practical guide to choosing a wood floor

Over the past fifteen years, as a wood floor installer I’ve noticed how people tend to pick a wood floor for their homes. This decision normally starts with the stand point that anything we see in the shops or online is suitable from the shear fact it is being sold as wood floor covering. Hence, we pick a floor we like the look of, buy it, and then expect it to just slot into our chosen room. Confused about choosing a wood floorSimple, right?…Wrong! In this guide I’m going to give you some tips that will help you effectively narrow down your search and prevent those time consuming mistakes that can see you having to return a floor, needing to unexpectedly spend hundreds more on further preparation or having to live with a painfully sub-standard floor…

So lets get started. It would be worth noting down these steps or bookmarking this page for future reference..

Step 1 : Before you decide anything, it is always worth booking a visit of an assessor or wood floor installer. Often local established stores will have an assessor or installer on hand to call round and take a look at your sub-floor and room conditions. There are many different types of checks that should be carried out like moisture and sub-floor flatness checks. You will then be given an idea of what needs to be done and the costs involved to prepare the area. These findings will ultimately and are often a big decider in the process of deciding what floor you should purchase.

Solid wood floors require fixing directly to the sub-floor. In a lot of cases engineered or laminate floors can be installed on top of an underlay.

Step 2 : Decide on a broad colour range and texture that would suite best. A good way to do this is to look at the type of property you own. Is it an older property with lots of character, where a more natural oiled and textured floor may suite best. Is it a newer home where a smoother lacquered wood floor would compliment a sleek modern property. Do you have a particular theme in your home with darker wood features on furniture or window coverings where a dark wood floor may compliment and tie these features together. Do you want a more light airy feel with a beech or lighter oak floor. These are all personal decisions but are very much worth considering to narrow down your epic search.

Step 3 : Take measurements of your room! An assessor will do this but sometimes they’ll be a little reluctant to tell you the area for obvious reasons. Take the front to back and left to right measurement. Then multiply these measurements together and add 10% (for wastage). This will give you the area of your room in square metres (generally noted as m² or sqm). Once you have this measurement, you can then divide it into the pack size of any floor you’re considering. This will give you the number of packs required and a cost can then be calculated. A lot of online stores will classically display the price per square metre and the pack size. This can be a little confusing sometimes and seem misleading. However, online sites often have a feature where you can simply enter the square metre area of your room and the number of packs and cost will be calculated for you.

Step 4 : A lot of people don’t take into account the accessories that go with a wood floor. These can add a decent chunk to the overall cost, so make sure you add them. The accessories required can differ, for example, a solid wood floor would generally not require an underlay whereas a floating engineered or laminate floor would.

Accessories to consider are, underlay, beading, skirting boards, door threshold plates/bars, radiator pipe covers. Make sure you account for these in your budget!

If you’re not planning on removing your skirting boards, then some form of molding or beading will be required to cover the necessary expansion gap and you’ll tend to always need a threshold plate/bar to finish off your floor at doorways.

Time to shop with confidence..Now you’re armed and dangerous! It’s up to you to seek out and buy the best wood floor for your needs. No more confusion! No more time wasting! No more un-necessary stress!


© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor

I am a Pergo trained professional installer of 20 years. I've been up close and personal with lots of floors and have the knobbly knees to show for it...Should you have any questions or comments please feel free to add them below. Thanks for taking the time to call by and I hope the information you've found has given you some insight!........................................................................................................................................................................“When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in the site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network,,,,,,, affiliate window network.” This statement is to comply with current internet regulations regarding transparency to consumers.

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