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A big part of picking out the perfect wood floor is choosing which finish you would like. Manufacturers such as LM Flooring offer a range of different finishes, such as the following:
This is a technique used to provide LM Flooring wood floors with a distressed, rustic, aged look, which can look fantastic in everything from country-style kitchens and traditional rooms to contemporary spaces. Depending on the technique and the angle of scraping, this method involves burnishing the floor or tearing the grain, to create a particular aged look and a floor which looks like it has a heritage and a story to tell.
There are many methods of distressing a wood floor to give it a rustic, authentic look, one of which is hand scraping. Other methods involve using wire brushes to add texture, applying dark stains and dyes, adding resin to knot holes and using other tools and techniques to add attractive character marks to the floor.
The opposite of distressed wood floors, LM Flooring products with a smooth finish are designed to look lustrous and luxurious. They are perfect for contemporary spaces, whether chosen in a matt or shiny finish.
If your wood floors have seen better days and are covered in scratches and scuffs, it might be time to get it re-sanded. That’s the great thing about wood floors – that they can be re-sanded time and time again so that your floor ultimately lasts for years before needing to be replaced.
It is possible to sand your wood floors yourself, as you can hire equipment specially designed for floor sanding. However, if you aren’t confident in your DIY abilities or you simply want to ensure a professional job is done, it may be best to get an experienced floor sanding company such as Justwood in to do the work.
Still want to sand your floors yourself? If so, it is vital that you follow these safety tips:
• Equip yourself with a dust mask, goggles and ear protectors – floor sanding can be a loud, dusty and messy business (especially with the poor quality hire sanding machines), and you don’t want to damage your ears or eyes or breathe in any dust.
• Properly ventilate the room – this means opening all windows and doors, as well as maybe getting specialist ventilation equipment in
• Read all instructions and do some research before you start – you need to know how to use your sanding equipment safely.
Has your wood floor seen better days? Or maybe you’ve moved into a new house which has old scratched and faded floors? Whichever is the case, you need to decide whether to have the old floor replaced or simply refurbished.
Before you do anything, you need to get the floor properly checked out by a wood flooring expert such as justwood. It may be that the old floor has already been re-sanded many times. As solid wood floors can only be sanded so many times, this means that your floor may not be re-sanded again and will need to be replaced with a new floor, depending on how much of the wear layer has been previously sanded off.
A wood flooring expert may also be able to tell you about any serious problems or defects with the floor or sub-floor, such as warping, buckling or rotting, which may be expensive to fix. If this is the case, you might want to think about getting a new floor to replace the old one. It may work out more cost-effective than fixing the defects.
Of course, you may simply fancy a change from your old wood floor and want to pick out a new style. If this is the case, it will be worth the expense to get the old floor taken up and a new floor fitted.
Compared to other floor coverings, wood floors require relatively little maintenance. However, you should still take certain steps to clean and maintain your floors, paying particular attention to how different seasons may affect them.
In summer, there are extra things you need to do to take care of your wood floors. We may not have seen much hot weather so far this year, but when temperatures rise and the sun comes out, your floor may need extra protection.
Follow these summer wood floor tips:
1. Shield your wood floors from the sun’s rays by drawing blinds and curtains over windows when you aren’t using the room. The sun can cause premature oxidisation and aging of the wood, which can lead to surface discolouration.
2. Relocate your rugs. Moving any large area rugs around from time to time not only ensures that the floor wears evenly, particularly in areas which see a lot of foot traffic, but it also ensures that any fading or discolouration caused by the sun’s rays (which can’t be avoided all the time) is even too.
3. Manage humidity in rooms where wood floors are installed by getting a de-humidifier. This will prevent humidity levels getting too high when temperatures rise, preventing warping, expansion and irregularities in the wood.
When installing any floating floor, it is very important to carry out the proper preparation to avoid problems later on. Woodpecker floating floors are amongst the easiest to fit, in a wide range of different spaces, but there are still a few crucial things to do before installation.
Before getting your Woodpecker floor fitted, make sure you check the following:
1. Is the sub-floor level? When fitting any wood floor, you must make sure that the subfloor is level to within 3mm over a radius of 2 metres, to avoid bouncy areas.
2. Sub-floor moisture levels. Using a moisture meter, the moisture levels in the sub-floor can be tested. Cement-based sub-floors should have a reading of less than 70% (depending on the type of meter used), whilst wood-based sub-floors should have between 7% and 11% Wood Moisture Equivalent (WME).
3. Atmospheric relative humidity (RH) levels. This is the level of humidity in the air, in the room where wooden flooring is to be installed. Ideally, atmospheric RH levels should be between 40% and 60%.
4. Have you tested the underfloor heating? If you have underfloor heating, you must make sure it is properly tested by a qualified engineer before installing a floating wood floor over it. You must also make sure the heating is turned off at least 48 hours before floor installation, and then slowly turned back up 48 hours after completion of the floor.
5. Have you acclimatised the wood? Before installation, you need to leave solid wood flooring out in the room where it will be fitted (out of its packaging) for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer, to allow it to acclimatise to humidity levels in the room.
When installing wood floors, one of the most crucial things to remember is moisture management. Timber naturally contains a lot of moisture, and this moisture continues to affect the wood from when it is first processed until it ends up being laid in your living room (kiln drying reduces moisture content, to a level suitable for flooring).
If you fail to manage moisture correctly, you could end up with a floor that has noticeable gaps, crowns and maybe even buckling and warping. In extreme cases, your floor could start to rot.
To properly manage moisture levels in your wood floor, you need to:
• Ensure the wood is moisture tested before installation. This should be done by the wood floor manufacturer using a moisture meter, to determine whether moisture in the wood is within an acceptable range.
• Give the wood plenty of time to acclimatise (solid floors). This means leaving the wood floor planks out of their packaging in the room where they are to be installed for at least a couple of days to 2 weeks. Before installing, use a moisture meter to check the levels again.
• Control the temperature in your home. You need to keep indoor relative humidity levels in your home between 35% and 60%, which means an indoor temperature of between 60 and 80 degrees. You should also ensure the property is adequately ventilated.
• Allow room for movement. Your wood floor will move over the years, but not so much that you’ll notice it (providing all the above has been adhered to). However, you need to leave an adequate expansion gap to give the floor some breathing room.
Choosing flooring for your home when you have children makes the whole process a lot more difficult. Not only do you have to think about products that are safe for children to be around and practical for them to use, but you also need to choose floors that won’t get completely ruined by your children’s boisterous activities.
By far the most important decision to make when picking out wood floors for a family home is which finish to go for. To choose a finish suitable for a home with children, you have two main options. These are:
1. Go for a super-durable polyurethane varnish
Polyurethane finishes are amongst the hardest and most durable finishes you can get, meaning that they will protect the wood in your floors from pretty much anything your children (and any pets can throw at them). However, some polyurethane finishes can be toxic, especially when drying. Choose the most family-friendly product and give the finish plenty of time to dry properly.
2. Embrace the distressed look
A really popular look in wood floors at the moment is distressed surfaces that have been deliberately hand-scraped to achieve a charming rustic look. This, combined with a more natural oil or wax finish, can be perfect for a family home as any scratches or minor child-related damage will only add to the authentic look of the floor.
If you have decided to fit wood flooring in your home over other floor coverings, you have already made a sustainable and environmentally-responsible choice. This is because wood is a natural material derived from a renewable living source rather than being made in a factory using lots of chemicals and environmentally harmful processes.
However, wood for wood floors needs to be sourced responsibly or the global climate could be harmed. By making a special effort to only buy responsibly sourced wood floors, you are helping to:
• Reduce your carbon footprint by investing in a product that has a very long life
• Create a stable global climate
• Protect fragile forest eco-systems and preserve wildlife and native species
• Reduce the amount of environmentally harmful chemical pollutants that are emitted by other kinds of flooring material
• Reduce landfill problems by choosing a material that is recyclable
How to find responsibly sourced wood floors
Now that you know the importance of choosing sustainable floors, you now need to know where to find them. The key is to look for manufacturers whose products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). You should also look for brands you can trust, such as Elka, Havwoods, Bausen and V4 Wood Flooring to name but a few.
Many modern homes have underfloor heating, as it is an efficient way to keep floors warm underfoot and to heat rooms.
Underfloor heating systems can be used with most floor materials, but you do need to take a few extra precautions when installing underneath real wood floors. This is because wood is very sensitive to changes in heat and humidity, so the heating system could lead to problems if not properly installed.
If you’re considering getting a Woodpecker floor and you want to install underfloor heating with it, bear in mind these helpful tips right from the manufacturer:
• Real wood engineered floors are by far better suited to underfloor heating, as their multi-layered construction gives them far more stability than solid wood floors
• Choose a timber that is known to react well with underfloor heating (avoid brittle timbers)- the manufacturer is the one to ask about this
• Check the moisture content and the relative humidity (RH) of your sub-floor, as concrete subfloors with 75% RH or more are not suitable for installing underfloor heating and wood floors together
• Test your heating system, checking for leaks, pressurisation and anything else that could affect your wood floor
• Make sure the floor temperature of the water or electrical element used in your underfloor heating does not exceed 50°C, with a maximum floor temperature of 27°C
• Once the floor is fitted, make sure it is left to acclimatise for the recommended length of time before the heating is switched on/turned up.
The above are just guides; Justwood can offer full and detailed instructions on how to lay floors on underfloor heating.
Whilst many homeowners like to buy wood flooring pre-finished and ready to install in their homes, there are occasions in which you might want to update existing wood flooring. You can do this through a process of re-sanding and re-finishing, which may involve applying varnish, paint or stain.Painted wood floors
This isn’t a hugely common look these days, but painted floors can look really good in your home. For the most professional finish, it is recommended to bring in an expert in painting floors. However, if you have the confidence and the DIY skills to tackle the job yourself, you should follow these tips:
• Sand the floor back to the bare boards to get rid of any varnish or lacquer finish
• Wash the floor (not too much water) thoroughly to get rid of any dust, grit or other deposits
• Apply a paint primer, making sure it’s suitable for the type of paint you’re using
• Lightly sand the primer and wipe the floor clean with mineral spirits
• Apply the first coat of paint, using a natural bristle brush (avoid rollers, as these leave a stippled finish)
• Give the paint at least 24 hours to dry
• Apply two more coats, allowing the same drying time in between each.
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