FAQ’s For Solid and Engineered Wood Flooring

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by Cornell University Library

What is Solid Wood Flooring?

Solid wood is exactly as it sounds, one piece of wood from top to bottom.

What is the difference between Laminate and Real Wood Floors?

Real Wood floors will age and mature with your property, this means that they will mark and dent more easily than a laminate would but this is part of the character of real wood floors and should not be viewed as a fault of the product. The shade of the wood surface will change with exposure to sunlight. Dependant on the species, it will either lighten or darken with age. The shade variation will only go on to a certain level and then cease. Any unexposed surface areas will eventually catch up with the colour differences once exposed.

Depending on the type of Real Wood floor (solid v’s engineered) it can sanded and re lacquered a number of times to prolong the life of the floor.

What is the difference between Solid Wood Flooring and Engineered Wood Flooring?

Each type of flooring has its specific use and choosing one over the other is dictated by your lifestyle and needs. Solid wood should be in a moisture-controlled environment. Solid wood (strip or plank effect) should be nailed down only and requires a wood sub floor. Solid wood can be glued to a variety of sub floor materials.

Engineered wood flooring consists of a multi-plied, cross-stacked backing with a real wood veneer (top layer of a selected species). Engineered wood flooring can be used on grade, above and below grade.

Engineered wood flooring is more dimensionally stable so it can be installed in areas where solid wood is not compatible due to moisture. Engineered wood (strip or plank effect) can be glued down over various sub floor. Some engineered woods (strip and plank ) can be nailed down which require a wood sub floor. Engineered woods can also be layed as a floating floor where the tongue and groove are glued together, but the floor is not anchored to the sub floor.

What is a “Floating Floor”?

Floating flooring is a flooring system laid down over a layer of underlay. So while the individual planks are glued together, the individual planks are not nailed or glued into the permanent floor. Instead, the planks form a system that “floats” over the layer of underlay. The underlay can be laid down over existing floors.

What is the required distance between the walls and the flooring boards?

When gluing a Real Wood to the subfloor an expansion gap of 15mm towards the walls is sufficient. With floating-floor installations for every metre of installation width the flooring requires a distance to the wall of at least 5mm, lengthwise an expansion gap of 15mm is sufficient.

Can I install the flooring using one pack after the other?

No, for a natural, harmonious looking installation is recommended to work with approximately 5 open packs of flooring and sort/choose the boards individually by colour.

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How much wastage do I allow for?

Despite our strict sorting criteria and thorough quality control there may be certain material-specific peculiarities that customers come across during the on-site selection and installation process which may need to be cut out. Generally, we recommend adding 5% to the room’s sqm-total for cutting scrap.

Which kind of Real Wood flooring is right for me?

The range of choices is huge. According to personal taste and character of the room you can choose between different wood types, board sizes, surface finishes (lacquer-finish or oil-impregnation), surface structures (Antique, Distressed, Brushed), impressions (Block or Wideplank) and styles.

Does sunlight have any effects on the flooring?

Yes, any kind of wood will change its colour over time. During this process light-coloured wood types are not necessarily going to get lighter, dark wood types however will get darker. Every wood type has a characteristic aging process of its own and will react in its individual way.

What is the maximum load a Real Wood flooring can bear on a single point?

With very large loads (e.g. pianos, aquariums, storage heaters and the like) we always recommend gluing down as the installation method of choice.

Can Engineered Real Wood flooring that has been installed as a floating floor be sanded and resurfaced?

Yes, but be aware that every sanding process will take off about 1mm of the flooring’s wear-layer. Try not to use very heavy sanding machinery as the big weight of these machines may lead to the creation of “sanding waves”

How do I care for my oil-impregnated Real Wood floors?

Use Wood-Floor Soap for regular maintenance cleaning. Use a vacuum cleaner for lacquer-finished floors and damp-wipe only if needed.

Should your Floating Real Wood Flooring be installed under kitchen appliances?

In the kitchen, you should install the flooring under kitchen appliances, but be very careful when you slide the appliances over the floor. We recommend covering the flooring with something such as a spare rug to protect the flooring when you’re moving the appliances.

Are there methods that make it possible for ALL stains to be removed from Real Wood Floors or is it sometimes impossible for some stains to be removed?

Most stains don’t penetrate more than the sanding will remove. However, if you have a severe water stain, you may not be able to remove it.

How much of an irregularity (drop or rise) can there be in an existing sub floor before installing your Real Wood Flooring?

You can have a drop or rise up to 4mm over 2 linear metres.

Do Real Wood Floors increase home value?

Absolutely. Real Woods floors are recognised as one of the highest quality floors available and would increase the value of your home.

I am installing a Radiant Heat Floor System involving poly water tubing set in gypsum concrete that would be my sub-floor. Can your products be used with this type of floor heating system?

This installation is okay as long as the tubes don’t touch the wood. You also would have to use a laminated underlay vapour barrier between the concrete and the floor.

Can your Real Wood Flooring be installed over Linoleum and be used on stairs?

Real Wood flooring can be installed on the stairs, however it can be slippery.

You can install our floating Real Wood flooring over linoleum if the linoleum remains sound and tightly glued to the original sub floor.

Is there a type of Real Wood Flooring (e.g. Maple v’s Oak) that is more durable or longer lasting than another?

There isn’t much difference between Real Wood flooring wood types. The only negative on oak is it’s a rather porous wood, but it is a very hard durable wood, as are maple and beech. White oak is slightly harder than red oak. Your choice will really come down to aesthetics.

My concrete floor has a few low spots in it and I was wondering what to use to solve this problem?

Most building materials suppliers have a concrete levelling product. We suggest levelling any areas that are more than 3/16″ in variation. Make sure you use the underlay with a DPM before installing over concrete.

Do you have to install your Real Wood Flooring under existing cabinets?

Ideally, the Real Wood flooring would go under the cabinets. You can, however, cut around the cabinets if removing the cabinets would cause undue complications. Keep in mind, though, that if you were ever to change the cabinets, you could have a problem if the new cabinets weren’t the same size as the old cabinets.

Is it possible to install a Real Wood as a floating floor over concrete?

Real Wood floor is designed exactly for this kind of application. It requires an underlay with a DPM over the concrete floor. The floating floor system can go directly over that.

If there were a crack in the concrete, would it cause problems with a Floating Floor installation?

We recommend that any cracks in concrete be filled with concrete filler and sealed prior to installation. If it’s just a hairline crack you can simply cover the crack with duct tape. Keep in mind that underlay with a DPM must be installed prior to laying down the floor.

Important note prior to installation:
Relative Humidity should be maintained a 40-55% prior to installation and throughout the life span of the floor.

15mm expansion gap must be maintained around the perimeter of the floor.

Real Wood Flooring FAQs brought to you by the flooring experts at Wood Flooring 2U

If you would like any further information on solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring, laminate wood flooring or advice on how to install a wooden floor, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, our knowledgeable team would be more than happy to help.


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