Types of wood to be used in floors
In wooden floors you can use practically all types of wood on the market, especially if you require different shades of color to compose figures or even complex drawings. In practice it is preferable to purchase particularly strong and well seasoned essences (especially for outdoor paving) and able to offer good mechanical strength with particular reference to wear resistance. It follows that pich-pine, larch, ash, walnut, chestnut, teak or Slavonian oak are to be preferred. Mobile tablets also have good requisites, the lower part of which is coated with bitumen-based substances and very fine inerts (fillers) to make them waterproof, rough and adherent to the laying surface.
The behavior of wood with changes in temperature and humidity
Wood floors, unlike other building materials, have the characteristic of reacting with the environment in which they are placed; wood, in fact, being a hygroscopic material, is sensitive to climatic variations, even if it is placed inside the rooms. During the hot season, especially in rooms where the air conditioning systems are in operation without dehumidifiers, high values of air humidity can be found with consequent slight swelling. In the winter seasons, on the contrary, the continuous use of artificial heating can determine conditions of excessively dry air that generates shrinkage phenomena. Among other things, wood is not a homogeneous material and its response to external actions, although imperceptible, depends on the orientation of the fibers within its woody structure.
A classic example of wood flooring: parquet
Parquets floors, widely used in cold regions, are preferred both for their beauty and for the silence and warmth they offer. Their structure is of the stratified or solid type; in both cases there is a product regulated by European Community Regulations. In the most common use, these floors are composed of 12-15 cm wide staves, 50-60 cm long, or 80-120 cm broad squares, in turn composed of small tablets, also of different colors, placed to create a drawing. The format of the elements depends on the size of the environment. It is very effective, in fact, to place the design only in the center of the room and surround it with a border of tablets of harmonized color and quality. The parquet can be applied on any laying surface, even on an old floor without having to demolish it.
Wooden floors: Tips and suggestions for the maintenance of wooden floors
Ordinary maintenance of wooden floors requires few but basic precautions. Wood is a living material that has a tendency to deform to achieve equilibrium with the environment in which it is placed; moreover, having a structure equipped with fibers, organized according to parallel directions, it is fundamental that in cleaning operations from dust and washing the floor these directions are strictly followed. In the common jargon these directions are called the grain of the wood and they should be referred to in daily cleaning with the electric broom or with the cloths soaked in water and strictly squeezed before being crawled on the floor. After washing, the application of a thin layer of wax protects the wood over time, making it enjoyable even from an aesthetic point of view.