Laying wood floors is something we do regularly here at Alresford Interiors. We work weekly on projects for clients, bringing peoples flooring aspirations to reality. We specialise in engineered wood flooring and hand finishing boards for our clients. A large amount of what we do is hand distressed, (also known as tumbled flooring) and hand finished. This process gives the boards an aged look making them ideally suited to older houses. Having said that, we have seen signs recently of people with new build homes wanting something a bit different and choosing an aged look floor.
Engineered wood floors are hugely popular and for good reasons. They give off the same gorgeous wooden appearance but offer far more stability. Our engineered boards come with tongue and groove joints designed so they can be laid as a floating floor. This is good for laying onto areas with different surfaces by introducing an underlay to even out minor difference in the subfloor.
When it comes to subfloors for wood flooring, normally the most common surfaces are concrete or other timber. Wood flooring can be laid over concrete; however it cannot be nailed down, only glued. Gluing wooden flooring is the only method to directly attach wood floors to a concrete sublayer unless you introduce an underlay or plywood. If the moisture levels of the subfloor are high, a floating floor option is normally the way to go where an underlay is introduced to prevent the moisture damaging the wood over time. Plywood is the best timber surface for wood to be laid onto; it can be nailed or glued. Also plywood will stabilise a floor, for instance if you were laying a wood floor over 2 different sub floors (say concrete and wood) you would ideally need to fix ply down first to stabilise the whole floor to stop the risk of movement. If you have a vinyl, laminate, carpet, tiles or lino flooring we would normally need to remove it and use the sublayer to that flooring as the surface to lay the wood onto.
If you are installing a floating wood floor, a foam, moisture stop or rubber underlay is what will be needed to create a barrier between the wood and sublayer. There is some stigma attached to floating floors however it has its place and there are some gorgeous floors available with manufacturers who recommend floating. Floating is normally always the cheapest option of fitting. As long as the sub floor is flat it will be hard to tell how it has been fitted. If there is some damp within the house floating can be a good option because the underlay acts as a membrane to stop the wood being affected. Fixed floors that are glued or nailed down don’t require an underlay because they are directly secured to the subfloor.
Secret nailing is the second of the three methods of installing a wood floor; this is the most simple and efficient way to secure wooden boards into place. Gluing is also a very good choice when it comes to securing floor boards especially if levels are an issue. For instance, at a front door. (we all want to be able to get into our homes)
How to acclimatise the floor to the room is a commonly asked question, however, rather than adapting the wood to that particular room, it is much better to ensure the building itself is dried out to a safe moisture level. It is important that all wet trades, especially plastering is dried before introducing wood.
Underfloor heating is an extremely popular trend in homes across the UK and lots of people regularly ask about underfloor heating with wooden flooring. Engineered wood flooring is more stable with moisture and temperature change. Due to this engineered wood flooring is suitable for underfloor heating and this is one of the advantages of having engineered wood instead of solid. However, it is advised that homeowners do not exceed 25c (some manufacturers will say 30c) because the impact of the heat and dramatic change can lead to damaging the wood over time basically cooking it. This can result in splits and even delamination in extreme situations. This is very rare though and with normal day to day use at the average temperature setting of 21˚c your engineered wood flooring will be perfectly fine.
For more information about our flooring services and options please visit our workshop, call 01962 733016 or visit www.alresfordinteriors.co.uk today.