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June 2011
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July 2011

Latest trend in Summer activities: Eco-cation

Home improvements of the green variety are set to be the big thing this summer, according to Homebuilding & Renovating.

Green is this Summer's colour

With the (still) long evenings, an Eco-cation appears to be an increasing Summer activity in the whole of the UK. And with no sign of an tropical heat-wave around the corner, spending your holiday days improving your home (and the climate) can be a pleasurable and rewarding pastime. (Plus it beats hours long queuing for a flight time after time.)

Besides insulating your home, installing energy efficient appliances and lightning fixtures, have you though about adding green credentials to your floor covering?

Restore instead of renew

Wood You Like restoration of original parquet floors

Many homes already have wooden flooring as floor covering, be is pine floorboards, original parquet or even "new" wood-engineered boards. Don't forget that adding wood flooring is no longer a new trend, since the beginning of this century it's right up there among the main choices and increasingly the first option people consider when moving or improving.

What has been renewed however, are the finishing materials. Stricter VOC regulations has seen an increase of eco-friendly - and durable - products you can safely use to repair/restore your existing wooden floor.

From parquet adhesive to glue back loose blocks (or individual fingers of a mosaic floor), to easy to apply and quick drying floor oils. Most after care products are 100% VOC free and will keep your repaired/restored floor in healthy shape for a very long time. Then of course, there is our famous eco-friendly cast-iron buffing block to assist you both with the application of the new finish as well as with the half-yearly maintenance.

(If you are otherwise engaged during the long Summer, Wood You Like's professional team is at hand to repair/restore or maintain your wooden floor.)

Opt for FSC/PEFC when replacing/renewing

FSC and PEFC certified products come from sustainable sources, where not just trees are planted back but whole local communities receive assistance and support to build a sustainable and long lasting income from the forests (as in: a forest that pays, stays). These small, medium and large projects are increasingly found/started all over the world, not just in tropical areas.

SolidFloor Alaska Vintage Oak wood-engineered floorboards, handscrapedIf your heart is set on installing a new wooden floor to replace carpet - or the old floor is beyond restoration - you have an increasing choice in FSC and PEFC certified wooden flooring products.

Keeping in style with the character (time-period) of your home: FSC Vintage wood-engineered boards (SolidFloor - TM)

Hand-scraped or distressed Oak Rustic in natural colours. The floor in this image (Alaska: hand-scraped, smoked & oiled white) complements the original style of the home in such a way it looks as if the floor has been there since the house was built.

(You can find all FSC Vintage products here)

The advantage of installing new FSC wood-engineered floorboards over existing drafty floorboards: it will stop the draft (without blocking the needed ventilation underneath) and reduce your heating bills.

(If you are otherwise engaged during the long Summer, Wood You Like's professional team is at hand to install your new wooden floor.)


Porch: solid or wood-engineered?

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

Last stage of flooring project

Wood You Like's famous buffing block - eco-friendly and effectiveNow that I have finished restoring all five of my parquet floors following your sound advice and fitted new oak skirting, architraves and doors(I have many photographs which I am going to send to you) AND after using your polish and buffer (bumper in RAF parlance) the floors are really looking terrific.

Last stage is to fit an oak floor in my small entry porch which measures only 2.5m x 1.5m (less than 4sqm) and is currently tiled and quite level.For this I would like some advice.Is it better to fit a solid oak timber floor or an engineered wood one?I would like to fit something like 18mm thick by 90-105mm wide by varied lengths.

Thank you for previous great service and courteous understanding,

Sincerely Yours, David H - Sussex

Wood-engineered for areas with rapid changes in temperature

Hi David

Looking forward to you pictures!

In a porch you normally have rapid changes in temperature (no heating I guess) and even lots of moist when people are coming in from the rain.
Wood-Engineered would be better there, is more stable than solid. Although narrow Solid Oak could be an option too, but with the widths you suggest you do need to fully bond the floor to a suitable underfloor. You can't really easily glue over tiles, so they have to come up or have plywood screwed down first.

Is that something that can be done in your situation?

Thanks for reply to my query. If I just fit an engineered floor can it be just laid straight over the tiles(glued) or do I need to put down the plywood as well? Seems like engineered flooring is good quality these days.

The oak strips you sent to me arrived safely in the long tube-no damage and are just the thing I needed.

Thanks

Floating installation - simplest solutions

Hi David

When you use Wood-Engineered boards you can install them floating on a combi-underlayment (contains a DPM to prevent any sweat and condensation of the tiles reaching the wood) by glueing the T&G's correctly.

Glad to hear the strips arrived safely.

Kind Regards and have a very nice weekend
Karin H - Wood You Like Ltd

(This very week, David kindly sent the following feedback:

As usual your answer was succint, well ventilated and appropriate. In addition the speed of your replies were quite brilliant. Your service overall can hardly be bettered in my opinion. However, the fact that you are always trying to improve is reflective of your business and great credit to your whole team and the philosphy that drives you. You deserve to succeed (as you appear to be) in your chosen field.
 
David H

Wood-engineered highly recommended for

SolidFloor TM Vintage Range 15/4 wood-engineered Oak floor highly suitable for kitchens

all areas where there is more chance of moist and/or high humidity, for instance in:

  • kitchens
  • kitchen/dining area (open plan living)
  • bathrooms
  • hallways
  • porches

Floor show in above image is SolidFloor (TM) Vintage - Jura - Oak rustic - scrubed knots - edge distressed - hand scraped - smoked - natural oiled - 15/4 range (15mm total thickness with 4mm Solid Oak top layer)

More hand-on tips for DIY installation

160 pages Wooden Floor Installation Manual by Wood You Like

Thinking of installing your own wooden floor? The "Wooden Floor Installation Manual", written and published by Wood You Like Ltd, contains 160 pages of hands-on practical tips.


High praise for Saicos by DIY Grandma

DIY-ers come in all shapes and forms and ages.

Mrs M. Lewis, a grandmother from Swansea, decided in June it was high time to restore the original parquet floor in her house. Gaining knowledge about the steps to take from the "7 Easy Steps to Restore/Repair your Parquet Floor" she became confident she could do all the works herself..... Read more

 
 

Very frequently asked: removing bitumen from blocks

One of the questions we frequently find in our inbox or hear on the phone:

How do I remove bitumen from my wood blocks?

Wood blocks covered in bitumen

In the olden days, bitumen was considered The product to stick down wood blocks or original mosaic floors (and plastic tiles). Simple, cheap and doing its job, until....

The bitumen gets brittle and looses its grip between block/fingers and the underfloor. Leaving you with more and more loosening blocks (and we've heard plenty of stories of little fingers disappearing in vacuum cleaners). Plus more often than not, reclaimed blocks are offered with bitumen still attached.

If it wasn't for the fact that:

  • bitumen is no longer allowed to be used in the house
  • modern adhesives do not bond with bitumen residue

the problems wouldn't be so difficult to solve.

Solutions

remove bitumen from wood blocks in a nature friendly way

If the blocks are thick enough, the best way to remove the bitumen residue, specially if it is a thick and.or irregular layer, is to use a thickness planer. You might lose the tongue and groove, but with the modern adhesives this is not such a problem. Once firmly stuck down in their bed of adhesive (applied with a notched trowel to a clean floor) and given 24 hours to bond the blocks will go nowhere and are ready for sanding.

Or, using the features of bitumen to your advantage, you place the blocks in a freezer. The cold will make the bitumen even more brittle and easier to chisel off. A stain of bitumen left on the blocks after the chiseling is not a problem, the only thing to be aware of is that it then might take 48 hours for the blocks to fully bond when stuck down with adhesive again.

What not to do:

Trying to sand the bitumen off. This will cause friction = heath = melting bitumen = clogging up your sanding paper and even spreading bitumen back onto just cleaned areas of your block.

Remember two things:

  1. the more bitumen you can remove, the better it is in the long run
  2. although it can be quite a bit of work, you are restoring a wonderful and long lasting floor of which you will be proud of once the hard work has been done, plus are re-using a hardwearing floor covering and saving the planet's resources.

Call it a work of love, love for natural products and nature, all in one.

If you need information and "7 easy steps" to repair/restore your own original parquet floor, read our special and much read/used guide.
Beneath the steps you will also find highly recommended products to use, but none of the chemicals some recommend to remove bitumen the "quickest" way. Chemicals are not really quicker and definitely not "user or nature" friendly!