Wooden Floors

Pre-Summer Draw - enter now

Over time Wood You Like has introduced various draws, for instances for the best DIY-er per month or when participating in one of our surveys. This time, every order counts towards the

PRE-SUMMER DRAW

Pre-Summer-Draw

Every order counts, as long as you place it between now (20.05.17) and the end of June (so before 01.07.17). 

On the first of July we will draw 5 lucky winners who all will receive a tremendous information pack (with a total value of over £ 30.00: Wooden Floor Installation Manuel (E-guide), The Ultimate Maintenance Guide, 7 Easy Steps to Repair/Restore your Parquet Floor and Buying Guide for Wooden Floors) PLUS for one of these five lucky winners we will refund the purchase price (excluding delivery charges) of the order drawn.

Place you order now and you might win the "Win-Back-your-Purchase-Price-Prize"!

As said above, all orders, no matter their total amount or type of product purchased, will be entered into the Pre-Summer Draw. Your order must be placed (and paid for) between 20.05.2017 and 30.06.2017 to be a valid entry. That is the only requirement, we can't make it any simpler!

The 5 winners of this Pre-Summer Draw will receive an email, containing the information pack, in the first full week of July 2017, the winner of the "Win-Back-your-Purchase-Price-Prize" will be refunded the purchase price (excluding delivery charges) before Saturday 08.07.17

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Place your order now (before 01.07.17) and be entered in the Pre-Summer-Draw - see HERE for more information
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It's sum sum summer time

Well, British Summer Time is on the clocks again and (in parts) it has been a lovely week weather wise. No doubt - if you have one - your underfloor heating system will be set lower and lower, which means:

SpringcleanMaintenance time!

During the heating season(s) your wooden floor has been nice and warm underneath your feet, but has also dried out. Since it is never recommended to apply maintenance polish on a warm floor, now is the time to reward your wooden floor for keeping you warm and cosy.

We highly recommend you apply a nice and new coat of maintenance polish:

Your wooden floor will love you for it!

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Place your order now (before 01.07.17) and be entered in the Pre-Summer-Draw - see HERE for more information
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You can't help colours fading, or can you?

SunlightraysWood, a product of nature, matures over time. This means, due to exposure of light, your wooden floor changes colour, sometimes also called "fading of the original colour".

For instance, Oak - pale blond when new - will get its characteristic honey/yellow colouring when treated with a natural finish. This normally takes between 1.5 - 2 years.

Tropical species on the other hand will rather rapidly turn much darker than when brand new, between 2 - 6 months.

All this due to exposure of light, be it sunlight or artificial light. Nothing will stop this, although.....

Some areas of my herringbone muhuhu parquet floor have faded where they have been covered with carpet; can the colour be made uniform without sanding?

Covering up part of your floor by placing carpets will give a very interesting effect, the covered part will keep its original colour way longer than the exposed part. You can easily compare this with pictures on a wallpapered wall, behind the picture the colour of the wallpaper will be more like it was in the beginning than the surrounding exposed areas. 

For answering the above question we advised to give it time, the unexposed part of the parquet will fade in with the rest of the floor as soon as you remove the carpet, sanding will not hurry things along.

There is one thing you can do to enlarge the time it will take for your wood to mature. When it is brand new and bare, treat it with two coats of Saicos Premium HardWaxOil (for Oak, Tropical Combo for tropical species). This hardwaxoil contains fewer linseed oil than other brands and will not turn your wooden floor into its characteristic mature colouring as easy or as soon. Plus it is eco-friendly and quick to apply.

Enjoy the (changing) colours of your wooden floor! 

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Don't use ammonium to clean your Oak floor

A worried lady emailed us with the following story - have a question yourself? Use the ?Help button at the bottom of every page:

In her kitchen an Oak floor had been installed (wood-engineered) and, as can happen in areas where cooking is done, in front of the cooker splashes of grease had marked to floor. Knowing how well ammonium can cut through grease she'd used some on a cloth and rubbed away the solidified grease stain.

Only to discover a few hours later the Oak in the treated spot had turned a shade darker than the surrounding area!

Oak and Ammonium - think old cow sheds

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(Image from Farming in France blog)

Oak contains tannic acid and, when exposed to ammonium, this acid reacts and becomes darker. It's natural reaction, just think of old cow-sheds, barns or old train cattle wagons.

Original Oak from any place where cattle has been for a long while is well known for its very dark colouring. Trying to sand the beams or boards bare to expose the blond wood again is very difficult to do, because years and years of being "exposed" to cattle with their wee, containing ammonium, this natural discolouration has penetrated deeply in the wood, not just stained the surface.

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This natural process is still being used (in controlled and safe circumstances - SO DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!) to produce "smoked" Oak. Mostly done in air-thight chambers in a factory, exposing untreated Oak to ammonium vapours for hours. The amount of tannic acid in the Oak, combined with more or less time in this "smoking chamber" determines the natural darkness of the boards.
Another name for this process is "fumed" Oak (from the French word fumé).

In the "olden days" some exceptional specialist floor companies did "smoke on site", using very strong ammonium in a bare room, sealing off all doors, windows etc. Any draft coming in to the room while this "not suitable for human exposure" was in process would affect the result. And nothing else in the room could be made of Oak, it would get darker too. So, once again: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

Note: some wood floors are incorrectly branded - excuse the pun - as smoked or fumed and only have been treated/stained with a colour to resemble this natural effect. The way to find out is to check if the colouring is only "skin-deep" - not even 1mm in the wood - or truly in the wood, at least 1 - 2 mm deep.

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All Wood You Like's Smoked Oak floors are definitely been in the "smoking chamber".

Would spilling cleaning ammonium colour my Oak floor too?

No, not that easily - IF the wood floor has been maintained regularly to keep the wear and tear layer in proper condition.

The floor in question had not been maintained for a year, and because the area in front of the cooker had had the most "traffic" the protective finish was rather reduced, enabling the ammonium to react with the "bare" wood.

Use a Ecofriendly product to remove stains: Saicos Magical Cleanser won't harm your floor and does remove grease, nicotine and even milldew

Ecoline Magic Cleaner 1 GB

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5-finger mosaic is back

Oak 5-finger mosaic rediscovered in lounger

Frequently used in bungalows - and of course other types of homes - during the 50's upto the early 90's, the 5-finger solid wood mosaic floors are a common sight.

And nowadays very often a common and pleasant discovery by the new owners of the house when ripping out the wall-to-wall carpet or vinyl that had been installed over it - perhaps even many years ago.

Restoring or adding mosaic floors

A design parquet floor, and a mosaic floor is definitely a design parquet floor, is a valuable floor covering to have/to discover you have. Sturdy, beautiful and most often than not, adding value to your home. Plus of course, very easy to keep clean.

Not all rediscovered mosaic floors have withstand various prior renovation projects, central heating might be installed - where plumbers simply ripped out areas of mosaic to lay the water pipes in the concrete - or original fireplaces removed. Leaving you with missing areas of wood.

If this is not the case, lucky you, and your charmed by the look of the wood floor, you could consider installing mosaic floors in other rooms too,. to complete the picture. For instance when you (or the previous owners) knock down a wall and only one part of the new larger room has a mosaic floor. 

Wood You Like is happy to announce the 5-finger mosaic in the most used wood-species is again available in small quantities, catering both for small restoration projects and large additional rooms/areas.

Only 2.304 sq m per pack, available in:

All packed very economically: 2.304 sq m per pack.
All unfinished, so you can decide your own finish (thinking of oil to bring out its character best? Look at our Tropical-Combo products)
All measuring (4 blocks by 4 blocks of 5-fingers): 7.5 x 480 x 480mm and all available from our secure webshop.

When you browse in the secure webshop, be sure to visit the "restoration packs" category, all materials needed for either Oak or Tropical species floor restoration (adhesive, oils etc)

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What to note....

Solid hardwood floors have been around for many years. However, more and more manufacturers are switching to wood-engineered floors for various - good - reasons.
This chapter will highlight issues you have to note when purchasing and installing solid wood floors to make sure you end up with the best result possible

Recommended measurements of Solid floorboards and some important rules

Rule of thumb: the width of a solid board should never be wider than 10 times the thickness of the board.

  • 20mm thick means 200mm wide maximum, 15mm thick means 150mm wide maximum.
  • 'Oversized' boards are very prone to buckle and cup.

Rule of thumb: the location of the Tongue and Groove should be as close to the centre as possible to give the board the best stability. Sold floors with the T&G below the centre are prone to buckle and cup.

The reason given for why the T&G is almost at the bottom of the board: floor can be sanded many times more might sound valid, running the risk of cupped boards before there is ever a need to have the floor sanded outweighs this 'benefit' many times over.

short end of the stick - or in this case: the boardRule of thumb: Solid floors can be installed floating if:

  • they are wider than 100mm, 
  • if the room is not wider than 5 - 6 meter
  • and in cases with random length: maximum 15% of the boards are of 'short' lengths - see the article "Three Things DIY Stores Won't Tell You"

Rule of thumb: overall solid floorboards will expand and shrink more than wood-engineered boards. To allow this movement you have to calculate the correct expansion gap needed (and don't fill this gap with cork or anything else!).

Oak floors: for every meter width of the room leave a 4mm gap with a minimum of 10mm. A 2 meter wide area means 10mm gap; a 3 meter wide room needs a 12mm expansion gap. 
Make sure your skirting board are thick enough to cover the movement of shrinkage as well - we recommend 18 - 21 mm thick skirting for solid floors.

Pine boards: 4 - 5mm per meter

Beech - a rather 'nervous' wood type - floors: 7mm per meter

Rule of thumb: moist content of a solid Oak floorboard must be between 8 - 11% when it arrives in your home. Leave solid floors - in their packaging - to acclimatise to your house climate for at least 1 - 2 weeks if they are supplied by a reputable company. (Will you ever know where your floor has been stored when you buy of Ebay?)

Take note in which season you are installing the floor: 
winter, when your house climate is rather dry due to central heating effect, add 2mm extra to your calculated expansion gap
Late summer/autumn, when your house climate has a high humidity, your floor will shrink more when the heating season starts, this is a normal effect but don't reduce the standard expansion gap for this reason. It's better to add 2mm to your skirting board thickness (if you need to buy new ones - alternatively use flat beading to cover expansion gaps and leave skirting boards in situ).

General advice: keep the width of solid boards narrow, 150 - 160mm tops, for the best and trouble free result. If you fancy a wider board do select wood-engineered, much safer bet and in the end exactly the same look - you only see the surface of your wood floor - which with wood-engineered floors are definitely from solid wood - anyway.

image from woodyoulike.typepad.com

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Two floor types, still one look

We received the following question this week (have your own question? Use the ?Help button at the bottom of every page of this site)

Hi there
I've got the opportunity to revamp our whole house and we have this idea to have the same type of flooring everywhere: downstairs as well as upstairs. Now I've looked around the old internet and read somewhere that I could get away with thinner boards upstairs 'cos there's not that much traffic going on, not as much as downstairs anyway.
I was told by a friend of mine that you would have a solution for this, 'cos everywhere else I look I end up with the same floor for both plans, the fact being that none of the thinner boards look like the thicker boards - which makes it a bit too expensive for me. So, please, let me hear your ideas!

Our answer:

Indeed, if there is not that much traffic upstairs, you can get away with 10mm thick boards. Downstairs we highly recommend - as you've discovered yourself - to use a thicker, at least 15mm, boards.
In our secure webshop you can find a variety in looks, the same in 10mm as in the 15mm thick high quality wood-engineered boards.
For instance:

Oak Rustic, oiled natural or white

image from images-cdn.ecwid.com
Rustic, oiled natural (10 or 15mm)



Oak Nature, oiled natural or white

image from images-cdn.ecwid.com
Nature, oiled white in 10 or 15mm

It depends on your personal taste, the nature grade has fewer knots and fewer colour variations between the boards; the Rustic grade is the most popular one - giving you an authentic cottage feeling. 
You didn't mention what type of house you have, if modern I suggest you take a close look at the Nature grade, what we call our "minimalistic" look; if you on the other hand prefer a "country-feel" you should opt for the Rustic version (which for the 10mm comes at only £ 29.97 per sq meter for orders over 17 sq meters)

Let us know if you need more advice?

Looking for a perfect wood-engineered floor yourself, for your study, bedroom, kitchen or lounge (or any other place inside your home)? Have a browse through all of the flooring types we can supply to you. All have a FSC Oak toplayer!

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Introducing: FSC Oak wood-engineered flooring for low prices

Wood You Like is happy to (re)introduce to you a large range of FSC Oak wood-engineered flooring  - around 45 different types!

These 45 different floors come in various thickness, grades and finished (both oiled as lacquered) and all have a FSC Oak top layer.

Oak in all varieties

And all at low prices too!

For instance, Oak Rustic or Nature grade 10mm with a 3mm solid Oak top layer, oiled natural of white for only £ 29.97 per sq meter!

You can all find them in our secure online shop, which gives you prices per pack. The £ 29.97 translates itself into £51.99 per pack (from 10 packs onwards). Underneath we'll give you a first overview of the sq meters per pack, the pack price and the sq meter prices - because the more packs you order, the more the price drops. 

Rust oiled nat10/3 Oak FSC Rustic/Nature oiled natural or white a 1.735 sq meter per pack  
£ 51,99 per pack for 10 or more packs (£29.96 per sq meter)
£ 60.67 per pack for 4 - 9 packs (£ 34.96 per sq meter)
£ 69.34 for 1 - 3 packs (£ 39.96 per sq meter)

image from images-cdn.ecwid.com10/3 Oak FSC Extra Rustic/Rustic, smoked/vintage oiled a 1.735 sq m per pack
£64.12 per pack for 10 or more packs (£ 36.95 per sq meter)
£ 74.71 per pack for 4 - 9 packs (£ 43.06 per sq meter
£81.47 for 1 - 3 packs (£ 46.95 per sq meter)

More will follow as soon as possible! Check out the new category in our online shop:

Wood-Engineered Floors FSC

Or read the specific article on this floor range here

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Spring cleaned our shop

Did we change the design and lay-out of our whole website two weeks ago, last week we thoroughly Spring Cleaned our Secure Online Shop.

Spring clean

Cobwebs and dust bowls have been cleared, items rearranged, categories updated! Plus.....

No matter how many items in your shopping bag, the delivery charge will now always be only£ 12.00 (this of course excludes the E-guides, if your purchase is solely one of these guides, there are no delivery charges out all).

The quality products that come in various tins (such as in 0.75 and in 2.5 ltrs) can now both be found in one product where you select the tin(s) right there and then. Simple.

One other item we've changed. If you are looking for high quality wooden floors, you simply select the one in our range you want us to send you a specified quotation for the sq meters needed (do add a percentage of the area you plan to have your wooden floors installed in for the needed "saw-waste).

Have a very nice Spring yourself, and if you are thinking of a thorough clean of your home do have a look at all of our maintenance products that'll keep your wooden floors healthy and beautiful!

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The Importance of a Wet Finger

Bare wood - no matter if it is a new floor or a sanded down one - looks quite pale, dull even. Applying a finish - any natural finish - will bring out the wood-species natural colouring, which can be rather different than its pale beginnings.

Surprise, surprise!

This week we received a phone call from a lady, who had bought and installed reclaimed Oak wood-blocks. After sanding the floor down she'd used a tester pot of Osmo HardWaxOil and was very surprised to see her Oak floor turn pinky.

She had been expecting a warm honey colour, the typical characteristic colouring of Oak:

Oak after it receive a natural finish 

But instead her "Oak" floor showed a pink tone:

Red Oak, after it received a natural finish, looks pinkier than Oak Beech - unsteamed - with a natural finish will not look like Oak

(example 1: American Red Oak, Example 2: Beech - which belongs to the same family as Oak

When I asked her to do the "wet finger" test on a bare area of the wood floor the result was again a pinky tone, and not as she had hoped the typical Oak colour.

The result of this simple and oh so effective test told me the wood-species was something different than Oak. But it had been sold to here as Oak, she told me. Well, American Red Oak is Oak, although I'm not even sure the seller had known the difference him or her self, because as said in the beginning of this article: bare wood of different species can look pretty much alike, especially if the grain structure is rather the same.

The lady in question felt rather disappointed ("bummer" was the word she used after discovering the result of the wet finger test) and didn't really know what to do next, perhaps she will stain it an Oak colour now.

The importance of the wet finger test!

The importance of the wet finger test on bare wood

Especially when you are in the market for reclaimed wood blocks, no matter if it is on offer on Ebay, in a local shop or reclamation yard, you'll have to be sure the wood-species are as claimed.

Two simple tools you have to have with you: one finger and a piece of sanding paper.

  • For bare wood blocks: simply wet your finger and place this on the block(s). This will show you its natural colour after you applied a natural finish and could prevent disappointment afterwards. (After you bought the lot, cleaned of the bitumen, glued down your pattern, sanded the floor smooth and level and applied your natural finish - only to make the same discovery as the lady who'd called us in a panic!)
  • For "finished" blocks: use the sand paper to clear off the finish of part of the block, then do the wet finger test. The finish could be a stain, disguising the original species.

Also use the sand paper if an apparent bare block doesn't change in colour after the wet finger test - a sure sign there is a finish on the block.

(On Ebay it could be a bit difficult doing these tests, best is always to have a sample send out to you).

Know the result before you start

As you can see, it is really simple to know the result of any natural finish applied to bare (sanded) wood long before you start all the hard work: use the "wet finger" test and never be surprised again!

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HardWaxOil or Oil and Wax

Main difference between HardWaxOil and Oil plus Wax

Continuing on the question what makes a better finish on your wooden floor, we frequently receive the question to explain the difference between the two above products/methods of finishing your floor with an natural oil.

Quoting from the other article:

"The labour intensive maintenance of the old-fashioned wax-floor has now become a thing of the past: 
oils replaced the many layers of wax. The oil penetrates the wood deeper than lacquer and makes it moist resistance, but allowing the wood to ‘breathe’. A hardwax layer is applied afterwards to make the wear and tear layer water repellent.

Nowadays most oiled floors are pre-finished (or finished on site) with HardWaxOil, combining the natural oil (long term protection) and the carnauba or bees hardwax (wear and tear layer) in a two-in-one product. It’s very easy to apply and a very forgiving product when some mistakes are made, in fact an ideal DIY-finish (but we strongly recommend you read the instructions thoroughly and use the right equipment)."

The popularity of the two-in-one HardWaxOil makes it one of those products anyone contemplating an oil finish to go for this straight away.

Saicos HardWaxOil

But....

When not to use HardWaxOil

HardWaxOil on tropical wood species can very easily give a patchy result due to the fact the wood itself is 'oily'. Although HardWaxOil manufacturers used to mention that their product was not very suitable on tropical woods, this statement disappeared from most of the instructions in recent years - simply because, in our opinion, every company wants to sell as much as possible of their own products for as many as possible applications.

Our experience with both finish types on tropical wood species shows that single oil does tend to give a better result than HardWaxOil. A single oil does need a separate wear and tear layer, some use one coat of natural HardWaxOil for this, but again our own experience shows that a hard wax or old fashion polishing wax (not to be confused with wax-polish - more a maintenance product) works better in the long run.

This method, single oil followed by one coat of hard wax or polishing wax also works on Oak, specially if you are after the most natural appearance. Oak needs two coats of single oil, it's not "oily" of itself such as tropical species.

Options:

On site finish for Tropical wood-species: one coat of single oil, followed by one coat of HardWaxOil

Saicos tropical combo

Saicos single oil (Colour Wax Clear, extra thin, renamed to Ground Coat) takes approximately 8 - 10 hours to dry, the Saicos Premium HardWaxOil (available in 4 sheens)  3 - 4 hours
Alternatively, replace the HardWaxOil with hard wax or natural polishing wax (contains real turpentine, so ventilate well). Both need to be applied "manually", the polishing wax spreads out better, even under colder temperatures.

On site finish for Oak - if you are in a "hurry": two coats of Saicos Premium HardWaxOil (each coat dries within 3 - 4 hours)

Alternatively for an even more natural effect (and when you have the time to do so): two coats of Saicos Ground Coat Extra Thin - each coat takes 8 - 10 hours to dry, followed by either one coat of hard wax or one coat of natural polishing wax (contains real turpentine, so ventilate well).

Our personal preference: single oil followed by the old fashioned natural polishing wax. It gives the wood the natural long term protection it needs, and gives the surface a vibrant, rich and authentic appearance. 
Do note, the polishing wax can give scuff-marks in the first few hours, but then again, we said it was an "old-fashioned" method - and the smell of the wax (freshly applied) will definitely transport you back in time.

Recommended Wax-Polish and polishing wax (the latter can be used on furniture too):

Wax-care     Basin Tante Polly_2.5
Saicos Wax-Care 1 ltr tin   Basin "Aunt Polly" (Tante Polly) 
polishing wax
 (1 ltr tins) 

 

In the end, it all comes down to personal preference, combined with the time you have.

We hope this has given you a better idea of the difference between the HardWaxOil and the Oil plus Wax (in application and in end result).

All products can be found in our secure online shop

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Gaps? Not to worry (much)

It's that time of the year again: gaps appearing in floorboards

In this period our web site is being found by a lot by people "Googling" on: floorboard gap; floorboard gap filler; gaps in floorboards, etc.
We "wood like" to explain that in this time of the year and with this weather that gaps appearing in floorboards is pretty usual. We keep track of the air humidity in our house on a daily basis and during the end of winter it can drop as low as 35 - 40%

Wood is a product of nature and will react to changes in air humidity, or - as is in many cases the cause - if you have underfloor heating your wood will have had exposure to this "heat"form the whole of the winter and will have released its natural water in the fibres and might now created gaps. This will happen more often with floor on UFH which are installed floating, with floor fully bonded to the subfloor with flexible adhesive, the adhesive will act as a kind of break on the natural movement.

Gaps now are nine times out of ten not an installation or product fault - as some think - but the natural reaction of your product of nature to.... nature.

Can you prevent these gaps? A bit, by making sure your wooden floor is healthy and maintained properly - maintenance products will keep your floor from losing excessive moist, therefore it is best to apply some polish more often in Winter than during Summer and beginning Autumn. But don't over do this, you might end up with a sticky mess.

Will these gaps disappear? Yes, when your UFH system is turned down again - later this Spring - and/or the air humidity will increase again, then your floor will start to absorb moist from the air again to gain its equilibrium again.

So, don't worry (too) much is your wooden floor starts showing some gaps, it is Nature at Work ;-)

Did you know moss balls are supposed to attract luck and love? (image from Nature at Work Pinterest)

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Three things DIY-stores won't tell you about

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Purchasing wooden flooring at one of the DIY chains seems to have one big advantage: lower prices - mainly with special offers (offers frequently and often going on and on and on).

But there are at least 3 down-sides with these low prices to gain your custom:

Too often too many short lengths

Too often too many short lengths

Have you ever looked at the units where the wooden floor packs are stored in these DIY chains? Large metal units, often three or four stacks high. Nothing wrong with height, but the main issue here is the width: mostly not wider than 1.3 - 1.5 meters. This means, the packs of wooden flooring will contain "short" lengths of - standard - 1.20 meter.
Now, manufacturers don't often sell planks of 1.2 meters on their own, they like to mix things up and for quality flooring this size is a medium length - not the maximum length. Meaning, for this type of flooring to be as low as possible in price, the other lengths are often short - too short in fact.

The product description of these random length packs often state: enhancing the character of your wooden floor with various lengths.
As if! All this will do is enhance the "business" of the look, because more often than not the majority of the boards per pack will be around 300 - 500mm. Meaning, too many joints in a row, making your floor rather unstable and should therefore never be installed using the floating method. Plus, as many manufactures recommend, joints in the neighbouring row should be spaced at least 300mm from the joints in the previous row - very hard to do when you only have very short lengths.

Too often not enough knowledge

Too often not enough knowledge

Imagine having a trillion items in your shop, would you know the ins and outs of every single item? Or when to use what type of accessory? Would all of your many employees know all of it? "Many" as in rotating per day or part of the day and per "department"?

Would the employee you manage to track down in the wooden floor "department" know which underlayment you should use on your existing chipboard underfloor - if your wooden floor can be installed floating at all? If the latter, would this employee also know you cannot fully bond your wooden floor onto modern chipboard? Nor that you can secret nail into chipboard?

Too often they only want to sell you accessories you don't need, such as straps or cork fillers.

Too often veneer is sold as sandable

Too often veneer is sold as sandable

Real wood top layer - as soon as you see a sales term like this you have to be on your guard. Veneer - most often 0.6mm thick - is also a real wood top layer but is only really suitable in areas where there is low traffic, such as in bedrooms.

And when this sales term for a veneer floor is followed by the claim it can be sanded you are definitely in for a treat!
Knowing that a proper sanding - with professional sanding equipment - sands off 1 - 1.5mm you'll end up with the backing of your "real wood top layer" floor, often pine or plywood (still "real wood").
How's that for a bargain?

Often it is better to go to a specialist

Often - if not always - it pays to select your wooden flooring at a specialist retailer, online or off-line. These businesses only sell wooden flooring and therefore know all about the products and accessories you need, they know what can and cannot be done, which floor type is most suited for your situation and they will give you tips and tricks of the trade if you want to install the floor yourself. Or they will have their own installation team to do a professional job for you.

Wood You Like, E-tailer nowadays - is one of those specialist. View and read all the information pages on this website and decide for yourself: do they or don't they know a lot about wooden flooring?

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Which floorboard thickness to select: when and why

With so many different floor types to chose from, we know it can sometimes be rather a challenge to know which one to go for and which ones to avoid.
We can't select your ultimate look of the floor, grades and finishes are down to personal taste after all, but we can give you a guideline in determining what floorboard thickness you can get away with to create the right ambiance in your home without going "over board".

Traffic and levelness

Two main considerations to keep in mind when deciding between the main 3 floorboard thickness now commonly available in the market: expected traffic over the floor and the levelness you have under the floor. A third consideration is Underfloor Heating (UFH)

13/4 boards (13mm total with 4mm Solid top layer)

Traffic: light to normal
Think:
bedroom, study, tv-room
homes without small children or big pets
homes with "semi-retired" owners

Levelness: flat to very gentle slope

UFH
: yes on concrete or level plywood floor using flexible adhesive to fully bond the floor - no on battens

15/4 boards (15mm total with 4mm Solid top layer)

Traffic: normal to heavy
Think:
hallways
normal household
small offices, specialised small retailers/shops (5 - 6 visitors a day), reception areas

Levelness: flat to slightly uneven
15mm can take on more unevenness without flexing, slopes should not be more than 3mm per meter and in one direction

UFH: yes on concrete or level plywood floor using flexible adhesive to fully bond the floor - no on battens

20/6 boards (20mm total with 6mm Solid top layer)

Traffic: heavy to intense
Think:
busy households
large and busy offices, shops and other commercial premises with many visitors/shoppers a day
village & school halls
gyms and dance schools

Levelness: slightly uneven to directly onto joist
20mm is load bearing and - depending on the backing used - boards are very rigid

UFH: definitely yes

Examples of choice - same grade, same finish

Floorboards 10mm thick, Oak Rustic, oiled natural

13/3 Rustic Oak, oiled natural

Floorboards 15mm thick, Oak Rustic, oiled natural

15/4 Rustic Oak, oiled natural

Floorboards 20mm thick, Oak Rustic, oiled natural

20/6 Rustic Oak, oiled natural

Floorboards 10mm thick, Oak Nature, oiled natural

13/4 Oak Character, oiled natural

Floorboards 15mm thick, Oak Nature, oiled natural

15/4 Oak Character, oiled natural

Floorboards 20mm thick, Oak Nature, oiled natural

20/6 Oak Character, oiled natural

See more options

You can see many of the options in our online shop

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Porch: Solid or Wood-Engineered?

DIY conversation in our email inbox: (do you have a question yourself - use the "?Help" button in the bottom righthand corner)

Last stage of flooring project

Wood You Like's famous buffing block - eco-friendly and effectiveNow that I have finished restoring all five of my parquet floors following your sound advice and fitted new oak skirting, architraves and doors(I have many photographs which I am going to send to you) AND after using your polish and buffer (bumper in RAF parlance) the floors are really looking terrific.

Last stage is to fit an oak floor in my small entry porch which measures only 2.5m x 1.5m (less than 4sqm) and is currently tiled and quite level.For this I would like some advice.Is it better to fit a solid oak timber floor or an engineered wood one?I would like to fit something like 18mm thick by 90-105mm wide by varied lengths.

Thank you for previous great service and courteous understanding,

Sincerely Yours, David H - Sussex

Wood-engineered for areas with rapid changes in temperature

Hi David

Looking forward to you pictures!

In a porch you normally have rapid changes in temperature (no heating I guess) and even lots of moist when people are coming in from the rain.
Wood-Engineered would be better there, is more stable than solid. Although narrow Solid Oak could be an option too, but with the widths you suggest you do need to fully bond the floor to a suitable underfloor. You can't really easily glue over tiles, so they have to come up or have plywood screwed down first.

Is that something that can be done in your situation?

Thanks for reply to my query. If I just fit an engineered floor can it be just laid straight over the tiles(glued) or do I need to put down the plywood as well? Seems like engineered flooring is good quality these days.

The oak strips you sent to me arrived safely in the long tube-no damage and are just the thing I needed.

Thanks

Floating installation - simplest solutions

Hi David

When you use Wood-Engineered boards you can install them floating on a combi-underlayment (contains a DPM to prevent any sweat and condensation of the tiles reaching the wood) by glueing the T&G's correctly.

Glad to hear the strips arrived safely.

Kind Regards and have a very nice weekend
Karin H - Wood You Like Ltd

(This very week, David kindly sent the following feedback:

As usual your answer was succint, well ventilated and appropriate. In addition the speed of your replies were quite brilliant. Your service overall can hardly be bettered in my opinion. However, the fact that you are always trying to improve is reflective of your business and great credit to your whole team and the philosphy that drives you. You deserve to succeed (as you appear to be) in your chosen field.
 
David H

Wood-engineered highly recommended for

Oiled brown

all areas where there is more chance of moist and/or high humidity, for instance in:

  • kitchens
  • kitchen/dining area (open plan living)
  • bathrooms
  • hallways
  • porches

Floor show in above image is Hattan  oiled brown (Maderia - Rustic Grade), available in 13mm and in 20mm

More hand-on tips for DIY installation

160 pages Wooden Floor Installation Manual by Wood You Like

Thinking of installing your own wooden floor? The "Wooden Floor Installation Manual", written and published by Wood You Like Ltd, contains 160 pages of hands-on practical tips.

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Place your order now (before 01.07.17) and be entered in the Pre-Summer-Draw - see HERE for more information
Thank you for your time, do visit our Secure Webshop - all links in articles and pages are coloured red
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