Hard-wearing and stylish flooring options for your home
When thinking about new flooring, choosing a hard option will guarantee a classic look that will wear well over time.
Our hard flooring options are:
- Available in solid oak, real wood top layer and laminate options
- Easy to install
- Easy to clean and look after
- Warm underfoot - plus real wood top layer and laminate options work with underfloor heating
- Made from responsibly sourced wood certified by either the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) ensuring that the timber used has been produced via the best practices for the environment
- Available in a range of wood effects and colours – our laminate option also comes in stone effects too
- Available in thicknesses ranging from 6millimetres (mm) to 21mm
Read our guide to find out all about our hard flooring options and make the right choice for you and your home.
Types of flooring
If you want a classic look that improves and develops with age, choose one of our solid wood floors. Made from single pieces of oak, this flooring range comes in a selection of natural finishes, from dove grey to coffee, and is great for high-traffic areas such as hallways, living rooms and bedrooms.
As this is a totally natural product, you’ll see variations in colour in the planks and so we recommend mixing them up before laying them. This ensures that you end up with an attractive look before you secure the floor, as having planks of different shades grouped together can look as if the floor has been stained, or damaged by the sun.
Ranging from 12mm to 21mm thick, solid oak flooring is not suitable for kitchens and bathrooms as any splashes and spills will warp and stain the wood. It's not suitable for underfloor heating.
Real wood top layer
For the look and feel of solid wood flooring, but with the ability to work with underfloor heating, choose real wood top layer flooring. It’s easy to install and can be laid on any surface. Ideal for most rooms, it copes better with changes in heat and humidity than solid wood, however it’s still not recommended for bathrooms or kitchens.
Also known as engineered wood flooring, real wood top layer flooring is made up of three layers:
- strengthening bottom layer to add stability
- soft wood or high-density fibreboard (HDF) middle layer
- solid oak top
The top layer is made from a single piece of wood so you can be assured of a solid wood look once it’s laid.
Ranging from 10mm to 18mm thick, the layered construction of this flooring makes it hard-wearing and durable, as well as allowing you to fit underfloor heating under most real wood top layer flooring options. Our range features a number of colours and finishes, from a pale white wash oak to a rich caramel brown.
For a hard flooring option that’s durable and stain resistant, explore our laminate options. We have an extensive range that includes various wood and tile effects, which can work in any room of your house – and with underfloor heating.
Laminate flooring is made from four layers:
- backing paper for stability
- HDF (with wood certified by the FSC or PEFC)
- paper with your chosen effect on it (wood, tile, etc.)
- clear protective top layer
When laying a laminate, you’ll need to to add an underlay.
Incredibly easy to look after and maintain, laminate flooring is available from 6mm to 12mm thick and offers the most options in terms of finishes and effects. Create the natural look of a variety of woods, such as oak, beech and pine, choose from wood effects such as reclaimed, parquet and painted or opt to simulate other materials such as natural stone, slate and limestone.
Finishes and fitting systems
When it comes to the finish of your flooring, we offer two types - the matt UV-oiled finish and the glossy, lacquered finish.
For a matt finish that offers the offers the durability of a lacquer, choose a UV-oiled finish. Oil is applied to the wood before being UV treated for protection. The oil protects the wood both inside and out, seeping into the wood to deliver long-lasting results. Remember to clean it regularly with product specially made for oiled floors, and you should never need to re-oil it.
For a glossy, hard-wearing and smooth finish, opt for a lacquered finish for your wooden flooring. Lacquered floors don’t need much maintenance – just sweeping and vacuuming will keep it clean. And you should only need to reseal if it becomes damaged.
There are two main ways for your hard flooring to fit together – tongue and grove and click fittings. While these options are simple enough to tackle as a DIY project and don’t require any specialist tools, angle to angle click fitting will require the help of a friend.
Tongue and groove
With this type of flooring the 'tongue' from one plank slots into the 'groove' on the next plank. Check that it’s firmly in place by knocking it. Tongue and groove flooring then needs to be glued down, which you can do by either sticking it directly to the subfloor or laying it onto a self-adhesive underlay. Some of our solid wood options are available with tongue and groove fittings.
There are two types of click fitting systems - angle to angle and Droploc. Both work well if you're covering a large space, and the planks can be dismantled easily if you need to get under the floor for any reason. We have click fitting options available for all of our hard wood flooring range.
Angle to angle
This system has angled edges that only fit together with a certain manoeuvre. While it needs two people to assemble, it’s quick and easy to do so and won’t budge once in place.
With Droploc, the individual planks are angled on the long sides and then the short ends can be simply dropped into place, making installation easier and quicker than the click fitting system. Plus, it can be installed by one person.
Classed as “floating floors” because they don’t fix directly to the subfloor, most wood and laminate flooring needs an underlay for cushioning, soundproofing and insulation. It can also protect your new flooring from moisture and help even out surfaces.
The type of underlay you choose will depend on the floor you’ve decided upon and what type of surface you’ll be laying it on. We’ll take you through the options.
Most foam underlay is great for dry, firm and level surfaces, such as those in bedrooms, living rooms and hallways, and a few options are suitable for areas that may get splashed such as bathrooms and kitchens. Available in thicknesses of 2mm or 3mm, we also offer self-adhesive foam underlay, which you stick to your subfloor (the floor surface you're covering) before laying your wood flooring.
Ideal if the subfloor is uneven, our fibreboard underlay is 6mm thick and reduces sound transmission by up to 18 decibels. Choose this if you want to reduce noise travelling through the laminate floors in your living room, bedroom or hallway. Fibreboard underlay does not work with underfloor heating.
Like fibreboard, 5mm thick polystyrene underlay also smoothes surface irregularities to give you an even floor and reduces sound transmission up to 22 decibels – making it ideal for children’s bedrooms, playrooms or any room that may get a little noisy. Plus, it has a foil back for extra heat insulation and can be used in kitchens and bathrooms.
Polystyrene underlay does not work with underfloor heating.
Sponge rubber underlay
Working as a moisture barrier to stop damp rising from the subfloor, 3mm thick sponge rubber underlay is ideal for bathrooms and kitchens. It also works with underfloor heating, is foil-backed for insulation and reduces sound by 22 decibels.
You might need
Once you’ve picked your flooring, there are few more final touches to consider. Look for products that colour match the flooring for a neat, consistent finish.
Trims or scotia are decorative mouldings that hide any unsightly gaps between the edges of your flooring and your skirting boards or walls. They can also be used to hide cables, helping keep your flooring clear. They aren’t glued to the flooring, but to the skirting or wall and rest just above the flooring – this allows for the floor to expand and move.
Thresholds are used whenever there’s a transition between flooring, or when the flooring of one room stops and another begins. They are long, thin strips that cover any gaps and if there’s a height difference between the two rooms they can help compensate. Thresholds are available in wood-effect plastic, wood or metal and you won’t need any tools to fit them as they either clip into place or are self-adhesive.
It pays to be careful when laying furniture directly onto wood flooring – over time the feet may leave indents or marks. To prevent this, use castor cups and felt pads. These help distribute the weight of the furniture, as well as stop sharp edges catching on the floor, and therefore help prevent damage.
Rugs and rug grips
Our hard flooring options are warm underfoot, but adding a rug is a cosy way of breaking up the room. If you’re worried about the rug slipping, secure it with a rug grip.
Keep your floor in the best condition by using cleaning products specifically design to work with hard flooring. These will help ensure that it continues to look great over time.