Wooden Floor Installation
Our flooring installation method will depend on the type of floor you’ve chosen -
. It will also depend on the condition and materials of your subfloor.
The principle methods of floor installation that we use are secret nailing and gluing.
We may need to do some preparation on your subfloor, and we also install soundproofing, insulation, and damp-proofing membranes beneath your floor if it is needed. (Soundproofing is a legal requirement in flats, and damp-proofing is a necessity when laying a floor directly onto cement).
Once we’ve completed laying the floor, we can seal or oil it according to the final result you’re after.
The time it takes to lay a floor will vary greatly from project to project, but we know how precious time and schedules are in building projects of any nature and we pride ourselves in being efficient and meeting our pre-agreed deadlines.
We always leave your rooms clean and ready to use after any flooring installation.
Solid Wood Flooring Installation
Secret nailing is the traditional flooring installation method to use if you are installing a solid wood floor.
Because solid wood floors expand and contract more than engineered wooden floors they need to be able to ‘move’,
otherwise the floor will warp. Nailing down the planks allows for this movement.
But some solid wood floors can be glued down or floated over concrete as long as the subfloor is well prepared and the appropriate damp-proof membrane is used.
It also depends on the type of wood, and the width and thickness of the planks as to whether these alternative installation methods are suitable.
Engineered Flooring Installation
Engineered flooring is very flexible in the ways it can be installed. But the flooring installation method
that you choose will be because of other factors – like the state of your subfloor, the position of the room,
if any type of insulation is required, or if you have underfloor heating.
Engineered flooring boards can be nailed onto wooden beams (joists/battens). They can be glued down directly onto a subfloor, or they can be floated over an existing floor.
Depending on the subfloor and the use of the room it may be necessary to lay damp-proof membranes or insulation beneath the floorboards.
Parquet Block Flooring Installation
Installing a parquet or block floor requires precision and patience. How long it takes to install depends on
how complicated the chosen pattern is. Since parquet floors consist of square-edged blocks they cannot be nailed,
but are glued down to the subfloor.
The parquet blocks are installed from the middle of the room towards the edges. As you reach the edge of the room the blocks will need to be cut to size in order to fit correctly.
The integrated part of the parquet and mosaic flooring is the decorative border. You can see some samples here
Laminate Flooring Installation
Laminate flooring is commonly manufactured with a ‘click system’ on all four sides of the boards that allows you
to snap the boards together as they are laid. Laminate flooring boards are usually floated. These types of
floors are not nailed down as a rule.
Laminate wood flooring can be installed over any type of subfloor, including over underfloor heating systems. It does require a membrane to be laid under it though, depending on the subfloor type.
Just like other types of flooring you will need to leave a one-centimetre gap around the edge of the room so that the boards can expand and contract.
Finishing & Sealing
In sealing and finishing your floor our professional experience is invaluable.
How you finish your floors depends on the look you’re going for and the function of the room.
Some woods or finishes change over time and we can advise you on how best to treat your wooden floors,
according to how you want to create your environment.
Many flooring boards today are sealed at the manufacturing stage and don’t require any further work after they’ve been installed. This is especially true of engineered and laminate floors - all laminate floors are sealed. These pre-sealed boards are generally very hard-wearing, but there are some instances - for example in kitchens - where it is a good idea to seal the floor after it has been laid.
The finishing process is the final flourish and can totally transform a floor. But the finishing process can also ruin a floor if it is done without a good knowledge of the products, the desired results and the wood itself.
Sealing your floors in some way is essential in preserving and enhancing their beauty over time and is required with most finishes. Sealing protects the wood and makes it easier to keep clean.
Varnishes / Lacquers
Hard-wearing varnishes or lacquers are very widely used, particularly on wooden floors that experience high traffic. Such a finish, if correctly applied, can last for years. A minimum of one coat of primer and two coats of varnish, but usually three need to be applied.
Oil floor finishes
Using an oil or wax to finish your floors will create a more natural feel. It will harden and darken the wood over time and is not quite as hard wearing as a varnish, but does make it easier to spot-repair your floor should it become scratched. Because the oil is absorbed into the wood, you are still able to feel the grain of the wood which does lend itself to a more natural feeling.
You may wish to finish your floor in some other way - using a form of lime wash or staining to alter its colour. Usually you will then put an oil or varnish over the top to protect it. Staining can be tricky, and, even though we say so ourselves, we would recommend you use a professional for this job. Bad floor staining jobs can ruin your floor and send you back to the sanding stage in a hurry.
Wooden floors, particularly if they’ve experienced excessively heavy traffic or have been neglected,
can become scuffed and discoloured. Sanding them can remove stains, discoloured varnish or unwanted
finishes and restore floors to their original beauty.
Our knowledge of the various types of woods is invaluable when it comes to sanding and rejuvenating old floors. Besides using professional dust-free sanders and having the range of sanding and buffing tools to conquer those difficult corners and angles, we know what works.
Sanding hardwood floors requires some expertise in getting the levels of sanding abrasion just right and avoiding any damage that an inexperienced sander might cause.
The sanding process starts by using quite a harsh abrasive to remove the existing floor finish and any stains or scratches. We will then sand the floor with increasingly finer abrasive settings to achieve the final smooth result.
If your floors have large gaps between the planks we can also fill them as part of the sanding process. We will use some of the clean, finer sawdust created by the sanding, mix it with resin, and use this mixture to plug the gaps. Once set we will sand the floor again to ensure a finely honed finish.
All that remains after this is for the wood to be sealed or finished.