Are you thinking about adding timeless beauty and elegance to your rooms by installing wood floors? Then you are on the right track!
Wood flooring is one of the most popular choices of flooring whether it is used for indoor or outdoor flooring. It is often favoured as an eco-friendly choice. Furthermore, wood decking can give outdoor spaces, such as your balcony, a natural and non-uniform look in comparison to traditional plastic decking.
It is available in a variety of designs, grains, species, textures, and colours which can add a touch of sophistication and elegance to any type of interior that you have.
Wood flooring also comes in several types with each type having its own structures, finishing, and costs. In this article, we will describe the different options that are available to you when you decide to have wooden flooring in your home. We will also describe their respective pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.
How Much Does It Cost To Install Wood Flooring In Singapore?
It typically costs between S$28 to S$55 per square foot to install wood flooring in Singapore.
Below are some of the factors affecting the cost of your hardwood flooring installation project:
- Hardwood flooring cost – based on the number of square feet
- Labour costs – based on the number of hours
- Supplies needed for the job – typically based on number of square feet
- Equipment allowance – by project basis
- Hardwood flooring debris disposal – typically on number of square feet
- Remove flooring (optional) – typically based on hours
Types Of Wood Flooring
The different types of wood flooring signify the way that the wood material is put together during manufacturing. Depending on what type of decor you want in the room be it modern, traditional, or commercial, you can choose the type which best matches your specifications.
There are basically five types of wood flooring depending on how they are manufactured. These are described in the following sections.
Solid Wood Flooring
As apparent from the name, solid hardwood flooring is made from solid wood or timber. Timber flooring is a classic flooring choice that offers great appeal and elegance. Wood floors constitute planks that have a thickness of almost 18-20mm.
A solid hardwood floor offers great aesthetics and style to any area. They are highly durable and can easily be sanded and repolished to achieve the same shine and gloss as that of a new hardwood floor.
However, they can expand or shrink in extreme weather conditions and its installation is also a bit difficult. But because of their visual appeal, durability, and strength, they are generally the most expensive type of wood flooring.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring, which is also known as layered wood, is a strong and resilient type of flooring that offers the same great outlook of hardwood flooring with even more strength and durability.
It is manufactured by glueing multiple layers of wood together to create a thick plank of almost 14-15mm thickness. On top of this plank is a layer of solid wood of approximately 4mm thickness which gives it its distinctive wooden look, which also adds a touch of elegance to your home.
The main advantage of an engineered wood flooring is that it does not get damaged by moisture or heat in the same way that a solid hardwood door does.
In comparison to solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring is better able to withstand Singapore’s hot and humid weather. Its durability and dimensional stability ensure that it can retain its shape amidst the hot weather.
It is more durable and stronger as compared to all the other types of wood flooring. It is also cheaper than a solid hardwood floor. Its installation is, however, a bit difficult and requires more time and effort.
Vinyl flooring is a synthetic type of wood flooring that is available in a wide range of designs and finishes. It is a durable and versatile type of flooring that is easy to install. It comes in the form of tiles, sheets, or planks which can be glued to the floor with an adhesive.
Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and maintain as it can easily be cleaned with a broom and a damp mop. If maintained properly, it has a long life and shows good durability. One of the biggest pros of vinyl flooring is its cost since it is probably the least expensive among all types of wooden flooring.
However, there are a few disadvantages of vinyl flooring also. It can easily be scratched with heavy load and dragging and with time, the colour and shine of vinyl flooring can fade and would require re-polishing.
Laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring type in which multiple layers of synthetic wood are fused together through the process of lamination. A clear protective layer is added on top of the laminated planks to make the finalized laminate planks.
The biggest advantage of a laminate floor is that you get the same shine and polish of solid wood flooring but at a much cheaper price. Because of the protective layer, the laminate floor is less prone to scratches and scuffs making it easy to manage and clean as well. It also does not get affected that much by humidity and high temperatures.
However, if it does swell in moist and humid environments, the damage is irreversible. Also, it cannot be sanded and repolished like a wooden floor. If it gets damaged, you would have to replace it completely. And at the end of the day, it may be similar to a solid wood floor in appearance, but lacks the class and elegance of a hardwood floor.
Parquet flooring is a type of wood flooring in which the wood planks are laid out in geometric and other decorative patterns. The wooden planks are relatively smaller in size as compared to solid hardwood planks. Parquet flooring can be achieved using laminate, hardwood, or engineered wood planks.
Parquet flooring gives a very decorative, stylish, and aesthetically sound appeal to any room. It is easy to maintain and can last for years if cleaned and maintained properly. Thus, it is a durable and long-lasting flooring type that adds a touch of class to your interior design.
However, because of its decorative properties, parquet flooring is quite expensive. It is also prone to scratches from heavy and sharp objects. It has to be saved from direct sunlight otherwise its colour can fade. It also requires regular polishing and sanding to keep its shiny and new look over the years.
Eco-wood Outdoor Decking
Wood is commonly employed for outdoor flooring such as decking. Common decking materials include timber decks, composite wood decks and chengal decks in Singapore. But what makes for good and durable wood decking? One of the most popular choices is Eco-wood Composite Decking.
So why do people choose Eco-wood over natural wood?
- Eco-wood composite decking is highly durable. It is resistant to all weather conditions, from extreme sunlight to heavy rain. This is an important feature as the deck is an outdoor feature and will be susceptible to such harsh weather conditions.
- It is easy to maintain.
- Most wood flooring for outdoor decking also has slip-resistant properties This is important, especially when your deck could have puddles of water from the rain and thus this is important to ensure that people do not slip and fall.
Which Wood Flooring Is The Most Durable And Best Choice?
Each type of wood floor has its pros and cons and offers a particular visual appearance that can help shape your decision of which floor to choose for a particular room of your house.
But there is one wood floor type that offers the greatest durability, strength, and design options that make it a good choice to be used. This is the engineered hardwood flooring. It offers all the advantages of a solid hardwood floor without its major disadvantages.
Some of the benefits which you can achieve by using engineered hardwood floor over the traditional solid wood floor are listed below:
● Due to the multilayer structure of engineered hardwood flooring, it reacts well to extreme weather conditions. The same amount of humidity can cause a solid hardwood floor to warp or buckle whereas an engineered floor will be able to sustain these humid conditions.
● The installation process of engineered hardwood flooring is much simpler than that of a solid hardwood floor. In the case of solid hardwood flooring, the planks have to be nailed to a plywood floor whereas, for an engineered hardwood flooring, the planks simply have to be glued or stapled to the concrete or wood floor.
● You can even add an underlayment of foam beneath the engineered flooring with the engineered wood planks fastened together to create a floating system.
● The cost of engineered hardwood flooring is similar or sometimes lesser than that of solid hardwood flooring. And since its installation is easier than that of a solid hardwood floor, you can even cut back on the cost of installation by doing it yourself.
● Engineered wood is lighter than solid wood, so it helps reduce the transport and freight cost when you order.
Apart from all these advantages of engineered wood flooring, you can further up your game by using engineered hardwood planks as parquet flooring. This will further create beautiful and mesmerizing patterns that are sure to enhance the visual appearance of any room.
How to fit wood flooring?
If you want to install solid wood flooring, there are a few things that you have to be careful about otherwise the process is quite simple.
You would need a few essential items such as a hand saw, measuring tape, and adhesive or flooring nails depending on the type of subfloor.
In the case of a concrete subfloor, you would need wood to concrete glue whereas, in the case of timber subfloor, flooring nails would be required.
The first step in the installation of a wood floor is the preparation of the subfloor and to check the site conditions in order to avoid problems in the future. These checks include the following:
● The air humidity should be between 45-65%.
● Timber and concrete floors should be checked for moisture content to be no more than 12%.
● The subfloor should be levelled so there is no unevenness.
The next step is to acclimate the solid wood floor by leaving them in the room where they are to be installed for at least 7 days. This will help the wood expand or contract according to the climate of the room so that it won’t rise up or leave gaps after the installation has been completed.
Once the site conditions are checked and wood acclimatized, the actual process of installation will begin.
● If the wood floor is to be installed on concrete floors, start by applying the adhesive across one wall of approximately two planks’ width. Then place the first row of wood planks on the adhesive in such a way that the tongue of the planks is away from the wall. Always leave a space of 10 mm from the wall to allow for expansion if there is any.
● Then place the second row of the wood planks on the adhesive. Cut the wood planks so that they fit across the length of the room.
● Continue with applying the adhesive and placing the rows of planks by leaving the 10mm expansion gaps along the edges of the walls.
● In the case of a timber subfloor, layout the first row of wood planks and place them together by using flooring nailers. An expansion gap of 10mm should be placed along the perimeter of the room. Nails should be placed every 20 cm or so.
● Continue by placing the rows of planks and cutting the planks to fit them in the length of the room whenever required.
Which wood flooring is the hardest?
Engineered hardwood flooring is considered to be the hardest since it is manufactured by glueing together several layers of wood sheets to create a thick, strong, and resilient material. This makes it the hardest type of wood flooring that provides a number of other benefits as well.
How to remove wood laminate flooring?
A wood laminate floor is installed through glue or adhesive. If you want to remove such a floor, you will have to loosen the corner or edge of one laminate sheet and pull it upwards. You can use a putty knife to make its way through a crack or seam and loosen the laminate sheet to the extent that you would be able to pull it up.
If the glue or adhesive has tricked down to the floor, you may have a hard time pulling off the laminate sheets. For this purpose, you can use an acetone fingernail polish remover and drip it over the adhesive. Within 30 seconds, the glue will start to dissolve after which you could pull off the laminate floor.
You can even use a heat gun to melt the glue so that the laminate flooring can be pulled off. Once the floor has been removed, you may use the heat gun to remove all adhesive and clean the subfloor.
What wood flooring goes with oak cabinets?
Since oak is a lighter shade of wood, the type of wood flooring that works best with it is the one with a darker stain. This dark colour helps create a contrast with oak cabinets and puts depth into a room. Medium-dark wood hues go well with oak cabinets and these can include acacia, hickory, chestnut, pine, and Brazilian cherry.
Tips on Lengthening Wooden Floor Lifespan
For those who are interested in wood flooring and are keen on maximising its durability, here are some tips on how to better maintain your wood floor for longevity:
1. Use pads underneath your furniture to protect it against scratches
Hardwood floors are susceptible to stuffings and scratches that could be caused by the shifting of furniture. To better ensure your floor’s longevity, it is always a safe option to attach stick-on felt protectors under the legs of your furniture to prevent scratches.
2. Avoid liquid cleaners
It is advisable to avoid using wet mops, damp cloths or chemical cleaners to clean your wooden floors as it can possibly dull the finish of your floor and even damage it in the long run.
Instead, you might want to use a simple vacuum or dry cloth to clean up dirt and dust particles.
3. Clean up any excess water or puddles quickly
Try not to leave any puddles of water on your wooden floor for too long as it might leave a watermark on your wood surfaces and damage it in the long run. Having to replace your wooden floor may be troublesome and pricey, so make sure to wipe up any excess water quickly.
4. Polish your floor every once in a while
By polishing your floor, you are actually adding a protective layer over your wooden flooring, effectively protecting it against scratches or water. So if you have the time to spare, consider polishing your wood flooring every two to four months.
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Cost of Other Home Improvement Areas
Flooring is an integral part of a home design, and should you have a spare budget and would like some unique designs of your own, you can try speaking to a few interior design companies or renovation contractors for more designs ideas.
Some of the usual home improvement cost guides can be found below: