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Flooring Mar 18, 2021

It’s A World of Wood At Zimbo’s Trading

It’s a world of wood at Zimbo’s Trading. Here, the team will lead you through the process of choosing and installing one of the many beautiful timbers available, to give your home the added dimension of timeless quality that timber brings. We chatted to Zimbo’s Trading about the best ways to select wood flooring and the latest options available…

Stunning floor in this gorgeous apartment. Oak Design clean grade boards treated with Pro Colour white and Loba Viva Matt coating

How hard is it to choose wooden flooring?

The choice of wooden flooring today can be slightly confusing, as a lot of people get mixed up between solid wood, engineered wood and laminate. For the record laminate is plastic (with a photograph on the surface), engineered has a hardwood veneer on top of a ply base, and solid is hardwood all the way through the plank. In the end, the majority of customers and designers tend to choose flooring based on colour, and as Oak flooring stains well and is stable, the majority of floors sold today are engineered Oak.

What is wood sustainability?

Wood sustainability is essentially the assurance that the hardwood used in the manufacture of your wooden floor comes from a known and sustainable resource. The two major certification organisations are PEFC (program for the endorsement of forest certification), and FSC (forestry stewardship council) . These companies ensure that there is a chain of custody from where the tree is cut down, through the manufacturing process, to ultimately the retailer.

What options are available for pre-finishing wooden flooring?

The majority of pre-finished engineered flooring sold is pre-finished using U.V. (ultraviolet) coatings. The boards have a coating sprayed on the surface after staining, and when the board passes under a U.V. light the coatings dries instantly. They can be finished with either a matt or gloss coating, and are normally better priced. Negatives would be that it is difficult to repair the coating on-site if damaged, and the surface coating is more visible.

Naturally oiled floors look gorgeous as the oil is in the grain of the wood, and they have a very natural flavour and appearance, and colour the wood beautifully. The down sides would be that they tend to mark more easily, particularly in the beginning, and are not generally suitable for kitchens or bathrooms. Oiled floors also require more care maintenance. Water-based coatings are probably the more expensive option, however on top of a suitable stain they can give a very durable natural looking floor that does not require much care maintenance. The product is generally hand rolled onto the floor after staining, and then the boards are left to dry. The other big advantage of this coating is that it can be easily repaired on-site if damaged.

Is it true that pets call for hard wooden flooring?

Pets might like wooden floors, but wooden floors do not tend to like pets! Pets such as dogs have claws that scratch, and in many instances the pets urinate on the floor, which in almost all instances, will mark the surface of the floor, due to the high acid content. Thus with pets, care should be taken that the correct surface coating is chosen, and if the pets cannot behave then you need to think carefully if a wooden floor is what you are after.

What is engineered wood?

Engineered wood is a hardwood veneer that is glued onto a ply base. The engineered wood is a lot more stable than solid wood flooring, and also a lot less hardwood is required in the manufacture of the floor. The engineered wooden floor normally has at least a 2 -3mm veneer, and the ply base is either a three ply (pine and poplar), or a multiply base, which is normally either birch or eucalyptus. The advantages of an engineered floor is its stability against moisture, and the fact that the floor boards can be a lot wider without the risk of cupping. In addition it is normally a lot better priced than solid.

Which flooring is the most durable?

A floor’s durability is normally associated with the hardness or durability of the hardwood layer on the surface. Oak is a durable product, and on a decent ply base will be both durable and stable. There are however solid options that are a lot harder and more durable, such as Zimbabwe Teak or Jarra flooring. These floors if installed correctly can be both incredibly durable and stable, and certainly would rate as the hardest surfaces in wooden flooring. These two timbers will not dent easily, while an Oak floor will get dents in the floor from things such as high heels, or sharply pointed objects.

Is it true that engineered wood is the most durable type of hardwood?

I think the truer statement would be that engineered wood is the most stable option, rather than durable. High quality solid wood floors such as the typical old Oregon pine floors over a cavity space have lasted for decades. If the engineered floor has a very thin veneer on the surface then the durability of the floor is severely limited as a result.

Design choices like the floor’s finish and texture can make a big difference to a room. Do you agree?

The floors finish ultimately reflects what the surface looks like to the eye. A floor that is brushed will look completely different to one that has a high gloss coating. The floors texture will also mean that the grain in the wood is either accentuated or reduced, so altering the feel of the room. Flooring suppliers can chose from a wide variety of options such as brushing, hand scraping, saw marks etc, all of which will alter the floors overall appearance, and ultimately give the room a completely different feel.

What sort of coatings do you suggest once the flooring is laid?

These days most floors are pre-finished prior to the floor being laid. I would encourage all would be flooring buyers to be VERY sure that the floor they have chosen looks as they envisaged when laid. In terms of coatings that are used once the floor has been laid, certainly I would rule out anything solvent based for health reasons. A high-quality water-based coating or a high solid natural oil should be the suggested options. with the water-based coatings one can choose from either a one component or two component coating (more durable).

What floor colour is best for rooms?

Floor colour is really a very personal choice. Currently, the whites and shades of grey are very popular, however very dark floors are also making a come-back.

What type of wooden flooring board should one select in width or length?

The width and length of a floor board are normally determined by whether it is engineered or solid, and also dependant on the species. Oak and ash come in wide widths and long lengths. Timber such as Zimbabwean Teak is difficult to get in wide widths, and is very limited in terms of length. With a solid wooden floor generally a narrower width is preferred due to the tendency for solid wooden floors to cup (u shape) with the slightest amount of moisture.

How do you find the best Parquet Wood flooring?

Parquet flooring generally refers to patterned floors. These floors can look spectacular in the home, and some of the most popular would be Herringbone or Chevron floors. These floors are available in a number of different timber species.

Zimbo’s Trading are the experts in the field of wood flooring. Their ability to pre-finish hardwood flooring in Cape Town & Johannesburg gives them tremendous flexibility and ensures superb quality using German coatings from Loba.

Oak Dual Cinzento Vintage range 220mm x 15mm x 2200mm oiled to a colour of your choice! Rustic splendour

For more visit Zimbo’s.

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