walk on wood

Even-though we are not yet at the stage to install our oak timber floors throughout the two lower floors of the house, we have needed to make some decisions to get the thresholds right. And it’s a big decision. With so many timber flooring options out there, many of which provide the same ‘look’ it’s worth taking your time to do the research.

The common question I am asked, and the decision you need to make is ‘solid, engineered or laminate?’ I hope the list of pointers below help a little…


Pros – lovely solid timber sound when walked on, can be sanded back, refinished and it will come up like new.
Cons – more prone to expansion and contraction than engineered wood, will also dent and scratch.


Pros – The plywood base improves moisture resistance and stability, same lovely solid timber sound when walked on, can be sanded back approx 3 times, refinished and it’ll come up like new.
Cons – will dent and scratch, only a limited number of times it can be sanded back (the thicker the solid top layer the more sand backs you can do).


Pros – Very durable so won’t scratch, dent or damage like solid timber will. The really good ones can look just like the real thing so you can certainly get the look of a real wood floor. Take a look at http://www.pergo.com/
Cons – It’ll never sound or feel like a real wood floor.


There are also options using vinyl and Amtico do a great range. When you see a large installation it really does do a marvellous job of looking like wood and has none of the wear and tear issues. But with the cost similar to that of the real thing, I would always opt for the real thing. http://www.amtico.com/


If you want to install timber into a kitchen or bathroom where water damage could occur and don’t like the idea of a laminate or vinyl (like us) take a look at some of the bamboo engineered wood floors. It’s very durable, fairly cheap and environmentally friendly http://www.bambooflooringcompany.com/. Solid chestnut is also a good option.

If you need help selecting samples or finding a supplier, just drop me a line at louise@recreateinteriors.co.uk


If sanding back your floors (which often come pre-finished with oil or lacquer), I recommend trying out an oil & wax product called Osmo oil. It nourishes the wood and brings out the natural colour and grain a treat, and it’s pretty durable too. I’ve specified this finish to some recently sanded oak boards on another project and I’m pretty sure it will satisfy the client who wanted a finish that would be as natural as the bare oak itself. Fingers crossed!

great find

I have just specified and installed extra wide (185mm) engineered rustic oak boards from Parador into some rental flats in Knightsbridge and they look absolutely stunning. http://www.parador.de/en/products-catalogue/engineered-wood-flooring


By Louise Putman

I'm Louise, founder of architectural interior and spatial design consultancy, REcreate.

I’m a fully qualified architectural interior designer, with a BA(Hons) degree in Interior Architecture and Furniture.

I combine my architectural knowledge with interior design expertise and project management to design or renovate internal spaces.