Engineered flooring is rapidly becoming the most popular choice for homeowners seeking to renovate as it is both highly durable and stabler than solid wood while also being cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Due to the part-manufactured nature of engineered flooring, it’s possible to achieve a wider array of styles and finishes than a solid wood equivalent offering consumers more options when it comes to their new floor.
The wide selection of available engineered flooring varieties can appear to be a bit daunting at first glance but a great way to narrow down and ultimately pinpoint the right floor for you is by filtering your search to only show floors that have properties that suit the interior design style that you’re hoping to achieve in your home. This is possible because some engineered floors are designed to have a more rustic appearance and work well in traditional homes while others have a clean, sleek appearance and are intended for modern and contemporary interiors.
One of the main factors that affects the appearance of wood flooring is the species of the timber used. While Galleria rustic oak with it’s golden brown colour and abundant natural features tends to have a more traditional style, in contemporary interiors, some less common and more luxurious timber species can work well. Some options you may want to consider include beech, maple and ash for their light and minimalist appearance or American black walnut for a dark, luxurious aura. A relatively new material that is proving popular is City engineered bamboo due to it’s cheap price, environmental credentials as well as its unique, striped pattern and it’s simply perfect for contemporary styles.
However, you not only need to look at the species of the timber but the grade of the wood also. Hardwood flooring is classified into grades according to the perceived quality of the wood based on the quantity of knots and other potential natural flaws. The main grades are nature, rustic, family and select with nature containing the most flaws and select being the purest and most uniform cut. In contemporary interiors, a minimalist approach is favourable and hence it’s worthwhile investing in the slightly more expensive, but higher quality family and select grade floors over the cheaper rustic grades.
There’s currently a strong trend for bold coloured floors in contemporary interior styles with images of either white or dark brown and black floors dominating interior design magazines and the like. These tend to be painted which can give a cheap feel but some engineered flooring manufacturers such as Tastes of Life produced a range of modern wood floors in an array of bold colours.
Another effective way to select engineered flooring suitable for modern interiors is by examining the style of the planks. While rustic floors tend to have bevelled edges to emphasise the hardwood nature of the flooring, contemporary flooring is created with square edges planks that create a uniformly smooth, minimalistic flooring surface. The 3 strip style of flooring in which 3 lines of parallel staves arranged in a brick wall pattern is a common feature of many modern floors and is known to give the illusion of a room being far more expansive than it actually is.
When it comes to the finish applied to the wood of an engineered floor, in my mind the only way to go is with a matt or satin lacquer. Brushed and oiled is a popular finish with rustic floors as it emphasises the natural features of the wood and gives a texture but when it comes to contemporary flooring, a clean and sleek appearance works best and a lacquered finish is the only that can offer this. A lacquer also offers great protection to the wood against physical damage and marks keeping your floor looking new for longer.
A wood stain such as the popular polar, eclipse, antique or cocoa used in Florence engineered flooring is what creates the bold colours found in modern floors. However, stains can only be used before the lacquer which acts as a seal once applied so it’s far easier to purchase pre-finished flooring.
Underfloor heating is a remarkable development and is commonly found in modern, high specification interiors where eco-friendly architecture is important and unsightly radiators are to be avoided. Luckily, engineered flooring is one of the few flooring types with which it can be used. Due to the localised heat fluctuations that occur when the heating is used, solid wood flooring is prone to warping, expanding and ultimately splitting under the pressures. However, engineered flooring with its unique layered structure is able to resist this warping due to the strength and stability of the plywood used making it a great all round choice for modern, contemporary interiors.
Jim Stuks is a wood flooring expert and is a particular advocate of engineered flooring for contemporary interiors. He offers free reviews on his website about City Florence Galleria engineered flooring and can help you find them at the cheapest prices in the UK. He previously worked in wood flooring installation and retail.