British Hardwoods Blog

  • Fitting Hardwood Floors Over Solid Subfloors

    If you've been charmed by the appeal of wood flooring but have discovered your subfloor to be concrete, tiles or asphalt, don't be dismayed by this as you can still lay beautiful hardwood floors on top.

    Classic Oak Hardwood Flooring Classic Oak Hardwood Flooring

    Before going into the fitting options over your solid subfloor, we always recommend that you need to firstly consider the relative humidity of the air in the room where the floor is to be installed - ideally this should be 50-65%. You can find more information under the 'Preparation' section (page 4) in our Hardwood Floor Fitting & Maintenance Guide.

    Floor Fitting Options

    There are 3 ways of fitting wood flooring onto solid subfloors:

    1. Glueing (not applicable to asphalt)
      • Ensure that the solid subfloor is fully dry. If concrete, screed or render has recently been laid; we advise a minimum drying time will take 1" per month. So if you have laid concrete that’s 6" thick, you will need to wait at least 6 months before fitting your hardwood floor. We cannot stress the drying time enough, as we've seen floors pop and buckle.
      • If you’re satisfied that your solid subfloor is dry, apply a continuous damp proof membrane (DPM), such as OSMOUK Moisture Barrier and Encapsulator.
      • Proceed with applying your glue, we recommend OSMOUK MS Advance Wood Flooring Adhesive, as it has a high bond strength but remains permanently flexible. This glue will allow the flooring to move as the seasons change but it will not crack and the floor will stay adhered to the subfloor.
    2. Floating Floating a floor means that it is not fastened down to the subfloor below, giving you the advantage of gaining access to your subfloor if required.

      • Lay a full layer of visqueen over the whole subfloor. This is a 300mu (1200 gauge) polythene damp proof membrane.
      • Apply floor fitting foam underlay, which has a strong adhesive coating on one side with a peelable protective film. A very popular method of fitting as it vastly reduces installation time compared to traditional mechanical fixing and glueing techniques.
    3. Mechanical Fixing (with additional subfloor) A more traditional way of fitting hardwood flooring, through the methods of nailing or screwing the floor down. The advantages of mechanical fixing is that you have extra damp proofing, added height and the ability to lift floor boards up if access to subfloor is required.

      • Lay a full layer of visqueen over the whole subfloor. This is a 300mu (1200 gauge) damp proof membrane.
      • Lay down your additional subfloor, i.e., chipboard, plywood, OSB board or battens.
      • Pin a layer of building paper over the subfloor (chipboard, plywood, OSB board or battens). This is a belt and braces approach to further damp proof and protect your hardwood flooring.
      • Now that your subfloor is prepared, you can either face nail, secret nail or secret screw your floor boards down.

        Secret Nailing Hardwood Flooring Secret Nailing

    For more information, download our Hardwood Floor Fitting & Maintenance Guide. You will find techniques and tips to the various fixing methods mentioned along with preparing and maintaining your floors.

    If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this blog, call or email us. We know fitting hardwood flooring can be a daunting task, especially if you are a novice. So we're always on hand to give you the best possible advice to make sure your installation project goes smoothly and that you enjoy the feeling that hardwood flooring brings to your home or office.

  • Manufacturing in Britain

    Julian Smith MP Visit to British Hardwoods

    Right to left - Tony Fillingham, Julian Smith, Mark Rushworth, Andrew Haldenby and colleague

    Last year Business Secretary MP, Vince Cable, launched the 'Made by Britain' campaign in attempt to place manufacturing at the forefront of the public's minds during the Olympic Games in 2012. There will be 30 industry experts chosen to help spearhead the campaign that will culminate in an exhibition of the best of British manufacturing during London 2012.

    British Hardwoods were delighted to be nominated to represent manufacturing within the Skipton and Ripon constituency. Since being chosen, we were recently visited by our local MP, Julian Smith and his colleagues from Reform, where we took them around our factory, demonstrating our manufacturing process and showcasing the end product. It was also a great opportunity to discuss the challenges local manufacturers faced and where and how our local MP could help such businesses.

    Skipton and Ripon MP, Julian Smith's response to his visit at our factory:

    "I was pleased to be able to showcase one of the excellent manufacturers based in my constituency to Andrew Haldenby, the Director of the national think tank Reform and I know he was impressed by what he saw."

    "As a rural constituency, the economy of Skipton and Ripon faces different challenges than more urban areas and I wanted the opportunity to highlight those issues."

    "We should be proud of the efforts taking place to help get our economy back on track and I will continue to do all I can to ensure Government action supports those entrepreneurs and business owners, such as Mark and Tony at British Hardwoods, who help create jobs and wealth for our communities."

    The visit was successful and we're looking forward to doing further work to showcase the best of British manufacturing.

  • The Great British Hardwoods Bake Off

    This year two of our staff, J-Lo and Jim-Bob, have decided to go head-to-head in our 'Great British Hardwoods Bake Off' competition, all guided by the BBC Good Food 2012 calendar with delectable monthly recipes. Our aspiring pastry chefs (well, we like to think so) must follow the recipe as outlined in the calendar, however the appearance of the dish is open to individual interpretation/creativity.

    The rules are that each chef will plate up their cakes and the rest of us in the factory and office blind taste each one, voting for their favourite and results are tallied up.

    So the results are were....

    This month we see the 'Frosty Orange Yogurt Cake', very zesty and light (depending on which you ate!). It was a resounding thumbs up for Jo-Lo's cake pictured on the right.

    We're not just specialists in oak!

    The Great British Hardwoods Bake Off - January 2012 The winning 'Frosty Orange Yogurt Cake' was the one on the right

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