Timber floors are a great choice for just about any home, as they're durable and have a classic look that fits any decor and which suits a wide range of potential homebuyers, should you ever decide to put your home on the market. If you're thinking about timber flooring for your home, note a few questions you might have about the material and the surface, and then you can determine if this is the right choice for you.
1. Can timber floors be sanded and refinished indefinitely?
Sanding down the outer layer of timber and then adding paint or stain can make the flooring look like new, but this isn't always a solution; some scuff marks or scratches can be so deep that the floor literally cannot be sanded down enough to reach a fresh layer of wood, and some stains may be several inches or centimetres deep, so that you can't sand away that area to remove the stain.
Also, while you can usually have the floors sanded and refinished several times before the slats actually need replacing, don't assume that sanding can be done an indefinite number of times. Eventually the slats will simply become too thin and may splinter or chip just from everyday traffic, and they would then need to be replaced.
2. What is the difference in finishes for the flooring?
When you have your timber floors installed or refinished, you want to think seriously about the finish you choose. Gloss has a higher shine and can make a polished floor reflect sunlight so that a room looks brighter and airier, but gloss may also show more wear and tear and scuff marks. Satin isn't as shiny as gloss, and matte has a flat and dull finish. The matte finish won't show scuff marks very easily, so it's good for homes with kids and pets. Satin can be a good compromise, as it's not as dull as matte or shiny as gloss, but also won't show as many marks as gloss either.
3. Can timber floors be installed over any subfloor?
Typically timber floors can be installed over any flooring; if your home's subfloor is uneven or warped, however, this may require some extra work of setting down a layer of particle board. You might also opt for floating timber floors, which are attached to each other at the sides and not necessarily glued to the subfloor. Your installer can note any extra work you might expect, given the condition of the home's subfloor.