Decorative timber flooring

Date Published

21 August 2022

Document Type




Timber is an excellent flooring material and has been used for this purpose for centuries. Interest has increased in recent years and wood flooring is now popular both in residential and commercial situations.

This Wood Information Sheet gives guidance to designers and specifiers on aspects which should be considered when choosing a timber floor. It deals mainly with decorative floors in dwellings, offices and institutional buildings and does not specifically address the detailed requirements of gymnasia, sports halls, dance floors or other special floors.

Key Information

Decorative wood flooring offers advantages of appearance, insulation, sustainability and ease of maintenance.

There is a range of decorative wood flooring products available in two main groups: solid wood products and Design > Engineer;ed or laminated products.

Underfloor heating will result in dimensional changes to timber and requires careful product selection.

Case studies

In 2015, the architectural practice Squire and Partners purchased a dilapidated three storey department store in the centre of Brixton.

In 2019 an explosion of colour appeared on the sedate lawn of Dulwich Picture Gallery. It was the Colour Palace, a timber pavilion painted in exuberant geometric patterns and stripes in a kaleidoscope of zinging neon colours.