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In most everyday situations, wooden floors endure dents and scratches. Over time and constant wear, they suffer worse damage: warps, buckles, cracks, splits and gaps between the boards. If left unrepaired for too long, sections of the floor may need to be replaced.
So the first stage is to realign loose boards, hammering nails below the surface level of the floor. Any damaged boards are replaced with reclaimed timber - whenever possible of similar age and wear.
This is not an essential part of the process, but some customers prefer the even look of a gap-filled floor.
It does tighten the floor, thus preventing the movement of timber. Draughts and the build up of dirt are also prevented.
There are two main methods:
Resin: the most common form of gap filling, mostly used on parquet, mosaic and some floorboards with lots of fine gaps. Fine dust from the floor is mixed with a resin and applied to the gaps with a filling knife.
Solid fillet strips: strips of reclaimed pine and other timbers are glued, forced into the gaps, and chiselled back before sanding flat. This method is suitable for large gaps - and the strips move with the timber.
Sanding is a part of the floor restoration process whereby machines with various grades of paper strip off the old layer of paint or sealant (lacquer or varnish) back to smooth bare wood.
Floors can now be restored to a level above their original condition. With the great improvement in sanding technology - and the quality of stains and sealants - your new floor could be better than it was when originally put down.
Sanding works well on all kinds of floors: solid wood, whether hardwood (oak, beech or walnut) or softwood (pine, yew or Douglas fir); parquet blocks; strips; mosaic and even cork.
It consists of three stages: a rough, medium and fine sand to strip, level, and smooth the boards to a high quality finish..
Do you fancy giving your floor a completely new look? You can paint the floor, but this hides the wood grain. Stains enhance it. The appearance of the grain depends on the stain’s opacity and the number of applications.
Clear stains bring out the natural colour of the grain, while a coloured stain is useful when you need the floor to better match your home interior.
Traditional stains are based on oils and spiritsl, yet modern water-based pigments are of comparable quality. These have the added virtue of being completely safe and odour-free – a great choice for a home, school or catering environment. Choose from the traditional wood colours through to contemporary pigmenting: e.g. white, red, blue or even pink!
And if you require a particular colour, we can mix stains to create the one to match. We were once given the task of matching the floor colour in an ancient castle - a job that required the mixing of 75 different pigments!
After sanding and staining, the floor surface has to be protected by sealing. The finish to choose depends on the likely use of the floor.
A lacquered finish scores highest on both durability and maintenance. It dries fast and the chemical bond created with the floor is hard-wearing and stain resistant. Lacquers bring out the natural colour of the wood – minimising the need for staining.
We do not recommend using coloured lacquers. The colour is difficult to control and the floor tends to lose its colour as it wears. Staining and lacquer applications are best applied in separate stages.
Modern lacquers no longer have the old fashioned ‘plastic’ look of traditional floor varnish. Coming in flat matt to high gloss, with an alluring silky appearance, they mimic organic finishes such as oil and wax.
Our water-based lacquers are safe to use in both domestic and commercial settings. Bacteria die on touch from its inherent anti-bacterial properties.
Hard Wax Oil
Deservedly popular, this organic product is based on natural vegetable oils and waxes. It provides a good balance between natural oil and lacquer – the natural look and feel with improved durability.
Whether in coloured versions or clear, it acts like natural oil, in that it brings out the inherent colour in the timber and emphasises the natural grain.
It is micro-porous and does not crack, flake, peel or blister. Being less prone to drying out than natural oil, it is suitable forareas of high humidity. Maintenance is easy: simply apply more coats or a thinned down ‘revive coat’.
This organic finish has good water-repellent characteristics. It is resistant to scuffs and abrasions - though not to the extent of lacquer.
Giving matt or satin sheens, natural oil can dry out in humid conditions. Maintenance is very easy - extra coats deal with minor damage and top - up the finish. Very busy areas will require a new application every 3-6 months – and furniture will have to be removed...
Take the first steps towards your new floor - contact us today!