Choose the right hardwood flooring and finish

by Ofentse Sefolo
Choose the right hardwood flooring and finish

Thanks to its attractive colouring, figuring and durability properties, European Oak remains a firm favourite among designers and clients. To give clients even more control and flexibility over the final look and feel, Finfloor offers FinOak unfinished flooring.

As the name suggests, this product is commonly referred to as “untreated”, “unfinished” or “natural” flooring and requires finishing on or off site, giving you the ultimate versatility in choosing the look and finish of your floor. After being machined, the surfaces of the boards are left in their raw state and therefore require a coating before being exposed to foot traffic.

This product is FSC approved and originates from the same highest quality raw material, making grade selection purely an aesthetic preference. It is available in clear and rustic grades, all of which feature boards that are carefully hand graded and selected to your specification. With the rustic grades, visible knots have been filled and sanded to complement the natural figuring and colour of the boards. This is the ideal option if you are looking to add character to an interior space. The clear grade is clean, contemporary and stylish, with each board carefully selected to ensure that the beautiful figuring of the wood is highlighted but with no large knots being present.

The company advises that Monocoat or Oleum be used to finish the unfinished flooring products. This will provide long-lasting protection whilst increasing the floor’s durability and stain-repellent properties. Due to the depth of penetration achieved, Monocoat and Oleum-Oil preserve the character and appearance of the wood and ensure that your floor is easy to clean and requires minimal maintenance.

The difference between smooth and brushed

There are two surface textures available when it comes to engineered wooden flooring, namely smooth and brushed. These textures can add a lot to the atmosphere of a particular room and can accentuate the elegance or add to the warmth of a more casual setting. A smooth surface gives wood a silky texture with classic allure while highlighting the grain. This is still the most popular option in hardwood flooring. The wire brushing process that gives hardwood flooring a brushed texture creates long and linear strokes on the surface. This process really accentuates linear grain patterns, like that of oak flooring, and makes a hardwood floor a little bit more interesting than if it only had a smooth surface.

3-layer, HDF and Multi-ply Flooring

3-ply Core Engineered wood flooring
This flooring is constructed with grains running in different directions, which reduces the natural swelling and shrinking of the wood, creating better dimensional stability. The surface layer is 3mm of Premium European Oak, with a 10mm cross structure pine core and 1mm Poplar balancing backer to achieve both economy and stability for the Engineered Flooring. It is available in 1860 x 190 x 14/3mm in both clear and rustic grades.

HDF-core Engineered wood flooring
Made essentially of wood waste, this flooring makes a much heavier but highly stable and formable substrate with strong edges. The 2mm European Oak Rustic brushed top face is laminated onto the 7mm HDF (High Density Fibreboard) core and mounted onto a 1mm pine balancing backer for greater dimensional stability. It is available in 1210 x 192 x 10/2mm in rustic grade.

Multi-ply core Engineered wood flooring
This flooring option consists of 3mm hardwood veneer and 10mm quality plywood structure. The plywood is cross-layered, glued and pressed together, incorporating the Valinge click jointing system. It also has a 1mm pine balancing layer with the same grain direction as the hardwood veneer. It is available in 1860 x 190 x 14/3mm and 2200 x 220 x 14/3mm, both in rustic grade.

3 tips to choosing the right floor

When choosing the right flooring for your job, there are many factors to consider, but they usually all come back to the composition and construction of the core. Budget, the environment and the conditions of the project, however, need to be given a lot of consideration when specifying any hardwood flooring. Here’s how each of these three factors come into play:
• Budget: Thinner boards and top faces are generally more cost-effective. With both 3-ply and multi-ply options, the thicker the board, the more stable your floor is likely to be. But in places where your subfloor is dry and level, a thinner board will be suitable, which can save you money.
• The environment: Less Oak is used in FinOak engineered planks making it a more eco-conscious option. Being FSC certified means that the products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
• The conditions: It’s important to consider the conditions in your room, as well as the moisture content of the subfloor. A HDF board is less likely to be influenced by environmental moisture and temperature fluctuations than a 3-ply or multi-ply board.

For more information, contact Finfloor on +27 (86) 034 6356 or via www.finfloor.co.za.

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