There are 3 main styles of edging when it comes to Wood Flooring. These are Bevelled Edge, Micro Bevel and Square Edge.
The most common style is the Micro Bevel. Often, the product specification will detail this as a four-sided micro bevel. All this means is the bevel is on all sides of the plank. Essentially, a bevelled edge cuts an angle into the edge of the top layer. There are a few reasons why manufacturers do this.
Firstly, cutting a bevel edge into the top later creates a distinct separation between each plank, drawing focus to the individual character of each board and the natual laying pattern. As this obviously isn’t possible with floor coverings such as lino, it exaggerates the fact that the floor is real wood and is made up of individual planks rather than one sheet of printed material.
A Bevelled edge is the same as a micro-bevel just larger and deliberately more pronounced. You’ll often find this technique is used for Aged & Distressed floors or Shabby Chic designs. You may even find the bevel is cut in by hand to make the Aged look even more authentic.
Advantages of a Bevelled Edge
Aesthetics aside, a bevelled edge makes for a much easier installation as any imperfections on the edge of the board are easily hidden. Any minor damage picked up during transport or installation are also fairly easily overcome and should minute gaps open at all as the floor expands, you’ll most likely never notice.
As the name suggests, a Square Edge is a perfect right angle cut meaning each plank aligns perfectly with no visible join (except perhaps a very faint one). This gives a very clean look and works incredibly well with 3 strip floors. It’s fairly uncommon otherwise, however, as a bevelled edge is widely considered to be the better style.
A lack of ‘gap’ between each board means there’s no build-up of dust and debris. However, aesthetics aside as these are subjective, there are very few other advantages to a Square Edge. This is because it makes for a more difficult installation as every join must be perfectly aligned and isn’t at all forgiving of imperfections like a Bevelled Edge is.