A complete guide to wood flooring for extensions, kitchens and homes

For your living room, open-plan kitchen, extension and in almost all commercial spaces like shops, coffee shops and office spaces, wood flooring is the best material that you can use because it is durable and comfortable. But you are not sure which wood flooring is best for your needs.

From my expertise, I divide them into two as; Real Wood Floorings and Quasi Wood Floorings – which I do exclude the synthetic wood effect tiles and vinyl floorings. The real wood floorings are; Engineered, Solid/Hardwood, Reclaimed and Parquet. Whereas quasi wood floorings are; Laminate, Bamboo and Cork.

The Real Wood Floorings;

1. Engineered Wood Floorings

Engineered Wood Flooring is three layers of wood- which these layers run 90-degree angles and made up of High-Density Fibreboard (HDF) top layer and a Block Core which is either plywood or softwood- to enable high structural strength and durability.

The core materials-from top to bottom- of engineered wood are;
  • HDF: The top layer, or the wear-layer:  about 2.5 mm and 6 mm thickness (max 13 mm)

  • Block Core: 14-17 mm


is an environmentally friendly material for most domestic and commercial flooring installations.  The material -placed as a single piece of a solid wood veneer on top- offers high stability with limiting expansion creates an aesthetically pleasing look in any rooms.

Block Core;

is the founding section of the engineered wood flooring and it is made entirely from real wood using three layers of timber in a cross-ply-style that sits at a 90degree angle to the top layer.

“By constructing this way, it provides excellent stability, is easy to handle and can be profiled in many locking formats or a standardized profile;” as told by Wooden Floor Company.

“Birch, poplar and spruce often make up the raw material found in block core products as they’re considered fast-growing timbers, sustainable and are readily available for manufacturers to the source.” 

Structural-multiply core;

is relatively a new method to enable more load-bearing and structural strength. “The key benefit is the performance of the plywood core- which is minimum 18 mm- that very effectively restricts movement and adds stability while ensuring the floor looks great and also performs as a structural component in the home.”

These types of engineered woods are best for conservatories, extension parts, loft places and/ or spaces with underfloor heating- where the temperature can vary. It neither absorbs moisture from the ground. 


Technical Aspects of Engineered Wood Flooring


The thickness of the engineered wood ranges between 14 mm to 21 mm

The Finishing Options

Engineered flooring comes with a host of finishing options, whether that be factory pre-finished or an unfinished board that can be coated on-site by bespoke craftsmen. On-site applications, lacquered and oiled are the two methods. 


Lacquered is a polyurethane coating which is applied onto the surface of the HDF by a series of brushes or rollers. This layer provides a coating over the grain of the wood and forms a hard coating that protects the product from dirt and moisture. 
Lacquer is often seen in a satin shine level, generally used on flat surfaces. However, modern applications reduce the shine and create a matt appearance, as they keep the colour true- such as the ‘
Matt Lacquered’. The maintenance of lacquered floors is also minimum. 


Oiled floors use synthetic oil that penetrates deep into the wood allowing the colour and texture to be brought to the surface creating a visually stunning floor. Also, the oil provides an easy-to-maintain protective single-coat surface layer 

The following table summarizes the available thickness, finishes, dimensions and wood species. However, you should check the companies specifications for details. 

Thickness Veneer Finish Dimensions Specimen/ Grade
14mm 2.5mm Brushed and Lacquered 90 mm width / Random length between 300 mm – 1200 mm Walnut, rustic
18mm 3mm Brushed and Lacquered 125 mm width / Fixed Length: 1860 mm Oak, mixed
19mm 4mm Click Flooring 130 mm width / Fixed length: 2200 mm NA
20mm 5mm Distressed and/or Rustic 150 mm width / Fixed length: 1900 mm NA
21mm 6mm Grey Wood / Hand-scraped/ Herringbone, Chevron and Parquet / Smoked / Smooth Lacquered / Stained / White Oiled / Whitewashed Widths: 155-180-190-200-207-240-340 mm /Fixed lengths: 400-450-2500-3900-725 mm NA

2. Solid/ Hard Wood Floorings

Hardwood floors, with longer lifespan- which they have typically a lifespan of 10-15 years, are more cost-effective and eco-friendly laminate and engineered wood. The engineered wood is to weaken by age/years as the structure of its core deteriorates and sanding makes it faster. Whereas the hardwood floors have more strength and durability over the years. 
Functional and Aesthetic
They have long life-span in terms of structural and aesthetically quality since the earliest days of the building and homes. You can stand the hardwood floors up to 8-10 times, whereas this is twice for an engineered floor having a 3.6 mm top layer. 
You can create innovative design patterns with solid hardwood, which they are more suited for period houses.
They feature as a key design element in a vast range of interior styles from minimalist contemporary buildings to period properties and heritage restorations;’ as said by Junckers.

Technical Aspects of Solid/ Hard Wood Flooring


  • Thinner Boards (14 mm and 15 mm thick) for overlay and renovation projects
  • Thicker Boards (22 mm and 20.5 mm) for structural suspended floors

The thickness of the wood depends upon if the floorboards will need to span between battens and joists, or if the floor is an overlay to an existing base. The expected traffic is also important on which depth of wood is necessary.

The Surface Finishing Options

  • Brushed textures
  • Grain Fillers
  • Coloured Oils and Lacquered Oils a choice of Sheen Levels

Solid Wood Species

  • Oak
  • Beech
  • Ash
  • Maple

3. Reclaimed Wood Floorings

If you use timber for your flooring that has been used in the past is named and known as reclaimed wood flooring. 
You can find timber wood either in reclamation and salvage yards or from timber-flooring specialists/ suppliers as bundles of planks, boards or panels. 
Inspiring and eco-friendly
The installation of timber is a challenge at the beginning. However, if you are talented in DIY decorations or if you have a good joiner, you can have one of the most inspiring and creative spaces that you dream of, but at the same time, you reduce the carbon footprint. It allows for different finishing and bespoke design options. 


4-Parquet Flooring

These are the real solid wood floorings; however, you can create different design patterns as you see in period houses. 
On the other side, there are generally accepted patterns- which sometimes you can see in engineered wood and laminate floorings. These patterns are; 
  • Chevron Flooring

  • Herringbone flooring

The Quasi Wood Floorings –

These are the alternative models and structures for wood flooring. Some made of layers, some different organic material that looks like wood but not real wood. However, almost they all are durable, sustainable and cost-effective when it is compared to the solid/engineered wood alternatives. 

1. Laminate (Floating Wood Tile) Floorings

If a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process, a laminate flooring (or floating wood tile as named in the United States) is formed.

The top layer looks like a type of wood, which the recent technology enables any graphic or photo of tile at the present, with a protective coat. 
The reason for calling floating wood tile is that it clicks with the tongue and groove of the planks on an underlying surface. 


Technical Aspects of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring has developed significantly over recent years and it has In the best laminate floors, wear layers are textured with antique wood, genuine rustic and genuine saw-cut giving way and look of real woods.
“From a design perspective, one of laminate’s major strengths is to replicate anything that can be digitally captured; said the Pergo.
Stone textured too can be closely replicated in a structure that enhances the look while eliminating the specialist sealing and porosity encountered with the natural material.”
Thickness Color Finish Dimensions Species/Grade
7mm Acacia Brushed and Lacquered 90 mm width / Fixed length: 1215 mm Oak
8mm Black/Dark Brushed and Oiled 125 mm width / Random Length: 400-1218 mm Walnut
10mm Chestnut Distressed or Rustic 190 mm width / Fixed length: 2160 mm Acacia Effect
12mm Grey Wood Grey Wood 240 mm width / Fixed length: 2200 mm Embossed oak texture
14mm Oak Herringbone, Chevron and Parquet 239 mm width / Fixed length: 450 mm Natural Oak
15mm Tile Effect Smoked 197 mm width / Fixed length: 1215 mm Walnut
18mm Walnut/White Wood Stained/Stone Effect/Whitewashed Widths: 244-193-326-188-408 mm /Fixed lengths: 2025-1380-1302-1375-1233 mm Embossed textured laminate/Stained Oak/Oak border, travertine tile/Embossed textured laminate/Tile Effect Laminate Flooring

2. Bamboo Floorings

Bamboo is a sustainable material in the flooring construction. Since it grows quicker than it can be harvested in 3-5 years than most of the trees having 15-20 years of life span. 

However, it may not be an easy material for a DIY type of constructions, because it is a tough material due to its hide density fibres. On the other side, it is tougher and more resistant to damage.