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Hard maple: Highly versatile wood

Hard maple is a wonderful, expensive, nearly white wood used for almost every application imaginable both today and even prior to the colonization of the U.S. Uses include cabinets, furniture, bowls, bowling alleys, bowling pins, flooring, piano frames, dulcimers, spinning wheels, cutting boards, tool handles, veneer, pallets, particleboard, paper, firewood, and even railroad ties. What is this ubiquitous wood that we call maple?

Hard maple lumber, which is also called sugar maple, sweet maple, black maple and rock maple, comes from two species. Most lumber comes from sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and a small amount from black maple (Acer nigrum). Once hard maple lumber is manufactured, it is impossible, even under magnification, to separate the lumber into the two individual species. The name “hard” actually means that the lumber is substantially harder than the other maples, including the grouping called soft maple.

What person hasn’t had pancakes topped with wonderful, sweet maple syrup? Sugar maple is the tree that produces maple syrup. A grove of producing sugar maple trees is called the sugar bush. Also, did you know that it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup?

Processing suggestions and characteristics

After drying to 7 percent MC and planing to 13/16 inch, maple weighs 3-1/3 pounds per board foot.

Maple is subject to blue staining and also chemical staining if not dried promptly and aggressively. Chemical staining occurs when the starches and sugars oxidize to pink or gray colors. For whitest color, maple must be stacked promptly after sawing using dry stickers. Maple is not exceptionally stable. Moisture content when the lumber leaves the kiln must be very close to the in-use moisture content. For most uses, 6.5 percent MC is the ideal final target, with almost all pieces being within + or – 1 percent MC.

Gluing and Machining
Maple requires surfaces to be glued to be freshly prepared and perfectly flat. Small errors will result in low strength joints. Because the grain in maple swirls quite a bit, planing and other machining operations will frequently be planing against the grain. To avoid chip out and torn grain, knives must be very sharp. Avoid over-drying the lumber (under 5.5 percent MC is over-dried), as brittleness and poor machining will be increased.

Hard maple changes width and thickness when the RH changes…about 1 percent size change running parallel with the rings (tangentially) when there is a 3 percent MC change, and 1 percent change across the rings (radially) when there is a 6 percent MC change.

Sugar maple is a little (10 percent) stronger, stiffer and harder than black maple. The bending strength is 15,800 psi, stiffness 1.83 million psi and hardness is 1450 pounds.

Color and Grain
Maple is a wonderful, nearly white wood. Unfortunately, there is no definition of “how white is white” so different suppliers will have different whiteness. In addition to the standard grades, some markets will also ask for “No.1 white”, which means that both edges and faces must be all sapwood (no brown heart). “No.2 white” means that one face and both edges will be sapwood. Hard maples frequently develop small little burls or curls in the wood, which we call bird’s eye. Bird’s eye maple is attractive and valuable.

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Freddy My Love X Direct Wood Flooring 

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We’re excited to share our collaboration with YouTube star Freddy Cousin Brown. Freddy is in the process of renovating her London flat, and we are happy to have helped with the process of transforming her home. 

Let’s look at what flooring Freddy My Love loved and opted for in her kitchen and living room, and how you can get the ‘Freddy look’ in your home too. 


Farmhouse Chic With Freddy My Love


Where kitchen designs are concerned, Freddy My Love has a modern yet homely feel – Let’s go with farmhouse chic for this humbling interior. 


Initially she was looking to install solid wood due to the beauty of the organic features and authenticity of natural wood. However, because solid wood can expand and warp with the temperature and moisture fluctuations, we advise not installing this in a kitchen. 


“I got advised against solid wood in a kitchen, so I had to find another nice option”


And that she did! After browsing our fantastic range of laminates, she opted for one from our hyper realistic wood Vintage Narrow range

Vintage Narrow Range

“It’s literally like wood, I can’t believe it. It’s not like laminate at all. It’s got a realistic grain and texture with knots in it like real wood has. I never thought laminate would be this nice.”


This range beautifully replicates real wood thanks to a high quality bevel and has a host of other amazing benefits to offer too:


  • Highly durable
  • Low maintenance 
  • Scratch guard
  • Stain-guard
  • Slip resistance
  • Impact resistance
  • Underfloor heating 


The result is simply charming, and fits perfectly with her kitchen décor. 


“I’m beside myself, it looks so beautiful! I can’t believe how affordable it was either.”


Not only is this range stunning and excellently replicates wood flooring, but it is also a cheaper alternative to your typical real wood flooring options. So you can achieve that luxury feel without breaking the bank. 


Traditional meets Contemporary


Along with collaborating on her kitchen floor, we also helped Freddy My Love create her dream living room too. 


Choosing an elegant traditional style engineered wood flooring, she has completely transformed her living room into a perfectly balanced contemporary yet traditional space.


Our Avignon Natural Oak Versailles Tile Engineered Wood flooring, adds a magnificent statement piece to her large living room, creating a grand luxurious and inviting space. 


Just ask Freddy herself:


“It looks so elegant and so unique. I am just speechless. I can’t believe it. I think it looks absolutely incredible!”


This distinguished flooring not only provides a lavish conversation piece but offers a wide range of benefits for the space you lay it in. 


  • Highly durable
  • Easy to fit
  • Can be refinished
  • Looks just like solid wood 
  • Great temperature resistance 
  • Amazing warranties 


So if you’re looking to revamp your home and add a touch of luxury and elegance. This may be the flooring for you. 


If you like any of the flooring ranges from Freddy My Love and her collaboration, then you can order Free Samples today from our site


The post Freddy My Love X Direct Wood Flooring  appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

In Collaboration With I Love Wallpaper

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Are you one for bringing out your personality through your interiors? Then our Sister brand, Flooring Superstores’ collaboration with I Love Wallpaper might peak your interest. With quirky and stylish designs offering a wide range of aesthetics, you’ll be able to easily take inspiration and replicate these in your homes. 

Bold and Beautiful Interiors


If making a statement is something you want to achieve with your home décor, then you might want to take out your notepad and take down some tips on this bold and beautiful interior design. 


I love wallpaper - bold and beautiful interiors
Studio White Laminate


Using eccentric wallpaper as a feature piece, such as I Love Wallpapers Paradise Floral Wallpaper, can help to create a statement in your space, and tell your guests you have bold style, and you’re not afraid to use it!


Additionally, using eye-catching designs delivered through your wallpaper, can offset the rest of your room, where you can opt for more subtle pieces to tie together the design as a whole. 


Neutral furnishings and flooring is perfect for pairing with distinctive wallpapers. Flooring Superstore’s Studio White Laminate Flooring is the perfect companion for eccentric designs such as this. 


This helps to balance out the beautiful and striking patterns on the wallpaper. It also ensures that the design resonates with style and rather than chaos. 


The Modern Minimalist Interiors


This next interior style is one that is making a rise in the interiors industry. The modern minimalist. 

I love wallpaper - modern minimalist interiors
Studio Vanilla Oak Engineered Wood

The modern minimalist design sees the cutting down of furnishings and accessories to a minimum, allowing you to focus on bringing out style and beauty, without having to overdo it. 


One way to execute this design is to stay in touch with nature. Extract all of the natural beauty of elements such as real woods and plant life. 


Flooring Superstore’s Studio Vanilla Engineered Wood Flooring exquisitely demonstrates the beauty of nature, showing off natural grains and knots. 


This provides a more organic style. These elements are what help to bring the aesthetic to life when having minimal furnishing and accessories. 


Using a wallpaper that also encompasses the natural and organic aesthetic is a great way to complete this design. 


I Love Wallpapers Banana Leaf Wallpaper does this flawlessly, offering a black and white leaf design to further match the ongoing nature theme.


Sleek and Sophisticated


Looking to show off a sleek and sophisticated style when welcoming guests into your home?

I Love Wallpaper - Interiors
Loft Midnight Grey Laminate

Then this versatile design might be to your taste. 


Thanks to a neutral grey palette, the main components of this design are reflected in the Milan Metallic Wallpaper from I Love Wallpaper and Loft Midnight Grey Laminate from Flooring Superstore, you can easily alternate furnishings around this design. 


Not only that, the grey tones throughout this design add a chic modern tone to any space in your home. 


So when attempting a contemporary yet sophisticated decor, grey is certainly the way! 


If you liked what you saw in this fantastic collaboration between I Love Wallpaper and our Sister brand, Flooring Superstore, head over to their sites.


The post In Collaboration With I Love Wallpaper appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

Big Bank Holiday Sale – Wood Flooring 

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Are you finding that transforming your home is proving costly? Then you’ll be pleased to hear about our Big Bank Holiday Sale!  Working to budgets and promotions is a great way to save on renovation costs. If you’re planning on purchasing flooring as part of your renovation, then you won’t want to miss this bank holiday sale!

This bank holiday weekend, we’re giving you an extra 10% off site wide until 30th August 2021. So if you’re renovating on a budget, or even if you’re not, why not take advantage of our Big Bank Holiday Sale and save a few pounds on your journey to your dream home. 


We’ve got amazing deals on our flooring across our site, including our best sellers!


Best Seller Bank Holiday Sale Savings


Let’s take a look at some of our best seller savings and get the ball rolling for your house project.


EvoCore Light Meadow Oak


EvoCore flooring is one of the most innovative flooring types on the market today, with a tonne of amazing benefits including: 


  • 100% waterproof
  • Anti-slip surface
  • Pet-friendly
  • Durable and hard-wearing
  • No glue needed for installation, due to its easy click-lock installation feature
  • Real wood look and feel
  • Scratch-resistant


This list is just a few benefits this amazing range of flooring offers. 

EvoCore Light Vanilla Oak
EvoCore Light Vanilla Oak

Our EvoCore Light Meadow Oak is one of our best sellers due to these amazing practical qualities combined with its stunning appearance. 


Its shades of sand and light browns, hits the neutral trend, and allows for a versatile setting to alternate interiors around over time. 


So if you have had your eye on this best seller, make sure you take advantage of our Big Bank Holiday Sale now!


Unfinished Parquet Oak Solid Wood


Our next best seller on the list is a natural beauty from our solid wood collection. Our Unfinished Parquet Oak Solid Wood flooring


This best seller makes for a stunning traditional statement piece, styles in a parquet pattern with striking wood knots and grains for authenticity. 

Unfinished Parquet Solid Wood Flooring


As this solid wood is unfinished you can reap all of the benefits of its natural appearance, and pattern whilst having the ability to further intensify with an oil or lacquer finish. 


This solid wood will stand the test of time, so your home will have added character for many years to come. 


If you want to make a statement with your flooring, then opt for this charming solid wood flooring, and save a few pounds with our Big Bank Holiday Sale. 


Herringbone Palazzo Oak Laminate


Another amazing flooring you have the option for big savings on, is our popular Herringbone Palazzo Oak Laminate


This beautiful herringbone design makes a great addition to both modern and traditional homes, regardless of lifestyle. 

Herringbone Palazzo Oak Laminate

Laminate has great practical qualities including:


  • High durability 
  • Easy to maintain 
  • Scratch resistant 
  • Stain resistant
  • Hygienic


There is a reason this fantastic flooring is among our best sellers!


Grab yourself a bargain on this practical and stylish selection, and transform your home less. 


As you can see we have an amazing array of flooring types, styles and colours to suit any décor and aesthetic. There really is something for everyone, and we’re certain adding a great discount makes them all the more attractive when it comes to renovating your home!


Got questions surrounding flooring or our Big Bank Holiday Sale? Get in touch with a member of our team today.


The post Big Bank Holiday Sale – Wood Flooring  appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

In Partnership With Baytree Interiors

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Let’s talk 2021 trends that have taken the interior industry not by storm, but by hurricane. In particular; New neutrals and the neutral interior trend. Where colour is concerned mustard is out and greige, and beige are in. Our Sister Brand Flooring Superstore has partnered with interior specialists, Baytree Interiors to help with inspiration when it comes to getting the style with this popular trend. 

Greige Is In


You may have been familiar with the grey trend that has entered the homes of millions over the last few years. Well, this neutral trend has evolved even further from your typical grey, to greige. 


Greige blends the popular interior colours of grey and beige, creating the perfect balance of cool chic tones, and warm inviting tones. Due to the neutral qualities of this trend, it is easy to introduce brighter colours or metals and woods to accentuate and accessorise with. 


This level of versatility is what has seen this trend become widely adopted by homes across the globe. 

Neutral Interiors
Salvador Toffee Pearl


Just look at this hallway inspired by the greige trend using Flooring Superstores Salvador Range


Introducing this trend in your hallway sets the tone for the rest of your home and can create a calm and welcoming space to invite your guests into. 


Using side tables, side boards, lamps and ornaments are the perfect way to set off your entrance hall. Baytree Interiors are stockists of some amazing options to match this trend. Their Scandi-inspired Nordic Collection Console Table effortlessly complements this decor. 


Go a step further and inject fascinating talking points with modish embellishments such as the Hudson Adjustable Large Table Lamp and Large Metallic Bamboo Lantern.  


Earthy Tones 


Earthy tones are another interior trend that won’t sound like they’re something new, and to be truthful. They’re not. The browns, the beiges, the pale greens have always been around. But not like this. 


When paired with the right furnishings, accessories and complementing design materials (e.g wood, metal) using these earthy tones can create a beautifully stylish and soothing environment to relax in.


Previously, neutral carpets have been a play-safe option. Primarily used as a base to easily pair with any design whilst bringing a comfortable homely tone to your space. 


Now, these neutral shades of carpet are very much a foundational aspect of your interior should you adopt this trend. 


When coupled with natural wood tones, easily introduced with furnishings such as coffee tables, side tables or even chairs, this can bring a luxurious aesthetic to your home. 

neutral interior trend



Flooring Superstore’s collaboration with Baytree Interiors demonstrates this design perfectly, using the Toffee Silk carpet from their Mont Blanc range, and the Live Edge Collection River Coffee Table from Baytree Interiors. 


Grey Is Still The Way 


Now we couldn’t leave this one out of the list. Whilst grey has been in for the last few years in interiors, in accessories, paints and furnishings and seems to be making its way out, where flooring is concerned, grey is still very much in. 


This is because like the rest of these neutral trends, it is extremely adaptable. You pretty much have free reign when it comes to the interiors that surround a grey flooring. 


So if you’re one for changing up your interiors frequently, a neutral grey flooring might be a great option to include in your design. 


neutral interior trend
Everest Satin Dream


The grey trend is perfect for those who enjoy a chic design. This pairing of Flooring Superstore’s Everest Satin Dream, with tasteful accessories such as Baytree Interiors’ Farah Collection Silver Coffee Table makes for a classy, contemporary result. 


And there we have it! The rundown on all things neutral in the interiors department. Hopefully we offered some home inspo, and at the very least introduced the word ‘greige’ into your interiors repertoire. If you have any questions regarding flooring, then get in touch with one of our experts today. 


The post In Partnership With Baytree Interiors appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

Should I Use Light or Dark Hardwood Floors?

If you are someone who is lucky enough to live in a home with hardwood floors, you should be thankful. Hardwood floors are the epitome of class and elevate a home’s look and feel that is tough to replicate.

But if you are deciding upon the type of hardwood floor you want in your home, you have options. There are many selections for your home flooring but when it comes to hardwood floors, most people start with selecting the tone: light or dark? Yet, even those two options might feel overwhelming and impossible to choose between.

Getting Started

Light, cool, dark, warm – these are the tones of hardwood that can alter the overall look and feel of a floor. There are many factors to consider. In the end, it all depends on what type of homeowner you are and what sort of things you value. What type of cleaner are you? Are you a pet owner? Do you have children? All of these things will come together to help inform if your hardwood floors are going to function better in a dark tone or a lighter one. 

Before you really get into the pros and cons of dark and light hardwood floors, it is important that you make a commitment to decide upon the option that you like the most. At the end of the day, the final choice should always be the one that makes you happiest. It’s your home and it should look the way you want it to. 

When the time comes to make the final decision, here are the things to think about when choosing between light or dark hardwood floors.

Which is Easier to Keep Clean?

While some of the competing topics between light and dark hardwood floors end up with neck-and-neck results, this one isn’t really close. The truth is that lighter toned hardwood floors are much easier to keep clean. Light hardwood floors tend to show less dirt than their dark alternatives. This is important if you have a home that has a lot of open windows, fans, or pets. An open window, for example, will bring in dirt and dust from the outside world. That will show up pretty readily on your hardwood floor. 

The same dirt and dust will also get all over a carpeted floor too. However, it will show up much more on hardwood. Thankfully, seeing a mess easier on hardwood can actually be a good thing because that means you will be able to tend to it faster and get it cleaned. People who have carpets are often walking around on dirty ground without even knowing it. Meanwhile, homeowners with hardwood are able to spot and fix these problem areas much faster. 

If you are looking for a floor that is easier to clean, you should go with light hardwood floors.

Which Shows Scratches More?

Hardwood floors are striking in their appearance, there is no doubt about it. But it is also undeniable that hardwood floors are more prone to scratches and little damages more than most other flooring methods. This makes sense when you think about it, wood is more susceptible to little imperfections over time. Hardwood floors are still strong, don’t misunderstand that. However, there is a good chance that your hardwood floor will receive some dings and damage over time. 

Since some minor damage is unavoidable, the question becomes which shows scratches more: light or dark hardwood? Most people agree that dents, dings, and scratches show up much more on dark hardwood. Why is that? Because most wood floor species are light, so when you scratch through the dark-colored surface, the contrast of the light underneath is more obvious, meaning that the scratch shows up much easier than it does on a light-on-light hardwood floor. 

This is something to consider if you are a parent or pet owner. Children and animals are the two biggest culprits when it comes to damage to hardwood floors. They bring a lot of love into your home but they also can bring in a lot of roughhousing and damage. If you have children or pets – or both – you should seriously consider having a light hardwood floor for your home. 

If you still decide to get a dark hardwood floor knowing that your scratches will show up more, there are options for you. There are many ways to clean your hardwood floor, no matter how dark it is and how many scratches it has.

[Source: Unsplash]

Which One Will Cost You More?

You may be wondering which one, light or dark toned hardwood floors, will make a larger impact on your wallet. The truth is that in this case, both light and dark hardwood floors are about the same when it comes to pricing. In some markets, that may be different. However, generally, the difference in pricing is minimal. 

Personal Preferences

While maintenance and cost are common deciding factors, one thing that can’t be neglected is considering one’s personal preferences. 

A home’s style is unique. Depending on the color schemes of the rooms in your home, there is usually an optimal choice. There is actually a science that revolves around floor color. Here are some highlights. 

  • Floor colors impact the way we perceive the size of a room. Some colors make a room look larger, while others make the room feel smaller. 
  • Brown has a feeling of comfort and inspires nature.
  • White has a feeling of cleanliness, innocence, and happiness.
  • Black has a feeling of sophistication and power. 

Specific colors are used by interior designers in numerous ways. 

  • Bring attention to a specific part of a room
  • Convey emotions
  • Create contrast
  • Create connections
  • Alter perception of space

Final Thoughts

No matter which you choose, light or dark hardwood flooring, no choice is wrong. Although, each has their own unique benefits. To make the final choice, you should think about what type of homeowner you are, who lives in your home, and how often you want to clean. And of course, don’t forget to consider your own personal preferences, which is the most important factor in deciding which tone is right for you.

Carpet vs. Hardwoods – Which Is More Sanitary?

Carpet vs. Hardwoods – Which Is More Sanitary?

Carpet versus hardwood: it’s a debate that feels as old as time. New homeowners have dealt with this issue for ages now and people come down hard on either side of the debate. 

When you are trying to decide between carpet and hardwood, you need to ask yourself one major question: which is more sanitary? Are hardwood floors or carpet more sanitary for your home and the people living in it? This is a vital question to answer because if you end up with the option that is dirtier and more prone to getting messy, you will have to clean it more often. Over time, this will cost you a lot of time, energy, and money. Additionally, you want the option that is going to be cleaner because that is better for the health and well-being of everyone living in your home, especially children or pets. 

At the end of the day, there is a cleaner, more sanitary choice, and it might surprise you.

Sanitary Properties

We all know what it’s like to get stains on our carpets. Not only is there the problem of getting the stain out, but it’s almost impossible to completely remove the effect that takes place within the fibers themselves. Dirt, urine, smells, and funkiness are brought out even more when stepped on, so the issues are never actually completely resolved. 

What’s more, the bigger problem is the allergens that come from infected carpets. Even if your family has a tolerance or lack of allergies from these things, the guests that you bring into your home may experience them. 

If you insist on carpeting part of your home, the best thing you can do for safety is using a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Note that you will need to vacuum every week or two regardless of visible pollutants to maintain your carpet and enable the ability to get rid of major issues when they do arise. 

Steam cleaning is a popular choice, and this is an okay option, but it’s very important to dry the carpet after use. Opening windows and using fans are great tools at your disposal here. If the carpet isn’t dried, mold and pests show up. 

The beauty of hardwood floors is the ease and effectiveness of cleaning. A simple mopping gets the job done for good. No more dealing with things like nasty pet dander or dust mites. Bacteria is not a joke.

Visible Messes

One of the benefits of having a hardwood floor is that you are able to see messes on it much easier. If you stay on top of cleaning, that means that a hardwood floor will be a cleaner floor because you will quickly take care of any damage or mess that you see.

vacuuming dirt on hardwood floor

[Source: Unsplash]

Keep in mind, hardwood isn’t always the best choice when it comes to this aspect. There are times when you might not see a mess because it is on hardwood. A liquid spill, for example, often shows up easier on carpet, which means you will notice it sooner and clean it up faster. Depending on the coloring of your hardwood, you might not see a spill of any liquid and that might lead to it sitting, drying, staining, or doing long term damage. 

However, most messes will be much more visual on a hardwood floor. Whether it be a dropped piece of food, mud and dirt, or a mess from your pet, it will show up clear as day on hardwood. If you clean your floors once a day – even if it’s just a quick sweep – you will see the latest mess that needs to be addressed. 

For this reason, hardwood floors are often cleaner simply because the messes that end up on them are so much more obvious and don’t fall into the many nooks and crannies of a carpet, forever lost below the surface. 

Which Costs More to Clean?

This is a tricky aspect of the debate between carpet and hardwood floors. Many people want to know which one is more expensive when it comes to professional cleaning. Will you be spending more money on a hardwood floor or will you be spending more on a carpet? The answer isn’t that surprising: hardwood floors will set you back far less than a carpet.

Just because cleaning a hardwood floor is cheaper than cleaning a carpet doesn’t mean that tending to hardwood won’t be cheap. It will still cost you a pretty penny. Actually, it can cost a lot because most people will clean their hardwood floors far more often than they clean their carpets. Many homeowners who have hardwood floors keep a bottle of wood cleaner handy and pour a bit on the floors and mop it up at least once a week. The best wood cleaners that will really get the job done don’t come cheap. So while hardwood floors are going to cost less than carpets when it comes to cleaning, it will still cause a hit to your wallet. But staying clean is always worth it.

Cleaning a carpet is much more expensive than cleaning a hardwood floor for multiple reasons. For one, you will need a vacuum and those are usually quite expensive if you are looking for one that will actually achieve everything it’s supposed to. A vacuum is vital for a carpeted floor, otherwise your home will soon be filled with germs, dirt, grime, and other things that can do long term damage to the carpet as well as to the people living in your home. 

However, everyone who owns a home with carpet inside also knows that there will come a time when you will have to purchase the services of a professional carpet cleaner. Whether you are renting the tools yourself or hiring a firm that will do it for you, professionally cleaning a carpet is quite the process. First of all, it can cost more than $100 per visit. Secondly, you need to be home when the professional team arrives to clean. Thirdly, you need to do a lot of prep before someone comes to clean your carpet. Generally, you need to remove all of the furniture from the floor and have it totally bare so that the cleaning can take place. Plus, after your carpets are professionally cleaned, they can remain damp or wet for about a day more. 

The truth is that carpets get dirty much faster and much easier than hardwood floors and the cleaning process to take care of them is a lot more of a hassle too.

dirty carpet

[Source: Unsplash]

Dirty carpets are breeding grounds for allergies. For those reasons alone, buying a hardwood floor over a carpet is probably the right approach when you are trying to choose the more sanitary option. 

Final Thoughts

Of course, you can still have a very dirty hardwood floor, even if it is usually cleaner than a carpet. However, carpets are higher maintenance and it’s harder to tell if they are actually clean or not. Hardwood floors are more sanitary and cost-effective when considering the time and money that goes into most carpet-cleaning products. 

The truth is that no matter which option you choose, you need to make sure that you are always attentive to your floor and buy the right products and spend the appropriate amount of time making sure it is as healthy, bright, and clean as it can be. Cleaning a floor, whether it is hardwood or carpet, is an essential part of owning a home.

Best Floors For a Busy Family Home

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Just picture it: Summer is here, the kids are in and out of the garden trampling in wet muddy footprints from the pool and grass, and you’re following along with a mop wondering if your floors can handle this amount of pressure. In this blog we will cover some of the best flooring types for busy family homes that will easily cater to your little one’s antics.

Engineered Wood Flooring  


First on the list is engineered wood flooring.  Engineered wood flooring combines multiple layers of timber with a solid wood veneer. Designed to allow for wood expansion, engineered wood is compatible with underfloor heating systems and boasts a high moisture tolerance level. 


Thanks to the solid wood veneer, engineered wood flooring displays all the stunning looks of solid wood at a fraction of the cost. Available in an array of wood species, colours and finishes – there’s a range to compliment every home and budget!

busy family home Cambridge Chevron Oak Engineered Wood
Cambridge Chevron Oak Engineered Wood

Thanks to its robust design, the nature of this flooring means it can easily withstand the pressures of a busy family home. Spills, heavy traffic, toys, pets. Whatever your worries are, this flooring can cater to the demand.


Not only that, engineered wood is easy to clean. Unlike solid wood, engineered wood is less susceptible to water damage and is water resistant to a degree. 


To clean your engineered wood a lightly wet mop with clean water and floor cleaner will do the trick! 


If you’re wanting to introduce that luxurious solid wood feel to your home but your lifestyle conflicts with being able to meet the demands, don’t worry! Engineered wood allows you to have the best of both worlds. 


So you don’t have to worry about anything with this durable contender. From practicality right through to maintenance, it’s perfect for your bust family home. 




This next family friendly flooring should be high on your list of options to consider. EvoCore is an innovative flooring range that is in a league of its own in the flooring market. 


EvoCore Flooring is the most versatile flooring range that we offer. Providing maximum protection from moisture, stains, dents and scratches, as well as  temperature fluctuations. Our EvoCore ranges are designed with many factors in mind to provide a great option for all areas of the home, including high-risk areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.


If you’re a parent or even a dog owner, we’re sure these benefits are music to your ears!


Thanks to EvoCore’s durable and waterproof qualities, it’s easy to clean. So when those inevitable spills or muddy footprints appear, you can easily clean them away with peace of mind that your flooring will stay intact. 

busy family home - EvoCore Premium Sahara Oak

You’ll also be pleased to hear that EvoCore comes in a wide variety or amazing ranges. Each of these offering their own perks, designs and styles. So there is something for everyone when it comes to fitting the interior of your home. As well as being perfect in the practicality department. 




Next on the list is laminate flooring. This flooring often gets the reputation that it isn’t the best of quality when it comes to practicality with flooring. However, that couldn’t be more wrong. 


Laminate flooring has actually come a long way and is one of the most popular flooring options. It comes in different AC ratings. This judges the laminate flooring based on its ability to resist against abrasion, impact and stains. All the things you need to consider with your flooring when living in a busy family home. 


The higher the AC rating, the more durable the flooring. Laminates of AC4/5 make amazing additions to family homes thanks to their practicality. 


They’re easy to maintain, available in a wide range of colours and styles, replicate real wood for a fraction of the cost, resists moisture, scratches and wear and tear. 

busy family home - Herringbone Regency Oak Laminate Flooring
Herringbone Regency Oak Laminate Flooring

So you can have a stunning real wood appearance, with all the practicalities needed in a flooring for it to stand the test of time in your family home!


There we have it, some of the top performing flooring for busy family homes. If you have any more questions regarding flooring, get in touch with one of our advisors today!

The post Best Floors For a Busy Family Home appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

Cheap Flooring – Replicate Real Wood On a Budget 

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When it comes to home renovations, there are a number of elements that come at a significant cost. Flooring is often one of them. Think about it; your flooring has to cover the entire area of your home. But it doesn’t always have to break the bank to achieve the desired aesthetic you’re wanting. In this blog, we’ll cover cheap flooring ideas that are alternatives to your expensive hardwood flooring. 

Laminate Flooring 


Where cheap flooring is concerned, laminate is a great option!

Narrow Dark Peterson Oak Laminate Flooring
Narrow Dark Peterson Oak Laminate Flooring

Laminate is renowned for being practical, budget friendly and excellently replicating real wood flooring in a wide range of colours and styles. So you can have a high performing floor at a low cost.


It is manufactured from multiple layers of high-density fibreboard (HDF). A digitally printed top layer covers densely-packed wood fibres to create a stable core. High-quality wood image is printed, which is often paired with authentic-feeling bevels and grains, to create a hyper-realistic wood effect. This has even extended to being available in tile designs too!


Benefits of Laminate


On top of being appealing from a budget angle, laminate offers a host of benefits that are practical to day-to-day life:


  • Manufactured to be highly durable
  • Easier and cheaper installation
  • Scratch and water resistant
  • Hygienic, easy cleanable surface.
  • Realistic design
  • Available in a wide range of styles
  • Available in a wide range of budgets 
  • Pet-friendly 


AC Ratings 


As previously mentioned, laminate is up there with being able to adhere to most budgets. Though there is still often the connotation that with laminate, whilst being budget friendly, quality is compromised. However, this isn’t necessarily true. 


When shopping for laminate flooring, you may encounter a term referred to as a “laminate AC rating”. Meaning “abrasion class”, AC rating describes a floor’s durability against a number of key factors. The higher the AC rating, the more durable it is. Whilst laminate with a rating of AC1 is only suitable for areas with little footfall, the higher AC5-rated laminate floors are robust enough for use in commercial buildings, such as busy retail stores.


Laminate AC rating determines how well a laminate floor copes within different environments.

In order to receive an AC rating, laminate flooring must go through rigorous testing. Known as the Taber test, the process assesses the flooring to measure its resistance. The AC rating is dependent on how it deals with a number of different stress points. Abrasion, stains, impact, moisture, heat and scratches are all factors used to produce a laminate AC rating.

To receive an AC rating, every aspect of the test requires a pass. If it fails even one, it receives an “unrated” label, meaning it misses the mark in terms of quality expected by both retailers and consumers.

So in reality, you don’t have to compromise quality at all. Making sure you know your stuff when it comes to AC ratings can help you with a steal – purchasing cheap flooring that supports the demands of any lifestyle. 

Saving Costs With Laminate


On top of laminate being relatively cheap to purchase for your packs of flooring, there are other cost saving benefits that come with choosing this cheap flooring option. 




When it comes to your installation, the majority of laminates are available in a tongue and groove locking system. This means that installation is quick and easy, so the DIY method is welcomed. Alternatively if you’re hiring a fitter, this could save you on costs as you wouldn’t require the fitter for as long a duration.    


Laminate Styles 


Another way you can save money by purchasing laminate flooring is in the style department. 


Herringbone and chevron are traditional flooring styles turned trend, now a popular choice with contemporary interiors. 

Vintage Chateau Herringbone Luxury Teak
Vintage Chateau Herringbone Luxury Teak

With this being more of a classic design, it has typically only been available in your hardwood flooring options, however there is now a vast array of designs available in laminate. So you can save money, whilst still shopping in style! 


LVT Flooring


The next contender on the cheap flooring list is LVT

Trade Select Concrete Grey LVT
Trade Select Concrete Grey LVT

Luxury Vinyl Tiles, also known as Click Vinyl Flooring or LVT, are renowned for the ability to imitate high-end flooring designs to an impeccable standard. Built with multiple layers, this robust flooring not only looks amazing but is one of the toughest flooring options on the market too.


Benefits of LVT


As well as being a front-runner for a cheap flooring option for your home, LVT offers an abundance of benefits, from style, to budget, to practicality. 


  • Available in a range of budgets
  • Available in a range of styles
  • Highly durable 
  • Waterproof
  • Slip resistant
  • Provides warmth and cushioned feel underfoot
  • Insulates sound
  • Easy to maintain 
  • Its innovative design makes it difficult to differentiate from real wood thanks to its textured finish 
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to replace individual tiles where any areas may be damaged
  • The average lifespan is 25-30 years (depending on maintenance and traffic)


Saving Costs With LVT


Thanks to the amazing price points of LVT with some ranges being from around £8.99, you’re already getting a whole lot of bang for your buck when comparing the price to the benefits. 


However, that’s not the only cost savings you will find with Luxury Vinyl Flooring. 




One money saving method that comes as a cost benefit of LVT is its easy installation. Because LVT is available in click or stickdown options, the installation is a lot quicker in comparison to fitting real wood, ceramic or stone flooring. 


As a result of this easy installation, time and effort will be saved when fitting, so if you’re hiring a fitter, this may save you a few pounds. 


Furthermore whilst Luxury Vinyl Flooring is extremely durable, on the off chance that any damage occurs to the flooring,  you can easily replace the area the damage has occurred without ripping up your entire flooring. 


This is because Luxury Vinyl Flooring is fitted in individual tiled packs as opposed to vinyl roll. So no more worrying about paying to replace your entire flooring for one or two scuffs. 

LVT Styles 


In addition to the cost saving in terms of practicality, this versatile flooring is also ahead of the game with style. More importantly, these styles could be the difference between a large bill or a pleasantly surprising one. 


Similarly to laminate flooring, LVT has a wide range of styles available. From herringbone, to tile to chevron and your typical real wood effect. 


This means that you can achieve the looks of more expensive flooring options for a fraction of the price. Moreover, if it’s a real wood effect you’re wanting to incorporate into your design, then LVT’s ability to imitate this is second to none, thanks to its innovative design. 


It’s extremely difficult to tell the difference between real wood and LVT because of the textured finish and bevelled edges adding realism to the design. 


As real wood can be a large investment on its own when it comes to renovating your home, you don’t have to compromise on adding a real wood tone into your interiors thanks to luxury vinyl flooring. 


EvoCore Flooring


Next on the list is a flooring you may not have heard of, or if you have, you may not associate it with the word cheap… EvoCore.


EvoCore is one of the most innovative flooring types on the market and with good reason, not all of the EvoCore ranges are at the lowest of price points in comparison to other flooring types. 


However, EvoCore has expanded its ranges to hit a wider range of budgets, so that practicality, style and versatility is made more affordable. 


Our ranges offer diverse results whether you’re transforming your home or commercial property, with a range of styles and budgets to suit a variety of needs.


These exclusive ranges are designed with every lifestyle in mind. Whether you’ve got a house-full or populated office, you can add luxury, comfort and style to your space with EvoCore.


Benefits of EvoCore 


EvoCore Flooring provides many beneficial factors. Each range comes with its own additional benefits, however we have listed the standard benefits below. 

They ensure the best protection and resistance against both common and rare household and commercial activities. Below is a bullet-pointed list of each benefit that this range offers: 

  • EvoCore is 100% waterproof
  • Anti-slip surface
  • No expansion or contraction when exposed to heat and cold
  • Pet-friendly
  • Durable and hard-wearing
  • Easy installation
  • Real wood look and feel
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Compatible with underfloor heating
  • Hides minor subfloor imperfections
  • Can be laid over existing flooring
  • Eco-friendly


Saving Costs With EvoCore


Now that EvoCore has had such success in its initial ranges, it has continued to expand offering even more versatility. Through this expansion, we have been able to offer even more diversity in styles, practicality and budgets.


This is where it gains its place in this list of cheap flooring options. 


EvoCore Origins


EvoCore Origins is one of the more affordable ranges within the EvoCore brand, offering beautiful authentic wood designs for adding a natural warmth to your home. Featuring in-built underlay, home-wide suitability, high durability and a variety of colours and styles, EvoCore Origins is an ideal flooring for any home, with any lifestyle, and what’s more, it’s budget friendly. So you can have all of this without breaking the bank.


When coupling the fact that this flooring is at a lower price point already, with it having in-built underlay and easy installation. You’re saving money in not one, not two but three places. 


You don’t have to purchase your underlay separately, and you can also save money on installation fees due to the ease of its installation. You could even fit it yourself if you’re feeling confident and want to upskill in the DIY department!




If you had your heart set on introducing real wood flooring into your design, but the cost is putting you off, don’t worry. Similarly, to laminate and LVT, EvoCore Origins is outstanding when it comes to imitating real wood. Each plank incorporates a registered embossed true-to-grain real wood feel. 


So if you were wanting the warmth, and natural essence delivered by real wood, you can still achieve this for a lower cost, and more practicality. 


Amazing, right?   


To conclude, you’re not short of cost effective ways to save on your flooring whilst still achieving that desired real wood effect in your home. Flooring can be a large investment but with these options, it doesn’t have to be. 


For any questions regarding your flooring, please get in touch with one of our advisors who will be happy to help with any queries. 



The post Cheap Flooring – Replicate Real Wood On a Budget  appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

Is There a Perfect Time to Install Our New Hardwood Floor?

Is There a Perfect Time to Install Our New Hardwood Flooring?

You may be asking yourself this question, and every home is different. The summer can be a great month for some families because the kids are out of school, and schedules aren’t as hectic. Other families like to plan their new floor installation around their finances. It’s common to pick a date, like in the spring, and then save in small chunks for new prefinished hardwood flooring.

So is there a perfect time to install your new hardwood flooring? Nope! MacDonald Hardwoods offers pre-finished hardwoods options only. This significantly speeds up installation times and requires no sanding or staining in your home, meaning you can get started at any time. 

Why Try Our Hardwood Flooring?

1) Speed

Opting for our floors will significantly expedite the application time in comparison to unfinished hardwood, as the steps that generally follow placing down the flooring are eliminated as they were completed prior.

2) Minimal Mess

Installing our flooring is a process that produces much less of a mess than traditional flooring, as many of the necessary steps, such as, staining, sanding, and coating have already been done prior and won’t have to be done on-site.

3) Durability, Versatility and Quality

Our floor type provides an unmatched hard, durable finish, allowing them to last well beyond your years if maintained properly. Unfinished floors are not as sturdy, as only minimal amounts of sealant are generally added to them. The potential of application is also versatile, as our floors can be directly applied to a variety of subflooring.

Try Our New Floor Year-Round!

Because of these amazing benefits associated with our prefinished hardwood flooring options listed above, they’re suited to be installed anytime throughout the year, so you don’t have to wait. Meanwhile, un-finished hardwood flooring is often limited to being installed in the fall. Due to the porosity of this kind of wood, they often absorb too much moisture in the summer months. This results in the swelling of the wood. In the winter, the dryness poses another issue, as it often causes the boards to shrink.

Waiting for a good portion of the year to pass isn’t optimal for many buyers, therefore choosing our pre-finished floors is the best way to go!

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