This is a question that I get asked many times; Solid wood is suitable for all rooms except bathrooms, due to the high risk of water contact, if your mind is set on having a solid wood floor in your bathroom then you can reduce the swelling by taking simple measures like, having bath mats in areas that are prone to water spillage, wiping up splashes as soon as you see them, installing an unfinished floor then coating with several coats of good quality lacquer. If you have children then it will be more prone to water damage.
Solid wood flooring are becoming more and more popular in kitchen areas, but there will be still a high risk of water damage, the main cause is washing machines, if one leaks and then the water finds its way under the floor, then the wood floor will expand, so when the expansion can’t expand no more due to no space, it lifts up, I have seen floors lift by 6 – 12 inches, this can subside slightly, if the leak is stopped but it never goes back to normal.
Choosing the right finish for your solid wood floor in kitchens is also important, having a waxed floor would be less suitable due to the water marks from drips and splashes, and the possibility of been slippery. Lacquered solid wood floors are a good choice, but try not to go for a high gloss finish; this would show dents and scratches more than a matt finished wood floor. An Oiled wood floor is also a good choice for kitchens, with been easier to maintain than the others.
Nothing beats looking at a well looked after solid wood floor as you open your door, but be wise on your choice of wood, woods such as walnut are not the best for hallways, due to having a very flat surface and actually dents easy. Oak flooring is a good choice, the finish should not be a gloss, but a matt finish, this masks the scratches and knocks it will get, be prepared that your floor will inevitability get these.
Choosing the right width board is something to consider as well, if you have a narrow hall then it best to go for a narrow plank, like a 90mm one, this gives the illusion that it is wider than it is, where as wide boards (150mm) would close it in and make it narrower.
Dining room, Lounge and Bedrooms
Anything goes with these rooms, due to not having to worry about water damage, but again take into consideration the width of the wood flooring.