Solid Wood Flooring Tips and Tricks
If you have spent any time looking around at various flooring options then I have no doubt that you will be confused, worried or bewildered…or even all of the above!
Here are a few simple old fashioned, tried and tested golden rules of flooring:
- When floor is delivered the site must be sealed, dry, all wet trades finished and heating system working. This is the most important rule and often overlooked and the results are cupped and warped boards.
- Once boards are delivered they must climatise for at least a week at the normal living conditions they will be used at, if this means turning on the heat for a few days, then so be it, even in July.
- If you plan on using underfloor heating you can use solid wide boards but you must climatise them for 3-4 weeks and during that time you need to turn the boards every 3-4 days as you are effectively slow cooking the boards. If you don’t turn them, then they will cup. Some builders we know will also seal the boards with whatever varnish or lacquer they will eventually use. Time and patience is the most important thing with underfloor heating. Traditionally narrow boards between 2” and 5” wide were used in Europe or parquet of course.
- There are 2 methods of fitting solid floors, nailing them or glueing them. For underfloor heating you must glue them but other than that nailing them is the most popular. A lot of builders use a secret nailing system which puts the nails into the edge of the board hidden by the tongue and groove system, this is fine for widths of boards up to 5” wide but any wider and a face fixed nail or screw must be used. With the old pine boards a square floor nail called a brad should be used and is quite traditional and adds to the character of the floor. With an oak board most builders will hide a screw in the face and cover it with a timber plug, we can make these plugs for you if needed.
- All floors can be stained any colour if desired, wood dyes are the best for this (Morrells, Rustin’s, Granyte). All offer a good selection of colours for this. When it comes to sealing the boards you can use a wax or an oil or the most popular would be a floor lacquer or varnish. Again Morrells or Granyte offer a good range of finishes on these products.