Usually, the choice of a wood floor is made on the basis of aesthetic criteria like color, texture (also called wood grain) and treatment, but also in view of the type of use envisaged for the floor.
Usually, the choice of a timber/wooden floor is based on aesthetic criteria (color, texture, treatments) and on the kind of use the floor is supposed to be exposed to.
Before choosing the color, however, it is advisable to reflect on where (i.e. in what kind of environment) the floor will be installed as well as on how the floor will “live and breathe” in that environment.
It should not be forgotten that the climatic conditions, the humidity and the temperature of the environment a timber/wooden floor is installed in have a big impact on the stability of the wood and on its adhesion on the underlying substrate. Therefore, it is often advisable to choose medium hard woody species
with good stability.
The various laying patterns.
The laying patterns of timber/wooden floors depend on the structure and shape of the floor’s wooden elements: long planks or longer elements in general lend themselves to rather uniform layouts, such as the “regular brickwork pattern” in which the planks are laid in horizontal or diagonal strips, or the “irregular brickwork pattern”, also called “shipdeck pattern” with its more irregular layout.
One of the most popular linear designs is the so-called “herringbone pattern“. The smaller-sized panels used for this kind of pattern can give rise to more complex designs and also allow for the combination of different types of wood, shades and colors.
Irregular brickwork pattern / Shipdeck pattern.
The “irregular brickwork pattern” or ”shipdeck pattern” is also called the ”staggered pattern” or ”random pattern”. It is made of single elements that can be of different lengths, laid in a way for the head joints of the single strips to be in completely irregular (random) positions. This pattern can be carried out in two ways:
- Planks laid parallel to each other along the width or length of the room (parallel to the wall)
- Planks laid parallel to each other, but diagonally to the wall
Regular brickwork pattern.
Elements are laid by arranging them in the direction of their length so that the butt joints occur in the same center line or in any case in a constant position with respect to each element constituting the previous row.
Herringbone pattern / Fish bone pattern.
The single elements of the herringbone pattern are rectangular in shape and equal in size. They are laid with an angle of 45 degrees to the wall. The name of this type of pattern derives from the arrangement of bones in fish. Hence, the pattern is also called “fish bone pattern”.
Hungarian herringbone pattern.
In the Hungarian herringbone pattern, each element has its two short sides cut with an inclination of 45 degrees or 60 degrees in relation to the long sides. The installation methods are the same as those used for the herringbone pattern. It is possible to choose different types of wood to visually highlight different parts of the parquet.
The choice of the timber/woody species.
Given the wide range of timbers/woody species, one is spoilt for choice when it comes to the selection of a wood floor. There are lumbers with more or with less distinct texture. And color treatments as well as finishes can be very different, too, ranging from rather opaque (matt) to very glossy or from smooth to brushed.
There are types of timber/woody species whose color changes only slightly over time, like for example European and South American lumbers. Others types of wood, however, especially African lumbers (like for example Iroko, Doussié and Afrormosia) become darker over time due to oxidation, a process that causes colors to change as a consequence of exposure to ultraviolet rays.