Wood Flooring Installation consultation
We pride ourselves on the level of service we provide by engaging with clients from as early in the selection process as possible, advising on floor options, finishes and requirements for floor installation.
With an extensive selection of examples of our floors, we bring these to a client’s property as this allows all to view the floors in situ and understand how the floors could enhance a room or area. We explain in detail the benefits of each floor option, in the case of our reclaimed floors, we speak about the provenance of the stock and some of its past history if known.
Choosing the final floor can be a difficult decision and we try to help and assist with this process at every step of the way, reflecting on past projects and how these worked well in different settings.
As part of our consultation process, we discuss the installation and finishing processes, how this could impact family life during the process and to best mitigate this. We outline requirements for subfloors, moisture levels and how fixtures and fitting such as skirting boards are managed.
We pay particular attention to the use of under floor heating with wood floors, including both subfloor requirements, installation of UFH systems and the ongoing use of UFH to ensure the flooring remains unaffected.
From this consultation process we are able to furnish a client with a full quotation and detailed breakdown of the processes we employ, along with a transparent breakdown of costs to ensure a client has a complete understanding of the service we provide and the flooring we supply that will last for many years to come.
When an order is placed, we begin the process of preparing the stock ready for delivery, this may be as simple as placing relevant orders with our network of suppliers both in the UK and across Europe.
Alternatively, we may instruct a mill to prepare a suitable stock based on the discussions we have had with a client. This would involve selection of stock, selecting boards based on the grade and widths required, from here the stock will be kiln dried to ensure the moisture content is correct through the full thickness of the boards (to avoid cupping or dishing of the stock).
We can kiln dry to moisture levels for a centrally heated property but also can take the stock to a lower moisture level, making it suitable for use over under floor heating systems (we would need to know from the outset if UFH is being considered as not only does the moisture content matter, but the installation of the UFH and ongoing use with a wood floor is crucial).
When dried, stock is machined to the final specification and this can include machining a profile for fitting purposes, running stress grooves into the back of boards, and creating bespoke detail such as nosing and micro-bevels if required.
With our reclaimed floors we source these to order from our network of suppliers, samples are sought and presented to clients for approval, usually with some finish applied to give a client a much better appreciation of how the stock could finish (although this is caveated as colour variation across the stock can be significant given the nature of it being a reclaimed material).
When a stock has been sourced it will go through some of the processes described above, making it fit-for-purpose and suitable for installation. All reclaimed stock is measured in, board by board, with any stock not suitable discounted, this ensures the flooring delivered to site tallies with the quantity ordered and wastage allowed for depending on the installation process.
All flooring is delivered to site a minimum of seven days prior to installation in order for it to acclimatise to normal living conditions.
Prior to installation, we ensure site conditions are suitable for wood floor installation, including ensuring the property is sealed with all ‘wet’ trades completed and all ‘wet’ work fully dry (plastering, concrete subfloor, screeds etc).
Any new solid subfloors are checked for moisture levels to ensure they have dried sufficiently for wood flooring. If necessary, we can fill any ‘holes’ in a subfloor or pour a self-levelling latex screed to achieve a clean, level surface.
When fitting over a solid subfloor we will seal the floor with a primer, if necessary, including a DPM if we are concerned about rising moisture (especially in older buildings).
If a floor is to be suspended over joists, we can repair and replace joists (within reason). We can also install insulation to subfloors both for thermal and acoustic purposes.
When fitting over a solid subfloor, we typically fit to a plywood subfloor and can install this before fitting any flooring. The plywood is usually bonded to a solid subfloor with a flooring adhesive and is laid at right angles to a wood floor. At the perimeter of the rooms, we would leave an expansion gap typically hidden by skirting boards etc, ideally skirting boards are fitted after floors have been fitted, but if skirting boards are in place, we can undercut these to allow for the new flooring to slide underneath, we always advise that skirting boards are decorated after floors have been installed
When fitting our floors, we either fix directly to joists (either nailed or screw and pelleted) or bonded to a subfloor using a flexible flooring adhesive to allow for seasonal movement within the floor. When fitting floorboards, we trim these to finish on joist centres, even with a solid subfloor we trim boards in the same manner to achieve the sense of an original, authentic floor in place. We also include detail work such as mitred frames to fire hearths and matt wells, threshold pieces between rooms and bullnosed pieces for steps or staircases, including risers where required. If necessary, we can fit ramp thresholds if floors to adjacent rooms are at slightly different levels.
Our parquet floors are fitted from a centre or crown line, setting out the parquet blocks or panels and then working the pattern symmetrically out to the perimeter of the rooms. At the perimeter we can either continue the pattern underneath skirting boards or can cut parallel to the walls and fit a border, either using the same blocks or can fit a continuous border as a client’s preference.
When floors have been fitted, they are sanded before being coloured and sealed based on an approved sample. We make samples beforehand and leave these with a client, encouraging them to be considered under different lighting conditions and different parts of a room before making a final choice. All of our sanders are fitted with dust extraction units making them virtually dust free, therefore we can work in occupied homes without too much disruption or upheaval (we do try to isolate rooms as much as possible to further minimise disruption across the house).
When works have been completed, we return to sign-off the floors and leave a cleaning kit with the client depending on the final sealer used on the floor.
Floor refurbishment can bring an original floor back to its former glories, by making localised repairs and removing any previous finish, we are able to breathe new life back into an old floor or restore a floor back to how it was when originally fitted. Replacement floorboards can usually be sourced, and repairs made, we can source old flooring to compliment your existing floor and make repairs that blend in with the existing.
When repairs are completed, we sand the floors either using machine sanders whereby we can take the floors back to a clean, unblemished state or, if we are trying to retain some of the patina and character of the floor, we can sympathetically hand-sand, board by board, just removing any dirt, grease, or finish on the floor, but retaining the history on the face of the board.
When sanded, floors can be recoloured, or we can introduce new colour as your preference, before finally sealing in floors in s suitable product, we discuss the pros and cons of each beforehand to ensure the client has a complete understanding of the process and final finish of the floor.