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Wood Flooring explained, an overview

If you are currently or ever have been in a position of choosing whether to install wood flooring read on for some good advice and info. If you find it helpful please comment. You can also reach us at, we are a flooring company based in Leeds.

wood flooring leeds

The difference beween Solid wood flooring and Engineered wood flooring

Solid wood flooring consists of the wood being solid from top to bottom. Whether its oak, beech or others the wood remains the same throughtout. Engineered wood flooring consists of a top wear layer and several layers of plywood backing. This gives the wood flooring stability and is less prone to shrinking and expanding. Only engineered wood flooring should ever be used over under-floor heating systems and is advisable in kitchens more than solid wood flooring.

solid wood vs engineered wood flooring

At J D Flooring Leeds we favour the engineered wood flooring option. There is very little difference in cost if any. The engineered wood is more stable due to the layers of cross ply running in different directions. But be careful to check the quality and the thickness of the wear layer as cheaper deals tend to have wafer thin wear layers. A good thick wear layer will enable your wood flooring to be sanded, sealed and restored several times.


Either choice of wood will require expansion as the natural wood flooring will expand and contract through changes of temperature and air moisture content. Just look at what can happen if wood flooring is fitted tight or insufficient expansion... This was not fitted by us at J D Flooring by the way, although we have repaired a few like this!!

wood flooring expansion

In an average lounge an expansion gap of around 15mm must be maintained along the perimeter and door frames should be undercut to suit the wood flooring depth. In large areas expansions must be created as the picture below roughly every 8m in length and 5m in width depending on the manufacturers recommendations. This would involve a wood flooring expansion strip like the one below, but domestic installations should not need any of these.

expansion strip in wood flooring

wood flooring with beading

At J D Flooring we are constantly asked about how to finish wood flooring around the edge. There are only two options.

1. Cover the gap with edging or beading, this is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to cover the wood flooring expansion gap, but does not look as nice and neat as option 2 below. These can be solid wood or veneered edging and beading. Best fitted with small wire nails which are punched in to bury the nail heads

wood flooring with no beading, skirtings on top

2. Cover the expansion with skirtings on top. This is neater and preferable but will be more work and cost especially if fitting wood flooring to existing skirtings rather than new ones. Sometimes the skirtings are replaced with wood that matches the flooring.

Fitting Techniques

1. Wood flooring fitted on underlay. This would involve running a bead of good quality PVA glue into every tongue and grove joint in the wood and simply pushing tight together.

Application-of-PVA-Glue wood flooring.jpg

2. Secret nailing through tongue at 45 degree angle. This is only possible on timber subfloor or wooden battons. Specialist equipment and nails should be used to allow the wood flooring to expand and contract.

Secret Nail wood flooring.jpg

3. Fully bonded wood flooring. An approach favoured by us at J D Flooring Leeds. The rubberised adhesive provides a nice solid feel but also allows the wood flooring to move.

wood flooring glued and bonded.jpg

Thank you reading this article. Please visit us for other types of flooring. We are a flooring company based in Leeds.

Please leave a response or comment or contact us at J D Flooring Leeds for any help or advice.

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