+ WHAT DIFFERENT SPECIES DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR FLOORING COLLECTION?
Solid Floor sells over 30 different
species of timber. But when you combine that with the range of different
finishes we offer in oak and other popular timbers this means we have over 200
different flooring options. We draw the line at selling rare species such as
mahogany or rosewood or timbers that do not come from reputable sources and
properly managed forests.
+ WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ENGINEERED TIMBER OVER SOLID FLOORING?
We sell most of our timber floors in solid and
engineered versions so we have no axe to grind. However, in almost every case
an engineered floor will be a better product because it is much more
dimensionally stable than a solid timber floor. This dimensional stability
allows us to create wider plank floors which can then be used in more
challenging environments such as humid basements, on top of under floor heating
systems or in conjunction with acoustic underlays.
+ DO ENGINEERED TIMBER FLOORS LOOK DIFFERENT FROM SOLID TIMBER FLOORS?
Our well-made engineered floors look no different to
their solid timber equivalent once they have been installed. The most common
misconception is that solid floors will
last longer. But often, the wearing layer on a solid timber floor is the same
thickness as a wearing layer on an engineered floor and so there is no
+ ARE TIMBER FLOORS SUITABLE FOR ANY KIND OF ROOM?
Yes they are; unless a room is damp or subject to
extremes of heat and cold. We sell floors for kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms,
hallways, staircases, basements, lofts etc. We can even recommend some timbers
for bathrooms. We may suggest particular species for a bathroom and recommend
certain types of finishes for kitchens and bathrooms.
+ HOW CAN I REQUEST A SAMPLE?
Samples are available to collect from both of our
showrooms. We can also send out samples by post. Due to the cost of postage,
the number of hand samples we can post for any one request is limited to three.
We also loan out our large sample panels from the showrooms. This is the best
way to appreciate the beauty of our timber floors. Hand samples, by virtue of
their small size can only give a hint of
the beauty of a floor.
+ HOW DO I REQUEST A SITE SURVEY AND WHY IS IT NECESSARY?
the showroom to book a site survey. We offer a free site survey so that
we can give you a confirmed price to supply and install your new timber floor
or carpet. We do not need to survey your property if you are only buying the
materials from us. In that case we would advise you to get your installer to
measure your space and confirm the quantities of materials required. It is best
if you have visited our showroom and chosen a specific material before booking
+ DO YOU HAVE A SHOWROOM?
We have two showrooms in West and East London. Our West Showroom in Marylebone is open Monday - Friday 10.30am-6pm and Saturdays between 10.30am
-5pm. Our East Showroom, just off Columbia Road, is open seven days a week, Monday - Friday 10.30am - 5pm and 10.30am - 4pm at the weekends. We can be open in the early evenings too by appointment.
+ HOW LONG WILL MY TIMBER FLOOR LAST?
Our timber floors, properly looked after, will last a
lifetime. We offer a 25 year guarantee. Floors with at least a 3mm wear layer
can be sanded once or twice. Floors with a 5-6mm wear layer can be sanded at
least 3 or 4 times. When our floors are properly maintained they may never need
sanding at all, so you can see why we are confident of the longevity of our
+ CAN WE HAVE A TIMBER FLOOR AND UNDERFLOOR HEATING?
Yes, most of our engineered timber floors are
suitable for installation in conjunction with under floor heating. A few timber
species are not recommended and we will want to know more specific information
about your project so we can advise you more fully.
+ WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRIME, SELECT, NATURAL AND RUSTIC GRADE?
Timber is graded according to certain international
definitions and standards. This will vary from species to species. With
European oak this is what you can expect;
Prime grade – the timber surface will be free from
knots except the smallest pinhole knots. The timber will also be free of
sapwood and have the greatest colour uniformity. Although some variation of
colour is acceptable. Prime grade is easier to achieve when specifying narrower
and shorter planks.
Select grade – knots up to 20mm diameter are
acceptable. Overall there will be fewer knots in the floor than in a natural or
rustic grade. A select grade will give a sophisticated look and the natural
characteristics of the timber such as colour and grain pattern variation will
Natural grade – knots up to 40mm in size are
acceptable. Sap wood is also allowed. Some knots will be resin filled. The
natural characteristics of a timber floor shine through. This is the most
popular grade of oak used for timber floors.
Rustic grade – knots up to 60mm are acceptable.
Large, unsound knots will be resin filled. Other natural flaws in the timber may also be
evident such as small end splits and shakes. This grade of oak is often specified
when creating a reclaimed-look floor or if a floor with lots of character is
+ WHAT IS A BEVEL AND WHAT CHOICE OF BEVEL DO I HAVE?
Timber planks can come with a squared edge or a
bevelled edge – bevelled implies a slight rounding off of the plank edge on the
long sides. Generally planks with a squared edge are used when we are sanding
the floor after installation. Pre-finished floors tend to come with a bevelled
edge – the standard option is micro bevelled which equates to 0.5mm-1mm rounded
off each long plank edge. The effect creates a visible ‘v’ groove between each
plank when the floor is installed. A more defined larger bevel is an option for
some of our ranges.
+ WHAT DOES ‘RECLAIMED LOOK’ MEAN?
Most of our floors can be ordered with a ‘reclaimed
look’. This means the timber is new rather than genuinely reclaimed from an
existing property however, using hand finishing techniques we can scrape the
edges of the planks, distress the surface and create an aged looking patina
which combines to create an authentic, reclaimed look floor. We have installed
reclaimed look floors in Georgian townhouses, listed period properties and
stately homes as well modernist apartments and
glass box extensions.
+ WHAT FINISH DO YOU RECOMMEND?
We can supply you with a floor finished with oil,
lacquer or wax. If you want a timber surface that is easy to maintain, has a
natural look with a deep lustre and avoids the
nasty, plastic look and feel of a cheap wooden floor, then we would
recommend a hard wax oiled finish.
+ HOW DO I KEEP MY TIMBER FLOOR CLEAN?
At Solid Floor we prefer low maintenance, hard wax
oiled finishes which are easy to keep clean.
We recommend that you follow our ‘Care and Maintenance’ instructions
which we supply with every floor we sell. Timber floors should be vacuumed or
swept to remove the daily dirt and grit. We also suggested you use barrier
matting at the front door. Coir mats look great alongside a timber floor. When
washing a timber floor you should avoid sloshing too much water on the surface.
Best to use a damp mop, tightly wrung out, in conjunction with the recommended
cleaning products. Our after-sales care is top notch. We are always happy to
help with any questions you may have.
+ DO YOU SAND AND REFURBISH TIMBER FLOORS?
If your existing timber floor is looking tired and
needs refreshing we can quote to sand it for you. Or if you lift a carpet and
want to sand the original pine floorboards underneath we can help with this
+ DO YOU INSTALL TIMBER FLOORS, AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
We install any of the floors we sell. We recommend you
use us to install the floor as we understand the product better than anyone
else and can ensure the floor is laid to the highest standard. General builders
will often install floors but they can never do as good a job as a
professional, specialist floor fitter. Solid Floor will manage the whole
process for you, our experienced eye and commitment to quality craftsmanship
will ensure an excellent job. When we quote for the fitting we will give you an
estimate of how long a job will take. We can install a timber floor in a
typical 3-40m² living room within 3-4 days.
+ SHOULD I ACCLIMATISE MY TIMBER FLOOR BOARDS BEFORE INSTALLATION?
All timber floors are moisture and humidity sensitive.
It is important to check that the moisture content of the timber planks is in
equilibrium with the environment in which they will be installed. If they are
not there is a risk that the new floor will shrink or expand beyond the norm.
To help protect against this most solid timber planks should be acclimatised
for about 7 days ahead of installation. Most engineered planks need less time
around 2-3 days. However, there is little point in acclimatising the timber if
the heating in the house is not working or the rooms are being plastered. To
avoid costly mistakes its best to consult a professional about how to deal with
site conditions and acclimatisation of timber. If Solid Floor installs the
floor for you we will check all of these details.
+ WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS TIMBER FLOOR INSTALLATION OPTIONS?
Glue bonding, floating and secret nailing are the
main methods to install a timber floor. Solid Floor will advise you of the best
method for your project after having carried out a survey of your property.
+ WILL MY TIMBER FLOOR COLOUR CHANGE?
All materials exposed to UV light will change colour
over time. This natural process happens not only to your timber floor but also to
painted surfaces and fabrics. The timber surface will also gradually change as
it wears and acquires a patina from use and cleaning. As we have been selling
timber floors for nearly 20 years we can give you good advice about the impact
of time on your treasured investment.
+ DO I NEED SOUND INSULATION?
Please check your lease or discuss this with the
managing agents if you live in a flat or an apartment. Most people living in
houses converted into flats and in blocks of apartments will require some form
of acoustic insulation. We can help guide you through the maze of complex
acoustic products and noise reduction regulations. If we install your timber
floor we can also install the acoustic products you need to satisfy the
+ HOW CAN I MEASURE THE HUMIDITY IN MY HOME?
All timber products are moisture and heat sensitive.
We recommend that everyone with a timber floor should measure humidity within
the home using a hygrometer. This is a discrete, digital device that gives
readings of relative air humidity (RAH). Maintaining a RAH of 50-65% will
minimise the shrinkage and expansion of your timber floor. It will also protect
any other wooden furniture, antiques, paintings and keep you feeling healthy
too! Low humidity affects timber and also causes human skin to dry, flake and
crack. If measured it can be avoided!
+ WHERE DOES YOUR TIMBER COME FROM?
Our oak is European and the floors are manufactured
and finished in Europe too. We source other timber species from across the
globe but all from reputable and well managed sources. Where possible we use
timbers certificated by the FSC and PEFC competency schemes. If you have any
particular questions about our timber sourcing, please get in touch.
+ WHAT IS FSC AND PEFC?
(Forest Stewardship Council)® and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)
are international organisations promoting responsible forest management. To
carry the FSC and PEFC labels, timber and wood fibre products have to be
recognisable as coming from a certified source at all points in the supply
chain from raw material to the consumer.
of Custody (CoC) certification connects responsible forest management practices
with consumers. It provides a consistent, international basis for claims about
the sourcing of wood and wood fibre products. Solid Floor’s FSC CoC certification code is:
CU-COC-828136 Solid Floor’s PEFC CoC certification code is: CU-PEFC-828136. By selecting timber from responsibly managed forests we are using
natural resources without destroying the ecological balance.
+ DO YOU HOLD STOCK?
Most of our timber floors are made to order to give
you the freedom to choose the plank size, timber colour, grade and finish that
best suits your project. Occasionally we hold some floors in stock and they may
be part of a special promotion so do call the showrooms and ask.
+ WHAT IS THE LEAD-TIME ON YOUR TIMBER FLOORS?
If a floor is being made to order our lead time is usually
5-7 weeks from the payment of the deposit. However, if you need a floor quicker,
then please contact us by phone or email, with your requirements and we will
see what we can do.