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Solid wood floors are one of the most popular styles of flooring and one with the greatest pedigree – people have been using wood for flooring for a very long time! However just because something is a traditional approach, does not mean it is the right one for you.

Here is our simple guide to the pros and cons of solid wood floors to help you make an informed choice.

What is solid wood flooring?

Solid wood flooring is where the blanks of timber are sawn into shape for the flooring.  Natural woods such as oak or ash are used, and each floorboard is sometimes made from a single piece of wood.

It is different from laminate or engineered wood where multiple layers of wood and other products are combined to create the flooring plank.  These often involve MDF and are glued to a wood veneer to look like solid wood.  While they are a great option, they are not the same as solid wood flooring.

Pros of solid wood flooring

One of the first things people remark when they see a solid wood floor is how gorgeous and natural it looks.  That’s because it is a natural product with a little manufacturing to shape it into a plank.  This means every piece will have its own characteristics – grain in the wood, colour variations.  Each species also has its own personality.

Another big benefit to solid wood flooring is that it lasts much longer than other types of flooring or even carpets.  Some people joke that their wood flooring could outlive them!  What makes it so long-lasting is that it can be refinished, dents and scratches can be treated, and this means the wood can last longer than other types of floor that can’t have this kind of treatment.

Cons of solid wood flooring

Perhaps the biggest downside of solid wood flooring is that it is not waterproof.  This means it is not suitable for bathrooms and can be a little doubtful for kitchens, certainly in the areas where there is water.  If the floor gets wet with constant steam and moisture, it can warp, expand, or contract.  So that’s why things like vinyl tiles or laminate are a better option for these spaces.

The only other issue you may find with solid wood is that it doesn’t work well with underfloor heating.  The issue is similar to moisture – the constant heat can warp the wood and change its shape.  That’s why people tend to go for laminate flooring for conservatories when they want to add that underfloor heating.

Quality and longevity

While there are a couple of downsides to wood flooring, both of these are very room specific.  For the majority of the rooms in the house, this style of flooring is a perfect solution, creating a long-lasting and stylish finish to the space.

With the range of colours and types of wood available, there’s something for any home and to match with any decor.