Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered flooring are multilayer planks which comprise of a base of one or several softwood layers and a hardwood top layer of varying thickness. Good quality engineered boards are 20/21mm thick with a 6mm solid hardwood surface. Engineered boards are especially suitable for use over underfloor heating systems.

What is solid wood flooring?

Solid wood flooring is manufactured from one piece of timber. It is very important that it is properly dried before machining because it is naturally susceptible to expansion and contraction as a result of changes in relative air humidity. It is suitable for installation over any type of subfloor.

Are wooden floors healthier than other floor coverings?

Traditionally compared with carpets, timber floors are a much healthier option as they do not predispose the growth of bacteria and are thus beneficial to people with respiratory problems. They are easy to clean.

What is wood grading?

Wood grading is a system of classification of the surface appearance of the product. Different terms are used to describe the grading of wood flooring, however they essentially revolve around Prime Grade and Rustic Grade. Prime Grade is where the wood is selected to be as uniform in colour and grain as possible. This means that sapwood and knots are not permissible. Rustic Grade is where certain amount of sapwood and not too large knots are allowed. Rustic Grade suits the more traditional and natural look as opposed to the Prime Grade which is suitable for more modern environments.

Are laminated floors made of real wood?

Laminated floors are not made from real wood. They generally consist of chipboard or MDF base with a printed plastic layer on top. Some floors which have a very thin veneer layer of 1mm are also considered laminate flooring.

Is my wooden floor likely to change colour after installation?

Yes, all Hard-wax oiled and varnished floors will become darker with the passage of time. Hard-wax oils preserve the colours better than varnishes and do not turn yellow as much. Generally, the older the timber the darker its shade.

Are your floors environmentally friendly?

Yes, all our floors come from certified sources and from well managed forests.

Are wooden floors good value for money?

Wooden floors may require a bigger initial spend than some carpets, however a good quality wood floor will have a very long life, often more than a hundred years.

New Floors Installation

Which is the best installation method?

The most suitable installation method is determined by the subfloor. Usually, it is best to glue directly onto concrete subfloors and to secret nail onto wooden subfloors (joists, chipboard or plywood sheets, pine boards). Floating is not recommended.

What is a floating floor?

A floating floor is one that is not physically attached to the subfloor through either nailing or gluing. Usually floated floors simply sit on top of some underlay and the planks connect through a click system or tongues and grooves.

Is floating a wooden floor a good idea?

Floated floors are a flawed concept because they are unstable and susceptible to changes in air humidity. In addition, they are noisy and wobbly. Thin engineered (14mm) floors are usually installed as floated, any proper floor (20,21mm) whether solid or engineered must not be floated for the above reasons.

Is it OK to lay a solid wood floor as a floating?

A solid floor is more likely to warp and expand in comparison with an engineered one and it should only be installed by concealed nailing or gluing down.

On top of what subfloors can a wooden floor be installed?

Timber floors can be installed over existing wooden subfloors (chipboard, plywood, planks or directly onto joists), terracotta tiles, quarry tiles, linoleum, concrete and cement screeds. Any base must be able to to be vacuumed without any residue particles to ensure good adhesion properties.

Can solid wood be installed over linoleum?

That depends how strongly the linoleum is attached to the subfloor. If it is completely glued down then it is likely to be a stable base, otherwise it must be removed. This is a decision best made on the spot as the characteristics can vary greatly.

Can I fit wood flooring over underfloor heating?

There are two main types of underfloor heating - 1. Electric elements sitting on top of existing subfloor - this necessitates the floating of the wooden floor which renders this type of underfloor heating unsuitable for wood flooring installations. 2. Water pipes in concrete - this is an excellent base to glue wood flooring onto. Engineered planks are the natural choice here.

What direction shoud the boards run?

As a rule of thumb, the boards should run parallel with the longest wall against the main along the main source of sunlight. Exceptions can be forced by the varying layouts and a decision should be made after considering all pros and cons.

Is solid wood suitable for bathrooms and kitchens?

Yes, Hard-wax oils and polyurethane varnishes are water repellent and we have carried out a large number of such installations.

Are different subfloors levels a problem?

In most cases deviations can be overcome with the use of flexible setting polymer adhesive. It is rare that a subfloor is so bad as to necessitate self-levelling. Self levelling should be avoided if possible because often thin screeds are likely to crack and cause problems in the long run.

How long will my wood floor last?

A standard 20mm thickness wooden floor would take 4-5 full scale sanding operations, i.e. use of a belt sander. The minimum lifespan would therefore be at least 50 years. Very often, wood floors can be cleaned on the surface through gentle surface sanding which does not reduce the thickness of the floor.

Old Floors Restoration

What is a dust-free sanding?

Dust free sanding is a myth purported by some for marketing purposes. Modern equipment will extract most of the dust, however small fine wood dust particles will always be present. In practice, good equipment and thorough vacuuming mean that most people will not notice dust during the sanding process.

Is your sanding dust-free?

There is no such thing as a totally dust-free sanding. We use our own very modern equipment which extracts most of the dust. From a customer perspective it is mostly a dust free experience.

How often should a wooden floor be sanded?

This varies to a great extent and depends on how well the floor is looked after. It also depends on the wood specie among other things. 5 years is what the average hardwood floor should maintain appearance for.

Can an engineered wood floor be refinished?

Yes, however it depends on the thickness of the solid layer on the top. Where possible engineered floors should only be surface sanded to ensure that there is no loss of thickness in the solid top layer.

Finishing

Can I change the colour of my floor?

Yes, after sanding is complete, various different stains can be applied to the bear wood to change its colour.

What finishes are available?

For domestic properties we use Osmo Hard-wax oil. For commercial properties - Bona polyurethane waterborne varnishes.

Hard-wax oil or varnish?

We believe Hard-wax oils to be far superior than varnishes. They do not peel, flake or blister, they do not go very yellow over time. Most importantly they enhance the natural grain of the wood in a much better way and give a lovely satin sheen. Varnishes tend to create a thick plastic layer on the surface and a probably better suited for commercial projects. For domestic use, Osmo Hard-wax oil is the best option.

What does "brushed" mean?

Brushed is an effect applied to solid or engineered boards. It is achieved by scoring the wood with a metal brush. It is basically scratching the wood to create an authentic appearance.

Is Hard-wax oil water repellent?

Yes, we use Osmo Clear Satin Hard-wax oil which is water repellent after two coats and it will not stain.

Oil, wax or Hard-wax oil?

Oils and waxes are not waterproof, they mark very quickly and will stain from contact with any liquid. Hard-wax oils are waterproof and maintain the appearance of any wooden floor for much longer.

Customer Service

Do you sell wood flooring?

We do not normally sell flooring. We only sell as a part of our supply and fit service.

What guarantees do you give?

We guarantee our floors and workmanship without any time limit. We are proud of our product and would always attend if required.

Do you dispose of waste?

We would normally dispose of all waste unless otherwise agreed.

Do I need to clear the room/s of all furniture?

Yes, it is preferable that all is clear so we can commence work without delay, however when help is needed with shifting heavier and bulky items, we would be happy to offer it.

What are your payment terms?

We normally take 50% deposit about a week prior to starting and the remainder would be due on completion.

How long would it take to complete the work?

We would always commit to time schedule when a quote is provided. Deviations do happen but are rare, i.e. we may take a day longer if the work turns out to be more time consuming.

Maintenance and Care

Is an oiled floor more difficult to maintain than a lacquered/varnished floor?

No. Hardwax Oil set hard, it is water repellent and will not stain. Maintenance is identical to varnished floor surfaces - mopping and vacuuming.

How do I care for a lacquered/varnished wood floor?

Vacuuming and mopping is usually sufficient. Compatible polishing product can be used from time to time to revive the appearance of the floor, however this has only a temporary effect.

How do I care for a Hard-wax oiled wood floor?

In the same way as you would look after any other floor, mopping it and vacuuming it as required. It is important to always keep the brushes on the vacuuming head engaged and when mopping to make sure the mop is only damp rather than soaking wet.

Does sunlight have any effects on the flooring?

All wood flooring sealants tend to go yellow in time, especially if exposed to direct sunlight. Hard-wax Oils are better than varnishes as they keep the the true colours of the wood for longer. A varnished floor would almost invariably look yellowy in a year or two.

How should I clean my wooden floor?

Cleaning is best achieved with a vacuum cleaner and a damp mop if necessary. Use of products is not advised as it is not possible to guarantee how they would affect the surface sheen. In most cases, lukewarm water is all that it takes to clean a wooden floor.

Why is my wood floor cupping?

Cupping can occur for a number of reasons, however it will be related to moisture one way or the other. Limited amount of cupping is sometimes considered a "settling in period" and can be rectified with sanding. Moisture arising from the subfloor and the walls is a possible explanation for cupping. Insufficiently dried timbers remain susceptible to changes in humidity and are more likely to cup.

How should protect my wood floor from furniture damage?

Any movable items of furniture, i.e. chairs and tables should have self adhesive pads under their feet for protection otherwise scuff marks will inevitably appear. Heavier items like pianos which normally have castor wheels may benefit from plastic cups. As a rule of thumb, anything that moves should have some kind of padding underneath.

What about high heels?

High heels, or stiletto heels, represent a major challenge to any wooden floor because the entire weight of a human body is concentrated in a very small area. Therefore they will mark virtually any wooden floor, the softer the wood the worse the indentation.

Can I place indoor potted plants on my floor?

Yes, provided they do not leak. If they leak over a prolonged period of time there is a danger of the wood staining all the way through the thickness and that cannot be sanded off.

What should I do about rug marks?

Discolouration will always occur over time. Only sanding can fix this unfortunately.

What is the difference between oils and hardwax oils?

Oils are not sealants, they saturate the wood but do not water seal it so it marks and stains very easily. Such floors require regular buffing, are difficult to maintain and usually deteriorate rapidly. Hardwax oils work very much like varnishes, they create a water repellent surface which protects the wood and keeps it looking as new.