The term ‘composite’ has gradually permeated society, as we invent/discover materials that mimic natural materials and, in many ways, composites are ground-breaking, with unique properties and zero maintenance. Timber is one of Mother Nature’s best gifts to humanity; we have been using wood since the Stone Age, then we constructed homes and ships that sail the vast oceans and as far as flooring goes, seasoned hardwood or oak is about as good as it gets!
When solid timber flooring is prepared and installed by professionals, it looks absolutely stunning, especially after a couple of coats of varnish, which gives the floor a nice sheen, while also protecting against scratches and scuffs. Once the floor planks are installed, a sanding machine is used to bring out the best of the unique wood-grain finish, with the knots and swirls that only solid wood provides.
Wood requires maintenance and a solid wood floor can be re-sanded after a few years, then the coatings are re-applied. Typically, this can be done at least 5 times over a long period (25 years), which keeps the flooring looking smart and elegant, rather than worn. While the outer protective layer is water-resistant, any liquid spillage should be promptly cleaned up, water can seep into timber, causing it to swell and when it contracts, warping is common; this is why you sometimes hear sounds when walking on the floor. Click here for exterior ideas to transform the look of your home.
There is no hiding the fact that quality timber is expensive and as the global population increases, the demand for wood rises, making it more expensive. If money is not an issue, you can select a top-quality timber and install a solid plank floor that will last a lifetime; be prepared for re-sanding every few years and have scuffs/ marks removed.
The closest you can come to natural timber flooring is either vinyl or hybrid, which has a hi-res digital image inset under the outer layer and no one would think the flooring isn’t solid timber.
There are lots of advantages to composite flooring;
- Very affordable
- 100% waterproof
- Easy to install
- No maintenance
If you are a wood lover but are looking for a cheaper alternative, composite flooring ticks all the boxes and if your home has solid wood floors, composites are ideal for the bathroom and kitchen and with hundreds of finishes, you can match your existing floors.
To conclude, composite flooring can compete with solid wood; those who can afford it would typically choose solid timber and for the rest of us, composites tick all the boxes. Of course, we are all unique and our needs vary; there was a time when composites were not available and if you wanted a floor that stood the test of time, solid wood was the go-to choice.
Whatever your preference regarding flooring, visit an established flooring showroom, where you will find a wide range of materials that are suitable for residential flooring.