Expert wooden flooring buying guide

    What are the most important factors you need to consider when choosing wooden flooring?

    Follow our expert wooden flooring guide for the full low-down on the things to consider when purchasing wooden flooring.  Of course, should there be something that’s not covered here or you have additional questions; we’re always available to provide you with further guidance and support. Contact us.

    What type of wood? You’ll probably be aware of options such as Oak and Pine already, but have you considered Beech or Walnut? Not only will your choice of wood have a bearing on the colour of your flooring, though it’s worth noting that different lacquers and oils can also provide more colour variety, you will also need to consider their durability. For example: Oak is harder wearing than Walnut. High traffic areas such as hallways and porches need a durable wood that can handle heels, buggies, pets, grit and mud. Walnut for example, whilst stunning, would mark from a pair of heels instantly. If your heart is set on a soft wood, certain precautions, like placing mats and rugs, will protect your floor. Whatever your preference, the team at Herts Flooring will be happy to advise and guide you.

    Oiled or Lacquered?

    Oiled wooden flooring makes a house a home, creating a gorgeous warming and rustic environment. There are a variety of different finishes available, some more matt than others; if you’re aiming for shabby-chic or natural – go more matt. An oiled floor needs more regular maintenance, however it’s easier to carry out yourself.

    The good thing about an oiled floor is that each time you oil the floor you’re encouraging the oil to permeate the wood offering protection from the inside out, unlike a lacquer which protects just the surface. That said, an oiled floor provides little to no protection from water so it won’t be suitable for anywhere that water could sit on it for long periods of time…bathrooms, porches etc.  If you also want your wooden flooring to age nicely then an oiled floor is the choice for you as it allows UV rays and oxygen to get at the wood.

    Lacquered wooden floors are generally considered the leader for high-traffic areas. A lacquered wooden floor offers a high-gloss statement finish helping to bounce light around narrow corridors and landings – though matt finishes are of course available if you prefer a more rustic look. A lacquer will also help to protect the colour and tone of your floor for a longer period than an oiled floor, however bear in mind that a high gloss finish will eventually scuff and mattify, particularly if a lot of footfall is going over it.

    Lacquered finishes also offer incredible spill protection for the wood, providing a strong, waterproof barrier between the surface and wood – lacquer is recommended for bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens in particular.

    What about Laminate flooring?

    Please see our Laminate vs Solid Wood Buying Guide

    Ongoing maintenance and repair

    Ensuring your wooden flooring lasts is completely down to proper care, cleaning and maintenance. Whether you have an oiled or lacquered floor, either way, regularly sweeping up dirt and grit, mopping and hovering will all extend the life of your floor and distance between treatments.

    Oiled: Depending on the footfall and usage, a typical oiled floor will need to be re-oiled annually for best results and protection. Minor repairs can be carried out relatively easily using a sander and a new coat of oil. Bear in mind certain woods, often the softer varieties, need more care and attention.

    Lacquered: Re-lacquering is a timely process, you will need to allow the best part of four days for the original lacquer to be removed, new lacquer to be added and then time for it to cure before it is suitable for walking on, however with this process only needing to take place on average once a decade you can usually put it to the back of your mind until closer to the time it needs to be done.

    Residential Flooring Design Berkhamsted
    Sales Advisor

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    Herts Flooring Limited,
    16 Mark Road,
    Hemel Hempstead,
    Hertfordshire HP2 7BN

    Tel: 01442 263723

    Monday to Friday: 9am - 4pm and Saturday: 10am - 3pm


    Sunday and Evenings are by appointment only.