The best part of my job is seeing these lovely wooden floors finished and a smile on the customers face. The next best thing is helping people on their journey, explaining the best way to install their new wood floor, the best product and finishes for them and their home.
As you can imagine I have had a few conversations about wood flooring over the last decade so I thought a page on our website covering the most commonly asked questions would help.
Can you supply wood flooring for us to fit ourselves?
Yes we are happy to supply wood flooring for you to fit yourselves, please refer to our supply only page for further details. We will offer free advice to help you with the installation. We also offer volume and trade discounts.
Is the estimate free and without obligation?
Yes, the estimate is free and without obligation. We will visit your home at a time convenient to you with samples of wood flooring chosen. We do not believe in hard selling, just providing the customer with sound honest advice with which to make an informed choice.
Do you know what type of wood flooring you like?
Some clients already know - having seen a friends, a picture or on the television and have fallen in love but ultimately a visit to our wood flooring showroom and a few large samples to take home and lay around the house really helps.
Solid or engineered wood flooring? salisbury, wiltshire, dorset, hampshire
This is a very popular question. Most people believe engineered wood flooring to be a cheap option and not as good as solid which really is not the case. Engineered wood flooring was invented in the 1960s improving appearance, performance and making it very stable.
What are the finishes available ?
UV Oiled or Natural Oiled. The main difference between a UV Oiled and Natural Oiled floor is that the UV Oiled floor is dried in the factory with UV lights. This speeds up the drying process and also means the floor does not need another coat of oil once it is installed. A Natural Oiled floor may need to be treated again with another coat of oil as soon as it is installed.
It is a misconception that lacquered and matt lacquered floors protect floors better. The truth is oiled floors can offer an equally protective layer (in terms of wine spillages etc.).
Unlike lacquer finishes which only provide protection from above, oil finishes provide protection from both the inside and outside. The oil penetrates deeply into the wood providing long-term protection while also leaving a protective layer on the surface to protect the floor. Scratches on your floor tend to be less visible on oiled floors. Cleaning and maintenance is easy.
Natural oiled floors can be reoiled to cover wear and scratches and can also be spot repaired.
A lacquer is a bit like a modern day varnish and is applied to a wood floor as a way of protecting the floor. Lacquer effectively sits on the top of the wood and doesn’t sink in like oil does.The good thing about a lacquered finish on your floor is that it becomes somewhat water resistant. That said, it’s never a good idea to splash lots of water about on any wood floor. The one downside of a lacquered wood floor is that it has a tendency to show scratches more easily than an oiled floor.
Available in ultra matt to high gloss.
How is my wood flooring fitted?
Wood flooring glued direct to your screed or ply subfloor using fully flexible adhesive allowing for movement. Most commonly used in larger areas, floors with underfloor heating or that are flowing through two or more rooms.
If your subfloor is floorboards you will need a ply sheeting installed before wood flooring can be glued.
We would like wood flooring in our kitchen
What is a wear layer?
Solid wood flooring will not go over an underfloor heating system, an engineered wood floor will have to be used.
Please see our underfloor heating page for further infomation.
I have very old high skirting boards, what are the options regarding the expansion gap required around the new wood floor?
There are several options open to you in this situation, we can do any of the following:
1. Remove existing skirting and replace with new after the floor has been laid.
2. Fit beading that matches the floor or white beading that can be painted to match the existing skirting.
3. "Cloak" the existing skirting after the floor has been installed. This involves putting a thin layer of mdf over the existing skirting shaped into the skirting profile and then painted the same colour as the skirting.
Q. Is the estimate free and without obligation?
A. Yes, the estimate is free and without obligation. We will visit your home at a time convenient to you with samples of wood flooring chosen. We do not believe in hard selling, just providing the customer with sound honest advice with which to make an informed choice.
Q. Can you supply wood flooring for us to fit ourselves?
A. Yes we are happy to supply wood flooring for you to fit yourselves, please refer to our supply only page for further details. We will offer free advice to help you with the installation. We also offer volume and trade discounts.
Q. I have very old high skirting boards, what are the options regarding the expansion gap required around the new wood floor?
A. There are several options open to you in this situation. We can do any of the following:
1. Remove skirting prior to fitting the floor and replace after installation.
2. Remove existing skirting and replace with new after the floor has been laid.
3. Fit beading that matches the floor or white beading that can be painted to match the existing skirting.
4. "Cloak" the existing skirting after the floor has been installed. This involves putting a thin layer of mdf over the existing skirting shaped into the skirting profile and then painted the same colour as the skirting.
Q. Do you sand floor boards?
A. Yes we do floor sanding, including floorboards and make repairs if necessary. We can then coat the floor with a quality lacquer to give it maximum protection.
Q. Can you restore my parquet floor?
A. Yes, we have a very experienced team of floor restoration specialists, please contact us for a free home visit and quotation. We can also supply and fit parquet flooring.
Q. What is a "floating floor"?
A. Floating flooring is a flooring system laid down over a layer of underlay. The floating method is used to install an engineered wood floor. It is not recommended to float a solid wood floor. The individual planks are glued together, not nailed or glued on to the sub-floor. Some engineered flooring has a click system of jointing, this requires no glue at all. The planks form a system that "floats" over the layer of underlay. The underlay can be laid down over existing concrete or wood floorboards.
Q. Can I have a wood floor in the kitchen?
A. Yes you can have a wood floor in the kitchen. We would recommend an engineered wood floor for this area.
Q. What does the underlay do?
A. Underlays come in various forms and can reduce the sound of the wood floor, add insulation and protect the wood floor from moisture.
Q. I have kids and pets, which finish to the floor would be most suitable for me?
A. Lacquer floors are very hard wearing but an oiled floor is much easier to repair in most cases. A light sanding with fine wire wool or sand paper and then 2 coats of oil should be sufficient to spot repair the floor.
Q. Do you supply and fit solid wood thresholds?
A. Yes we can supply and fit solid wood thresholds and trims.
Q. What is the required distance between the walls and the flooring boards?
A. When gluing a solid wood to the subfloor an expansion gap of 15mm towards the walls is sufficient. With floating-floor installations for every metre of installation width the flooring requires a distance to the wall of at least 5mm, lengthwise an expansion gap of 15mm is sufficient.
Q. Can I install the flooring using one pack after the other?
A. For a natural, harmonious looking installation is recommended to work with approximately 5 open packs of flooring and sort/choose the boards individually by colour.
Q. How much wastage do I allow for?
A. Generally, we recommend adding 5/10% to the room's total size for cutting scrap. On a straight forward rectangle or square shaped room 5% is probably sufficient but more complicated areas with more cuts like a hallway may need as much as 10%.
Q. Which kind of Real Wood flooring is right for me?
A. The range of choices is huge. According to personal taste and character of the room you can choose between different wood types, board sizes, surface finishes (lacquer-finish or oil-impregnation), surface structures (Antique, Distressed, Brushed), impressions (Block or Wideplank) and styles.
Q. Does sunlight have any effects on the flooring?
A. Yes, any kind of wood will change its colour over time. During this process light-coloured wood types are not necessarily going to get lighter, dark wood types however will get darker. Every wood type has a characteristic ageing process of its own and will react in its individual way.
Q. What is the maximum load a Real Wood flooring can bear on a single point?
A. With very large loads (e.g. pianos, aquariums, storage heaters and the like) we always recommend gluing down as the installation method of choice.
Q. Can Engineered Real Wood flooring that has been installed as a floating floor be sanded and resurfaced?
A. Yes, but be aware that every sanding process will take off about 1mm of the flooring's wear-layer. Try not to use very heavy sanding machinery as the big weight of these machines may lead to the creation of "sanding waves"
Q. How do I care for my oil-impregnated Real Wood floors?
A. Use Wood-Floor Soap for regular maintenance cleaning. Use a vacuum cleaner for lacquer-finished floors and damp-wipe only if needed. For oil use Osmo wash and care cleaner with an oil refresher if the floor appears to be drying out, a measure of this is that the floor is holding dirt more than it did when first installed.
Q. Should your Floating Real Wood Flooring be installed under kitchen appliances?
A. In the kitchen, you should install the flooring under kitchen appliances, but be very careful when you slide the appliances over the floor. We recommend covering the flooring with something such as a spare rug to protect the flooring when you're moving the appliances.
Q. Are there methods that make it possible for all stains to be removed from Real Wood Floors or is it sometimes impossible for some stains to be removed?
A. Most stains don't penetrate more than the sanding will remove. However, if you have a severe water stain, animal urine stain or hot fats stains in the kitchen area you may not be able to remove it.
Q. How much of an irregularity (drop or rise) can there be in an existing sub floor before installing your Real Wood Flooring?
A. You can have a drop or rise up to 3mm over 2 linear metres.
Q. Do solid wood floors increase home value?
A. Absolutely. Real Wood floors are recognised as one of the highest quality floors available and would increase the value of your home.
Q. I am installing a Radiant Heat Floor System involving poly water tubing set in gypsum concrete that would be my sub-floor. Can your products be used with this type of floor heating system?
A. This installation is okay as long as the tubes don't touch the wood. You also would have to use a laminated underlay vapour barrier between the concrete and the floor.
Q. Can your Real Wood Flooring be installed over Linoleum?
A. You can install our floating Real Wood flooring over linoleum if the linoleum remains sound and tightly glued to the original sub floor.
Q. Is there a type of Real Wood Flooring (e.g. Maple v's Oak) that is more durable or longer lasting than another?
A. There isn't much difference between Real Wood Flooring wood types. The only negative on oak is it's a rather porous wood, but it is a very hard durable wood, as are maple and beech. White oak is slightly harder than red oak. Your choice will really come down to aesthetics.
Q. Do you have to install your Real Wood Flooring under existing cabinets?
A. Ideally, the solid Wood flooring would go under the cabinets. You can, however, cut around the cabinets if removing the cabinets would cause undue complications. Keep in mind, though, that if you were ever to change the cabinets, you could have a problem if the new cabinets weren't the same size as the old cabinets.
Q. Is it possible to install a Real Wood as a floating floor over concrete?
A. Real Wood floor is designed exactly for this kind of application. It requires an underlay with a DPM over the concrete floor. The floating floor system can go directly over that.
Q. If there were a crack in the concrete, would it cause problems with a Floating Floor installation?
A. We recommend that any cracks in concrete be filled with concrete filler and sealed prior to installation. If it's just a hairline crack you can simply cover the crack with duct tape. Keep in mind that underlay with a DPM must be installed prior to laying the floor.
Q. I am having a kitchen fitted and would like a wood floor. Should I fit the kitchen first or the wood floor?
A. The kitchen should be fitted first with the kickboards and end panels left off. The floor can then be fitted up to the legs and the kickboards fitted afterwards. This saves on material and labour cost. If you ever have a leak in the kitchen the units would not have to be removed to lift the floor. You can still use your kitchen while the floor is drying out, much less inconvenience and much less costly.
Q. Why was engineered wood floor invented?
A. To cope with the dry heat of modern central heating, to allow wood flooring to be put into areas that the solid was less stable in. Overall, improved stability.
Q. What is the best laying direction for wood flooring planks?
A. From a technical point of view, any direction is possible and you can install the planks lengthwise or width wise. The choice is a personal and aesthetic one. You will obtain the most attractive effect if you lay the floor in the same direction as the main light source and in the same line as the most frequently used door entrance. However, if you have several doors and windows in the room you can choose the direction that facilitates the actual laying.
Q. My concrete floor has a few low spots in it and I was wondering what to use to solve this problem?
A. Most building materials suppliers have a concrete levelling product. We suggest levelling any areas that are more than 3/16" in variation. Make sure you use the underlay with a DPM before installing over concrete.
Q. Why doesn’t my floor look the same as the sample in the showroom?
A. Unlike factory-made, artificial materials, each hardwood board has a unique life story. During the approximately 60 years it takes for a hardwood to mature, each tree develops a one-of-a-kind grain pattern and texture. Natural hardwood products are never as uniform as plastic laminate or wallpaper from a catalogue. Solid hardwood products are shaped by natural forces and they may display a variety of character markings.
Q. What is the recommended tolerance for the subfloor to be flat?
A. The sub floor must be flat, meeting a minimum of 3/16'' within 10' or 1/8'' in 6'. To check for flatness use a 6 foot level or other means to locate high or low spots.
Q. Should I choose a pre-finished or unfinished wood floor?
A. Most hardwood flooring sold today is pre-finished. Factory finished with several coats of UV-cured polyurethane are applied. These factory finishes are tough and durable. Installing a pre-finished floor eliminates the time, the dust and the odors associated with the on-site sanding and finishing of an unfinished product. A pre-finished floor can be installed in a day. An unfinished flooring installation may require twice as much time for the same area.
Q. What is wood grading?
A. Prime - allows only minor natural colour variation and small pin knots. More prominent natural hardwood characteristics are not allowed in the prime grade timber. This grade is mostly clear resulting in a fairly consistent appearance in the floor.
Rustic - contains all of the natural wood characteristics that occur in hardwoods such as; colour variation, knots of all shapes and sizes, mineral streaks, checks and grain burls. Coloured wood filler is sometimes used on any open characteristics that occur in this grade to produce a smooth surface of flooring.
Q. Please explain wear layers on an engineered wood floor to me?
A. 3mm to 4mm wear layer
Being the most
traditional construction of engineered wood flooring you should be able to find your perfect floor with a 3mm to 4mm veneer. Traditionally made up of three layers; bottom layer of pine/spruce giving
the board stability in numerous environments, middle layer of pine to give the board some depth, top layer of selected hardwood veneer. These layers are usually set at a 90 degree angle to one
another to maximise the stability of these products. A wear layer that can be sanded 3 – 4 times (3mm to 4mm) during its life will last up to 70 – 100 years. An oiled finsished floor is unlikely to
ever need fully sanding if maintained correctly.
A 6mm veneer construction allows you to use your engineered floor as a load bearing floor. Normally around 20mm thick in total with a wear layer that can be sanded around 6 to 8 times during its life and potentially could last hundreds of years if maintained correctly. With a ply board base this construction can be floated over an existing sub-floor, fully glued to sub-floor or nailed directly onto joists.