Real wood flooring: a beginner’s guide to choosing flooring materials


There are plenty of benefits to having real wood flooring in your home. While it may seem more expensive than other flooring options such as linoleum or carpet, wood flooring can save you money in the long run.

Wooden flooring is generally longer lasting, easier to clean and more hygienic than other types. Carpet, for example, can accumulate tough stains and become worn quickly – especially for homes with children and pets. 

If you’re already sold on the idea of real wood flooring, there’s a few things you need to consider. Should you go for solid wood or engineered wood floors? Read our guide to choose the right material for you.

What style suits your home?

Generally speaking, engineered wood lends itself better to more modern style living spaces. If your décor has an urban, modern, or minimalist feel, engineered wood might be more your style. Solid wood flooring, depending on the type of wood and finish, may better compliment classic, country-style and chic home décor. Our solid Scandinavian redwood flooring, for example, gives floors a beautiful, rustic feel.

In terms of durability and longevity, both types of real wood flooring can last for decades. However, if you have a busy home with heavy footfall, and think your floors may need touch ups as the years go by, solid wood flooring might be for you. Engineered flooring will generally only withstand two or three sandings in its lifetime, whereas solid wood flooring can usually take five or six.

Where do you want to lay it?

Both types of real wood flooring can be fitted in spaces like living rooms, corridors and bedrooms. Solid wood works well in any space where you can really show it off. It makes an excellent feature and adds value to your home.

Solid wood flooring is not recommended in areas where the atmosphere or temperature is likely to fluctuate, like in the kitchen, bathroom, or below ground level. In these areas, engineered wood flooring is a better option because it’s less susceptible to moisture or temperature damage.

Can you do it yourself?

If you’re looking for a hassle-free DIY job, engineered wood is the way forward. Flooring such as our Elka Engineered Oak is thinner than solid wood and features click-lock fitting, meaning you won’t need glue or nails to install.


Depending on your level of experience, it is possible to fit solid wood flooring yourself, but it can be difficult. Solid flooring with tongue-and-groove planks has to be fitted precisely, knocked firmly into placed, glued and strapped to set. The sanding process can also be trickier with solid wood and has a big impact on the final look of the floor. If in doubt, our advice is to hire a professional.

See our full range of real wood flooring materials to find the one that’s right for you. For more expert advice on home improvement projects, get in touch with us online or pop in to one of our branches. We’re happy to help.