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How to choose wood flooring in Hong Kong?

September 29, 2020

Moisture is real wood floor’s natural enemy, in a humid climate such as Hong Kong, couple with moisture condensation from air conditioning, moisture is always found on floor and walls. Once moisture penetrates into the floor, it will cause the wooden flooring to swell. Once it swells, it is very difficult to restore the wooden flooring to its original beauty.

Quality floor should last you decades to come. The last thing you want is to change the floor every few years. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the material and the characteristics of the floor before decorating the home. This guide will bring you through the pros and cons of three of the most popular floor options on the market and help you find the most suitable floor for your home.


Three types of Flooring: Engineered Wooden Floor, Solid Wood Flooring and Laminate Flooring

Engineered Hardwood Flooring 

Engineered Hardwood Flooring looks no different from solid wood flooring. Engineered wooden floor can be divided into two categories: 3-layer structure, with the top surface layer being real natural solid wood, natural cork wood in the middle and quarter cut plank at the bottom; the other is constructed with natural solid wood on the top surface with multi-layer composite plywood structure underneath.

The two types of floors are stacked at a 90-degree staggered arrangement in each layer, which can restrain each other and strengthen the stability of the floor board, which effectively reduces the arching, warping or deformation caused by humidity and moisture.

Top layer: 100% natural solid wood, usually made of hardwood. Because this product uses much less hardwood, it is relatively more environmentally friendly than solid wood flooring. (One piece of solid wood floor can be made into 6 three-layered engineered flooring)

Middle layer: Natural soft wood, usually made of spruce cut horizontally giving the floor higher stability.

Bottom layer: Quarter cut plank, which can make the floor not easy to be deformed and has high moisture resistance.

Engineered wooden floor not only retains the appealing aesthetics of solid wood, but it is also most environmentally friendly option among the three types of floor. Its 3-layer veneer texture is composed of straight, horizontal, and quarter cut planks to form gravitational force to secure the floor. The structure is stable yet flexible at the same time.

What about solid wood flooring?

Solid hardwood flooring is a floor material made of long wood planks that are dried and processed from solid hardwood materials (logs). The surface layer is generally protected by PU paint or UV paint. There are concave and convex grooves on the edge, so when installing this type of floor, each floor can be locked to each other. It is recommended that solid wood flooring is best to be installed by professionals.

There seems to be a type of flooring on the market called laminate flooring in Hong Kong. What is the difference with the other two types of flooring mentioned above?

Laminate flooring, also known as fiber flooring, is primarily made up of high density fiber. It is a board made of plant-fiber raw materials, usually by printing wood grain on the top layer, the surface is then covered with a hardened resin which mainly consists of aluminum oxide and melamine, which help strengthen its outer durability. Laminate flooring is applied with a seamless and glue-free lock-up design, which makes installation easier.


Engineered Wooden Flooring Solid Wood Flooring Laminate Flooring
Characteristics 100% natural wood
High moisture resistance
100% natural wood
High moisture resistance
Made of synthetic fibre
High stain resistance
Thickness 1.2-1.6 cm 1.8-2 cm 0.6-1.2 cm
Length 30-240 cm 30-200 cm 100-220 cm
Width 7-35 cm 7-10 cm 10-24 cm
Price Mid-range Expensive Relatively cheap
Installation Easy Must be installed by solid wood professional installers. Easy


What is the difference between the three type of floors in terms of appearance?

Engineered wooden floor is made of 100% wood raw materials. The top surface layer is real authentic solid, therefore has natural wood grains. The middle and bottom floors are also made of natural woods of different nature and properties, so the structure is stable. Additionally, engineered wooden floor is generally wider and longer than the other two floors.

Solid wood flooring is a 100% natural wood product, so the surface of the floor retains the original texture and color of the wood. The solid wood floor has a variety of colors and wood choices.

Good quality laminate flooring looks like solid wood, but in fact, laminate flooring is not real wood. Today’s technology can imitate a variety of wood textures, and some can even create embossed surfaces and crystal surfaces, which gives the synthetic floor a more wood-like texture.


How do these 3 types of floor resist moisture?

Parquet flooring is the most resistant to moisture
Engineered wooden floor performs relatively well in moist areas among the three, thanks to its three-layered or multi-player structure prevents it from warping and providing high stability.

Hong Kong is particularly humid in spring and summer, couple with the large temperature difference after switching on and off the air conditioner is likely to cause moisture condensation. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a wooden floor with high moisture resistance.

If you want to install solid wood flooring, you must beware that because the degree of expansion and contraction of the solid wood cannot be predicted, solid wood can be easily affected by humidity, which may cause deformation and warpage of the solid hardwood, especially in wet areas or places near the shore.

Although the laminate surface of seamless flooring has high water resistance and stain resistance properties, when water or moisture enters the layers between the boards, it will cause the edge of the floor and the core of the fiberboard to swell and chip, which is difficult to repair.


How to clean and maintain these 3 floors?

For engineered wooden floor, professional parquet floor cleaners and regularly application of wooden floor maintenance or polishing can effectively maintain the floors. Engineered wooden floor can be sanded and repaired 1-2 times. If the solid wood layer on the floor is thick, it can even be repaired 2-3 times.

The cleaning and maintenance methods of solid wood floors are the same as engineered wood flooring. Although solid wood flooring has the longest lifespan among the three types of flooring, it is easy to deform under improper maintenance.

The surface of the laminate floor is made of plastic, which is easy to wipe clean. However, laminate floor cannot be repaired. When the floor is seriously damaged, it can only be removed and replaced.

With the analysis and comparison of the three floors, we hope you will find the best flooring for your home that is best suited for your budget, Hong Kong’s climate as well as maintenance preference.


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