Wood is the latest material to take the floor. Wooden flooring is now being increasingly chosen over stone and ceramic tiles. Choosing the correct kind and colour of wooden flooring is important. Here are a few pointers that you can keep in mind while selecting wooden flooring.
Brand – the wooden flooring market in India is still unorganized. Therefore, opting for a product from an established brand is a safe bet. You are assured of high levels of quality and service. Study the available options and try and visit brand showrooms to experience the flooring first hand. European brands are an ideal choice as they come with a long history of knowing and working with wood.
Shades – Flooring should always complement and enhance the décor. Decide on a colour family - browns, greys, whites, etc. that will go with the walls and furniture. Check out the various available shades and shortlist some. Shades of grey top the latest trends and natural hues are the all-time favorites. In case you have pets, go for lighter colours.
Texture - texture plays an important role in bringing out the character of the décor. There are many options available right from clean and smooth textures to distressed including brushed, deep brushed and sawn. You can also get a burnt, smoked or stained look if you like. Depending on the usage of the space, you should pick out a texture. For e.g. clean textures are ideal for the children’s room.
Surface finish – this is a coating that helps protect wooden flooring. Oiled finishes are soaked in by the wood to give a natural feel. Lacquered (glossy or matt) finishes provide a durable, clear top coat that protects the surface from damage. Hard wax finish also gives a natural feel but is more prone to wear and tear. For Indian homes, we recommend the matte lacquered finish.
Grade – grading of wood is done based on the number and size of the knots, sap and colour variations in it. You can choose from the totally clean (Prime grade) to the extremely busy (Rustic) and the in-betweens (Classic and Character). Insist on looking at bigger sample planks if you go for a grade other than Prime to get a better idea of how the variations will look across a larger area.
Overall construction – engineered wood flooring comes in 2 or 3-layer format with a core of HDF, wood or ply. The thickness of the planks ranges from 7mm to 21mm + with 2.5mm to 8mm+ of top layer. The ideal construction to choose for an average daily wear and tear would be 14-15mm thickness with a 3.5-4mm top layer and a Birch ply core.
Installation – Installation is as important as the flooring itself. You will need expert advice and professional services for this. Wooden flooring can either be glued down or kept floating depending on the kind and construction of the planks, the locking system, the area to be covered, etc. Usually, installation across a large space is glued down. For smaller areas, you can go for floating. Consult the right people for the proper installation of your floor.
Maintenance – Wooden flooring needs to be dry mopped first followed by damp mopping. Lacquered floors are easier to maintain as compared to oiled surfaces that need regular attention. In case you have a hard wax floor then it needs special attention and maintenance. Good wood care kits are now available in India.
Guarantees and warrantees – when buying wooden flooring, make sure that the products are covered under proper brand guarantee and warrantee. This brings us back to point no. 1, where it is important to go for a well-established brand so that you are assured of the best quality and service.
Certification – it is very important to make sure that you choose wood that has come from sustainable sources. FSC (the Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. Make sure that the wooden flooring you choose has these certifications. Be a responsible buyer.
(The article has been written by Aashish Poojari, Director Havwoods India.)...