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February 2011
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March 2011

Keeping costs down

Home is where the heart is and protecting it and our families are most peoples’ top priorities, but seeing as few of us have hundreds of thousands of Pounds sitting in the bank ready to be utilised if something happens to a home and its treasured possessions, we need a little help. For most people, this comes in the form of home insurance

In this article we will show you how you can easily keep the costs of your home insurance to a minimum but if you need further advice or are looking for a quote on renewing your home insurance visit Legal & General. It is the country’s best provider of mortgage-related insurance.

Protect Yourself

Insurers base insurance premiums on risk. The greater risk your home poses to them, i.e. the greater the possibility they will need to pay out on a claim, the higher your insurance premium. Therefore it pays to reduce your risk as much as possible. One way of doing this is to install a burglar alarm. Not only will you deter burglars but you can also slice a good percentage of your home insurance premium.

Joining your local neighbourhood watch is another quick fire way to lower you insurance costs. Dead locks, double glazier and security lights also can shave a few Pounds off your premium.

Share the risk

The excess is the amount you pay towards a claim. Your contribution can be relatively small, or you can voluntarily choose to increase the excess. Why would you do this? By sharing the risk with your insurer, you will be rewarded with a lower premium. If you rarely claim and when you do it’s only for high-ticket value items, this is one of the best ways to greatly lower your annual insurance costs. However, you should only do this if you really can afford to do so and if you don’t claim often.

No claims benefit

Along the same vein, choose an insurer that offers a great no-claims discount that increases over time. As the name suggests, if you don’t claim you get a benefit and this benefit comes in the form of a discount. After several years of claim-free living you can get up to 70% off your insurance premium. However, like the previous point, this only works if you don’t claim very often. You should only make claims for expensive items or repair jobs.

Pay annually

Finally, the easiest way to chop 4-10% off your premium is to pay on an annual basis, rather than via a monthly direct debit or bill. Insurers factor in some interest into monthly payments as they are more convenient to customers but less convenient to insurers. So avoid this by paying up-front annually
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Water damage?

In the event your wooden floor is affected by a water leak, read our "Wood and Water" case-study and discover how insurers regard your efforts to limit the damage.


Retro furnishing features are "in"

Wallpapers with retro designs have been named as a rising trend for homeowners redecorating their homes.

Paper printed in bold, repeating styles that were popular during the 1950s was stated by Kayleigh Hollobone, customer adviser at Wallpaper.co.uk, to be one of the most popular looks emerging for this year.

Some are even seeking ways of matching their walls with upholstery and fabric coverings.

Wood You Like adding retro features to your retro design parqet floor

"Instead of wallpapering the whole room, they're wallpapering one wall with a really strong pattern and they usually want curtains to match," Ms Hollobone said.

Using recycled furniture could also be a fashion householders wish to try, after it was recently advocated by interior designer and TV presenter Linda Barker.

People making big or small changes to their home decor could find that solid wooden mosaic or herringbone floors have turned trendy again too.

The simple style of mini Oak herringbone, mosaic tiles for easy installation

"Mini" herringbone combine the two retro trends: mosaic style tiles in double (or triple) herringbone pattern.

Cal us today on 01233 - 713725 for prices, lead-times and available styles/patterns and wood-species.


Down the drain?

Installing a wooden floor is not rocket science - as our Wooden Floor Installation Manual can tell you all about - but the correct preparations can save you a lot of time, money and problems.

One of the main things to prepare before you - or your professional fitter - start installing a wooden floor on a concrete underfloor it is good practice to check the moist content of the concrete.

Moment in time

More often than not this check for moisture gives you either the green or right light to start the actual installation. But never forget, the result only tells you the moist content of the concrete floor at that moment in time! So if you suspect moist problems, or had had problems before, even if the moist check now tells you to "go ahead" with the installation, make sure the cause of your former problem has been solved properly.

And on the other hand, a dry concrete floor now does not always mean it will stay dry for ever. Think of leaks, rising damp etc.

Drain problems

If, in the event there is a moist problem later on and the moist check carried out straight before the installation gave the "all clear" it pays dividend to investigate all possible causes, as we ourselves discovered recently.

A solid Oak mosaic floor was installed a few months ago, concrete floor checked for moisture conditions and readings showed the concrete was below 2% moist content. However, the floor did come up after a while. We suspected a moist problem and investigated. Not just inside the house, but we also had a good look around the house. Often patios are build incorrectly where (rain) water runs towards the house due to the slope of the patio, leaking or damaged gutters can have an effect on the in house situation too. And, as we thought could be the reason here, large plants, trees or shrubs planted or gowning too close to the walls.

When plants are more than beautiful

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To cut a long story short, a Drain Doctor confirmed our suspicion the old Wisteria planted very close to the wall outside the effected room had managed to grow its roots right through the drain and was causing a blockage - causing moist to enter the concrete floor from below.

From the Wisteria Website by Francesco Vignoli we have to following information on these very strong roots of this beautiful shrub/plant:

The roots: The wisteria roots spread so strongly and abundantly that if planted near walls or pavements they can easily grow into them causing serious damage . To prevent this from happening it is advised, whilst planting, to insert a corrugated plastic panel which will force the roots to take other directions, as they are unable to pass through it. Place the plastic panel (at least 2m long) 80cm deep, between the plant and the wall or pavement (or the surface to be protected). In the case of walls and pavements made with cement this problem does not exist.

The clients are now waiting for "the Doctor" to repair the drain and then the wait begins for the concrete to dry out completely before the mosaic floor can be reinstalled again.

So, be warned: moist checks only give you a result of that specific moment and be careful when planting large, beautiful shrubs. They can turn around and bite you! (Well, they can bite their way through your drains.)


Add green (FSC) credentials to your unique flooring project

Combining uniqueness in wooden flooring with being green is now only one simple phone call away.

Unique wooden floors

FSC certified tropical wooden flooring at Wood You Like Are you looking for a truly unique floor, one in its kind? Have you trawled the Internet for ages and still not found that one floor you are looking for?

Look no further: Wood You Like’s Chaco Wood Commercial Parquet and Vertical Mosaic has it all: highest quality, hardwearing and produced from even in their Dutch manufacturer’s own FSC certified forest in Bolivia.

Commercial Parquet/Vertical Mosaic (also known as Hoch-kant parket) resemble mosaic flooring, but with quite a difference. The surface is in fact the tough side of a wood strip, giving every floor also a multi-coloured unique appearance.

And that's not all. These unique floors are one of the most stable, hardwearing, rather simple to install and very, very beautiful floor covering you have ever encountered. Each strip has its own true natural character, grouped together to show each species full colour spectrum and even quirkiness. A floor like this is never boring.

Tropical FSC Commercial 14mm parquet

FSC Curupau Commercial Parquet 14mm thick

Commercial Parquet is made from, carefully selected on highest quality, 22m boards. These boards are cut in 14mm wide strips and then turned on their sides, creating a mat (tile) of 15 strips 14mm thick, 22mm wide and 250mm long in the most spectacular colouring you’ve ever seen.

Ideal hardwearing floor solution for shops, offices, fitness centres, dance and school halls to name but a few, and of course for that very special domestic project you have in mind.

FSC species:

  • Ajunao
  • Curupau
  • Jatoba/Paquio
  • Tajibo
  • Momoqui
  • Morado
  • Sirari
  • Tarara Amarilla

Since more and more green projects involve Underfloor Heating systems, we can reassure you the FSC tropical Commercial parquet is the right choice here too, the small solid strips makes it one of the very few Solid wood floors suitable for UFH.

FSC Tropical Vertical 22mm Mosaic

FSC Tarara Amarilla Vertical Mosiac 22mm thick for you unique floor project Another choice resembles old fashion mosaic even more, where 8mm strips 22mm wide, 160mm long, are turned on their side to create the thickest and most hardwearing spectacular wooden floor covering ever (effectively 22mm thick, 8mm wide strips in easy to install tiles = Vertical Mosaic) Due to its thickness not as suitable for UFH than the Commercial 14mm Parquet.

Available in the same wood-species as the Commercial Parquet, 40 strips per tile.

Both tile types, hold together with strong mesh backing, can be installed straight onto level concrete or plywood floors. A quick light sanding prepares the floor for the finish of your choice. (We can highly recommend Saicos Colour Wax Clear Extra thin, followed by one coat of Saicos Premium HardWaxOil - 4 sheens available - the so-called "Tropical Combo" for this.)

The right choice for any project that needs a hardwearing, eco-friendly trendy floor covering which can be installed and finished quicker than most other floor types.

Give yourself extra piece of mind when it comes to special floor coverings: combine our quality and unique FSC floor products with our professional installation service, parquet flooring always has been and shall be our speciality. We will give you an all-in-one project price, so no surprises afterwards.

Call us now on 01233 - 713725 to discuss lead times and prices (which will surprise you, "Going Green" does not have to be expensive)


Kitchens becoming The Place to socialise

People planning on renovating their kitchens in the coming months could decide to make the space more than just functional.

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Anita Kaushal, an author and interior designer, has explained how the this room is becoming increasingly a function for different purposes in years to come.

She explained that many are seeing the space available to them also in the bathroom and putting up book shelves or adding decorations that would not traditionally belong in the room, like a chandelier.

Kitchens are also seeing a makeover, as they are being utilised as a place where people can socialise.

"It used to be the living room, but [now that's moved to] the kitchen island. You can buy these diddy little sofas to put in kitchens now that just say 'you're welcome'," Ms Kaushal added.

Wood-engineered floors are very suitable in kitchens, if you're thinking of revamping the existing floor covering there. Oiled Oak in many widths and colours, starting from 10mm thick boards who still have a 3mm Solid top layer, making this extremely good value for money. The image in this post shows the 10/3 American Oak, Brushed & White-washed & Oiled natural (Buffalo).

During this month, Wood You Like is offering a Spring Offer on 115 Wood-Engineered floors, all 10/3 floors among them.


Don't use ammonium to clean Oak floors

A worried lady called us with the following story:

In her kitchen an Oak floor had been installed (wood-engineered) and, as can happen in areas where cooking is done, in front of the cooker splashes of grease had marked to floor. Knowing how well ammonium can cut through grease she'd used some on a cloth and rubbed away the solidified grease stain.

Only to discover a few hours later the Oak in the treated spot had turned a shade darker than the surrounding area!

Oak and Ammonium - think old cow sheds

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(Image from Farming in France blog)

Oak contains tannic acid and, when exposed to ammonium, this acid reacts and becomes darker. It's natural reaction, just think of old cow-sheds, barns or old train cattle wagons.

Original Oak from any place where cattle has been for a long while is well known for its very dark colouring. Trying to sand the beams or boards bare to expose the blond wood again is very difficult to do, because years and years of being "exposed" to cattle with their wee, containing ammonium, this natural discolouration has penetrated deeply in the wood, not just stained the surface.

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This natural process is still being used (in controlled and safe circumstances - SO DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!) to produce "smoked" Oak. Mostly done in air-thight chambers in a factory, exposing untreated Oak to ammonium vapours for hours. The amount of tannic acid in the Oak, combined with more or less time in this "smoking chamber" determines the natural darkness of the boards.
Another name for this process is "fumed" Oak (from the French word fumé).

In the "olden days" some exceptional specialist floor companies did "smoke on site", using very strong ammonium in a bare room, sealing off all doors, windows etc. Any draft coming in to the room while this "not suitable for human exposure" was in process would affect the result. And nothing else in the room could be made of Oak, it would get darker too. So, once again: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

Note: some wood floors are incorrectly branded - excuse the pun - as smoked or fumed and only have been treated/stained with a colour to resemble this natural effect. The way to find out is to check if the colouring is only "skin-deep" - not even 1mm in the wood - or truly in the wood, at least 1 - 2 mm deep.

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All Wood You Like's Smoked Oak floors are definitely been in the "smoking chamber".

Would spilling cleaning ammonium colour my Oak floor too?

No, not that easily - IF the wood floor has been maintained regularly to keep the wear and tear layer in proper condition.

The floor in question had not been maintained for a year, and because the area in front of the cooker had had the most "traffic" the protective finish was rather reduced, enabling the ammonium to react with the "bare" wood.


Special Spring Offer on 115 different wood-engineered floors

115 different wood-engineered floors now with 4% discount

115 Wood-engineered high quality flooring in Wood You Like's special Spring Offer

It's the month of Spring, and to celebrate the warmer and lighter days to come Wood You Like has reduced 110 different wooden floors, in 7 different style ranges, from popular to unique finishes. All those 110, plus the 5 Grigio authentic Italian oil pigments load-bearing aged floors, this month - and this month only! - yours with 4% discount on the normal price.

All 115 floors have their specific characteristics, giving you the widest possible options in high quality Oak wood-engineered pre-oiled floors ever available. (We sneaked in a few American Oak, Walnut, Ash, Maple and Larch too). No matter if you are looking for the most straight forward Oak Rustic natural oiled or the most luxurious finishes like Dazzling Gold or Smashing Silver, we can guarantee you will find your floor amongst the 115 this month. See below how we can be so sure.

Always wanted a New Classic Basketweave, or Hand-scraped smoked and white oiled floor? Now is the time to call us on 01233 713725 and purchase it for the discounted price. We'll discuss the most suitable underlayment and accessories with you there and then too.

A few examples (and the most popular choices so far)
10/3 Quebec - Oak Rustic, oiled natural from £ 29.36 now for £ 28.18 ex VAT per sq m
15/4 Seattle - Oak Rustic, brushed & oiled natural from £ 43.80 now for £ 42.04 ex VAT per sq m
15/4 Baltimore - Oak Rustic, smoked & oiled natural from £ 45.24 now for £ 43.43 ex VAT per sq m
15/4 Nevada - FSC Oak Rustic, hand-scraped & smoked & oiled natural from £ 59.68 now for £ 57.29 ex VAT per sq m
20/6 Rhine - Oak Nature, oiled natural from £ 61.57 now for £59.10 ex VAT per sq m
18/6 Grigio Oak Rustic Old Brown 180mm from £ 96.97 now for £ 93.09 ex VAT per sq m

Delivery in Kent is free (Kent/Sussex and Kent/Surrey borders too) and if you use your debit card or BAC's transfer you will receive a further discount of 2.5% on the amount payable.

Can't see the trees for the woods? Wouldn't know where to start browsing the 115 floors to find The Floor for you? Follow the easy steps in our unique Select Your Floor tour, guaranteed to find the most adorable one for you.


Select Your Floor - unique guide

Selecting a wooden floor for your home, with its specific character and your own specific interior design wishes, can be a daunting task. Specially now there are so many different wooden floor types, wood-species and finishes around.

So, if you "can't see the trees for the wood", Wood You Like's "Select Your Floor" guide will give you a helping - guiding - hand.

How to use this guide

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The guide starts with a few simple multiple choice questions where each answer you select brings you "deeper" into guide - helping you to fine-tune your choices.
Simply select the answer you think most suits your wishes and/or circumstances and we'll bring you to the next "level" of options, again with a next multiple choice question drilling further down on your personal preferences until you've found the most perfect floor type and finish for your home - solely based on your own answers.

And when in doubt, you can always go back to the last question you answered and "try another route". You're definitely in the lead here, we're just helping you to navigate towards your goal.

So, put your most comfortable "walking shoes" on - slippers will do, fill your thermos flask with your favourite beverage and "off we go".
Click here to start the voyage into the wonderful world of natural wooden flooring. Let's find your (proverbial) tree in the woods!