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September 2010

Applying the Timeless Appeal of Wood

Guest Post

Applying the Timeless Appeal of Wood to Your Windows

Wood is a beautiful material to have within the home and people have been using it to create furniture or fittings for hundreds of years. There are so many varieties of wood to choose from and each one has its very own personal grain and colour. From the pale amber hues of beech or pine, through to far darker timbers such as oak or mahogany; there is a type of wood to blend in with any style of home. And it will even help to increase the value of your property.

Now that we have so much technology around us, you may expect wooden furniture or fittings to be in far less demand than they once were. Surely modern homeowners are more inclined to fill their living spaces with chrome, acrylic or other contemporary materials? Well, this is not the case at all! It may be the twenty-first century, but many of us still choose to have wooden items in our homes; even wooden window fittings are a really popular choice.

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There are a number of very good reasons why wood and Wooden Venetian Blinds in particular, are such a common feature in so many modern properties. Here are a few of the main ones

  • Appeal
    A lot of us may surround ourselves with cutting edge technology, but this has not made natural materials any less appealing to us; and you certainly cannot find a much more natural material than wood! By fitting wooden blinds at our windows, wooden floors or wooden fittings, we can have a nice modern living space that still retains a strong element of nature.

  • Durability
    We all know how long wood will last when it has been treated correctly and all wooden Venetian blinds have a special protective coating. This means that our window fittings will go on looking just great for many years to come!

  • Versatility
    Because wood comes in so many different shades and patterns, it is suitable for any room in the home. This makes wooden blinds and wooden flooring extremely versatile, and allows them to blend in wonderfully with any of our other wooden fittings or furniture.

  • Practicality
    Wooden Venetian blinds and wooden flooring are so much easier to clean than their fabric and carpet counterparts and, as a consequence, they will harbour far less dirt or bacteria. We are now even more aware of how important it is to keep our homes clean and wood provides us with a practical and attractive solution to this!

Remember, according to WoodCare adding wooden features to your home will increase its value between 5 to 15%.
From stripping down wooden banisters and exposing their natural character, adding wooden venetian blinds, re-instating real wood doors and installing real wooden floors in the main areas - it will all have an instant positive effect.



How to treat that little bit of concrete?

In our Installation Manual we explain it is always best to create one type of underfloor in order to have to same conditions between underfloor and new floor everywhere. Often this needs to be done when two old rooms are knocked into one and where one has a concrete floor and the other existing floorboards.
See here for more details on this.

But how about having just a little bit of concrete?

We received the following questions from a "reluctant" DIY-er set to work on a new wooden floor by his better half.

Thanks for your email, the installation is coming along nicely, your book has been a great help.
It is proving a little more difficult with still trying to "live" in one half of the room.
I do have a question that maybe you could be of some help with.

I am laying on wooden floors, so using a foam type underlay, but where the fireplace was, there is a concrete subfloor measuring about 3 foot by 18 inches (sorry old school).
Am I ok to carry on with this type of underlay, or should it have a damp proof bit?
John C

If small, keep it simple

Hi John

Thank you for your email.
Such a small area of concrete will not cause any moist problems (presumably the concrete it also "laid" on the original floorboards and not a complete thick block of concrete going way down into the void?) so you don't really need to use a DPM there.

Hope this helps. When your finished, any chance of pictures of the end result?

Not as nice as building steam engines

Thanks for your speedy reply, very much appreciated.
I have now fitted out one room, skirts to put on and then wallpaper. Boy do I hate wall papering.
But I suppose it will keep her indoors happy so that I can get back in my workshop and spend time on my real passion of building steam traction engines.
The flooring I bought does seem very good quality, and quiet therapeutic to lay. But not as nice as building steam engines.
Thanks once again

John

A true reflection of work well done in pictures

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ps:
As requested a couple of pics.
The pics look like two different colours, but the lighter one is a true reflection. Even managed to work it so I can still get under the floor in the far corner, without it being too noticeable.
Just got the other half of the room to do now DOH.
Hope they are to your liking, and thanks once again for all your help.

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If you have your own project in mind and are wondering how to tackle certain problems, feel free to ask our help too.

Call us on 01233 - 713725 to discuss your options, prices of recommended products and lead times.


New this month: webshop, coupon-code and online brochure update

The wonderful world of natural wooden flooring in constantly moving in more and better directions. And Wood You Like moves with it.

Brand new - even more user friendly - webshop

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In the brand new webshop (or here in our main website) - secure as always - you can drag and drop your needed/required product straight into the shopping bag, easily combine products and select the colour or size option immediately:

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Plus you can create your own account (in two simple steps) and only have to fill in your address details once.

Another advantage of this brand new webshop: you stay in familiar surroundings. If you visit our main website the webshop looks and feels like the main site, when you are visiting our blog, the webshop looks and feels more like the blog

Newsletter Readers Only Offer

The new webshop also makes validating your Newsletter Readers Only Ongoing Offer easier:

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Just submit the coupon-code you received when you subscribe to our monthly email newsletter in the open shopping bag - and remember: it's an ongoing offer, so use it every time you place an order.

Full Colour Online Wooden Floor Range Brochures updated

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Even more interior design images are added to all the range brochures, showing you even better how the floor of your choice can/will look in your own home, with your own interior design style.

Requesting access to the brochures is simple: select any of the preferred ranges below, click submit and an email with the access details to the brochures will whiz its way to your inbox almost immediately! Not sure which Range to select? See here for a quick overview.

First Name

Last Name*

Range leaflet*

Email Address*

Location


Rest assured, your details will never be passed on to others, we hate spam as much as you do.


The saga of the 5-finger mosaic floor painstakingly re-installed

Once in a while a conversation in our inbox turns into a complete and wonderful saga. Read on......
(Whole "conversation" published with approval of our client)

Why HardWaxOil?

Question: Why should I use Hard Wax Oil rather than A Good quality Varnish such as Mega, Bono Nova etc on my Parquet Floor which I am currently restoring? This is a 5 finger parquet. I have in the past used the above varnish very successfully on in excess of 5 or six pine and oak floors and wonder why you would choose the HWO finish?

I would also like to buy your Modern Parquet Floor Adhesive to re-install a few loose 'fingers' that have become loose-do you deliver to the Saltdean area of Brighton? Thanks for your help, I enjoyed your web pages.
David H

Hi David
Thank you for your question. You are absolutely free to choose whatever finish you like, if you prefer varnish then who are we to stop you?

We prefer an oil (HardWaxOil for Oak, single oil and wax-polish for tropical species) because in our and many of our clients experiences it is easy to apply, and brings out the character of the wood much better than a varnish. Oil allows the wood to breathe while it is protected against dirt and drips. Also, damages can be repaired locally without having to sand the whole floor to prevent patches where new varnish overlaps old varnish.

What wood-species is your parquet floor?

If you only have a few loose blocks/fingers, grip-fill can be used. No need to purchase a minimum tub of 7.5 F.Ball B91 adhesive.

Hand sanded!

Hello Karin, Thank you very much for your quick and candid and very informative reply - nothing like a direct answer I say. I didn't mean to portray myself as a Smart Alec but re-reading my email I see that I could have been more friendly. I'm sorry for any offence.

Continue reading "The saga of the 5-finger mosaic floor painstakingly re-installed" »


Mahogany Parquet Floor - with some persistence a beautiful result

DIY conversation in our email inbox: (do you have a question yourself - use this form to ask us)

Installing a tropical parquet floor in your home can seem like a daunting task, specially when you discover not all blocks are of the same level.

But when you persist, the rewards are bountiful as one of our DIY-ers experienced.

How to tackle lower blocks?

I am just about finished laying a mahogany parquet floor. Am a little concerned that one or 2 blocks are a bit low and will require surrounding area to be sanded down a lot. What would you recommend and which sander to use? Floor is 16 m2

Two options:

Specially reclaimed blocks can have height differences: not all could come from the same original source, some could have been sanded and others not or, when having removed bitumen from the back with a saw or chisel more or less wood could have been removed too.

Noticing this height difference before your install the actual block can prevent extra work, but once you're in the rhythm of spreading adhesive with the correct notch trowel and sticking down block after block, keeping a constant eye on the pattern being tight together it is not a wonder you sometimes only realise this difference later on.

Option 1: carefully remove the offending block and replace it with a better fitting one, especially if the height difference is more than 3 - 4 mm

Option 2: let the belt sander (not a drum-sander!) tackle the height difference as much as possible with the first sanding round (grit 40). When the difference is only 1 or 2mm, it should not take away much wood from the surrounding blocks. Don't try to tackle the difference with a hand held sander first, the movement of the sander on only the surrounding area produces a different "pattern" than the belt sander and could show up once the finish layer is applied to the floor - and then it is too late to correct this without having to resand.

Result:

Thanks a lot for your reply to my query.
Laying this T/G parquet has tested my DIY skills/patience to its limit as the room is unsquare, unlevel and has very fiddly edges everywhere. However I have prevailed and have only 10 or so awkward xxxx's left.
Have decided to sand right down with the machine you recommend and hope all goes well. Then varnish I think.

Thanks a lot for your interest and assistance.

Feedback

We frequently receive questions like to above and always want to know if the advice, tips given has been useful and to the point. Mark gave us 10/10

The answer that I got from you was concise, accurate and was above my expectations.

I am now confident that my progress with this project will proceed without the doubt that often nags when one is doing DIY not attempted before.
As far as rating is concerned the 10/10 - 5 star.

Will recommend anyone I come across to check with you if they need services, products or advice

The (almost) finished product:

Mahogany parquet floor, sanded to perfection

As promised a picture of new floor with half of the varnish coats applied.
All in all very pleased with the result. Its not perfect as the sander was a bitch to control in such a small room but compared with what was there before real luxury.
Thanks for your help and interest.

Mark J

At your service.
If you have your own project in mind and are wondering how to tackle certain problems, feel free to ask our help too.

Call us on 01233 - 713725 to discuss your options, prices of recommended products and lead times.