Selecting Wood Floors for Longevity and Stability
The construction of a plank is, aside from the surface finish, the most important factor when choosing a quality wood floor. By now you may have collected a few samples from different wood flooring suppliers. We encourage you to compare them! Use the following simple guidelines to compare the products available to you and find out for yourself which wood floor is going to stand the test of time.
The construction is a decisive factor in the longevity and stability of wooden floorboards.
- High quality wood floors have a counter-move which is designed to greatly reduce the movement of the wood i.e swelling and shrinkage.
A counter-move refers to a perfectly symmetrical construction.
- The top finished layer of timber, and the back layer, also called the counter-move, must consist of the same wood and the same treatment which greatly reduces the movement of the wood across the width.
- The middle layer, made up from a softwood should be glued at a 90° angle to the slats. The softwood provides for a certain degree of flexibility, which reduces tension in the plank.
What to avoid? Take a good look at what the layers of an engineered board are made up of. Check the materials. Avoid products that appear to have composites or offcuts glued on to make up the backing of the floorboard. These are often leftovers or timber offcuts that offer no real balance or structural integrity.
What is the difference between solid wood floors and three-layer mafi floors?
Solid wood floors use the same piece of wood across the entire thickness. The biggest problem with this type of construction is the natural swelling and shrinkage behaviour of timber which leads to warping and cupping of the floor. Underfloor heating only adds to this problem.
Mafi floors have a perfectly symmetrical construction that consists of three layers of natural timber. This construction ensures perfect balance and allows for the natural movement of timber. There’s that word again – Symmetry. Look for symmetry in the construction of your wooden floorboard for the very best stability.