days.

Where can I install solid flooring?

Solid wood floors are generally suitable for dry rooms above ground level, but you may prefer to avoid it in very moist rooms like bathrooms. Semi-moist environments like kitchens present fewer challenges, but some sensible precautions might be warranted, such as applying the finish onsite for an impermeable seal.

Does underfloor heating cause problems for solid wood floors?

Underfloor heating can cause solid wood flooring to expand and contract in response to temperature fluctuations. While some solid wood flooring may be guaranteed for use with certain underfloor heating systems, it’s generally best to opt for engineered wood flooring, because the engineering process makes the boards less prone to expansion or contraction.

Does solid wood flooring need an underlay?

Unlike floating floors, such as laminate and some engineered wood flooring, solid wood boards are attached directly and do not use an underlay.

Can it be fitted over a concrete subfloor?

The moisture from a concrete subfloor can cause issues for solid wood flooring, especially in Liverpool’s new builds or recently added extensions. While this can be mitigated to an extent with vapour barriers, the greater stability of engineered wood flooring generally makes it the preferred option for concrete subfloors.

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