What is solid wood flooring?
Solid wood flooring is the original, traditional and time-honoured form of wood flooring. It is wood flooring par excellence, and Décoplus Parquets is the specialist in this kind of flooring.
Durable and hard wearing, a solid wood floor is an astute investment both in terms of the comfort it provides and the value it adds to your property.
A single species of wood is used for the construction of each individual floor. The flooring strips are made exclusively from wood taken from the trunk of the tree of the chosen species. They are not produced through an assembly process, but simply shaped to the required form from a solid block of wood. They are machined and dried at the factory to prepare them for use in a domestic setting. These treatments, and a moisture content of between 8 and 12%, mean the wood stands up well to use in heavy-traffic zones (the kitchen, the bathroom, etc.), depending on whether the chosen species is suitable or not for installation in a humid environment.
Solid wood offers a wide range of choice in terms of:
Strip thickness (which also determines wear-layer thickness):
The wear-layer is the thickness of the wood lying above the system of interlocking joints on the flooring strips. Solid wood flooring can be divided into three categories based on its thickness:
- Traditional wood flooring: over 20 mm thick. Laid by nailing onto battens, load bearing panels or joists. Wear-layer between 6 and 7 mm.
- Thin, interlocking solid wood flooring: 12 to 15 mm thick. Laid directly onto screed or onto a suitable insulating material. Wear-layer between 4 and 5 mm.
- Fine, solid wood flooring: 8 to 10 mm thick. Laid by glueing onto the substrate. The wood is often supplied unfinished, with finishing carried out on-site. Wear-layer between 1 and 3 mm.
The thicker a wooden floor, the more often it can be renovated.
Note: expect between 1 and 3 mm of thickness loss per renovation.
The type of wood:
Solid wood flooring inherits all the original properties of the wood it is made from: grain, texture, colours, oxidisation, colour change over time…
The dimensions of the flooring strips:
- Wide and XXL sized strips are currently very popular. From 150 to 250 mm wide, XXL floors contribute very well to the appearance of larger living areas, though they are also suitable for smaller areas. The wide and extra-wide strips bring out all the beauty and character of the wood used for the floor.
- Classic width strips (up to 120 mm wide) are equally suitable for large and small spaces and result in a floor with a traditional appearance.
- Fixed-length wooden floors create a rhythmic and refined effect, and can be laid in different patterns, such as herringbone, brick bond, etc.
- Multi-length wooden floors, currently the most popular kind, are made from a random mixture of strips of different lengths, with the length often proportional to the width. The wider the strip, the greater its maximum length. These types of floors have a more traditional appearance and lend themselves well to what is currently the most popular laying pattern, the strip pattern parquet flooring.
Aged, stained, saw-marked, sand blasted, oiled, varnished, waxed… A wide range of ever more elaborate procedures now exists to create an extensive array of decorative effects. In most cases, solid wood flooring is delivered ready to lay. Certain finishes sometimes require a small amount of protective treatment before use. Bare-wood flooring offers the possibility of designing the floor yourself by choosing your own mix of tints and finishes. In doing so, the floor you create will be unique.
- Glueing (most common): the flooring strips are joined and bonded to each other then glued directly on to the substrate or isolating material: such a material is sometimes obligatory in blocks of flats and is itself glued to the substrate.
- Nailing: at less than 20 mm thick, solid wood flooring can be nailed onto battens. Battens are pieces of wood used to support wood-flooring strips. They are placed beneath the wooden floor in parallel and regularly spaced to fix it in place. This is the traditional method of laying wooden floors.
You may require the assistance of a professional when laying solid wood flooring.