David Gardiner, Product Manager at Woodpecker Flooring, chats to PHPD about the various flooring options that housebuilders can use to help deliver stunning interiors to new homes.
Q. What are the main flooring trends in the UK market?
Parquet flooring is one of the most trending styles of the moment. We’re seeing a surge in popularity for subtle, grey shades and really light hues in the herringbone pattern. Even more contemporary, chevron designs are gaining traction too.
Lighter shades are also popular in wood plank flooring – particularly, understated styles that feature a mix of beige and grey (a colour we often term ‘greige’). Subtle wood floors are a versatile choice for today’s Scandinavian-inspired, light and modern homes. And wider planks factor in here too – complementing modern shades while really showing off wood’s character for an impressive look.
Yet traditional, unstained wood flooring with a naturally golden oak colour and rustic character still very much has its place – these remain our bestselling floors. And this appreciation of tradition, character and the history attached to real wood floors shines through in the growing trend for antiqued styles. Many of our latest designs embrace the trend for reclaimed looks: floors that are hand-distressed to look wonderfully worn over time.
Q. According to your recent survey 67% of people find wood flooring an appealing item for a home. Can you expand on some of the reasons why this is the case?
According to our research, a key reason that people find wood flooring appealing is because of its appearance. Words such as ‘nice’, ‘beautiful’, ‘elegant’ and ‘classy’ were frequently used. Wood flooring has roots far back in history, and this makes it a traditional, timeless and reliable choice. Equally, wood flooring is naturally characterful. Every wood floor is unique with no two planks the same. It something special in a home.
Coupled with appearance, people expressed that they like wood flooring as it’s easy to clean. Wood floors don’t harbour the dust, dirt or odours that carpet does. And they’re easy to keep in excellent condition with a quick sweep or damp mop.
Q. Sustainability is a key issue for all businesses. Where does the timber used by Woodpecker Flooring come from?
We’re passionate about taking care of our beautiful, natural environments and ensuring they’ll always be around. All of our wood is responsibly sourced from Europe and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forests (PEFC), two of the world’s most respected forest management organisations. We share their goal: to ensure that forests can meet the needs of today’s generations without compromising those of the future.
By sourcing responsibly, we’re protecting eco-systems and the rights of local communities. We’re conserving rare, old forests and reforesting in a healthy, managed way. And doing all of this, we’re ensuring that all of harvesting and foresting activity takes place sensibly within the law.
Q. Underfloor heating is often considered a ‘luxury’ add-on for a new home. Which types of flooring would you recommend with this heating system?
When it comes to choosing flooring for underfloor heated rooms, wood is a great choice. Unlike tiles or stone, it’s naturally warm to the touch and provides better heat output than more insulating carpet materials.
We always recommend engineered wood floors rather than solid wood. These have increased stability and strength to withstand changes in temperature thanks to their multi-layered construction. And all of our engineered woods have a great thermal transfer, with tog ratings that are well below the recommended maximum of 1.5.
Woodpecker bamboo and laminate floors are compatible with underfloor heating too, and also have some of the lowest tog ratings in our collection. You can read more about using UFH with wood flooring here.
Q. Open plan living is designed as part of many homes, and your own recent survey indicates that 61% of people agree that this form of living suits people’s lifestyles. What are the most appropriate flooring options for this space?
Choosing flooring for an open plan space can often depend on the homeowner’s lifestyle and interior goals. Engineered wood flooring offers great durability and style in this scenario with a multitude of designs to choose from. Popular types for open plan include wide planks as these help to capture a more understated feel than regular sized planks, and parquet flooring for its interesting, consistent pattern.
In busier homes with families, a more practical and resilient type of floor might be preferred. Water-resistant, composite flooring with a durable vinyl wear layer is a great option. Our Brecon range combines these features with naturally inspired designs and colourways for a stylish look with enduring performance.
Q. Bathrooms are often wetter areas than other rooms in the house. Do you have any tips on the right flooring to select in these spaces?
In bathrooms, it’s important to make a choice that’s decoratively appealing but also suitable for the humid conditions. Providing a slip-resistant surface is equally as essential.
Solid wood is generally inadvisable because it can warp due to the moisture in the bathroom, and the high levels of humidity are also incompatible with engineered wood.
For the look of wood and the ability to withstand a bathroom’s variations in humidity as well as inevitable splashes and spills, a water-resistant composite flooring like our Brecon range is a clever selection. This type of flooring is highly resilient in bathroom conditions with a tough surface that’s highly slip resistant (R10).