Floorboards are completely made out of wood. As a natural product, wood is affected by air humidity. When wood absorbs moisture it expands, and when it dries out it shrinks. As a result, it may develop cracks or other changes in texture. Wooden floorboards are more sensitive to these changes than parquet flooring. However, wooden floorboards have a number of advantages: they are durable, wear-resistant and very easy to maintain. If your wooden floor needs a bit of maintenance later on, just sand it smooth and oil it again, and it’ll look as good as new!
The wider the floorboards, the fewer boards can be made from a single tree – so wider floorboards are more expensive. The narrow strips of wood used for parquet flooring generally cost less.
There are many different kinds of wood. Hardwood is durable (long-lasting), but on the other hand it’s more expensive. When choosing a floor, consider quality. Pay close attention to the regularity of the wood grain, any discolourations, and the presence and number of knots. Quality floors often include wood that is scuffed or damaged, which doesn’t necessarily mean the wood is lower-quality. However, it does cost a bit less. When laying the floor, the wooden boards must be completely dry. Ideally, floorboards should dry naturally instead of speeding up the process with heaters. Some floors are treated with chemicals to protect them from mould, insects and other damage. These types of wood may look weathered over time, but will stay good for longer. Other floors have a special wear-resistant coating added. The thicker the protective coating is, the longer the floor will keep looking nice.
To ensure that the floorboards lay flat and straight, parquet flooring and floorboards often come with a tongue-and-groove ‘lock system’. When you’re buying the floor, make sure the tongue-and-groove edges are not warped or damaged. If you want your floor to be as flat and smooth as possible, you should buy floorboards that have tongue-and-groove edges along the sides and the ends. There are some disadvantages to this type of flooring, though: it’s more expensive, since it requires more wood, and it’s harder to replace the boards if one or more are damaged.
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