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These are the questions we get asked most often about our floors and their features.
Solid Wood Flooring
Nothing beats solid wood for a timeless natural texture, and a robust feel beneath your feet. It suits both contemporary and traditional interior design, an is long-lasting with each board precision machined from a single section of timber. Tongue and groove joints make for a tight and strong installation.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Here each board is made from multiple layers of wood pressed together. The solid top layer is what matters as it displays the colour and pattern you’ll see and feel. In the middle of each board is a central core and below that there’s a backing board for stability. Engineered board is available in a wide range of wood types, finishes and thicknesses.
Simulating the appearance of real wood, laminate floors have a printed foil surface showing a wood grain pattern, covered in a tough, transparent layer of melamine. Essentially a man-made solution, laminate flooring has a high-density fibreboard (HDF) core making it strong and flexible. It’s backed with cellulose paper for stability.
Though bamboo is actually a type of grass, when made into flooring its characteristics are similar to hardwood. Bamboo takes just five years to grow before it can be harvested, and is 100% sustainable. It comes in two styles – traditional, and the more durable strand woven version, which is extremely tough.
This grade looks natural yet consistent, with few knots. Up to 10% sapwood can be found in Select boards, along with considerable grain and colour variation, but only small knots.
More of the wood’s character shines through in rustic floors – including large knots, dark streaks, filled knots and colour variation. Again, up to 10% sapwood is likely in this grade.
Very little is graded out in the extra rustic category. Large knots, splits, cracks and any amount of sapwood make this a fun choice, and mean that your floor will be all that more distinctive.
A Note About Knots
Knots occur naturally in wood where a branch grows out of the main trunk. They can go deep into the timber’s core. In terms of flooring, there are two types of knot. A dead knot is where the core of the knot has fallen out or been removed, and then filled. With a live knot, the core remains in the board. The rustic and extra rustic grades contain both types of knots.
If you don’t want large knots in your flooring, ask your fitter to cut them out and fill them. Note that it’s not always possible to find an exact colour match when filling a knot.
The natural beauty of the wood grain is brought to the fore when an oil penetrates its surface. Each board is coated between five and seven times, and cured with a UV lamp between coats to produce a protective, muted appearance. If an oiled floor is scratched, it can be retouched with oil to diminish the mark.
Extremely smooth, glossy and exciting, a lacquered floor is also hardwearing, easy to clean and maintain. Five to seven coats of lacquer go onto each board, which is UV cured at each stage of the process. After curing, it’s sanded again before another layer of lacquer is applied.
UV Matt Lacquered
If you love the understated look of an oiled finish but are concerned about its upkeep, a Matt Lacquered finish is the answer. With a dull satin sheen, the surface is smooth and hardwearing, as is true to a lacquer, but has the appearance of an oiled floor.
Could anything feel more natural and authentic? An unfinished floor also gives you the chance to create a bespoke finish by painting, oiling or varnishing exactly how you wish. Unfinished boards are supplied with the knots pre-filled, and are pre-sanded for your convenience.
A great option if you love the natural feel of timber, these boards are lightly brushed to remove the softer fibres between the harder grains. The finish subtly highlights the wood’s texture both to the eye and to the touch, for a wonderful feel that instantly evokes woodland charm in your home.
If you enjoy nature in its rawest, roughest form then the sawn finish celebrates these elements. Kerfs from the saw marks are left on the boards to see and feel, as though the wood has been freshly cut in front of you. The surface captures a wonderfully rough texture and rustic appeal.
This finish sees each plank painstakingly scraped by hand, bringing a whole new dimension to your natural floor. The irregular ridges and grooves that result add depth and definition to the wood’s surface, creating an aged look that’s distinctive by eye yet smooth to the touch.
Each plank is hand distressed on its edges to produce small grooves and undulations that are reminiscent of a naturally aged floor. The subtle yet interesting effect captures the charming timeworn appeal of a floor that’s been loved by thousands of feet.
A bevelled edge on the boards creates a defined pattern across your floor when it’s fitted. The finish gives a traditional and ordered feel to a space and the depth of the slight groove between planks will depend on the type and grade of wood you choose.
Planed boards are finely sanded using up to six careful processes in order to create a delightfully smooth finish across the boards. Small and subtle ribbing marks are still visible from the planer for an authentic yet contemporary look.
Fitting seamlessly together, square edged planks result in smooth, clean overall finish to your floor, and can help a room to feel bigger than it is. This finish suits modern décor very well, while the wood’s clean finish takes you away to a relaxing natural setting.
Choosing a floor
Just like a natural wooden floor, underfloor heating helps make a room feel comfortable and cosy. However, if you have underfloor heating, it’s important you choose the right wooden floor to go with it. We always recommend an engineered board rather than solid wood. It will give you increased stability and strength to withstand changes in temperature thanks to its multi-layered construction.
Not all timbers react well to underfoor heating, but the good news is that each type of flooring in this catalogue carries a recommendation with it so you’ll easily be able to tell which ones are suitable, and which aren’t.
Checking the Subfloor
Never install underfloor heating over a concrete subfloor that has a moisture content over 75% Relative Humidity (RH). Ideally it should be below 70% RH to give a margin of error.
If there is a timber subfloor, make sure the moisture content is below 11% Wood Moisture Equivalent (WME). These readings must be checked before fitting. If the moisture levels in the subfloor are too high, install a Woodpecker damp proof preparation product before the underfloor heating is fitted.
Choosing a System
If you are installing an underfloor heating system before fitting a natural wood floor, there are two types available – water heated, and electrically heated.
In general, water heated systems are used in new builds and in renovation projects, while electrically heated systems are used when installation needs to be relatively quick and easy.
Whichever system you choose, the maximum temperature of the water or the electrical element must never rise above 50°C, and the temperature to the underside of the wood floor must never reach more than 27°C.
Testing the Heating
Once the underfloor heating is in place it should be switched on and thoroughly tested before the wood floor is fitted. A water-heated system needs to be pressurised, checked for leaks, and left to run for two weeks. It will dry out much of the moisture in the screed or timber subfloor.
Plastering and any other wet trade in the room must also be dried out and the Atmospheric Humidity in the room should be between 40 and 60%.
Fitting the Floor
Turn off the underfloor heating for at least 48 hours prior to fitting the floor – the regular central heating or electrical heating can be left on during installation.
If a screed or wood-based subfloor has been laid above the underfloor heating system, you can glue an engineered tongue and groove floor to it. Make sure the boards are fully adhered to the subfloor using Woodpecker MS Parquet Adhesive.
An engineered floor with glueless locking joints can be floated over underfloor heating in most cases, but be certain to use an underlay that’s suitable for