We believe the relationship between natural appeal and engineered wood flooring should be one of continuous product development, authenticity and customer satisfaction. Lots of our non-commercial clients are folks looking to invest in the future of their home. Perhaps they’ve not bought flooring since the mid-70s, or perhaps they’re simply not aware of the amazing engineered flooring options available in the modern market. Regardless, our experts spend a happy amount of time listening to the thrilled responses of thoroughly satisfied customers gushing over the brilliance of their new engineered floors!
There is a huge difference between laminate flooring and engineered flooring. That difference being that engineered wood enjoys the natural style and qualities of having a surface layer made from natural wood. The premise of engineered flooring is simple; two or more layers of synthetic material make up the base of the product, with a layer of natural wood, e.g. oak, making up the surface layer. The natural wood layer is typically finished at the production stage rather than left untreated (many of our solid wood products can be left unfinished for customers to colour).
Engineered wood flooring works superbly with underfloor heating. A housing contact also reported that around 90% of homes for sale that comprise of engineered or solid wood flooring will sell faster than similar models without wood floors.
Our products are selected because we believe they work exquisitely, naturally and effectively in both the home and commercial environments.
Your feet may not have minded running about all winter, and may even have enjoyed our little Indian summer back at the end of September, but when the winter winds roll in and the U.K puts on its familiar shroud of dull winter weather, it’s time to think about treating your household to some cosy solid wood flooring!
We don’t believe there’s an outright “winner” between engineered wood and solid wood. However, we do believe there are circumstances where one is more suited than the other. For example, engineered floors are typically the most cost-effective option in commercial terms. In the modern family home, it’s really a matter of taste, budget, investment etc. The likes of solid oak wood flooring can be more costly than a similar look engineered option, but in terms of investment in your home, what suits you best?
Today’s blog entry is all about the opulent, toasty winter feeling that is traditionally associated with solid wood floors and the modern family home. Even the Saxons utilised hardwood flooring in their villages because of the warmth, durability and comfort of wood.
Solid wood flooring can offer a sense of classic familial warmth that other flooring options such as carpet or slate often lack. Of course, we doubt the Saxons were thinking “Will this add to the value of my home?”, but that’s a consideration many of our clients are wisely including in their decision making. Solid wood flooring is a UK interior staple, a great investment and an expert favourite.
According to a recent online article from MyFinances.co.uk, a large proportion of over-50s are relying upon the equity in their home to see them through retirement. These “hippies” (i.e. HIPpies = Home Is Pension) are apparently choosing to rely on their home for several reasons. Firstly, the pension pot may be a little low, secondly, other savings are already dwindling in the current financial climate, and lastly, children are being written out of the fiscal picture (i.e. the house isn’t counted as a guaranteed inheritance) The amount of capital passed down as inheritance has also fallen for the first time.
So, what does this mean for our hardwood and engineered wood flooring brand? The above article resonated with us, particularly as a great deal of our non-commercial clients are folks looking to make long-term home improvements that both boost their quality of living (a reading room with parquet floors is certainly a treat!) and add value to their home.
Common advice, in terms of flooring, is that new carpets add very little value to your home, but properly installed, top quality solid or engineered wood floors could add significantly more than £2,000 to the value of a home. Between 2009 and 2011, the financial benefit of installing new flooring in the home rose by around 69% (HSBC figures) in terms of resale value.
Making good decisions in favour of the future of your home is about research, long-term investment and prudent financial sense.
Although our designers and engineer teams are incredibly skilled when it comes to selecting products that are stylistically dexterous, the Countryside Chic look is something that lends itself simply and perfectly to both engineered and solid wood flooring.
Solid Oak Wood Flooring
Perhaps nothing is more classically old fashioned and connected with chic country style than oak flooring. An elegant, durable, cosy staple in homes throughout history, the UK country-inspired home (we say “inspired” because only a lucky few get to live out the whole country estate fantasy!) is faultlessly complemented by the warmth, tradition and natural grace of oak flooring.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood is often considered as the “budget” flooring option. However, a great deal of development and research in the fields of heat insulation, textural finish, durability and so on means our engineered wood options are habitually as good as solid flooring options, and in some cases more appropriate (particularly in commercial terms)
Parquet and Wood Block Flooring
The classic image of the country dining room or library is customarily furnished with elegant wood blocks. Our range includes both finished and unfinished options, meaning you can choose the deep crimson or airy cream floor stain to best suit the style of your classic countryside decor.
We do our best to keep prices down all year round, but don’t forget to visit us during sale seasons for great deals on flooring. We maintain a great collection in the “Offers” area throughout the year too.
We know you can’t always find the exact product you want, so we carry a great range of unfinished solid wood flooring products to make your interior design life a little easier. Unfinished oak flooring is a signature option from our studio, so here’s how to do a great DIY staining job on your unfinished oak floor. There are two types of stain – oil-based and water-based.
• Mop (if “water popping” is required)
• Cotton rags (t-shirts work well)
• Natural Sponge
When applying a water-based stain, it’s necessary to prepare the surface by sanding and then “water popping”, which is really just a fancy name for running a wet mop over the newly sanded surface to bring out the grain. Thirty minutes drying time and you’re ready to apply the stain.
Applying the Stain
Remember to stir the stain before application to blend the pigment. The idea is to apply the stain using the cotton rags (smoothing with the natural sponge if necessary) evenly, moving from one side of the room to the other. We find working in 2/3ft rectangles works well.
• Apply the stain in the same direction the grain and boards run. If you don’t, little accumulations of stain could cause colour irregularities.
• Don’t slap on a huge puddle and work it out. Only apply the stain in small, even amounts.
It should take about 4 hours for each coat of the stain to dry, but try to leave overnight if possible.
There’s one member of the household who doesn’t care how expensive your solid oak wood flooring was, or even how you’ve only just finished colour staining the new wood block flooring in the lounge – the household mutt!
Pets and household flooring can be a pretty troublesome mix, but as a studio of dog owners, we’ve certainly amassed a few priceless hints and tips for making sure your canine chum gets along with your new natural wood floors!
• Persistent exposure to liquids can damage even the hardiest of wood floors, so be sure to mop up “accidents” and site drinking bowls etc. on top of a decent sized mat. The best thing to mop up spills with is a slightly damp cloth.
• If you bought unfinished wood flooring from us, think about applying a full three coats of an oil-based finish for protection.
• If you notice a patch of the floor where Fido frequently paws or leaves scratches (e.g. as he scrambles around the corner at top speed to greet you at the door!), put down a rug. Be sure to research backings though, as some non-slip backings can damage DIY surface finishes.
• Clip your dog’s nails to minimise the risk of scratching.
Hardwood and engineered wood flooring is very healthy for all your pets. Natural wood typically doesn’t allow fleas and germs to grow, acts as a great insulator during the chilly winter months, and can even cool your pooch during the heat of summer.