Guides and Further Information
How to assemble a Northwood cottage door
A step-by-step guide for self-build door kits.
Solid oak and underfloor heating
Time and again we are told that solid Oak flooring and underfloor heating are not compatible. This is simply not the case and, providing some ground rules are followed, the two can complement one another.
Firstly, the substructure has to be sound and completely dry. The moisture must be less than or equal to that of the floorboards being used. In England, the ideal moisture content for the floor is approximately 9% AMC. Providing a totally flexible adhesive, such as Sikabond T52 is used, the solid Oak can expand and contract in conjunction with the underfloor heating. My only word of advice would be to keep the widths of your boards to below 180mm so that the joins along the edges are plentiful enough to take up the inevitable movement. The wider the width, the less joins in the floor.
Solid Oak is ideal with underfloor heating, providing these simple rules are observed:
The substrate floor must be fully cured and have a moisture content equal to that of the floor or less.
The maximum face width of the board must not exceed 180mm to minimalise cupping.
The floor should be stored in the fully cured room for 2 weeks prior to fixing, to acclimatise to the ambient temperature.
A 12-15mm gap must be left all around the edge of the room to allow for expansion. This gap can be covered with skirting.
If using a glue, it must be totally flexible (such as Sikabond T52).
If nailing or screwing, the battens in the subfloor must be totally seasoned and dry (below 9% AMC).
The flooring, once fitted, should be lightly sanded to open the grain in order to allow your chosen sealing product, such as Osmo or Blanchon oil, to penetrate in to the grain rather than just float on the surface.
After the initial treatment of your floor, it is advisable to repeat this process once a year.
It is important to understand that the ambient temperature will affect your floor. The average moisture level in a traditional house in England is approximately 9-12% AMC. In a new build, with modern insulation levels and underfloor heating, it is likely to be below this level and it is, therefore, advisable to introduce some humidification to stop the floor from drying out too much.
If all the above points are observed there should be no reason why a solid Oak floor can not work in conjunction with your underfloor heating.
If you are still not convinced and want an engineered floor, we at Northwood sell engineered flooring from one French supplier who manufactures it from the tree to the board, including the Birch plywood base, and ensures that only the best glues are used to guarantee a ‘life long’ product. These are industrial quality floors and consequently are considerably more expensive than the competition but are far superior in quality.
James Burnford – MD, Northwood
Maintaining your wood floor
Dirt and grit act like sandpaper to destroy the protective surface of wood flooring, so:
Vacuum, sweep and semi-dry mop regularly.
Use door mats to keep dirt and grit at bay.
Apply floor protector pads to all moveable pieces of furniture.
Use rugs to protect high traffic areas and shake them out and vacuum regularly. (Many people are shocked when they move a rug and find an outline of the rug on the floor. Don’t panic! Remove the rug completely and the colour will eventually blend in over time.)
Never place indoor pot plants directly onto the wooden floor, even in a waterproof saucer. Always use a trivet or short stand under the pot and saucer so that air can circulate underneath.
High heels concentrate a person’s weight onto a small point (estimate of 125lb person = approximately 2,000lbs per square inch when taking a normal step in high heels!). This kind of force can dent and pit wood floors.
Remember, shoes can often have grit stuck in the soles especially soft training shoes.
Wooden floors are very sensitive to their surrounding climate. Seasonal cracking is common. Floors expand in humid conditions and contract when the air becomes dry, usually due to heating.
We currently stock:
Osmo and Blanchon wax oils for solid wood flooring and joinery.
Industrial sanders for new floors available for hire.
Porta-Nailer for ‘secret nailing’.
View our range for floor maintenance and care here: