Which flooring should I choose?

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing your wood floor: the colour and finish, the type of installation (English style, French style, herringbone, chevron, etc.), the format, the wood grading (more or less distinctive) and the type of wood flooring (engineered or solid).

What type of wood floor should I choose?

When choosing a wood floor, one of the first things to decide on is the type of wood that you want to use. Though it is often difficult to differentiate between engineered wood and solid wood floors once installed, the two have different features.

Engineered wood

This consists of a strip of solid wood at least 2.5 mm thick, which is glued to a panel of plywood or fibreboard. This in turn is glued to a counterbalance, which balances the tensions within the wood and stops it from bending.

Solid wood

This type of flooring is made from 100% solid wood. It is more expensive, but has a longer lifespan. If you want to invest in a wood floor that will last and last, solid wood is the best option. You can also restore it (by sanding, lacquering, oiling and repainting) multiple times. A word of warning: solid wood strips need to be glued and therefore require more technical expertise to install.

What type of wood should I choose for my floor?

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a wood floor is the type of wood. There are a variety of finishes available to suit every taste, but it's also important to think about how much you want to spend.

European and North American woods

These have a what we would call 'traditional' appearance. They work well with a wide range of décor styles and will help you to create a warm and welcoming home. There is a wide range to choose from, but here are a few of the classics:

  • French white oak: this is the most durable wood in its category. It guarantees long-lasting stability and a charmingly traditional feel.
  • Flamed beech : the second most abundant deciduous tree in France’s forests, the heartwood tissue undergoes a natural oxidisation process to produce the distinctive flamed beech effect.
  • Walnut: this wood is quite soft and therefore less durable than white oak. It works well in rooms with light-coloured walls as its rich hue create a beautiful contrast.

Exotic woods

  • Teak: ideal for bathrooms, teak's high resistance to variations in humidity means it lasts a long time in wet rooms. 

What installation should I choose?

There are three types of installation to choose between: floating installation, nailed installation and glue-down installation. Each one has its pros and cons depending on the room where you plan to lay the floor and the type of floor that you choose.

Floating installation

Floating installation is a common choice thanks to its speed and simplicity. The strips are not attached to the floor, but instead clipped into one another. This is a great choice if you're on a tight budget, but it does not guarantee the same level of durability as other installation types.

Glue-down installation

This is often the only choice when installing solid or engineered wood floors. The end result is more durable than floating wood floors and offers better insulation, ensuring comfort at all times.

Nailed installation

Nailed installation was the most common type prior to the development of modern-day techniques. The technical difficulty involved means that this type of installation is rarely recommended when choosing a wood floor. It requires the strips to be incredibly thick and is therefore only used for solid wood floors and specific types of engineered wood floors. This installation type is popular with architecture enthusiasts and those renovating old houses, as it enables them to retain all of the property's original charm.

What strip orientation should I go for?

It is also important to consider the orientation of the strips when choosing a wood floor. In theory, the strips should be installed in the direction of the main light source in the room. In practice, different rooms require different orientations to enhance their design.

A few tips on creating the illusion of space

Here's how to make your room seem larger than it actually is. If the space is narrow, installing the strips widthways helps create the illusion of more space. If your room isn't very deep, install the strips lengthways to make it seem deeper.

For more information, see our complete guide to wood floor installation.

But that's not all. There are other factors to take into account when choosing a wood floor:

  • The lighting in the room, the wall colour and the type of furniture. For example, opt for dark wood floors in a light and airy room and light floors in a darker room
  • How often the room is used: low-traffic spaces such as bedrooms and high-traffic spaces such as hallways require different types of wood (European or exotic) and different durabilities (hard or soft).
  • Compliance with property regulations in apartments.
  • The type of existing floor

For tailored advice and information, get in touch with one of our dealers.