Hello everyone, this is a guest article from Jonathan at Wood & Beyond, I hope you enjoy it!
5 wood floor trends that you should know about
Not every wooden floor is made alike and should be viewed as a separate design element. Where it may be true that there are certain qualities about wooden floors that are similar, understanding the variations and trends will help you in determining the best wooden flooring option. Here are five trends that you should know about.
The two wood trends
There are basically two types of wooden flooring being used currently. The first type of wood is solid and the second type of flooring is engineered. With solid flooring the wood is actual complete lumber. Engineered wood is a semi-wood construction. The top layer is made from solid wood, while the core is made from manmade materials. In most cases either type will suit your settings well, however engineered wood flooring is suitable in wet areas and over under floor heating. The same cannot be said for solid wood flooring.
Wooden Floor Sellers are now sourcing their stock from managed Forests
Managed forests under the FSC and other such forestry management organisations are those forests which are raised with industry in mind. The forest management dedicates a specific region to be harvested for lumber. At the same time trees are planted in another sector of the managed area to be harvested later. Once a specific area is cleared, new trees are planted in that area and allowed to grow. To better understand the concept:
Jonathan Sapir of Wood and Beyond
and one of the UK’s leading experts on wood flooring says, ‘by utilising a forest that is managed, sellers can help to reduce the impact that lumber harvesting has upon the environment as a whole
Wooden Flooring is leaning more to the harder grained woods
The wooden floor industry is finding that purchasers are becoming more demanding of woods which have a high durability and a tight grain appearance. Woods such as pine and Douglas for which have the lowest ratings on the Janka Scale are being replaced with woods such as Hard Maple, Bamboo, Rosewood, and Oak. The Janka Scale is an international standard to measure hardness of wood.
More emphasis is being given to the grade of the wood
When designing an interior space, the emphasis on the grade of the wood as well as the grain and visuals is important. The grade of the wood has to do with the physical appearance of the lumber.
Typically, wood is graded upon the number of knots in the wood, the amount of sap emitted from the planks, the colour variants, and the smoothness of the lumber. The more uniform a piece of lumber is the higher the grade will be. The grades are as follows:
Prime – These cuts are from the centre of the log and contain the fewest knots and most consistent colour.
Select Grade – Knots can be up to 30mm and sap can be up to 15%. The wood is still uniform in appearance and the colour variations are minimal.
Natural Grade – Contains larger knots and can have wood filler to manage any holes in the lumber. There are usually variations in the colour. However, the wood generally appears to be smooth and somewhat uniformed.
Rustic – The Rustic grade has the most variation. Holes and knots can be up to 60mm with high sap content. The variations in the wood are quite noticeable resulting in a non-uniformed look.
Each wood has a common purpose and may be used to get the certain look for the interior. For example if you are going for luxury, prime lumber should be used. If you are going for a rustic look, use rustic wood.
Floors are using various finishing to bring out the natural beauty of the wood
There are two main ways in which floor get treated once they are laid. The first is with a Lacquer. Typically, the lacquer is used to bring a specific colour to the wood. It is a varnish and so those applying it need to be sure that the colour of the varnish is actually the shade intended for the floor. Picking the wrong varnish will result in a need to sand and re-lacquer the floor.
Oil is used to enhance the existing colour of the wood. Hard wax oil polishes the surface while leaving a protective coat over the wood. This is ideal for floors which already have a nice colour variation and a hue that accents the room.
With both floor finishing they should be applied sparingly.
Information by Jonathan Sapir of Wood and Beyond and one of the UK’s leading experts on wood flooring.