Beautiful solid wood flooring can look wonderful, creating a real sense of style and individuality and a modern, contemporary feel within any home. There are many different types of real wood flooring, each with a look that is entirely its own. Aged or distressed flooring, the distinctive lines of parquet flooring, there’s engineered wood flooring and strip floors as well as mosaic panels and end grain wood block floors.
Aged & distressed flooring
Aged wood flooring or distressed flooring presents a stylish, lived in look. It looks, for all the world, as if your flooring has been laid for years and adds a certain authenticity to your home. Aged and distressed flooring is also a very practical choice for both homes and commercial properties because it keeps looking good for longer. The rugged, worn, lived in appearance will not show the scratches and marks caused by everyday usage. They are also a popular choice because they never require sanding unlike other types of wood floors.
Parquet wooden floors are a very popular choice and one of the reasons for this is that a parquet floor can be laid in so many different ways, with so many different patterns. The patterns available are Herringbone, Double Herringbone, Single Basket Weave, Treble Basket Weave and Chevron. You can also opt for parquet panels, parquet borders, parquet motifs and parquet floor medallions.
Engineered wood flooring
Engineered floors can be installed which either floating on underlay, are secretly nailed to existing wood sub floors or fully glued to the concrete or timber sub floor. Engineered floors are very good if you need to reduce the noise level in a room and they work well with under floor heating systems. Engineered wood floors are available in a wide range of sizes from 14mm 3 strip floors to 20mm structural engineered wide planks. Strip Floors
There is wide choice of solid tongue and grooved strip flooring available which his available in European Oak, French Oak, American Black Walnut, Wenge, Distressed Oak, Reclaimed Pine and Merbau. Strip wood floors, like engineered wood flooring, can be secret nailed to timber sub floors or glued to concrete sub floors but unlike engineered wood floors, they are not recommended for use with under floor heating systems. Strip floors are very easy to maintain and can be sanded many times to refresh their look making them great value for money.
Mosaic Panels Mosaic Panels, also known as finger parquet, is an old style of flooring used a lot in the 1960’s and is available in European Oak, Mahogany, Teak and Merbau. If fitting mosaic panels to a wood or concrete base, an epoxy glue should be used but if the panels have a felt backing then a spirit based adhesive should be used. End grain wood block floors
End grain wood block flooring is available in a number of wood species including European Larch, European Oak, European Smoked Oak, Pine and Spruce. The wood is cut across the growth rings to produce a very different look to that achieved using the more usual strip flooring. It is extremely hard wearing and so is ideal for areas that experience a lot of foot traffic.
Wood floor repairs
From time to time your wooden floor will need repairing, either to remove scratches or stains or even to correct a floor that was badly laid in the first place. Scratches can be sanded away using fine to medium sand paper but it is recommended that any stained floorboards be replaced because, depending how deeply the stain has entered the wood, you may have to sand quite hard to get the stain out and this could mean that section of flooring will not look the same as the rest.
If you are fortunate enough to inherit an original wood floor or are looking to restore a floor you covered years ago with carpet, you may need to carry out some repairs. This may involve replacing sections of the old wood floor with new wood. Should you need to do this, it is advisable to source wood that, as closely as possible, matches the original wood, in colour and type.
Once the repairs have been carried out, the floor should be machine sanded to a fine finish and any gaps filled. With this done you can set about staining the floor to your chosen colour. Sometimes, stains in your flooring will only become apparent after the floor is machine sanded or even after applying the new chosen finish. If this happens, you may choose to replace that section or leave it because it adds character to your floor.
Original parquet floors were glued and pinned using copper headed pins. Over the years, these eroded leaving staining around each fixing. Unfortunately these stains cannot be removed, but it must be said, they form part of the floors character. When installing new parquet flooring, stainless steel headless pins are used to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.
Why it is important to hire a professional?
With the ever increasing number of DIY shows on television, a lot of people are attempting to restore their own wood floors only to find it’s not as easy as it looks on telly. Professional wooden floor restoration companies will have invested in the right machinery for the job and also in the right training.
Having no experience and using machines which are not forgiving can cause extreme damage to your wood floor and can reduce its life by as much as 50% so it is important to employ a company whose employees are fully trained and qualified in wood floor restoration. This will ensure that the smallest amount of wood is removed during the sanding process and will therefore extend the life of your floor.
Hiring a professional to do the job will leave you with the perfect finish and may even end up saving you money, after all it would be a lot more expensive to attempt the job yourself, hire the machines, buy the sand paper and finishing materials, only to then have to hire in the professionals to redo the job afterward because you are unhappy with the finish.
What should a person look for when choosing a flooring supplier?
When looking for a company to supply and fit your flooring, you should look for a company that can prove the quality of their work. Ask to see examples of their work or at least pictures of it and ask them to produce genuine testimonials.
Ask to see proof of their qualifications. Properly qualified UK flooring contractors will have passed City & Guilds NVQ Level 2 in floor coverings and should have passed there health & safety test and hold a valid CSCS card for commercial works.
Check out the equipment they plan to use and ask what measures they put in place to minimise dust, the last thing you want is to be cleaning the house for weeks after they’ve gone.
Confirm that they offer a free no-obligation survey and quotation.