Out of all the wood flooring choices available today, oak flooring seems to be at the top of everyone’s list. If you are considering investing in a wooden floor, take a look at some of the specific benefits that oak offers:

  1. Oak is a hardwood and is extremely hard wearing.
  2. Oak actually improves with age like a good red wine.
  3. Oak provides a very attractive grain that is ideal for flooring.
  4. Because of its popularity and abundance Oak has been made available in an astonishing array of styles grades and dimensions.
  5. Above all other woods Oak takes very well to staining and colouring.
  6. Oak is remarkably resistant to fungal and insect attacks.
  7. Oak has been used as a sign of opulence in the past due to its attractiveness and still has a prestigious flair due to this distinction.

All in all, if your priority is getting a high-quality wood with a timeless look and feel, then oak will exceed your wildest expectations. It is the filet mignon of wood flooring, which is why it is in such high demand.

Oak is categorised into different grades of wood. The quality of the grade affects the price but not the longevity or durability of the floor. Prime as the name suggests is the most expensive.

Companies have different terminology to specify these grades, but generally they are as follows:

  1. Prime or select –very clean almost no knots and colour variation
  2. Natural or medium – Some knots and some colour variations
  3. Character or rustic – Large knots and plenty of colour variations

Oak flooring is manufactured into different thicknesses; this again impacts the price but in this instance it can affect the longevity of the floor.

We classify Oak flooring into a number of different styles of Oak:

  • Standard Oak
  • Distressed Oak;
  • Reclaimed Oak;
  • Coloured Oak;
  • Traditional Oak and
  • Wide Oak.

You can get a better idea of these different styles and what each one looks like from the descriptions below:


Standard Oak Lifetstyle

Standard Oak – Prime Grade Solid 160mm Wide

Standard Oak Sample

Standard Oak – Prime Grade Sample

STANDARD OAK

Standard oak flooring has not been coloured, stained distressed or aged in any way. It is machined straight from the log into various widths, thicknesses and profiles and it is then kiln dried and in some cases prefinished with a hard-wax oil or lacquer.

Available In

WIDTH A variety ranging from about 57mm up to about 220mm. For wider than this see our wide oak section below.

GRADE All Grades

THICKNESS Various thicknesses, most commonly 14mm and 20mm

PROFILES Tongue and groove and ends matched in most cases, and square edged in others

STRUCTURE Both engineered and solid wood format

FINISH Unfinished or prefinished formats depending on your situation

PRICE Range from £80 to £150 per square meter supplied and fitted


Distressed Oak Lifestyle

Distressed Oak – Solid 185mm Wide Finished With Dark Stain

Distressed Oak Sample

Distressed Oak – Solid 185mm Wide Sample

DISTRESSED OAK

This style of oak is processed from the Standard oak above but has been through an additional manufacturing process to give it an antique or aged appearance.

Generally it is placed in a large drum and tumbled with nuts and bolts and bits of metal to beat it up a little. The process is very effective and floors like this can look almost the same as the much more expensive reclaimed flooring.

More often than not a stain is then added to give it that extra aged look… but this is optional.

Once fitted professionally it will look as though your floor has been there for hundreds of years.

Available In

WIDTH 145-185-230mm- engineered, and 145-165-185-205-225mm-solid

GRADE Natural and Rustic

THICKNESS 18mm and 22mm

PROFILES Tongue and groove and ends matched

STRUCTURE Both engineered and solid wood format

FINISH Unfinished or prefinished formats depending on your situation

PRICE Range from £120 to £150 per square meter supplied and fitted


Reclaimed oak Lifestyle

Reclaimed French Oak – Random Width 10mm Overlay

Reclaimed Oak Sample

Reclaimed French Oak Sample

RECLAIMED OAK

Reclaimed Oak as the name suggests is timber reclaimed from old buildings, railway carriages etc, either from the UK or France. It is the genuine article and is beautiful to look at having developed lovely hues which in truth can only come from time itself.

The downside is availability, it is getting harder to get, although we can source it from a couple of suppliers we know, the price is hefty; at least double what one pays for the distressed oak above. So if you have the budget it is well worth it, but if not the artificially distressed oak is an exceptionally good alternative.

Available In

WIDTH Dependant on availability

GRADE N/A

THICKNESS Dependant on availability, normally a random width 10mm overlay or 20mm board.

PROFILES N/A

STRUCTURE Solid

FINISH Unfinished

PRICE On Request


Coloured Oak Lifestyle

Coloured Oak – Character Grade Engineered 180mm Wide Single Smoked

Coloured Oak Sample

Coloured Oak – Character Grade Sample

COLOURED OAK

Coloured oak is when Standard oak is changed from its natural colour to one of a variety of different shades. This can be done either by applying a coloured wax or stain or by a process known as smoking, this is where ammonia is used to react with the tanins in the wood and turns it a darker shade of brown. If this process is repeated it is known as double smoked and it produces a very dark brown in colour, not achievable by applying a stain.

Other colour ranges that we supply are white oiled, walnut/ebony, and a cognac brown. The cognac is almost identical to the single smoked colour and is cheaper.

Coloured oak can be bought prefinished meaning the colour is applied at the factory alternatively the colour can be applied on site by us once the floor has been fitted. In some cases this is preferable when you are trying to achieve an exact look. In the latter you are also able to choose from the multitude of widths and grades that are available in the standard oak.

Available In

WIDTH When purchased prefinished some widths; when purchased unfinished all widths. 140-160-180-200mm and upwards to 300mm.

GRADE All Grades

THICKNESS Various thicknesses.

PROFILES Tongue and groove or square edged.

STRUCTURE Both engineered and solid wood format

FINISH Unfinished or prefinished formats depending on your situation

PRICE Range from £100 to £150 per square meter supplied and fitted


Traditional Lifestyle

WIDE OAK

This is similar to the Standard oak but is just wider up to widths of 300mm.

It extremely important if you are wanting to buy flooring of this width to ensure that you have purchased it from a quality supplier, if it has not been properly cut and Kiln dried your floor will buckle and warp.

Our flooring in this Style and width is Engineered, either 3 ply oak or 6mm on 14mm plywood. This is to ensure the boards stability.
Please read our page on engineered flooring to understand how engineered flooring stabilises a board.

This floor makes a loud statement in any house, but is generally more suited to large rooms.

Available In

WIDTH 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 inches. Sold in batches of three to four widths.

GRADE Character/ Barn

THICKNESS 19mm to 22mm.

PROFILES Square edged or loose tongue. (loose tongue = narrower boards)

STRUCTURE Solid

FINISH Unfinished

PRICE Range from £140 to £200 per square meter supplied and fitted

Today styles of parquet fall into two categories. Herring-bone parquet or Mosaic-panel parquet. The definitions of these are:

Herring-bone is solid wood blocks that can be purchased in a variety of sizes, woods and grades. These loose blocks are individually laid into the desired pattern for example herring-bone or basket-weave. This fitting requires an extreme amount of skill. Even seasoned floor fitters will shy away from fitting this parquet and leave it to the specialists. 1 or 2 mm out at the start of the pattern ends up as huge unsightly gaps on the outer edges.

Herring-bone parquet blocks are one of the cheapest forms of wooden flooring you can buy, even for the better quality grades. The down side is that to fit them is labour intensive and requires highly skilled craftsmen, this makes them quite expensive overall.

At Whittlewoods we try to keep our prices as low as possible but our craftsmen are specialists and therefore we have to pay them handsomely for their experience.

Mosaic-panel parquet is factory made panels where the parquet blocks have been arranged into their pattern already and are held in place by a paper or mesh backing. As you can imagine these large square panels are much easier to lay. These panels include the once very popular Mosaic finger parquet, which are small blocks of wood 120 x 30 x 7.5mm laid in opposing directions in a checkerboard pattern.

A certain amount of skill is required when fitting these panels, mainly to ensure that the sub base you are fixing the floor to is good and level. Overall this is a relatively cheap form of wood flooring which provides a very good hard wearing and attractive look.

Parquet flooring has many of the advantages of other types of wooden floors, including the hygiene and the easy maintenance benefits. Please refer to our other articles for more details. But it has an advantage over other wooden floors in that it is more stable, this is because the small pieces of wood are arranged in different directions which results in less overall cross-grain expansion, parquet is therefore a good choice in areas where the moisture content of the flooring is expected to change significantly over time.

Although parquet has traditionally been used in areas of particularly hard wear, like hallways and schools, it is no more hard wearing than strip wood flooring, but just like other wooden floors is can be easily sanded and sealed to bring it back to its original condition.

Parquet flooring is available in solid or engineered wood blocks. Oak is possibly the most popular wood but walnut, maple, wenge, cherry, teak, mahogany and beech also create beautiful parquet floors.

Common block sizes are 210 x 60; 230 x 70; 280 x 70; 350 x 70 these are available in 20 and 15mm thicknesses. Common Mosaic-panels are approximately 480 x 480 mm with each finger measuring 120 x 30 x 7.5mm.

To find out more about our complete and comprehensive selection of solid wood and Parquet contact area service numbers or fill out the form to send us a message.

We make sure we pay attention to the detail that really makes a difference. The difference between an average and a perfect floor become obvious immediately. With something that you look at every day you want to make sure that you have used the best you can find.

At Whittle Woods you can be sure that every inch of your floor is just as important to us as it is to you… and nothing is swept under the carpet!

RTE Magic C Fireplace Detail

Hearth Surround Finish

Perfect Finish

The Perfect Finish

A Perfetly mitred mat well

A Perfectly Mitred Mat Well

A Threshold fitted between rooms

A Threshold Fitted Between Rooms

To find out more about our complete and comprehensive selection of solid wood call us now. To arrange an appointment contact area service numbers or fill out the form to send us a message.

Whatever Your Subfloor – We Have The Experience To Advise On Your Perfect Option

Not all wooden floors are fitted the same way and your subfloor will have a major impact on your range of options. To enable us to give you the best advice contact area service numbers or fill out the form to send us a message.

Before we move into the finer details, it is worth pointing out that, to the Whittle Woods flooring experts, doors, skirting and architraves are generally not restrictions as these can be undercut to accommodate the new floor.

Your Type Of Subfloor

There are 4 basic types of sub floors upon which we fix hard wood floors.

  1. Concrete
  2. Joists
  3. Old floor boards
  4. Chipboard or plywood structure

1. CONCRETE[ ]

Concrete varies greatly in condition, but most importantly it has to be dry ( less than 4% moisture ) and level. If your sub floor is in this condition we can either glue directly onto the concrete or float an engineered board on top of an underlay.

If however your sub floor is damp or uneven, don’t give up as there are many ways that we can rectify the situation.

Therefore a site visit is advisable to assess your concrete sub base we will take moisture level tests and advise accordingly on the best and most economical way forward.

2. JOISTS[ ]

Hard wood floors are easily fixed onto joists using secret or surface nails, a special nailer is required for this procedure. Planks can be tongue and groove or square edged.

The joists must be dry and free of ‘dry rot’ and any other decay and must be securely in position. In older houses joists were suspended above the soil this can lead to serious damp problems if there is not adequate ventilation, and this must be checked out thoroughly, to ensure that you do not waste money on your wooden floor. In some cases if there is enough height allowance a chipboard sub base can be fitted to provide a moisture and thermal barrier to the earth below. See section on chipboard sub bases

A site visit is necessary to assess the condition of the joists, moisture and ventilation.

3. OLD FLOOR BOARDS[ ]

Old floorboards are in most cases made of pine (Scandinavian, Columbian or South American pitch). If these boards are secure and free from damp they make an ideal surface to secret or surface nail a new hardwood floor. An acoustic and thermal underlay can be placed between the two layers of wood, which will reduce noise levels including creaking and helps to reduce the transmission of cold air from below.

A site visit is advisable to assess the condition of the old boards and maybe to advise you whether it is possible to restore your old floorboards with a ‘sand and wax’.

4. CHIPBOARD OR PLY WOOD STRUCTURE[ ]

Chipboard and ply wood sub bases are the ideal surface to fit a hardwood floor. You will be able to choose from all timbers available and these can be nailed, glued or floated, as long as they are secure, dry and even.

They are the most versatile option and are preferred by most fitters.

5. UNDERFLOOR HEATING[ ]

Please Contact Us for advice in this specialist field.

To find out more about our complete and comprehensive selection of solid wood and Subfloor options call us now. To arrange an appointment contact area service numbers or fill out the form to send us a message.


WE RECOMMEND [ ]

  • All ‘moveable’ pieces of furniture need soft clean pads on the bottom of legs or supports. To keep your floor in tiptop condition, we recommend applying floor protector pads to heavy items of furniture. Always remember to pick up furniture rather than slide it across the floor. Floor guards enable you to move your appliances forward for servicing without gouging your floor.
  • Doormats are very useful for trapping dirt and grit from outdoors before it gets the chance to reach your floor. Have mats at all exterior doors and get into a habit of checking the soles of your shoes for gravel and grit caught in the treads. Some areas of the house always experience more wear than others; rugs can be used in high-traffic areas to minimise damage. Make sure any rugs are always kept clean and dry. Shake them out and vacuum regularly
  • High heels concentrate a person’s weight on a small point (estimate: 125lb person = approximately 2,000lbs per inch when taking a normal step). This kind of force can damage many types of flooring, fracturing ceramic tiles and perforating vinyl, as well as denting wood floors. While high heels in good repair may not damage wood floors, we recommend a ‘no high heel’ policy
  • Dog and cat toenails can scratch a wood floor. It is a good idea to trim them regularly and try to contain vigorous play to a carpeted area. Spills from the food/water bowl are usually no problem if wiped up in good time.
  • All surface dust or dirt can be removed daily or as required with use of a broom, vacuum cleaner or dry mop.

CLEANING [ ]

  • Dirty floors can be washed with a damp (not wet) cloth impregnated in water containing a small amount of OS color wash and care. Wipe dry to avoid excessive moisture penetration into the joints of the floor boards.

MAINTENANCE [ ]

  • Marks, small scratches or persistent stains can be removed with OS color liquid wax cleaner. This should be applied thinly to a dry clean floor and then lightly polished. Polish by hand on a small area or a floor polisher on a larger one. One can of this fine wax cleaner should last for at least 100 sq meters (i.e. 2 teaspoonfuls will be sufficient for approximately 1 sq. meter.)
  • Scotch Brit is ideal for use on oak floors instead of steel wool.
  • Occasionally freshen up the floor surface – and/or hard worn areas independently – by applying a thin coat of OS color liquid wax cleaner which can be polished when dry.

OTHER TIPS  [ ]

  • Wood floors are very sensitive to their surrounding climate. Seasonal cracking is a common occurrence. They expand in humid conditions and contract when the air becomes dry, usually due to heating. Using a humidifier or dehumidifier in conjunction with heating/cooling system is recommended, to maintain a constant 30-50% humidity level. This will minimise shrinkage and cracking.
  • Never place plants directly on a wood floor even if they are in a waterproof saucer. Always use trivets or short stands under the pot and saucer so that air can circulate underneath. This will prevent condensation on the saucer from damaging a wood floor. It will also be easier to see if the plant is over watered or if water has spilled onto the floor.
  • Many people are shocked when an area rug is moved and there is an outline of the rug on the floor. Luckily there is no need to panic. If you remove the rug completely, the colour will blend eventually but it will take a while. So be patient! This happens because the sunlight hits one part of the uncovered floor and does not reach the area of floor underneath the rug. This discolouration can be avoided by moving the rug often or by using a finish with a UV block when it is time to refinish.
  • A deep scratch or gouge is not always as easy to repair. We recommend consulting a professional when the damage exposes the bare wood.
  • To find out more about our complete and comprehensive selection of solid wood call us now. To arrange an appointment call London 0207 125 0009, Berkshire 0118 329 0071 or click here and fill out the form to send us a message.

The type of flooring you choose for a room, and how the flooring process itself is done, goes a long way in determining the final appearance of that room. That is why it is important to get the right flooring for your room – and perhaps even more importantly – ensure that the flooring is finished and laid correctly.

Too often I have seen floors that have been improperly laid and the whole floor has had to be lifted, at huge expense and waste.

There are a few key factors that must be taken into account when fitting a solid wood floor.

  1. Height allowance
  2. Subfloor and installation method
  3. Skirting
  4. Quantity to order
  5. Quality and Moisture content of wood on arrival
  6. Acclimatization of the wood on site
  7. Expansion gaps
  8. Direction of boards
  9. Maintenance

Before choosing your floor I ask you to please read our articles on types of solid wood floors and Pro’s and Con’s of solid wood flooring.

FlOORS [ ]

1. Height allowance: First thing to check is whether the thickness of the new floor and the possible addition of a sub base is going to affect your room in any way. Either by head height on low beams, ceilings or doorways or does this extra height affect the levels to inter leading rooms. Ramped Thresholds are designed to bridge this difference in height between rooms but are only made standard to accommodate a thickness of 20mm anything beyond this will have to be specially made.

2. Subfloor and installation method – First and foremost you must determine what is the existing subfloor that you will be fitting your solid wood floor onto. In all cases you must check moisture level of the sub base. Fit a solid wooden floor anywhere near moisture and you are wasting your time and money. Generally all ground floor bases are prone to moisture problems at some time or other, so adequate moisture proofing is essential. First floors are less prone and less precaution is needed.

Sub bases can generally be broken down into 4 possibilities described below and below that are the different methods of installation:-

a) Concrete floor this includes tiles and linoleum: Check moisture – check if base is level – check if base is sound and not crumbly. If these are all good you can Glue your wooden floor down onto the sub base (see installation method below 1a). Some companies suggest floating a floor on a waterproof membrane (installation method 3a). I would agree with this up to 150mm wide boards but also warn that with the slightest hint of moisture rising you will end up with problems of the floor buckling. If there is moisture you might be able to remedy this with a liquid damp proof membrane (DPM). Or choose engineered boards. Excessive moisture and don’t choose wood at all. Sticky underlay is another option, and does work well but experience is necessary and not suitable for boards wider than 150mm (installation method 4).

If your concrete is not level and is crumbly there are a couple of options for you. First option is if
floor is only slightly uneven, but still uneven enough for the board not to get full adhesion along its length. Use Sika T2 which is a liquid baton (installation method 1b). This should keep the board proud of the unevenness but still allows for good adhesion.

If the concrete is really uneven and crumbly you either need to replace the concrete or an easier method is to fit a chipboard sub base on top on the concrete. This is by far the most preferable way to fit a wooden floor. The Chipboard sub base acts as a membrane and is also a perfectly clean and level surface to either glue or nail your solid wooden floor to. The chipboard is normally screwed down into the concrete using hammer fixings but beware of drilling into any pipes. I you don’t want to use chipboard – wooden batons can be used, as long as you can get them all level and that they have a strong purchase into the concrete. Make sure the batons have been treated to ensure longevity.

b) Chipboard or Plywood: This has been described in the above point, when a not so good concrete has been covered with a chipboard sub base. This method is the Rolls Royce method of wood floor installation as you have the perfectly level surface to fit your wooden floor. Good chipboard also has water resistant properties. You can nail, glue or float a floor onto this sub base with ease.

c) Wooden beams, batons or rafters: Either where an old floor has been lifted or possibly in a new room where the batons have been fixed onto the concrete. Easy installation – either secret or surface nail through the floor boards into the batons (installation method 2a or b). If floor boards have tongue and grooves on all 4 sides there is no problem but if they are not ensure that you cut the boards to the right length so that the joints will meet on top of the batons.

If some of the rafters or batons are damaged it might be a good idea to fit a chipboard sub base as described in the section above on concrete floors. Check if you have enough height allowance in the room to allow for the chipboard and your new floor. If there is any damp issues this is a preferable option as you can either fit a waterproof membrane under the chipboard or on top.

Also use chipboard if you want to reduce noise levels normally associated with a suspended floor.

d) Old existing floor boards: As long as the old boards are good and strong, secret or surface nail floor boards directly onto old floor boards (Installation method 2a or b), it is a good idea to put a sound proofing underlay between the old floor and the new floor. This will deaden sounds and stop any creaking. Like in sub bases a) and c) if the old floor boards are uneven fit a plywood or chipboard sub base, to level things out and give you the perfect surface to fit your new floor.

INSTALLATION METHODS [ ]

1. Glue down: This can be done in two methods, a) Full glue – use a notched trowel and sika T54 spread a workable size area of glue, lay your floor boards and then add more glue, working throughout the room b) Liquid batons – use applicator gun and sika T2 sausages apply a strip of glue every 30cm and rest the floor boards onto these. Then apply pressure to get adhesion

2. Nail down: Two methods a) Secret nailing – normally done nowadays with special nailing gun, called a porta-nailer, a nail is hammered in at 45 degrees into the side of the plank just above the tongue and then through into the sub base. b) Surface nailing – a nail is driven in through the surface of the plank and through to the sub base. This nail hole then has to be filled or sometimes special nails called … are intentionally left exposed to create an old fashioned look.

3. Floating: a) As the name suggests the floor is not attached to the sub base by gluing or nailing but is floated on top of it. For this method you will need to use an underlay that you wooden floor rests upon. The boards themselves are glued together at the joints.

4. Sticky membrane: a) This is similar to floating a floor but the underlay used is sticky on one side. But be warned if you are not experienced in this method of installation it is very difficult, as the sticky side is extremely sticky and of you get the board in the wrong place you will have extreme difficulty in adjusting it.

3. Skirting – is the obvious way to cover the expansion gap (see point 6) that is required around the edges of your floor. In new builds this poses no problem as you simply fit the skirting after you fit your floor. But what do you do if you have skirting already fitted.

There are 3 options: a) Undercut – with a special machine slice off the bottom of the skirting to the same thickness as the floor and underlay you are fitting. This now allows you to slide your new floor under the skirting. This is neat and tidy and means you don’t have to remove the skirting and all the decoration associated with that. b) Remove the skirting and refit on top of the floor after the floor has been fitted. c) Fit beading or scotia on top of your new floor and up to the old skirting. Your expansion gap will now be under the beading.

4. Quantity to order: To calculate the quantity of timber to order measure the rooms and calculate the square meters, then you must add a minimum of 5% extra on top of your area to allow for cutting and wastage. It seems like an unnecessary expense, but it is unavoidable. The best fitters in the world can’t get around this. If you have lots of corners and small rooms it is advisable to allow 10%. The last thing you want is to run out and then not be able to get matching timber.

5. Quality and Moisture content of wood on arrival: Due to the popularity of wooden flooring, it has become a very big industry. The benefit of that to you the consumer is that it has become very competitive. So good quality wood is available at cheaper prices. The message in this short paragraph is just to say that Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest you can find, for the following reasons. As you can imagine the floor boards have gone through various stages of manufacture from being cut down in the first place to how they are sliced, then they are kilned dried, a very important stage, after that they are machined into planks with tongue and grooves etc. All these stages cost money and if the manufacturer has skimped on these to keep his costs down ultimately the quality of the final product will be inferior. Cheap boards that don’t fit together are not cheap in the long run. Enough said I will now leave it to your judgment.

The moisture content of the wood on arrival at you premises should be between 8% and 12%. It is unlikely that you will have a moisture reader, so will be difficult for you to measure this unless you can borrow or hire one. This is an advantage of using a professional. They can ensure that these factors are correct and it is their responsibility to do so.

6. Expansion Gaps: This is the big one. In my experience people generally tend to underestimate the expansion and contraction properties of wood. When a floor is on the move and there is no space for it to go into, nothing can stop it. It will buckle itself and it will break walls if necessary for it to expand. As discussed in point 5 the wood arrives with hopefully a moisture content of between 8% and 12%, then depending on the ambient environment at different times throughout the year the wood expands and contracts. In winter when all the windows are closed and the central heating is on the atmosphere dries out, as the atmosphere dries it literally sucks the moisture out of the wood, this causes the wood to shrink which can leave gaps in you floor boards. This is Good because during the summer months with no central heating and windows and doors open and generally quite a humid atmosphere the boards soak up this moisture and expand considerably.

Due to this expansion it is vital to leave a gap all around your floor into which the floor can expand, about 15mm is preferable. This gap is hidden under the skirting as discussed in point 3. Please ensure that this gap is consistent all around including doorways. There is no good in having this perfect expansion gap all around but then at the doorway architrave leaving it because it is a bit too difficult, the wood will merely catch here and buckle.

7. Acclimatization of the wood on site: This is a long debated subject amongst floor fitters and my beliefs are based around natural laws. Acclimatizing wood in a very dry centrally heated room during winter is going to give you problems as it expands in the summer months and conversely putting wood onsite in summer months with all the windows and doors open is going to give you big gaps in the winter months as the wood contracts. Likewise there is no point in acclimatizing wood at any time of year on a building site as this is not the environment that the wood will always live in.

So what does one do – Well these are the ideals: wood arrives from the factory at between 8% and 12% and the ideal humidity of a room for wooden floors is between 40% and 60%. Keep within these ranges when you fit your floor and keep the room at this humidity and you will never ever have a problem with you floor. If the wood is dry fit it loosely so it can expand and if it is wet fit it tightly so that it contracts. Hiring a professional takes this worry away from you, but ensures that your professional gives you a guarantee on his workmanship. In doing so he is stating he is comfortable with his level of skill and knowledge.

Hygrometers to measure humidity levels are readily available. There is not much you can do in summer months to control humidity and very rarely will it go beyond these ranges and if so not for long enough to be of concern. Problems arise in winter when the central heating is turned up and the atmosphere is totally dried up, one or two bowls of water around or even a dehumidifier soon sorts this out. The other biggest problem is when floors are acclimatized into a very dry environment, people tend to want to make sure that their floor is very well cured. So this totally shrunk floor is fitted tightly into its room and looks lovely during the winter, but as soon as summer comes this floor is on the move and will expand so much that no expansion gap is going to cope with it.

Fitting Engineered floors certainly does negate a lot of these problems as they do not expand or contract to nearly the same degree as solid wood.

8. Direction of boards: There is no right or wrong here. And it is generally a matter of taste, but there are a few guidelines. If you are fitting onto existing rafters or batons you don’t have a choice as the boards have to run at 90 degrees to the rafters. General rule of thumb is to run the boards away from the door leading into the room. Looking down the length of the board tends to make the room look larger. Boards running cross ways tend to be jarring to the eyes. Likewise run boards along the longer length of the room, for instance a long hallway with the boards running across the short length looks strange. If in doubt and if you are a little bolder try going diagonal it has a great affect.

9. Maintenance: We have a whole section on how to maintain your wooden floor, and the methods used will vary according to the type of finish you have. Suffice to say here that a little ongoing maintenance will save you a lot of effort and money down the line. Wooden floors are very practical as well as very easy to keep clean and looking great.

We Can Get You Any Wood You Desire – These Are Our Most Requested

Your floor is as individual as is your situation and we take pride in being able to find the floor exactly for you.

We have a complete range of timbers available including :

Ash – Beech – Cherry – Jatoba – Mahogany – Merbau – Rhodesian teak

But these are what we have found to be the most popular.

Oak

Oak

This magnificent timber is by far the most versatile out of all the timbers available in terms of its length and width colour and grade. It is extremely hard wearing and has been used for centuries in the British flooring industry. Oak is suitable for most interiors and will add warmth and charm to any room.

Scotish Elm

Scottish Elm

Elm has an extraordinarily unusual grain, and is suitable for large areas where a distinctive look is required. It is extremely hard wearing and is available in long lengths and widths of up to 300mm. This timber is not widely used in the flooring industry and is therefore quite unique.

maple

Maple

Maple is an extremely hard and dense timber with a colour variation from brilliant white to a light pink colour. The grain is very unusual with delightful twirls giving it a stunning appearance, suitable mostly for that striking contempory environment. Does not take well to any form of staining. The rustic maple parquet block combination makes an absolutely outstanding floor.

Wallnut

Walnut

Walnut is well known for its uses in the furniture industry as well as being particularly popular for the use of gunstocks. But when fitted as a floor it’s real beauty can now be appreciated. It has a striking dark heartwood with a creamy brown sapwood which when carefully laid can produce a wonderful effect. This elegant timber oozes opulence is very much suited to the discerning customer.

To find out more about our complete and comprehensive selection of solid wood call us now. To arrange an appointment contact area service numbers or fill out the form to send us a message.

If you are looking to buy a solid wood floor, you are sure to be both pleased and confused by the wide array of choices available. All wooden floors are a natural, beautiful addition to your home that will enhance the value of your house a give you pleasure for many years to come.

But what type should you choose? There are a variety of styles and material types available for homeowners to choose from. Which you choose depends on your unique needs and preferences.

There are three different styles of solid wood floors

Tongue and grooved, Square edged and finally Parquet. They are all made from Solid wood but are machined into different formats which are:

Tongue and grooved: Planks/strips with edges that have been machined to have a tongue and groove interlock that makes installation easier. Life of the floor is down to the tongue usually 8mm.

Square edged: Planks/strips with no tongue and groove, not as easy to install but will last forever as it can be sanded all the way down. Is available in very wide widths and in greater thicknesses. Was the original form of wooden flooring but has in most cases been replaced by tongue and groove boards, due to the extra costs involved in installation.

Parquet floors are smaller blocks of wood fitted into a decorative pattern. Either machined with tongue and groove edges or is sold in panels which have been factory made with a mesh or paper backing.

All of these styles are available in a huge variety of widths, lengths and grades

Strip flooring is the narrower widths normally about 57mm to 110mm whereas Plank Flooring is from110mm to 260mm.

The width and length will affect the overall look of your floor. Having too many narrow boards in a small room can make the room look to busy and even smaller, whereas getting the right width can make the room look bigger.

Invariably the narrower and shorter the boards the cheaper they are as they can be cut from smaller logs. Likewise the grade affects the price as the better the grade the more expensive as these have to be selected from the best logs available.

There are numerous choices of timber for solid wood flooring.

Bamboo is a popular choice because it is ecologically friendly and durable. Oak is one of the hardest and most popular woods and has a clean, smooth finish. Walnut burl has a distinctive design that will draw comments from everyone who sees it, but it is also very expensive. Pine, while softer than many other woods, is a popular choice because of its depth and beauty.

Other woods include Maple and Beech both light in colour and often associated with contemporary homes. Elm although harder to get is a stunning floor with a very unique grain. These are the most popular but the list is endless like Jatoba, Merbau, Wenge, Cherry, Ash, Kempas, Iroko, Hevea, Teak etc

The type of floor you ultimately choose will depend on which room of the house you are remodeling and your lifestyle.

Whatever types of solid wood floor you choose, you can rest easy knowing that your choice will a beautiful, well loved part of your home for years to come.

There are plenty of other things to take into consideration so please read our page on the advantages and disadvantages of solid wood flooring.

This is not a step by step guide on parquet floor fitting. In my view this is the job for a skilled craftsman, who has learned his skill from another craftsman over a period of time.

A 10 step guide on How to lay a Parquet Floor, would mislead you into believing a novice could fit a parquet floor, this could prove to be a very costly exercise as almost certainly the floor would have to be relaid completely.

Even when employing the services of a professional you must insist on seeing some previous work they have done or at least a personal recommendation.

Parquet is expensive and laid well it is beautiful, but laid badly and it is unsightly and would need to be redone.

However here is some useful information on Parquet Floor fitting:

Parquet should be laid by starting in the centre of the room, working outwards towards the walls. Like all other wooden flooring an expansion gap must be left around the edges.

Rooms that are not square or have many corners leading into other rooms require even more skill and attention. As you can imaging carrying a pattern around a corner and not losing the line is an art.

Parquet is glued to its sub-base using a very powerful adhesive. In bygone days they use to use bitumen nowadays we recommend Sikabond T54 or lecol 5500

It is essential that the sub-base is level. Staring with an uneven sub-base will lead to an unsatisfactory final result. Chipboard is an ideal surface but if concrete is present then preparation of the concrete is essential to ensure a level starting surface.

Parquet solid wood blocks are always unfinished, as once laid the blocks will all be sitting at marginally different heights these need to sanded level. The desired wax or lacquer finish is then applied. An oak parquet floor that has been well fitted and perfectly sanded, then finished with a hardwax oil, is truly a beautiful sight to behold.

Blocks are laid in opposing directions this means that the wood grain also runs in opposing directions. When one sands a floor you try your best to sand with the grain so that you do not get unsightly cross grain sanding marks. With parquet this is not possible so extreme care has to be taken to end up with a satisfactory result, another reason why a quality professional should be hired.

Due to the small size of each block and that blocks are laid in opposing directions. Parquet flooring is very stable and is therefore suitable for many hard wearing and unstable situations such as Kitchens, gyms, halls and hallways

Please read some more of our information on Styles of Parquet Flooring and why people choose a parquet floor.

Come and visit our showroom where you can see our vast range of finished floors, or call to arrange an appointment, where we will come to you, and discuss your needs and requirements.

To find out more contact area service numbers or fill out the form to send us a message.

 

Out of all the wood flooring choices available today, oak seems to be at the top of everyone’s list. If you are considering investing in a wooden floor, take a look at some of the specific benefits that oak offers:

  1. Oak is a hardwood and is extremely hard wearing. It has been used for centuries now in the building trade and has established extreme credibility for durability. This is born out in that fact that 200 year old reclaimed oak can still be purchased and looks beautiful.
  2. Oak actually improves with age like a good red wine. If you were to look at some 200 year old reclaimed Oak you would not doubt this. Even within a couple of years the colour will get richer and if you look after your floor it really will just get better and better.
  3. Oak provides a very attractive grain that is ideal for flooring. The one thing that wood flooring can’t really offer, which carpet and linoleum can, is decorative patterns and styles. Therefore, wood buyers rely on the grain to replace this and help define the look of their room. Oak is an ideal alternative to patterned carpet and linoleum, thanks to its attractive grains. Prime grades are very clean cut whereas rustic or character grades have lots of knots and grain patterns.
  4. Because of its popularity and abundance Oak has been made available in an astonishing array of styles grades and dimensions, giving the consumer the opportunity to almost certainly find the look they are after.
  5. Above all other woods Oak takes very well to staining and colouring therefore adding to the already vast choice available. It is available in shades from limed white to natural colour to very dark, and from a contemporary clean cut look to an old antique appearance.
  6. Oak is remarkably resistant to fungal and insect attacks. What this means for you is less money spent on repairs and damage to your floors.
  7. Oak has been used as a sign of opulence in the past due to its attractiveness and still has a prestigious flair due to this distinction. So, if you are looking for a way to give your home that old, sophisticated, and prestigious look, then oak is the way to go.

All in all, if your priority is getting a high-quality wood with a timeless look and feel, then oak will exceed your wildest expectations. It is the filet mignon of wood flooring, which is why it is in such high demand.