Date: 03.03.2024
Author: Zoe
Category: Buying Guides

How to Choose the Right Type of Wood Flooring for Your Home

Wood flooring is a popular choice of flooring throughout Ireland. It adds warmth, comfort, character, and value to your living space. But with so many wood flooring options available, it’s essential to consider which one will be the best fit for your home and make an informed choice that aligns with your preferences, lifestyle, and the specific requirements of each room. 


Hardwood flooring showroom


Here, we’ll explore the various types of wood for flooring and what you should consider, from the wood design and process to the tone and finish.


Steps to Consider When Choosing Your Wood Flooring

Selecting the perfect wood flooring requires careful consideration. It’s essential to break down each step of the decision-making process. Start by assessing your lifestyle and the volume of foot traffic in the area where the floorboards or engineered flooring will be installed. 

Consider the aesthetic appeal you desire and how well different types of wood flooring would complement your decor. Evaluate the durability and maintenance requirements of various wood types, ensuring they align with your lifestyle. Additionally, factor in budget constraints and explore sustainable options. By carefully following each of the next steps, so you can find the type of wood flooring that best suits your needs.


1. Type of Wood Flooring

What are the types of wood Flooring? Wood flooring is available in an array of types, and each has its own unique characteristics. It’s important to make an informed decision about the ideal flooring for your home so that you get the best mix of value, style, and longevity. 

The primary types of wood flooring include solid hardwood, known for its timeless elegance and durability; engineered wood, a versatile option suitable for various environments; and laminate, a cost-effective alternative that tries to mimic the appearance of hardwood. Understanding the distinctions between these types of wood for floors is essential for making the right choice.

Laminate Flooring

Starting with the type of wood flooring we at Matt Britton least recommend; laminate flooring can be a cost-effective alternative, replicating the charm of hardwood minus the long-term investment. Constructed with multiple layers, this synthetic flooring achieves its unique aesthetic by printing a high-resolution image upon its surface, and aims to mimic the grain and texture of real wood.

Laminate flooring can combine practicality and a certain style, offering homeowners a budget-friendly option that can suit a range of existing aesthetics. However, it’s important to keep in mind that as a cheaper option, you will likely be replacing laminate flooring sooner rather than later.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Next up is solid hardwood flooring, a timeless choice that maintains a warm, elegant feel in any space. Crafted from solid wood planks, hardwood flooring promises durability. This type of flooring can be sanded and refinished multiple times, making it a sustainable and long-lasting investment. 

There is a rich variety of types of wood for floors, including oak flooring, maple, and walnut.  Each one has its own distinctive grain and patterns. Hardwood floors not only enhance the appeal of a room but also contribute a sense of timelessness, making them one of the very best types of wood flooring. However, while solid hardwood provides a beautiful aesthetic, it is an unrealistic investment for most homeowners.   

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Now, the best option for your wood flooring, engineered. What is engineered hardwood flooring? Engineered hardwood flooring consists of a real wood veneer layer on top of several layers of plywood or high-density fibreboard. This intricate design enhances its resistance to changes in temperature and humidity, making it suitable for areas where solid hardwood might be impractical and areas with fluctuating humidity levels, such as basements. 

Engineered hardwood comes in various wood finishes and designs, allowing homeowners to choose the type of flooring that works best with their existing aesthetic and style choices. Engineered hardwood flooring is an outstanding choice for both residential and commercial spaces.


2. The Room in Your Home

Consider the specific room where you plan to install the wood flooring. Different areas have varying requirements. For instance, solid hardwood is not recommended for basements or kitchens due to its susceptibility to moisture. In contrast, engineered hardwood may be more suitable for such spaces.


3. The Design

Herringbone Wood Floor

Selecting the perfect wood flooring design is important for enhancing the style of your home. There are countless designs available, from classic design panels to modern engineered herringbone and more. Make a statement with flooring that complements your unique vibe.


Plank flooring is the most common design for homes, characterised by longboards that create a traditional and spacious look. It works well in larger spaces, can make a room feel more expansive and are a great addition to smaller homes and commercial spaces. This design works well in both contemporary and classic interiors.


A Herringbone pattern, often called parquet flooring, offers a timeless and sophisticated design. This layout involves arranging rectangular planks in a crisscross pattern, creating a visually appealing and unique flooring style.


Similar to herringbone but with a different angle, chevron patterns involve angled ends but create a more continuous, V-shaped pattern, adding a modern statement. This design choice creates a more contemporary feel.

Design Panel

Design panels incorporate different shapes and patterns, allowing for unique and customised flooring options, making a bold statement in your home. These panels can be customised to suit style preferences and add a touch of personality to your space.


4. The Tone of Wood

Wood flooring comes in various tones, and choosing the right one can significantly impact the overall feel of a room.


Light-toned wood or white wood floors, such as the Bologna or the Marseille collections, can make a space feel brighter and more open. This is an excellent choice for smaller rooms or areas with limited natural light.


Medium-toned woods, like the Almalfi or the Biarritz collections, strike a balance between light and dark, providing warmth without being too overpowering. They work well in a variety of design styles and are versatile enough for both traditional and modern spaces.


Dark-toned woods, such as the Lyon and the Potofino collections, create a sense of luxury and warmth. They are often used in more formal settings and can add a touch of elegance to a room.


5. The Wood Grain

The wood’s grain pattern is another factor that contributes to your floor’s overall appearance. Some may prefer a more pronounced grain for a rustic look, while others may opt for a smoother, more uniform grain for a sleek, modern style.


6. The Grade of Wood

Wood flooring is graded based on the natural characteristics present in the wood, such as knots, mineral streaks, and colour variations. Grades can be prime, where minimal imperfections are shown, to natural, which embraces the raw features of the wood for a more rustic look. 


7. The Process

Understanding the manufacturing process of the wood flooring you choose is important to determine its quality and durability. Consider whether you want prefinished or unfinished wood flooring. 

Another consideration to keep in mind is whether the wood is ethically sourced and the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly – something Matt Britton guarantees. 

What is prefinished hardwood flooring?

Prefinished hardwood flooring comes already sanded, stained, and sealed, reducing installation time and inconvenience. On the other hand, unfinished wood allows for customisation but requires additional, time-consuming steps before it’s ready for use.


8. The Width and Thickness of the Plank

The width and thickness of the wood planks contribute to the overall look of your floors. Wider planks are popular for creating a more contemporary and open feel, while narrower planks can provide a classic and traditional look. The thickness of the plank contributes to the durability and longevity of the flooring.

9. The Wood Finish

The finish of your wood flooring can influence its appearance and maintenance. Consider whether you prefer a matte or glossy finish.


A matte finish provides a more natural and rustic look. A matte finish hides scratches and imperfections better than a glossy finish and is ideal for high-traffic areas, as well as homes with pets. It’s a popular choice for those seeking a low-maintenance option.


A glossy finish adds a sleek and modern touch to your flooring but may require more maintenance to keep it looking pristine. It also reflects more light, which can be a positive or a negative, depending on the size of your space.


Common Questions About Types of Your Wood Flooring

17. Lyon herringbone flooring with border and brass inlay


Before making a final decision, it’s essential to address common questions about types of wood flooring:


Which type of wooden flooring is best?

The best type of wooden flooring depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Hardwood flooring is a classic and durable option, with engineered hardwood providing a more cost-effective alternative with additional benefits such as moisture resistance.


What is the hardest-wearing wood flooring?

Hardwood flooring, particularly species like European oak, are known for their durability and resistance to wear, perfect for high-traffic areas. 


What is the best way to clean hardwood floors?

The best way to clean hardwood floors is to sweep using a soft-bristle broom or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris. Use a damp mop with hardwood floor cleaner for deeper cleaning. Avoid excessive water, harsh chemicals, and abrasive tools, as they can damage the wood. Regular sweeping and wiping up spills promptly will help maintain the floor’s beauty.


Is hardwood flooring waterproof?

Hardwood flooring is usually not waterproof. Therefore, any spills should be cleaned up swiftly. While moisture won’t damage the material right away, over time, it will seep into the floor and cause warping, and, later on, rotting. Opt for engineered hardwood for better water resistance. 


Upgrade Your Wood Flooring with Matt Britton

Selecting the right type of wood flooring involves careful consideration of factors such as the type of wood, room dynamics, design preferences, tone, grain, grade, manufacturing process, plank dimensions, and finish. 

By taking the time to explore these aspects, you can ensure that your chosen wood flooring not only meets your practical needs but also enhances the overall appeal of your home. At Matt Britton, we stock an extensive selection of high-quality hardwood flooring

Take a look at our hardwood flooring range and book an appointment with our experts today!


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