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Wood flooring FAQs

Wood Flooring FAQ’s

How much flooring do I need?

Generally we require the total flooring area plus approximately 7.5% wastage. For large square areas this is reduced slightly. There are also other slight variations such as the grading of the floor, as some of the rustic grades boards are occasionally too unsightly to use.

What sort of underlay do you use?

For a nail-down floor, we regularly use Bitumen backed Building Paper, which acts as a damp-proof membrane. This is to stop moisture getting into the wood. For a floating floor, if the sub floor is slightly unlevel we often use a plastic membrane with 7mm fibreboards on top. This takes out some of the unevenness of the floor and gives added insulation. For a standard laminate floor, we may use either a foam underlay with Dpm 2.5mm or a 4mm rubberised underlay such as Timbermate Excel. The latter product also has good sound insulation properties.

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is multiple layers of different wood types. The advantage of this is that it is more stable and less susceptible to movement compared to its solid wood counterpart. The top layer (or wear layer) will be the desired finish and it is frequently difficult for the layman’s eye to differentiate between solid and engineered wood flooring. These products are usually installed as floating floors, hence they are easy to lay. They are also supplied pre-finished so they do not need finishing in situ and can be walked on immediately. After a number of years, should the top finish begin to wear, it is possible to sand and refinish (this could be done several times depending on the thickness of the wear layer, which can be anything from 1.5mm to 6mm).

Can we fit flooring on top of underfloor heating?

If the underfloor heating has been installed with the intention of fitting wood on top then, theoretically, wood flooring is perfectly suitable. However, as wood is regularly used as an insulant in a lot of building practises, if certain prerequisites are not met, it is not likely to be a success. Electric systems emit less heat and are generally preferable. Should a water-based system be in place, it is recommended that a surface temperature of 25 degrees C is not exceeded.

What are the different grades of wood?

During milling, certain areas of the tree are perceived to be of higher value. There are four different grades of wood as follows. Prime Grade – there are very few, if any, knots and the boards are all similar in shade and appearance. For a Select Grade, there will be more knots and slightly more colour variation. For the Character Grade , there will be considerably more knots and colour variation, also some wood splitting around the knots will be evident. Rustic is the final grade; this will contain a considerable amount of knots, variation and split boards. The latter type of flooring being more suitable to either a rustic setting/older property/commercial premises e.g. a bar. The Prime Grade being more suitable for a high-end finish such as a town house with modern fittings.

What is a floating floor?

A floating floor is installed by fitting directly on top of an underlay. This underlay will invariably incorporate a damp-proof barrier. The advantage of this system is that the flooring is separated from any potential moisture in the sub floor. It is also a cost-effective and problem-free way to install a floor. Many of the today’s products click together and can readily be taken up and refitted, should the need arise.

What is the Forestry Stewardship certification?

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent organisation that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. The majority of manufacturers adhere to the FSC codes of practise.

What is a bevelled edge?

Traditionally, wood flooring would normally have been fitted with a square edge. With recent advances in manufacturing technology, bevelled edges are a popular feature for many types of flooring – not just wood but laminate and wood-effect laminate and tiles. The bevel (or micro-bevel) exaggerates the plank effect of the boards, which is aesthetically pleasing.

What species of wood are available?

The majority of wood used for for flooring in the UK is either Oak, Beech, Walnut or Ash, Maple or Cherry. There are also a few exotic species which are becoming increasingly scarce.

Is my floor guaranteed?

Many of the floors we source have up to a 15-year warranty, provided they are fitted following the manufacturer’s recommendations. We also provide a 2-year fitting guarantee.

Why are gaps appearing in my floor?

Throughout the seasons, there is a largely unnoticed fluctuation in the relative humidity of most buildings. Relative humidity (or RH) is basically a measure of the water-carrying capacity of air at a certain temperature. In the summer months, as the temperature is warm, there will be more moisture in the air. This moisture will be absorbed by flooring products and this frequently leads to floors expanding and occasionally lifting. This is most prevalent in July/August/September and we are frequently attending to previously poorly fitted floors at this time to rectify issues. Once the winter arrives, the air’s high moisture carrying capacity is no longer there and this, combined with modern heating systems, causes the exact opposite happen: moisture is drawn from the floors, causing shrinkage. This is true for laminate, engineered, solid wood flooring and parquet . It is with solid wood that the effects are most evident in the form of gaps in the joints. These can be filled if desired, but can over time return to their original state.

Can you supply allergy free flooring?

Wood flooring is possibly the most anti-allergy flooring product currently available. Any dust/dust mites, allergen or pollen has nowhere to hide. Providing the floor is hoovered regularly, wooden floors are ideal for those suffering from asthma or eczema.