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Pros and cons of solid wood floor types for a typical Liverpool home

While you can find detailed information about the various aspects of wooden flooring, here’s a quick primer to the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of solid wood flooring.

Solid vs. engineered

Solid wood flooring is the gold standard for wooden flooring. It can be refinished a number of times, and when properly maintained, it can last for centuries. Engineered wood flooring, meanwhile, has a top layer of the chosen wood species over composite layers of other wood materials. This reduces the cost but also means it cannot be refinished as many times.

Where engineered flooring does shine, however, is in locations with greater humidity, such as the cellars often found in older homes in Liverpool. Here, solid wood floors can tend to buckle and warp.

Finished vs. unfinished

Solid wood floor planks can be bought prefinished or unfinished. Using prefinished planks means the floor simply needs to be installed, and this generally works out cheaper than having it professionally finished. Unfinished planks, however, have the advantage of not being limited to a set selection of options, so you may find it a little extra cost and inconvenience to be worthwhile.

Different species of wood

Selecting the right variety of solid wood for your Liverpool home can be a challenging endeavour. There are numerous options, especially if you have a large budget that can accommodate exotic species, but here are a few of the best:

Oak is a popular choice for a hardwood floor. It’s durable, and a coat of clear polyurethane can really bring out its unique grain. You can choose from red or brown oak, with the former being light brown or pinkish in colour, and the latter having more of a striped grain featuring yellow highlights.

A possible con of oak may be its popularity. If you want something that’s going to stand out from the pack, you may prefer to consider other options.

The blond or reddish-brown colouring of cherry wood looks great as a hardwood floor, regardless of whether you stain it or not. Unfortunately, cherry is among the softer woods, so it’s less suitable for high-traffic rooms.

Walnut is another stylish choice with its colours that range from yellow to chocolate brown with a straight grain. The colour can also vary from board to board. Many find this enhances walnut’s appeal, but those who prefer a more consistent look can choose to stain it. Like cherry, though, walnut is also more vulnerable to scratches and dents.

Plank widths and styles

Even the width of the planks can have a big effect on your floor’s appearance. While narrower planks have been used in traditional solid wood floors, they are sometimes used in contemporary settings to emphasize linear styling.

Wider planks, when combined with the right tone and texture, can give a much more rustic feel to a room.

Parquet flooring, meanwhile, is considered by many to be a good way to bring an air of sophistication to a room. Floors with these intricate geometric arrangements became popular in the upper-echelons of European society in the 17th and 18th centuries. More complicated patterns come at a price, however, in terms of a more time-consuming installation and additional waste.

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