A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Wooden Flooring for Your Home

Ah, wooden flooring. The epitome of class and sophistication. Nothing says “I have my life together” quite like a Volvo on the driveway, and beautiful hardwood floor. But with so many options out there, how do you choose the perfect one for your home, whilst holding down a day job? Fear not, my friends, for I am here to guide you through this treacherous journey. With a list of 10 things you should think about when choosing a wooden floor:

Perfect wooden flooring

10 tips for choosing the perfect wooden flooring

  1. Durability: Assessing the durability of different wood species is crucial. You don’t want a floor that crumbles under the weight of your daily activities. I mean, imagine trying to walk across a floor that disintegrates like a sandcastle at the slightest touch. Not a good look.
  1. Lifestyle and Usage: Consider your lifestyle. Do you have pets? Children? A husband who insists on wearing his golf shoes indoors? These are all important factors to consider when choosing your wood flooring. It would help if you had something that can handle the chaos of everyday life. Trust me, you don’t want to constantly worry about scratches and dents.
  1. Wood Species: Now, let’s talk about wood species. There are so many to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. Hardness, grain pattern, colour variations… it’s like trying to pick the perfect flavour of ice cream. Except instead of chocolate or vanilla, you’re choosing between oak, maple, walnut, cherry, pine, teak, mahogany, acacia, hickory, and even exotic options. It’s a tough decision, my friends.
  1. Budget: Ah, the dreaded B-word. Determining your budget is crucial when it comes to choosing your wooden flooring. You don’t want to end up with a floor that costs more than your entire house.
  1. Maintenance: Let’s talk about maintenance. Cleaning, refinishing, potential repairs… it’s all part of the package when you have wooden flooring. And let’s be honest, who has time for all that? I certainly don’t. So choose a flooring option that aligns with your lifestyle and maintenance capabilities. Unless you enjoy spending your weekends sanding and varnishing, in which case, go for it.
  1. Moisture and Climate: Consider the moisture levels and climate in your region. You don’t want a floor that warps and shrinks like a cheap sweater in the dryer. It’s not a good look. So make sure to choose a wood species that can handle the humidity or dryness of your environment. Your floor will thank you.
  1. Installation Method: Now, let’s talk about installation. Nail-down, glue-down, floating… it’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Except instead of colours, you’re dealing with installation methods. Choose the one that suits your skill level, timeline, and preferences. And if you’re anything like me, that means hiring a professional because DIY of this level is just not your thing.
Choosing perfect wooden flooring: Parquet installation
  1. Finishes and Stains: Ah, the finishing touches. The cherry on top, if you will. There are so many finishes and stains available to enhance the appearance of your wooden flooring. It’s like trying to choose the perfect shade of lipstick. Except instead of your face, it’s your floor. So make sure it complements your interior design. You don’t want a floor that clashes with your curtains. It’s not a good look.
  1. Environmental Impact: Let’s not forget about the environment. Research the sustainability and eco-friendliness of the wood species and flooring options you’re considering. Because let’s face it, we all want to save the planet. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter at dinner parties. “Oh, this? It’s reclaimed wood flooring. Very eco-friendly, you know.”
  1. Professional Guidance: And finally, don’t be afraid to seek professional guidance. Flooring professionals or experts can provide you with advice, recommendations, and insights on the best wooden flooring options for your specific needs. Trust me, they know what they’re talking about. 

So what did these 10 tips lead me to?

Our choice: Engineered Parquet

After much window shopping and about a million samples (we could have done a small room out of samples, which would have looked questionable, but been cheap) we chose an engineered smoked oak. 

A side point here: Trust me – loads of samples are worth the hassle.  Get the biggest one you can too.  You’ll need to see the flooring in situ, so you can see the impact of the natural light on site. Tiny bits of samples won’t cut it!

This was our choice, and we are really happy with it: V4 Zigzag ZB106 Oak Tannery Brown Hand Finished UV Oiled Parquet.  Its made by v4 Wood Flooring

It had a good mix of durability, not ridiculous expense and looks amazing (especially with some of the paint colours we’ve picked – more on that here).  Choosing a parquet block also enabled us to keep the same look going up the stairs (thanks to our very clever builder).

Parquet blocks on the stairs

I got it from a company online called Oakwoods Outlet and they were very good. Flexible and quick delivery.

Secret Parquet Tip:

Ah, the secret parquet tip. For a truly professional look, you want the parquet running right to the edge. Ideally, you would remove the skirting before the flooring goes down. But let’s be real, who has time for that? And our skirting was too well sealed to the wall, so it would have made an unholy mess. The other alternative is properly sawn-in edges, which look amazing – but the labour involved would have added about 40% to the whole installation price (which was not blood pressure friendly anyway)

Nice parquet edging

So we took an easy way out and bulked out the whole bottom section of the skirting board with MDF. Once painted you’d never know this wasn’t part of the original skirting.

Skirting with extra MDF Layer

In conclusion, choosing the perfect wooden flooring for your home is no small feat. It requires careful consideration of durability, lifestyle, wood species, budget, maintenance, moisture and climate, installation method, finishes and stains, environmental impact, and professional guidance. But fear not, my friends, for with a little bit of research and a whole lot of patience, you too can have the floor of your dreams. I’ve made it sound like a bit of a drama – it’s only a floor.  But I’m rather happy with what we’ve ended up with.