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Best Hardwood Flooring UK

Impulse Oak Chevron Engineered Wood Flooring two planks side by side

What is the best grade of hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring is graded in accordance to quality and appearance. The best hardwood flooring uk wide and the highest grade is Prime grade, also known as AB grade. This top grade is the most expensive due to the quality and appearance of the wood needed to create a prime wood flooring product. 

Prime / AB grade wood flooring has minimal to no blemishes and knots which reduces the availability of timber that can be used. This wood flooring also has very little variation in appearance from plank to plank. 

Even the best engineered wood flooring brands uk wide offer products in a variety of grades of wood. Plenty of customers like to see knots and blemishes in the wood and don’t actually want a Prime grade wood floor.

What type of hardwood flooring is best?

Hardwood flooring includes Ash, Walnut, Cherry, Hickory, Maple and Oak. All of these types of wood are similar and they all do the same job. 

There are however some slight differences between them. 

Oak is a fantastic all-rounder thanks to its cost, durability and classic style. It is what most of us think of when we think of wood flooring. 

Maple has a similar appearance to Oak but is slightly harder wearing. Maple doesn’t stain as easily as Oak so it tends to be used in its natural colour. 

Hickory is the king of durability and is the hardest wearing type of wood. The grain pattern is highly visible and rustic looking, which is great for hiding scratches but not as good if you don’t want the rustic appearance. 

Cherry is softer and less durable than the other types of wood which makes it a poor choice for high traffic areas. This wood has a reddish orange colour which darkens when exposed to sunlight over time.

Walnut is easily identifiable due to its rich dark brown colour which lends itself well to luxury spaces including luxury yachts! This wood is fairly soft but a little harder than Cherry and can be used in the home without too much concern. Walnut can be expensive due to the availability of the timber. 

Ash is similar to Oak with regards to durability but is lighter in colour with a more visible grain. It is also slightly more expensive than Oak due to the availability of the material. 

When you consider all of the factors Oak comes out on top as the best all-rounder for wood flooring which is why all of the best flooring brands uk wide mainly supply Oak wood flooring.

What is the best type of wood flooring to install?

When choosing a wooden floor to install one of the things to consider is how easily the material can become damaged. Very soft woods such as Cherry are easy to accidentally damage whilst installing them which means you might have to work more slowly to ensure that doesn’t happen. 

Hickory is the hardest wood so you are less likely to accidentally scratch or dent the flooring while installing it. 

Wood floors with highly visible grain patterns can require the installer to think about where each plank is placed which adds effort and time to the installation. The more uniform the planks are the less thought is required when installing each plank.

Engineered wood flooring tends to be easier to install than solid wood flooring because engineered floors can be laid over underlay while solid wood floors need to be fully glued down. 

Based on this information the easiest real wood floor to install would be a Prime grade Hickory engineered wood floor with a glue free (click) joining mechanism.  

The best wooden flooring brands largely avoid issues with installation by making sure they only supply high quality products that are as easy to install as possible. 

Which wood flooring last the longest?

As a type of wood Hickory should last the longest with regards to wear because it is the hardest wood. 

In general however the wood flooring that lasts the longest is the wood floor with the thickest wear layer. This is because the thicker the wear layer the more times the floor can be sanded down and refinished. 

Solid wood flooring UK supplied usually lasts longer than engineered wood flooring because the entirety of the plank is the wear layer. If the total thickness of the wood floor is 18mm then that is the thickness of the wear layer which can be sanded down many times.

Engineered wood flooring products come with variations of thicknesses of wear layer which is the top layer of the planks. This top layer is the only layer that can be renewed. Engineered wood floors can be sanded down around 2-8 times depending on the wear layer. 

The thicker the wear layer the more times the floor can be renewed and the longer the flooring will last. 

Velvet Oak Herringbone Engineered Wood Flooring Two Planks side by side on top of laid flooring
Our Velvet Oak is a premium herringbone engineered wood floor in a natural oak colour with a lacquered finish

Is engineered hardwood better than hardwood?

Engineered wood flooring is hardwood, hardwood is the material used to create engineered wood flooring products. Hardwood is the top layer (wear layer) on engineered wood floors.

Our DFO Choice wood floors include some of the best hardwood flooring uk wide and are hard to beat for quality and price.

What is the most scratch-resistant wood flooring?

The most scratch resistant wood flooring is Hickory because it is the hardest. Other scratch resistant wood floor types include Oak, Maple and Ash as they are also very hard woods. 

Wood floors with oiled and waxed finishes are slightly more scratch resistant than wood floors with lacquered finishes. Oiled and waxed surfaces are essentially a little more slippery which helps an object to slide across the surface rather than dig in and scratch. The difference however is minor. 

The only real way to deal with wood flooring becoming scratched is to ensure the floor has a good wear layer so you can sand the scratches out. All real wood floors can become scratched. No floor is impossible to scratch. 

Can you buff out dog scratches on hardwood?

Yes you can. Providing the scratch doesn’t penetrate deeper than the wear layer you can sand the top layers off until the scratch is removed. Scratches on wood flooring from dogs don’t tend to be very deep so they can usually be remedied. 

If you do have dogs and you purchase a real wood floor you simply have to accept that at some point you will have to have the floor sanded and refinished. 

The fact that you are able to refinish wood flooring is an advantage of the floor type. At least it’s possible to repair! 

If you have any questions or would like some advice please call us on 01992 563 394 or contact us via contact form.

 You may also be interested in Why You Should Revamp Your Home With Wood Flooring


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