How do I stop my floor from scratching?
One of the most common causes for scratches on hardwood floors is the lack of adequate entrance matting. Coarse matting should be provided at the entrance of your home. Floor mats trap grit which would otherwise scour your hardwood floor. A minimum of 700mm wide and 20mm deep coir matt is recommended by us. Similarly furniture legs in contact with the hardwood flooring surface should be protected with felt pads. Rubber pads are not recommended as some may leave lasting marks on the hardwood flooring.
How can I repair a scratch?
Unlike many traditional lacquers, damaged areas on hardwood floors treated with hard wax oils can be sanded and re-treated with the same products without any visible marks.
To repair a small area on the hardwood floor where a deep scratch has occurred, first cordon off the damaged area using masking tape. Then evenly sand the cordoned area. The surface should be sanded following the grain of the wood and finished with 120 – 150 grade sand paper. Once sanded apply a thin coat of the original hard wax oil and allow to dry for 6 – 8 hours before applying a second coat. Once dry remove the masking tape. The newly repaired area will usually take 2 to 4 weeks to blend in with the rest of the floor.
My installer tells me my new concrete subfloor is wet even though it was laid a while ago?
Yes your installer is probably correct. There is a big misunderstanding that concrete is dry as soon as you can walk on it. This is far from the truth. Concrete on average needs around 1 day per mm of thickness to dry, or in old terms it needs around 1 month for every inch thickness to dry. This is a guide only and some especially thick concretes will need a lot longer than this to dry.
According to British Standards all subfloors need to read below 75% RH (relative humidity) before a floor covering can be installed. (For wooden floors it MUST be a lot lower). So an installer may decide to speed up the installation process for the consumer by installing a surface DPM. The surface DPM can normally be installed after 4 weeks but again moisture readings need to be taken to show the subfloor is reading below the manufacturers recommendation for the DPM / Moisture Control System being used.
My installer is saying my subfloor is wet but my builder says it’s not. How can I tell who is correct?
Any professional installer / builder should have equipment to test the subfloors moisture content. Do not trust anyone who has not tested the subfloor. YOU CAN NOT TELL BY SIMPLY LOOKING AT THE SUBFLOOR. Your subfloor according to British Standards needs to read below 75 RH (relative humidity) before any type of floor covering is installed.
The moisture content of your subfloor should be read by a Hygrometer test. This is normally done by either drilling holes in your subfloor or a box around 15cm x 15cm being glued to the subfloor. Either test normally takes around 48 hours minimum to take a final reading. However there are other tests out there that will do a similar job but are not a recognized British standard test. Steer clear of anyone that can’t offer you a test that reads in RH unless they can back up their results with the manufacturers approval.
My new concrete subfloor is really dusty. What can I do before the new floor gets installed?
The simple answer here is speak to your flooring installer. DO NOT apply PVA / Screeds / Paints etc without first checking with your flooring installer what products are needed to prepare the subfloor. Applying PVA / Paint / Screed etc may result in the materials used having to be removed before the floor covering can be installed. This is a VERY messy process.
I have a new concrete subfloor, what sort of screeding / smoothing compound should the installer / builder be using?
There are a lot of different screeding / smoothing compounds on the market. Choosing the correct one is essential for your floor covering. For example if your builder was to use a Latex smoothing compound then this will only leave you the option of having a ‘Floating Floor’ covering, unless the compound is removed and the correct one used. Here is a list of the most common compounds:
LATEX (The Plus Points) – Latex based compounds can be used over a wide range of subfloors as well as with being used over damp floors.
LATEX (The Negative Points) – Latex compounds are normally of very low sheer and compression strength. This results in this type of compound only being suitable for domestic use under floating floor coverings. Latex can also have a strong smell. (There are however some new Latex products on the market with similar properties as acrylic and water based compounds).
ACRYLIC (The Plus Points) – Acrylic compounds offer very good shear and compression strength. They can be used under a surface DPM.
ACRYLIC (The Negative Points) – Must be primed and can be very hard to sand out imperfections.
WATER (The Plus Points) – Water Based compounds flow very well. They have very good shear and compression strength.
WATER (The Negative Points) – They can not be used under a DPM and are also very hard to sand out imperfections.
WATER/FIBRE (The Plus Points) – Same as standard water based compounds but can also be used with floorboards.
WATER/FIBRE (The Negative Points) – They can not be used under a DPM and are also very hard to sand out imperfections.
Can I change the appearance of my solid / engineered wood floor?
Updating wooden flooring with colour is a quick and effective way of sprucing up your room. A wide variety of colours and tints designed for flooring are available to help make dramatic or subtle changes.
The existing floor will need to be stripped back to its natural condition. This is achieved by sanding the floor by 1 or 2mm depending on the floor. Once this as been done a stain of your choice can be applied and then sealed by either a lacquer or an oil. The thing to remember is that your existing floor will mostly likely have bevel edges around each plank, these edges may become shallower or disappear altogether depending how much sanding is required.
What floor can I use in conjuction with under floor heating (UFH)?
We recommend you use engineered flooring as this is more stable than solid wood due to the way the floor has been constructed using a multi ply. Engineered flooring is available in various thicknesses.
What is the process for laying on under floor heating (UFH)?
Depending on the thickness of the new floor you can either float, nail or glue engineered wood floors to the subfloor. Thinner floors of around 14mm should be floated using suitable underlay. Thicker floors of around 18/20mm can be floated, nailed or glued.
What is the cause of creaking floors?
Poor quality plywood can be the cause of this. There are varying qualities of plywood available at different prices. At first glance they may look the same but the quality of laminating the layers varies from one manufacturer to the next.
Another reason is that solid wood flooring may have been stapled using incorrect nails.
The floor boards beneath hardwood flooring may also have come loose from the joists. All the floor boards should be checked and should be secured using good quality screws that will stand the test of time, this does not include dry wall screws which may be easy to install but are not very strong. Traditionally floorboards were secured with nails that will loosen with time unlike screws.
What is the cause of gaps in my solid wood floor?
The timber may not have climatised correctly.
The solid wood floor may have been installed incorrectly, by this we mean the solid wood floor has been floated and not fixed to the subfloor directly.
The solid wood floor may have been stapled incorrectly. Every board should have a minimum of 2 staples per board and at least every 300mm depending on the size of the boards.
Why are my floors cupping?
Cupping generally occurs due to excess moisture in the subfloor / solid wood top layer. The installer should take moisture readings of the subfloor, the solid wood that’s to be installed and the RH (Relative Humidity in the property) before starting the installation.
Subfloor moisture is one of the main reasons why floors cup. This could be because a new sub floor has been installed and has not had sufficient time to dry before the solid wood floor has been installed.
Can I install wood floor in bathrooms?
We would not recommend either solid wood or engineered wood floors in bathrooms because of high moisture levels in a confined space. Having said that, we have at customer request installed engineered floors in bathroom areas without problems. In this case some obvious steps need to be taken by the user like placing a rug outside the shower cubicle and bath tub.