Installation service for our full range of wood flooring
Wood flooring is an investment which will add value to a property and provide a lifetime of service when installed correctly. Our expert fitters are experienced in all types of property from starter homes to hotels and country mansions. They all have a minimum of 20 years experince so have encountered every type of situation and have the knowledge to ensure each project is completed perfectly everytime. We provide our comprehensive installation service for our full range of solid and engineered wood flooring across Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, London, and the Home Counties.
The sub-floor should be flat, without any undulations. A flat level sub-floor will support the boards and will reduce them feeling hollow or flexing when walked on. The sub-floor should be checked for moisture to ensure it is sufficiently dry prior to installation. We carry out free home surveys where we will assess the sub-floor, including moisture testing if required. Our quotations will allow for all necessary sub-floor preparation to ensure your wood flooring is installed correctly.
Methods of Installation
Traditionally solid wood flooring was installed using nails, either through the face of the boards, or secret nailing through the groove along the edge of the board. Wood floors fitted in this way feel solid underfoot as the boards are fixed securely to the joists, or battens below. Due to their construction engineered wood floors can be fitted using two methods; floated or bonded. Solid wood floors can only be installed fully bonded, or secret nails if the sub-floor type allows. Chevron, parquet, and herringbone floor floors can only be installed using the bonded method.
Floated installations use an underlay between the wood flooring and the sub-floor below. The boards are adhered to the neighbouring board along the edges allowing the floor to ‘float’. The flooring is free to move both vertically, and horizontally. The installation time is usually quicker than a bonded installation as less floor preparation is required. The boards may ‘spring’ or bounce slightly when walked on as they aren’t fixed to the sub-floor below. The wood floor may also sound hollow, and can make cracking or popping noises as seasons change This is due to the fluctuation of moisture levels in the environment which affect the moisture content in the cells of the wood flooring. You can read more about the hygroscopic nature of wood here.
A bonded installation involves fully adhering the boards to the sub-floor below. To prevent failure, it is important to carry out the correct sub-floor preparation. If you are building a new home, or undertaking construction work, we recommend you read our dedicated technical page. Installation techniques differ depending on the sub-floor.
For concrete sub-floors we lay a moisture tolerant self-levelling compound to ensure the floor is smooth, level, and flat. Once dried, we cover with an epoxy damp-proof membrane. This takes approximately 6-8 hours to cure and will prevent moisture penetration. The wood flooring is laid board by board using a special flexible adhesive which is spread over the sub-floor with a trowel. The boards are pressed down into the adhesive which grabs the back of the board and forms a bond.
With timber sub-floors, whether floorboards, or chipboard, we prepare using flooring grade 6mm plywood fixed at 150mm centres. As timber sub-floors don’t hold moisture a damp-proof membrane is not required. The boards are laid using the same method as described above, until the floor is completed. It is important to leave expansion gaps around the perimeter to allow the floor to ‘breathe’ for bonded, and floated installations.
Wood flooring is hygroscopic, which means it will absorb and realise moisture according to its environment. If the air is dry the wood will release moisture and can shrink. Conversely the wood may expand if the air contains excessive moisture. To reduce this effect, it is important to acclimatise the flooring prior to installation, and leave appropriate expansion gaps to the perimeter. These gaps can be hidden using beading or with new skirting boards.
Under Floor Heating
With recent advances in construction techniques under floor heating is enjoying a renaissance. First used by the Romans in Pompeii, under floor heating has been rediscovered by home owners, and can be used successfully with wood flooring, if the correct procedures are followed. Please read our blog article here which explains the method in greater detail.
We offer an extensive range of pre-primed, ready to paint MDF skirting boards in a variety of styles and sizes. We also offer a decoration service allowing you to select the paint, colour and finish of your choice. Our fitting teams will carefully remove your existing skirting boards and dispose of them in our facility. The new skirting boards will be fitted and caulked to finish. If preferred, we can deliver the skirting boards to you prior to installation to allow decoration by others.
Thresholds & Trims
Depending on the type and size of the installation thresholds may be required, either between rooms, or where the wood flooring meets another floor covering in an adjoining room. Our thresholds are machined from the same timber, with the same finish so will match the wood flooring perfectly. It is possible to cover staircases with engineered wood flooring. We use matching trims on the stair edges to ensure a consistent finish.
Wood flooring is hygroscopic, so all wet works should be completed and fully dry prior to installation. All other trades should have also completed their works. To ensure your project is completed successfully it is important to follow the correct procedures.
Our teams will remove all waste created and dispose of at our own facility. We offer an additional service to remove existing floor coverings. If your doors need easing, we can carry this work out on the day for a small additional charge. Our teams can remove and replace items of furniture once you have removed personal effects. All floors are cleaned and adhesive residues removed on completion of the installation. Self-adhesive felt pads are provided for the bottom of furniture to protect from scratches. Cleaning solutions are available on request.
The beauty of a wood floor is that every single board ever laid is completely unique. As every tree in the world is completely original and unique so is each and every board that makes up a wood floor. It is not possible to find two identical boards. This characteristic is one of the reasons why we love wood flooring so much; it is as individual as we are. Therefore it is possible that variances will occur between batches, and samples. If you are considering covering several areas, we recommend ordering the flooring at the same time to avoid any variations between batches. We can store the flooring at our warehouse facility until such a time you are ready to have it installed.
When choosing wood flooring it is important to view as large a sample as possible. All our samples are large format where you can see at least five boards so variations can be appreciated. As wood flooring is a natural product batches can vary. It is possible you may find subtle variations between your new floor, and the sample. If the colour is critical to you it may be possible to provide a sample cut from existing stock. Please ask a member of our team who will assist you.