Most frequent questions and answers
Below are some handy questions and answers to assist you in deciding on which type of wood flooring you would like to use in your home. We have tried to make our website as inclusive as possible for you, however if you find yourself with some unanswered questions and you just cant find the right answers on our site, then we would welcome you to give us a ring or send in an email enquiry so a member of our team can assist you further.
Yes, you can use both laminate and engineered floors which are designed to be stable enough and have a low enough moisture content for under floor heating. Hardwood flooring however is not suitable for use with underfloor heating systems because a hardwood floor will expand and contract through the seasons with changed in room humidity and temperatures, underfloor heating will just exasperate this situation.
The most important thing to remember is that a wood floor over underfloor heating should never exceed a surface temperature of 27 degrees as this could lead to your floor delaminating or becoming damaged over time. Our own room thermostats which control the heating system are regulated so that this can never happen with our floors
For example: We would not recommend laying rugs over wood floors with underfloor heating as this will create high temperatures under the rug which could damage the floor.
A laminate floor is a layered floor built around a watertight, glued High Density Fibre (HDF) board. Most laminate floors consist of four different layers:
Transparent wear resistant overlay – This top layer makes your laminate floor resistant to stains, wear, impact, scratches, burns and household chemicals. It consists of several melamine layers that are pressed onto the HDF core board in a press, under high pressure and temperature. The surface layer is finished with a wood or tile texture/structure that is called ‘registered-embossed’. This means that this surface structure is perfectly in harmony with the design.
A design image – This is the layer that defines the actual look of your floor. The design layer is a very high resolution photo of real wood or tiles that is reproduced with highly sophisticated printing techniques and finished with melamine resin. The combination of perfect design and surface structure makes the wood or tile imitation look extremely real and natural.
A moisture resistant glued HDF core board – This HDF core board is the heart of a Quick-Step laminate floor. HDF means ‘High Density Fibre Board’. It consists of refined wood fibres and high quality melamine resin. It is a re-composed wood-fibre board which allows using all part of the tree. The board is very homogeneous in composition and technical characteristics. It’s extremely durable, stable and highly moisture resistant.
A balancing layer – This moisture-resistant backing layer guarantees a perfectly balanced board that will not cup or bow when properly installed and maintained.
A floated floor is usually a laminate or engineered wood floor that is fitted over underlay but is not fixed to your subfloor in anyway. Some of the reasons for fitting a floating floor are,
- To allow for underfloor heating to be fitted below.
- To allow for the installation of a sound proofing.
- To allow for the installation of a damp course or moisture resistant barrier.
- To allow for the installation of a thermal insulation underlay.
The main difference between a hardwood and an engineered wood floor is that a hardwood floor is a single piece of solid timber, whereas an engineered wood floor is a construction of several layers of timber pressed together.
To keep your lacquered floor looking its best, regular cleaning and maintenance is highly recommended. We would always advise that you use the correct products when looking after your floor, this is very important as a floor with a lacquered finish has very specific needs.
When maintaining your floor, a combination of dry cleaning to remove dirt and dust particles from the floor and from any grooves in the board, and damp cleaning to keep the floor looking brand new and protect it against any potential scratches. Less frequently you may look to give the floor an intensively clean to provide protection against continued wear.
Yes, the size of the gap will usually depending on the type of flooring you are fitting. When installing a Laminate floor we would normally have a 7mm expansion gap around the perimeter of the rooms. And with an engineered wood floor you should leave a 10mm expansion gap around the perimeter of the rooms. Solid hardwood floors will expand the most so we recommend leaving a 15mm expansion gap around the perimeter of the rooms. The expansion gap will allow the floor to breathe and to move if they need to with changes in the climate of your home.
We would normally cover this expansion gap when we refit your skirting boards or if the skirting isn’t being removed prior to the floor being fitted then we would normally install a perimeter quadrant beading which comes in white or as an exact match for your floor.
Keeping your oiled floor regularly clean will ensure it always looking its absolute best. Looking after your oiled floor correctly is very important, the oiled finish that your floor has been treated with has very specific needs compared to other finishes. One of the more important rules is you should never use a steam cleaner over the floor as this will literally destroy the boards
We would advise that you dry clean your floor every day with a vacuum cleaner (with soft bristles) or using a soft sweeping brush to remove any dirt and grime. You should damp clean the floor at least once a week using a cleaning product such as Osmo Wash and Care which we can supply. Following this you should then mop the floor dry. This will both reduce the chance your floor will be scratched by abrasive particles and increase the floor’s resistance to signs of wear. For a more intensive clean you can either refresh the floor with a thinly applied concentrated cleaner, or completely reapply a hardwax oil after using a more intensive product.
When installing your new wood floor, sound reduction is an important factor to consider especially if you live in a property above ground floor level. You may want to reduce the noise that you hear when you walk around, or if you live above the ground floor you might want to reduce the noise going into the floors below.
Sound reduction is achieved by using underlay. With the range of underlays that we supply, you can have between 17dB and 28dB sound reduction. Our highest sound reducing underlay is Technics 5 Underlay, which has a 5mm sponge rubber layer giving it 28dB sound insulation.
Wood is a natural product therefore, it is very sensitive to the environment in which it is kept. Because of this, almost all types of wood flooring will endure some form of expansion and contraction throughout the seasons as humidity levels change.
When homes are heated, humidity levels drop, this will cause your boards to contract and shrink, spaces and gaps can appear between the boards. With lighter coloured wood floors, the gaps and cracks may appear larger because of the difference in contrast between the gap and the finish colour of the floor. To help limit this problem you could look to add moisture to the air ideally by installing a humidifier or you could simply add some plants to the room.
When installing new wood flooring over a concrete or screed subfloor, there are a few options you can choose for installing:
The most common method of installation over concrete is to bond your new floor directly to your subfloor with a suitable flexible flooring adhesive which we supply. However, not all types of wood flooring are going to be suitable for this fitting method. The next option you have, and probably the easiest, is to float an engineered floor over an underlay, this means your floor is not secured to your subfloor in anyway. However, not all floors can be floated. The third method is to create a wooden subfloor, to achieve this you could either lay plywood or fit battens bonded to the concrete or screed.
We can provide all the above fitting methods when installing over a concrete subfloor, contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail with our installers.