Guiding a client on timber, bamboo and laminate flooring options

by Ofentse Sefolo
Guiding a client on timber, bamboo and laminate flooring options

Whether your client is developing a restaurant, an office building or a high-end residential property, wood and wood-look flooring may be desired for a number of reasons. Not only does this flooring provide a warm, rustic yet modern atmosphere, the style, material and colour options make it a highly desirable option.

If this is the chosen look for the project you are working on, then you will need to guide your client on which type of flooring to choose – traditional wood flooring, engineered wood, bamboo flooring or laminate flooring that imitates the wood look.

Traditional timber flooring offers unmatched aesthetic appeal as it adds elegance and earthiness to an interior and fits effortlessly into most décor and design schemes. Because these floors retain heat naturally, they are an excellent option for spaces where indoor comfort is a concern. Installation of traditional timber flooring, however, can be complex and proper preparation of the sub-flooring is essential in order to ensure longevity. Furthermore, natural wood flooring can also show up scratches and scuff marks easily and it is the most expensive flooring option.

Engineered wood flooring is one of the alternatives to natural wood. This floor is designed in such a way that it is almost impossible to tell it apart from traditional wood flooring. With the top layer (3–4mm) consisting of natural wood, it is just as aesthetically appealing, but it is typically more stable and more durable. This is because the product has been engineered to prevent the warping and twisting associated with natural timber. The finish on engineered wooden flooring, like on laminates or solid wood flooring, is either a lacquer or oil but many options are now also available as “unfinished” and are done on site to look exactly like solid wood.

Bamboo flooring is a modern, eco-friendly option that promises a stunning aesthetic. It is often harder than and just as durable as most traditional hardwood floors. Bamboo floors are available in an array of rich colours and styles, which allow them to fit seamlessly into most spaces. They are environmentally green, depending on the resin used in the final product, easy to maintain and are generally slightly more water resistant than their traditional wood counterparts.

Another alternative to traditional wood flooring is laminate flooring. Designed to look almost exactly like the real thing, laminates are made from wood with a high-density fibre (HDF) core. One of the main reasons for its popularity is that, depending on type and brand, it may be more cost-effective than both wood and bamboo flooring. Laminates are very easy to install, effortless to clean and provide more flexibility in terms of redecorating as they can be easily lifted and replaced.

Which wood flooring option is right for your client?
When guiding a client on their flooring options, it is advisable to go over the main considerations that that need to be kept in mind for their specific project.

Thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.diynetwork.com, www.ehow.com, www.floorworx.co.za, www.homedit.com, and www.hgtv.com, www.mosobambooproducts.co.za, www.traviata.co.za for some of the information contained in this article.

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