How to choose the perfect wood flooring

Hardwood flooring has its place in every room in the house and can be the ideal eco-friendly option. Start with our pick of styles to suit every budget

Solid oak pattern chevron, from £65 per sq m, Dinesen.

Find the perfect hardwood flooring for you…

1

Reclaimed chevron floorboards draw the eyes to key features in a room, from £216 per sq m, Lassco

Reclaimed chevron floorboards from £216 per sq m, Lassco

2

For a contemporary edge, solid oak hexagonal boards could be the answer, prices start at £261 per sq m, Junckers

hexagonal boards, prices start at £261 per sq m, Junckers

3

Owing its name to the palace near Paris, the Versailles pattern is a design classic, from £83.95 per sq m, Havwoods

Versailles pattern, from £83.95 per sq m, Havwoods

4

Savernake oak engineered herringbone achieves a rustic finish and invites the character that ordinarily comes with aged timber, three shades available from £110, Neptune.

Savernake oak engineered herringbone, three shades available from £110, Neptune.

EXPERT TIP

Co-founder of The Colour Flooring Company, Lena Corner

‘Cork is an eco-alternative material to standard wood flooring because it is made from the bark of cork oaks, which is harvested every nine years. So this is a super sustainable, carbon negative option.’


5

For a more sustainable (and waterproof) option for your bathroom, Amizade Corka planks could be the answer, £49 per sq m, The Colour Flooring Company.

Amizade Corka planks, £49 per sq m, The Colour Flooring Company.
Amizade Corka planks, £49 per sq m, The Colour Flooring Company.
6

Solid wood planks create a classic look and these Castle: New Orleans planks start from £162 per sq m, The New & Reclaimed Flooring Co.

New Orleans planks start from £162 per sq m, The New & Reclaimed Flooring Co.

EXPERT TIP

John Wilkinson from The New & Reclaimed Flooring Co.

‘A way to ‘engineer’ floors is to lay a 10mm timber layer onto a plywood subfloor. This means the whole area is an engineered panel – there are no bevels between boards and the floor has added longevity if it ever needs re-finishing. This gives the exact look and feel of a solid floor and the confidence of an engineered floor.’


7

Salvaged iroko parquet blocks reclaimed from a school assembly hall. Expect to pay £45-£75 per sq m, Retrouvius.

Salvaged iroko parquet blocks from Retrouvius in a bathroom
Image: Tom Fallon

Salvaged vs Vinyl: What’s the best flooring option for me?

There are myriad different flooring options for your home, from real to realistic, so how to choose? We ask two experts in the field to argue the case for their favourites

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Portrait of Adam Hills from Retrouvius © Theo Tennant
Portrait of Adam Hills from Retrouvius © Theo Tennant

Adam Hills, Co-founder and Director at Retrouvius

‘For me, there are many reasons why reclaimed flooring is a good option and one of them is character. If you choose the right type of timber for the history of your house, then it can make it look like you’ve got a really lovely original building or you’ve done a really great restoration – you’ve got to have things that are historically accurate. Another reason is ecological. If you’re taking down a tree in the middle of the forest, chances are you’ve got to take down another 10, 20, or even 100 trees. You have to justify how much damage you are contributing to.

‘A practical thing to consider when buying reclaimed is knowing what’s underneath; such as underfloor heating or whether it’s going on joists, solid concrete or a solid floor of some type. If it’s a restoration, is there a damp-proof membrane and is it structurally sound?

‘We use a huge amount of reclaimed flooring on our projects and we have clients source reclaimed flooring even if we don’t have it in our own stock. It’s useful to do a broad price comparison, so you’re not left with any shocks. We used to use large quantities of gym floors: it’s affordable, very hard-wearing and easy to put down. If you’re using 18th-century wide oak boards, it’s a different kettle of fish and can be more expensive than a cheap gym floor.’

Portrait of Mathew Brook from Moduleo

Matthew Brook, National Sales Manager at Moduleo UK and Eire

‘Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and engineered vinyl flooring are both popular options for those who want quality, authentic-looking floors without a hefty price tag.

‘The benefits of ‘modern’ flooring types vary, from quality and flexibility to an authentic aesthetic that rivals natural stone and solid wood. We’re seeing homeowners increasingly turn to these options in recent years as they offer realistic characteristics of their natural counterparts that give a room plenty of character.

‘LVT is expertly engineered to be more durable and easier to install and maintain compared to natural materials. Scratch and stain-resistant, it provides peace of mind to customers and comes in a wide range of shades and styles. Despite being incredibly robust, LVT is designed to be soft and warm underfoot, with a resilient layer anticipating body weight and offering a soft feel.

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‘Moduleo’s LayRed is a multi-layered vinyl floor that combines beautiful design with supreme comfort and unrivalled strength. This product is perfect for uneven floors as it has integrated underlay, so it can be used straight over existing floor coverings, including tiles or underfloor heating, making it a dream for renovators.’