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Wooden flooring is becoming an increasingly popular choice in the UK. Not only is wooden flooring the most hygienic flooring option, it is also has the longest life span and is easy to look after. Estate agents have said that a home with wooden flooring throughout is often easier to sell and installing wooden flooring can increase the price. Whilst choosing to install wooden flooring is an easy decision, the difficulty lies in choosing whether to go for solid wood, engineered or laminate flooring. Here is a guide to each three types of flooring and the positives and negatives-

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is the cheapest option when it comes to creating the image of natural wooden floors. Although it is cheap it should not be thought of as low quality or a short term option. When laminate flooring is fitted and looked after properly it can last for years and looks almost as good as solid oak hardwood flooring.

Laminate flooring is made up of layers of HDF making a board. On each board a very thin film is placed on top with a photographic image that resembles real wood flooring. This image is very realistic and often once laid few people can tell the difference between solid wood flooring and laminate. Laminate flooring is also very easy to install as it usually can be simply ‘clicked’ into place.

Although laminate is not as sturdy as solid wood it is quite durable, you may find you will have to replace a board from time to time as they can become damaged.

Engineered Flooring

Engineered flooring is made up of 100% wood. It is made up of various cross layers of non finished plywood with a piece of finished wood on top. Engineered flooring is a very popular choice. It is the middle ground in terms of price but it is also considered the most durable type of wooden flooring.

Contact with water and humidity should be avoided with all types of wooden flooring as it can cause swelling and boards to become misshapen. Engineered flooring however is the least sensitive to moisture so any spills won’t cause too much of a drama but it’s still best to avoid mopping them.

Solid Oak Hardwood Flooring

Solid oak hardwood flooring is the most expensive of the three options but does offer the best effect visually. Solid flooring is exactly as the name suggests, boards cut from solid pieces of wood and finished by being sanded and varnished ready to be fitted. Although solid oak flooring is the most difficult to fit installing them can be a very attractive selling point for those looking to buy and can increase the value of your home. Solid oak flooring is as easy to look after as laminate and engineered but again it shouldn’t be mopped or come into contact with water.  

Eilidh MacRae works for Oak Flooring Direct who sell solid oak hardwood flooring.