One of the questions that landed in our inbox concerned that "old problem" of trying to find a budget solution where the existing type of underfloor threatened to put the whole project on hold.
Chipboard and short length solid oak flooring - a no no
Budget range (below £35.00 ex VAT) in Solid Oak floorboards 9 times out of 10 comes in a box with random length boards. Random between 300 or 400 - 1200mm long. On its own nothing wrong with this, however most of these budget boxes contain over 50% short - very short - lengths and only one or two long ones (if you're lucky). These types of floors should not be installed floating because you will have too many joints in the whole floor, working like hinges and making your floor unstable, prone to move. Fully bonding with flexible adhesive or secret nailing is the solution.
Only, when you then discover your underfloor is cheap and cheerful chipboard you find yourself between a rock and a hard place. Modern adhesive does not bond with the moist repellent surface layer of the chipboard and nailing into this "wood-pulp" will not give you the strong fixing you need.
Budget alternatives in real wood
The person asking for advice really wants to replace his carpet with an easy to clean and anti-allergic floor covering mainly because to the number of animals they care for. Wooden floors are then indeed the best solutions: easy to clean, anti-allergic and simply beautiful.
When you find yourself between this rock and a hard-place due to the chipboard underfloor, why not opt for simple 2 or 3-strip wood-engineered flooring? All long boards, so can be installed floating without any problem, and most times within the same price range as these "cheap offers" in Solid Oak floorboards. Quality 3-strip floors have a total thickness of 14 - 15mm with a Solid top layer of 3.6 - 4mm
2 or 3 strip flooring is available in many wood-species but like with most other wooden floor types, Oak is still the most popular (and therefore often the lowest in price).
Alternative 2: pre-oiled 10mm boards
Another budget alternative, especially for areas with low "traffic" such as bedrooms, for you would be the Basic 10/3: Oak top layer (3mm) on a high quality ply backing. Total thickness 10mm and available in many modern Oak finishes, from natural to white oiled or smoked for warm dark tones.
Again, long lengths for simple "Floating installation" without problems on chipboard - and of course other types of underfloors.
Basic wooden flooring gives you:
a real wood floor, easy maintenance and within your budget. Simples.
Call us on 01233 - 713725 to discuss your own budget requirements and we'll find the perfect wooden floor for you in our Basic Range.