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Are you looking for a floor of real beauty, then a real wood floor can meet all your requirements. Available in a wide range of different species, stains and finishes we will almost certainly have a floor to meet you requirements. Hardwood flooring is available in either solid or engineered construction, both have their advantages and disadvantages.
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Engineered Flooring is constructed of several layers of wood. It will usually consit of three different layers, a top hardwood layer, a core middle section and also a balancing bottom layer. All these are glued together under extreme pressure at 90 degree angles to each other,
The top layer is what gives the engineered floor is looks, this is a real hardwood layer which can vary in thickness from 0.7mm up to 6mm. The middle section is what give the floor its stability and strength and can be made from softwood, plywood or HDF. The bottom balancing layer will usually be made from softwood.
It is this construction which makes an engineered floor much more stable than a solid wood floor and thus can be installed as a floating floor over any type of subfloor. Floating installtion is by far the easiest of all installtion options.
Solid wood flooring is made from one piece of hardwood timber. The width of the boards can range from 90mm - 210mm and the average thickness is 18mm. The main disadvantages of solid flooring with its installation. Solid wood will naturally expands and contracts after installation, it will also react to moisture problems in either the subfloor or the room it is installed in. With this in mind special care needs to be taken when installing and strict guidelines must be meet.
You have two choices when deciding to install, you can either fully glue or secret nail to the subfloor. Secret nailing is the preferred choice and this can be done directly onto battens or onto a plywood base. If you have a concrete subfloor and decided to fully glue the floor to this then you must first check the moisture content of the subfloor to ensure it is below 4%. If the reading is above then you will need to use a DPM such as Mapei Proof ESM.
You will also need to ensure you use the correct adhesive when gluing the floor down. Failure to follow these guidelines will lead to problems later with the installation failing. The most common installation failure with a solid wood floor is using the incorrect adhesives and moisture problems relating to the subfloor. Both will result the timber cupping.