Good flooring is an essential (albeit pricey) part of a home. Be an informed agent by knowing the basics about wooden flooring options, as explained by Graeme Solomon from Bamboo Warehouse.

ACTUAL WOOD

Originally, if you wanted wooden flooring, timber was your only option (typically pine, oak, merbau and teak in South Africa). While these floors can be sanded and resealed a number of times, generally last for years and can be stained if colour preferences change, they are also expensive. In addition, the cost increases with installation, sanding and sealing, plus they take a long time to install. And then there’s the environmental impact of real wood to consider. Cost: from R900m² to R1,500m²

WOOD-LOOK LAMINATES

From the need to offer a better-priced alternative came laminate flooring that imitates timber. Although the cost is in your favour, it can be damaged far more easily by water, heat, scratches, cuts and flame, which means durability is compromised and resurfacing is virtually impossible. Cost: from R120m² to R500m²

BAMBOO FLOORING

Then there’s the middle ground: bamboo. It’s ecofriendly, hypoallergenic and firmer than both wood and laminates. It’s also prefinished, so there’s no need for sanding and sealing post-installation, it looks just as good as traditional wood and it comes in a variety of options. It can be sanded and refinished every 20 years if necessary. Cost: from R350m² to R700m²