Stepping on solid foundation
Floorings have to be the most used part of any home but also the one most overlooked during renovations. Like it or not, we step on floors everyday so it is important that we use something that we are comfortable and happy with, just like our beds.
Generally, there are four types of flooring – carpet, wood, vinyl and ceramic/stone. Besides aesthetical reasons, the type of flooring used has its functional purposes. For example, carpet flooring absorbs sound better but generally are harder to clean.
In this article, we will explore the different types of wood flooring available with the help of two industry experts from Floor Depot and Inovar.
Why should I change my flooring?
Just like re-painting walls, changing flooring can rejuvenate living spaces. Best yet, getting flooring replaced is just an easy process which could take just a day, depending on the size of the room.
Types of wood flooring
One of the more popular choices in the country, wood flooring is typically split into solid wood, engineered wood and laminate. When it comes to choosing the type of wood flooring that fits your home, it really boils down to aesthetical reasons and how fat your wallet is.
Marketing manager of Inovar Floor, Rudy Chew says, “Flooring used to be just a long term investment, but this is starting to change as home owners are starting to refresh their homes by changing flooring due to attractive prices. At Inovar, we have 50 colour choices, which gives homeowners and interior designers quite
According to Ms Karen Tan, marketing manager of Floor Depot, “Changing flooring gives an instant makeover to any home or room. Floor Depot customers have returned after a few years to replace their flooring purely for aesthetical reasons.”
Design Tip: Colour
Light colour tones usually make rooms look larger that they really are, while darker tones make them look smaller, or in design terms, snug and cosy.
Solid wood flooring is usually the most expensive and its prices are variable depending on the type of solid wood used such as Beech, Teak, Maple, Oak and many more. Meanwhile, engineered wood consist of wood and plywood layers. They are cheaper than solid wood.
As for laminate flooring, these are made from a composition of wood chips/fibre and/or synthetic materials. Paper prints are used to give them a natural look. It is interesting to note that as they are highly compressed, laminate flooring is durable and are usually more resistant to water than solid wood products. Furthermore, laminate flooring is the most affordable type of the three wood flooring types mentioned.
Chew says, “An advantage of laminate flooring is in its consistency in design. In the long run, consumers can get back the same design colour and patterns should there be any need for replacement due to damage. With timber flooring, that could not be done.”
Some suppliers of wood flooring may have ‘specialised’ products with unique traits only available to them. For example, Floor Depot has a product they call Chamwood which according to Tan is a 100 percent water proof and termite proof flooring. “Chamwood is specially made with a super density core board that is just impossible for damage caused by water or termites,” explains Tan.
Wood and water just don’t mix
While some wood flooring is touted as being resistant to water, that does not mean that it is waterproof (with the exception of Chamwood from Floor Depot as they give a guarantee). Water spillage should be wiped up and not left alone to prevent warping or stains.
Wood flooring is reusable
Thanks to modern technology, the installation of wood flooring is not time consuming provided that the intended area is flat and level. A floor area of 500 to 1,000 sq ft takes about a day to install, thanks to interlocking boards.
As wood flooring can be put on top of the existing flooring without hacking the original floor, they can also be easily removed and reused as long as they are not glued or nailed down.
“Floor Depot has 5R Interlocking Hardwood Floors which can be resold to us. To us, hardwood is an investment and their prices will always rise over the years. Our buyback scheme is so attractive that customers can resell 5R flooring back to Floor Depot for almost the full original invoiced price from the tenth year onwards,” says Tan.
Wood flooring can be easily removed as long as they are not glued or nailed. This means that you can change them to different colours to match your new furniture, paint or maybe even match your mood.
Before you buy
The regular consumer should save themselves the trouble and not get too engrossed with confusing technical details. Instead, focus on details like product warranty, resistance to termites and water, and formaldehyde emission. In addition, some suppliers only offer environmentally friendly products.
1. Product warranty
Always ensure that you know what the product warranty covers and for how long. Some suppliers, like Floor Depot, offer extras like their ‘Water damage insurance’ which covers damage due to flood, burst pipes and such.
Damage by termites can pose another problem. Both Inovar and Floor Depot offer warranty against that by replacing the floorboards that are attacked by termites.
2. Resistance to termites and water
Depending on where we live, it is better to anticipate what sort of problems might arise from using wood flooring in the long term. For example, should a home is known to have termite problems in the past due to its proximity to nature, it is better to choose flooring that offers more resistance to them. Of course, the termites will first have to be exterminated and the home treated before the flooring is installed.
3. Formaldehyde emission
Laminate flooring uses a compound that has formaldehyde to help glue them together. According to Chew, Inovar offers laminate flooring that are E1 and even E0 grade which are generally safer.
4. Environmentally friendly
Suppliers like Floor Depot and Inovar offers wood flooring that are sourced from sustainable sources. Only select wood from designated forests and commercial plantations are used to produce the wood flooring.
The best way to sort out the flooring you want is to visit a supplier and speaking to the professionals there. This way, they can help narrow down your choices (there are usually a lot of flooring types, colours and design to choose from) and provide necessary cost estimates.
Before you make that trip, it is advisable to bring along your floor plan or know the size of the room you are about to ‘rejuvenate’ with new flooring. Happy shopping!
A special thanks to Karen Tan from Floor Depot (www.floodepot.com.my) and Rudy Chew from Inovar Floor (www.inovarfloor.com) for their useful insight on the finer aspects of flooring.