Editor's Note - There are cheap wood floor options that look great. Paul Warner gives you the run down on how to have beautiful wood floors without winning the lottery.
by Paul Warner
Wooden flooring is a beautiful centerpiece that is an elegant, stylish and luxurious element of any home’s design. Many people believe that they can’t get the look they want at a price they can afford, but this really is not the case. We have provided you with an insight into the two different types of luxurious wooden flooring that are surprisingly cost-effective for the average homeowner.
Solid wood floors are generally the less affordable option, however a good quality solid wood floor can add considerable value to your property and can be seen as an investment. Solid wood floors are sleek, of the highest quality and the ultimately the most luxurious flooring type so if you only want the real thing, you may have to fork out for it.
Most people who want wooden floors will only look at oak, walnut and other hardwoods, which are generally the most expensive floors. Instead of going for the traditional options, why try a softwood floor such as pine? These are typically a lot less expensive, often up to half the price of oak and other popular hardwoods.
Now as pine is a member of the softwood family, it is not the most suitable flooring type for the kitchen or the children’s rooms, as it is prone to denting. So if pine does not tickle your fancy, why not choose a different (yet still very affordable) softwood such as fir, larch or spruce? Spruce in particular is much harder than other softwoods such as pine, so it is less prone to damage.
Another great way to save on your wooden flooring is to choose a low-graded wood. Wood used in solid wood floors is typically graded according to how many knots and imperfections the plank has. Lower grades of wood will have a series of knots and imperfections in them and as such are generally a lot more affordable to buy than uniform-looking woods.
If you really do feel like you must have solid hardwood floors in your home, then oak is your best bet as it is one of the most durable and affordable options in the range.
An engineered wood floor can be bought at a very affordable price, shares a similar appearance to solid wood and can last over a hundred years.
Engineered wood flooring is made by sticking together several layers of plywood with a layer of real wood placed on top. Although it is typically more expensive than laminate flooring, it is one of the only cheap wood floor alternatives to solid wood that still offers a real authentic look.
A cheap wood floor substitute such as laminate rarely creates the impression of real wood, as it does not contain any wood at all!
One of the great advantages about engineered wood flooring is that it comes pre-finished with tongue and groove edges, meaning that you can install it yourself unlike solid wood floors that will typically require professional floor fitters or a carpenter for a thorough installation.
Another benefit and a common misconception surrounding engineered wood floors is that they can’t be sanded and refinished. This is simply not true. Depending on the thickness of the veneer, some engineered wood floors can be sanded and finished up to 5 times.
Paul Warner is a carpenter by trade and a blogger by choice. Paul loves sharing his carpentry knowledge with the world online but when he’s not online, he’s a floor fitter for Green Apple flooring company (www.greenappleflooring.co.uk) leading stockists of engineered wood, solid wood and laminate flooring.
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