Wooden Floors - An article by our new interior designer, Milena


A little bit about wood and trees

Wood is probably the most popular choice of flooring for the home – indeed wooden floors have been laid in the houses of northern Europe and the US for hundreds years, and never really been out of fashion.

Wood gives a beautiful, natural and warm look to the house. The lighter-colored woods, such as beech, ash and sycamore, are associated with a clean Scandinavian style that translates well to the contemporary home. The darker species, like oak, walnut and cherry, offer a richer, perhaps more sumptuous, sophisticated look.



Wood as a living material which depends on humidity, temperature, light and air conditions and it can change its color and shape through time.





Wood type range from Italian Supplier - Listone Giordano, Margaritelli

Also shows how color of the wood changes over time.


When thinking of wooden floors, there are two main options available to the market: solid wood or engineered. Solid wood flooring consists of planks of one type of wood meant to be screwed, glued or fixed by tongue and groove system to the sub-floor.

Engineered wood panels are made up of several layers of different wood types (top layer more precious called veneer). The visible top layer is more valuable solid wood, beneath which are layers of plywood are glued and laid at 90° angle to each other for extra stability.
Engineered wood flooring is becoming extremely popular, because it is more stable, than solid wood, it is easier to fit (do not need to be glued or screwed to sub-floor), as well as it comes with various effects from ‘aged’ to ‘sun bleached’.





Comparing solid and engineering wooden floor panels


Cheaper products аre typically those with thin wear lаyers (veneer) – which can be as little as 0.6mm – making them unsuitable for sanding. Some types are not meant for sanding but the suppliers argue that sanding is not necessary cause their irregular style does not need it, adding natural character to the planks. Such options can be fine in rooms not subject to lots of wear, such as a guest bedroom.
The higher-quality engineered woods (more expensive) are those with a thicker wear layer – up to 6mm in some cases – which can take lots of wear and can be sanded several times if required. Each sanding removes around 0.5mm of the surface layer.
Most of engineered flooring comes pre-finished, or there is a choice between lacquering and oiling/waxing.

Lacquering creates a layer that sits on top of the veneer and does not sink into the grain, making scratches more visible, but more adding water resistant properties to the wood. Matt lacquering leaves boards looking very natural, almost untreated. Satin lacquering adds a shiny effect to the wood.


Oiling brings out the natural wood grain, but it will require more care and maintenance; given it gets absorbed by the veneer, the top layer will all have the same finish throughout its thikness making scratches less visible. However, it will leave the wood more exposed to staining. Even though oil finishing is less protective, it is much easier to “repair”. It can be fixed by topping up the oil content in the stained area after light sanding. If lacquered floor gets stained it will require full sanding and refinish. 




1. Matt Lacquer, 2. Satin Lacquer, 3. Oil 

Wood floor is like a baby. It requires preparation before installation, care during its use, and maintenance through its life.

Given wood is a natural living creature, it suffers from changes in temperature and humidity levels. Nowadays, water under-floor heating systems are becoming more popular in new built and refurbishments. By heating the floor, and reducing overall humidity levels, water under floor heating systems need to be installed appropriately to avoid ruining the engineered woods.


Here are few advices on how not to make it happen:
When installing, make sure sub-floor is dryDuring installation temperature in the room should be around 18-200C; after installation floor temperature should not go above 270C
Humidity level should not increase more than 75% (can be measured by Hygrometer)
Use underlay with the lowest amount of thermal resistance
- Make sure the under-floor-heating system provides heat evenly across the floor, with no hotspots





Carbonwarm® explains installation of under-floor heating for wood flooring

If the wooden floor is installed and maintained in the right way, it can work for you and “live” with you for many years.

In the world of wood flooring there are several design trends going from more classing ones to new ones meant to dominate the market in 2013.
The most popular are:
- Vintage, rustic wood flooring: floors that have been distressed, weathered, aged or hand-scraped for that expensive-looking vintage look.
- Boardwalk-style wood floors: creating nostalgic seaside style, this wood floor trend will be huge in 2013.
- Red Oak: it has a warm, rich appeal and is full of character, with the added benefit that it ages beautifully over time.

Wooden floors we like…