When it comes to choosing floor finishes, there are so many options, from carpets to wooden floors to tiles. Although some finishes seem like no-brainers (I do wonder about 70's british homes where carpets were installed in bathrooms), a lot of the choice comes down to personal preference.

In terms of what materials to use in different rooms, many people consider tiles to be a traditional and low-maintenance option for kitchens while carpets have always been the go-to option for bedrooms, certainly in the UK. However, today tastes are changing and fitting wooden floors throughout is becoming a more and more popular way to decorate, especially with open plan designs.

Wood is a sustainable, renewable and natural material so not only is it green, but wooden floors are longer-lasting and can be refinished or sanded down many times to freshen the look, compared to carpets which collect dust, are more high maintenance to upkeep and do not last as long.
If you prefer the feel of something warm under your feet in the morning, why not consider an engineered wooden floor and install underfloor heating to achieve this effect?

Many people are concerned that wooden floors in kitchens could get more stained than tiles. Although there is logic to this theory, treated and well maintained floors (and homes that are kept tidy and cleaned regularly) do not stain even in the kitchen area. Of course it's again down to personal preference.

Wooden floors alone offer a lot of versatility, from imitation laminates (the budget option) to engineered wooden floors to solid hardwood floors. Laminate floors are not recommended unless your reason for choosing is simply the budget, as the look and feel just does not compare to real or engineered floors. Engineered wooden floors are a great choice nowadays as they offer to look of real wood but with the stability of an engineered bottom layer (usually plywood or something similar) - they are great to use with under floor heating as they don't move or shrink/expand like solid wood floors and the engineered layer also means the costs are much lower in comparison to solid wood floors. At the top of the range is the solid wood floors, which are the most natural looking and the most hardwearing / long lasting option. With a vast range of colours, finishes and 'types' of wood (oak being the most common, to more specific types such as walnut or mahogany).

A beautiful timber floor isn't just an investment in your property, it's an investment in your home and family. Whether it be a modern home with a contemporary feel, or something more warm and traditional, there are solutions available that will add value to both your property and your life. Companies like French Forest Floors have very informative websites that will help you to make a more informed decision about the kind of floor you need.

Here are some questions and answers to some common queries that people ask French Forest Floors:

Q: Which wood is best for my floor?
A: Our range of solid wood floors includes five types of floorboards, each with their own specific characteristics. This means it helps to have an idea of the final look you want to achieve then take a look at the individual appearances of each type. For example, if you are looking for a classic, traditional feel, then our Solid Oak floors are probably best for you, but if you wanted a more modern feel then our Columbia range may be better. For a more exclusive look then our Walnut wood floors are for you as we are the only manufacturer to stock them. Although it is not only the appearance that matters, some of our flooring is much harder wearing than others. We have really strong Solid White Ash Nouveau floors which are particularly suited to high traffic areas due to their bounce and durability. We also have our Ardennes Oak bonded floorboards for a classic look with significant strength.

Q: How do I care for my floor after fitting?
A: Wooden floors are great for any home, although they require a little TLC to keep them looking as great as possible for as long as possible. We recommend regular sweeping and vacuuming to prevent grit and dirt from scratching the surface of the wood, this can be helped with a doormat at every entrance. It is also advisable to fix felt pads to the bottom of table and chair legs to prevent dents and scratches from heavy furniture and from lots of movement. Try to avoid dragging furniture across your floor, if you need to move objects use an old rug in the wrong way up to move items easily and with minimal damage. Cleaning is important for wooden floors, any spillages should be cleaned up immediate to prevent staining. It is also advisable to occasionally clean your floor with a mild soap based product to keep it looking great.

Q: Will my floor change over time?
A: As the wood ages, the colour will tone down and any really obvious differences in colour in the early stages will be less noticeable. This is to do with the type of finish and how much direct sunlight the flooring is exposed to.

Q: Are pets bad for wooden floors?
A: If you choose a wooden floor that is hard enough, pet claws shouldn't be a problem. If you are worried then consider choosing a floor that is similar in colour to that of your pet's fur, so loose hairs don't stand out too much. Any pet waste should be cleaned quickly and only with a mild soap if possible, to prevent stripping any topcoats from the floor. In order to be double safe, we recommend keeping your pet's nails trim and perhaps even using some kind of claw covers.

More information from French Forest Floors