Svetlana is discovering the best in the wooden floors

Read the latest article in Cheshire Life magazine and see the extra images here:
Many people have agonised over the choice between carpet, tiles or wooden floor for their homes. After considering factors such as the look, cost and practicality increasing numbers are opting for wood. But that is only the start of the decision-making process, because then there is the question of whether to go for laminate, engineered flooring, solid wood or (if the only concern is the WOW factor) there is Penrose wooden flooring.
There is no need for fancy furniture and exuberant artwork in your interior as Penrose wooden flooring alone will set you apart from the rest. Your visitors will not be able to take their eyes off this floor as they gaze at its intricate patterns and the interaction between wood grain and vibrant colours, the harmony of flowing movement and organic shapes. Laser cut, the size of the pattern can be tailored to suit the dimensions of a particular room. The flooring was created in Germany and named after Sir Roger Penrose, who was fascinated by rotating symmetries and discovered of asymmetric crystalline structures, but the aesthetics of the floor is not the only consideration. The manufacturer uses environmentally friendly materials, all the way through to the finishing with natural oils and waxes. This floor is remarkably hard wearing too, recommended even for hotel foyers and yachts.
To put this floor down is not a job for your handy man on a weekend. Although delivered in packs ready to be laid, given the complexity of the design and its cost, a super efficient specialist fitting team will be sent over to ensure this stunning floor is installed precisely.
At the other end of the scale from Penrose, the least expensive option is laminated flooring. Click-lock designs are simple to install and bring a sense of achievement to any DIY enthusiast. Laminate flooring is reasonably hard wearing including some which are even water proof and suitable for bathrooms and kitchens. Some brands feature embossed knots to provide extra texture to the look. However, this flooring will never look completely realistic as it is essentially compressed fibreboard covered with a photographic wood image and topped with a protective overlay. Laminate flooring’s construction is also its biggest downfall. The protective layer is difficult to repair so if it is damaged, moisture will quickly get in and the floor can swell. The joints will also wear out over time.
A more expensive option which will offer you a real wood look is engineered wooden flooring. This consists of three or four layers of wood, including a top layer of real wood veneer. This method of construction makes the product less susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity than solid wood and it can also be sanded down or treated to restore the look if it becomes worn or damaged. Prices can vary widely depending on the quality of the top veneer and can be used anywhere except wet or humid conditions and it can be quite noisy if used for stairs. One of the latest products, perfect for glamorous interiors is engineered oak flooring in a black, high gloss finish with either silver or bronze metallic colour gently dispersed in the grain giving a subtle sparkle and gloss that would make top hair product manufacturers green with envy!
Solid wood planks or parquet floors are available in a very wide range of materials, including tropical and exotic hardwood and are best featured in a hallway or living areas for maximum impact but humid environments are best avoided. The cost will generally be higher than engineered flooring and it is more difficult to install. Solid wood can be sanded down and repaired though it is important to pay attention to its ‘hardness’ score. Depending on the rating, high heels may have to be removed before walking on it - every girl’s worst nightmare at a party!
In addition to the offerings of our high street shops, with a little professional help the latest designs and innovations can be accessible to all. Once considered a basic backdrop for all other furnishings, wooden flooring can now provide an individual look and the trend is set to continue as technology allows floor fashions to reach new limits.