4a Restoring parquet floors

The Importance of the wet finger test!

Bare wood - no matter if it is a new floor or a sanded down one - looks quite pale, dull even. Applying a finish - any natural finish - will bring out the wood-species natural colouring, which can be rather different than its pale beginnings.

Surprise, surprise!

This week we received a phone call from a lady, who had bought and installed reclaimed Oak wood-blocks. After sanding the floor down she'd used a tester pot of Osmo HardWaxOil and was very surprised to see her Oak floor turn pinky.

She had been expecting a warm honey colour, the typical characteristic colouring of Oak:

Oak after it receive a natural finish 

But instead her "Oak" floor showed a pink tone:

Red Oak, after it received a natural finish, looks pinkier than Oak Beech - unsteamed - with a natural finish will not look like Oak

(example 1: American Red Oak, Example 2: Beech - which belongs to the same family as Oak

When I asked her to do the "wet finger" test on a bare area of the wood floor the result was again a pinky tone, and not as she had hoped the typical Oak colour.

The result of this simple and oh so effective test told me the wood-species was something different than Oak. But it had been sold to here as Oak, she told me. Well, American Red Oak is Oak, although I'm not even sure the seller had known the difference him or her self, because as said in the beginning of this article: bare wood of different species can look pretty much alike, especially if the grain structure is rather the same.

The lady in question felt rather disappointed ("bummer" was the word she used after discovering the result of the wet finger test) and didn't really know what to do next, perhaps she will stain it an Oak colour now.

The importance of the wet finger test!

The importance of the wet finger test on bare wood

Especially when you are in the market for reclaimed wood blocks, no matter if it is on offer on Ebay, in a local shop or reclamation yard, you'll have to be sure the wood-species are as claimed.

Two simple tools you have to have with you: one finger and a piece of sanding paper.

  • For bare wood blocks: simply wet your finger and place this on the block(s). This will show you its natural colour after you applied a natural finish and could prevent disappointment afterwards. (After you bought the lot, cleaned of the bitumen, glued down your pattern, sanded the floor smooth and level and applied your natural finish - only to make the same discovery as the lady who'd called us in a panic!)
  • For "finished" blocks: use the sand paper to clear off the finish of part of the block, then do the wet finger test. The finish could be a stain, disguising the original species.

Also use the sand paper if an apparent bare block doesn't change in colour after the wet finger test - a sure sign there is a finish on the block.

(On Ebay it could be a bit difficult doing these tests, best is always to have a sample send out to you).

Know the result before you start

 As you can see, it is really simple to know the result of any natural finish applied to bare (sanded) wood long before you start all the hard work: use the "wet finger" test and never be surprised again!


Restoration - with a knitting problem

If you thought our restoration team's skills were limited to sanding and applying a new finish to your existing original parquet floor, we've got news for you. They can knit too!

Abrupt end to pattern

Restoration project by Wood You Like, knitting new blocks in

When the layout in one room was changed to increase the space our client asked if we would be able to fill the "new space" with original blocks - lifted from another room in the house - in such a way the pattern would continue to and around the wall. The left picture shows where the original border was - with the last row of cut herringbone blocks. Both border and last row were carefully removed from the floor - you can still see their "print" on the old bitumen layer - and the "reclaimed" blocks were waiting to be "knitted" in.

Only to discover those blocks, although from the same house, were slightly wider and longer than the blocks in this room! A carpenter - already on site with his work bench - was set to work to cut 3 sq meters of blocks to their new size.

Snug area

Pitch Pine reclaimed from same house in herringbone pattern

The original plan had been to continue the herringbone pattern around the wall, where a "snug" had been created. It was then decided, due to limited blocks available, to add a border between the "snug" and the main area, instead of cutting all the "reclaimed" blocks to new size.

Pleasing result

Re-instated herringbone floor by Wood You Like

The end result - before applying the finish layer. One continues herringbone pattern in the main area, with help from very precise cutting by the carpenter and the knitting skills of our team. And behind it, the "snug" with its very own pattern - and if you can tell they are a different size blocks you must have got laser-eyes ;-)

The pitch-pine floor was finished - on time for the planned moving home date - with an colour oil.
(And no, our team won't be taking orders for knitting shawls or sweaters next.)


Restore hidden treasures - without sanding

More and more we receive phone calls, emails and visitors in our showroom who recently discovered their new home has a hidden treasure: an original mosaic or parquet floor (herringbone or basket weave) hiding underneath the inherited carpets!

Don't sand if you can avoid it

Often it is not needed to sand your parquet floor when restoring it

Since our company is well know for its parquet restoration service, the first thing on everyone's mind is: how much dust and hassle would sanding down our rediscovered parquet floor bring with it?

However, in most cases sanding is not even needed to bring this hidden treasure back to its original lustre! With careful removing of old carpet grippers, thorough cleaning (with special products - now eco-friendly!) to remove old dirt, grime and even old wax layers, most mosaic and parquet floors will sparkle again - and keep their authentic appearance (something to could be lost when sanding equipment is let loose on it).

Giving your parquet floor a treatment as described above will never go amiss, it's well worth the effort (byu yourself or professional parquet restorer if you don't have the time), won't costs the earth and the moon. The result is 9 times out of 10 a sparkling, again valuable beautiful solid wooden floor - adding not just grandeur but value to your home.

If you want to find out if your original parquet floor can be brought back to its grandeur without sanding, request our free guide here

Magic Cleanser - VOC free

Saicos Magic Cleanser for parquet floors: restore without sanding

One of the eco friendly products to help you with the "restoration" of your mosaic or parquet floor is Magic Cleanser from Saicos. No bleach, no biocides and complying with the latest VOC regulations (and it smells lovely).
Dilute the Cleanser 1 :10 in water, apply it with a damp cloth and let the solution do its work on stains, dirt, grime and old finish layers for about 10 - 30 minutes before you wipe it off twice with clean water (with a damp cloth, no buckets!). Wipe it dry with a new clean cloth and apply a maintenance product (Saicoc EcoLine Wax-Care Spray for instance, also VOC free) once the floor has fully dried.
Really bare floors, from which the original oil, wax or varnish layer has truly been worn off, can be finished with one or two coats of Saicos Premium HardWaxOil after the Magic Cleanser treatment. All of this is explained in our new free guide

You'll be amazed of the result! And you wouldn't be the first one to discover how easy and hassle free it often is to bring back the sparkle in your original parquet floor.

(In the event sanding is needed, don't use a drum sander - as pictured above. These machines, although available from many standard hire-centers, are not up for the task. Too light and the metal rod to hold the coarse sanding paper around the drum more often than not leave shatter marks all over your valuable parquet floor. Hire a professional with professional sanding equipment, such as a heavy belt sander, edge sander and finishing sander.
And no, it is not very dusty or a big hassle when you do have to have your parquet floor sanded.)


When patience is a virtue: extreme DIY project

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

Last year, around Christmas, we received the following email:

Hello, We are going to extend our floor area of basket woven wooden tiles, size 2x11.5 cm, 5 strips make one square. We can only find second hand matching tiles. After cleaning the the edges of the strips, can they be glued good side down, making a patterned square, onto a base, which then can be glued to the cement floor. The top will then be sanded smooth to remove bitumen/cement. The cleaned floor will then be fine sanded and sealed.

What kind of adhesive can be used to preglue the tiles on some kind of a base. What kind of base can we use for this? Surely each strip does not have to be glued individually onto the cement floor? One should be able to make a larger square first, for easier laying. Thank you so much for giving us advice on this. Looking forward to hear from you. Kind regards and Merry Christmas.

Hi Jack

Thank you for your question. These mosaic floors normally come in tile-form with either "mesh (string) backing" or felt-backing.

Would the mahogany we have available not suit you?

Otherwise, cleaned "fingers" can be glued individually to the concrete (and you'll be surprised how quickly you can do this once you get the "rhythm"). Often works better than trying for form a blocks of fingers first and installing the 5 fingers together.
If fingers and floor is clean of bitumen, F.Ball B91 is the adhesive to use

Hope this helps and Merry Christmas to you too.

Hi, So impressed to have got an answer so instantaneously!!
We most likely will try to lay the "fingers' one by one, as you suggested. What will our old knees look like? We will let you know about the end result!
We are in South Africa, close to Cape Town, so we won't buy anything from you! Thought we let you know.
Kind regards,
Jack

Hi Jack

Thanks for the reply. Knees will no doubt hold firm
Looking forward to an update (with images if possible!)

And that is exactly what our South African friends did last month: pictures which tell their own story of this extreme DIY project": 5 finger mosaic puzzle

We would like to give you an update of our flooring.
We had an extension done to our house and this needed a matching continuation of our parquet flooring.
The kind of parquet we needed was the ' basket weave ' pattern. We got hold of second hand pieces ( 5"x1"), dirty looking ones in bags. We bought them with a rather reluctant feeling.
The wood is Kiaat/wild teak/Pterocarpus angolensis.
They were all cleaned, fumigated and sorted into different colours and placed into bundles of 5 'fingers' with an elastic band put around them.
The concrete floor got a 2 layer water proofing laid by a roller brush.
We were fortunate to get hold of a man, Henry, who knew the trick of laying/glueing the parquet.
The glue used was Pekay's wood block adhesive.
The tiles were laid with the old glued side up, showing the cement still attached to the tiles.
The floor was sanded.
The floor was treated with 3 coats of Bona Novia.
Have a look at the photos we have attached. We are happy with the matching floors. The end result looks very good.

gigantic task of cleaning 5 finger mosaic

All of them went over the "sand bench"

bundling 5 fingers by fingers to install the mosaic floor

Then they were "bundled" per 5 fingers, ready to be installed.

installing bundles fo 5 finger tropical mosaic

Bundle by bundle - with the "concrete side up" the mosaic is installed

Using wood-filler to fill gaps in tropical parquet floor

After the floor is sanded to remove the concrete/screed and level the pattern, the manual filling of the gaps starts.

Extended mosaic floor creates one great result

The end result and a very great result it is


Care/Repair kits - everything you need in one box

When you are (re)searching products to care or repair your wooden floor, you could be forgiven for becoming overwhelmed by all the products available. Which one, or combination of products, would do everything you want it to do, AND is suitable for it?

Do I need an oil when my floor has been oiled before to bring back its lustre, do I need a cleaning product first and what wax or polish can I apply and how often?
What products do I need when I only have to add a few blocks to our existing parquet floor, and want to sand and re-finish the whole area of flooring?

The list of questions can go on and on.

Read more...


The ease of applying Saicos Premium HardWaxOil

Now more and more original floors are being rediscovered and restored, the question of what should be applied as new finish to really bring out the authentic character of the floor is popping up (in?) regularly in our inbox.

Natural oil for natural look

Since long we are "oil" people, the natural finish which brings out the true character of your wooden floor., is easy to maintain and if needed easily repaired locally without having to resand your whole floor all over again.

Plus, as the short video below will show you, is very easy to apply:

Read more.....


Quick fix before restoration can start

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

Hello,
We have a 1950's-1970's parquet flooring in the kitchen and dining room which is in need of some tlc, however as we plan to lift it and re-lay it at a later date when we knock the two rooms into one, for now we would like a 'quick fix' for the kitchen area which is damaged.
The floor has a small area which has been covered by furniture which appears to be bare wood, small areas of grey wood where the current surface (wax, polish or oil, i'm not sure) has worn and small areas of water damage.
We do not want to sand it at this stage and were planning on using white spirit and wire wool to remove the existing surface coating. What would be the best product to then apply to match the original surface coating?
Many thanks in advance.
Kay

Hi Kay

Nice floor! And worth restoring - when the time is there.
For the time being you could treat the floor with a suitable maintenance product to keep the wood protected against more water spillages. Wire-wool etc will not completely shift the original finish so there might be colour differences until you can sand everything back to its bare wood again.

Leha-powewax

The best product to use for now - which does mean "hand and knees" work - would be the Power Wax (Solid wax). In the olden days this was used to treat bare wood (a coat of 4 - 5 applied), but in this circumstances you could apply 1 coat over areas still "covered" by the existing oil/wax finish and 2 coats (at least) on the bare areas.

Available in small tins or in 2.5 kg tins.

Hope this helps

Kind Regards
Karin Hermans - Wood You Like Ltd

Many thanks Karin.

Kay


Rather tired and in need of revitalisation parquet floor

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

Old wear pattern is now a "feature"of the floor

Question:

Hello, we have a parquet floor in our hallway that was sanded and varnished 10/12 years ago and is now rather tired and in need of revitalisation, especially since we have rearranged the furniture and the old wear pattern is now a "feature"of the floor.

Obviously we could just sand it down and do the same again, but I would like to know whether we could apply a wax finish instead once we have stripped it back - it is a 1950s house and I think the flooring is oak; I am planning on doing the job myself, but would appreciate some expert guidance as to whether a change of finish will produce good (or hopefully even better!) results.

Many thanks, Sandra A

The 7 Steps

Hi Sandra

Thank you for your question. We are "oil" people ourselves and know from experience an HardWaxOil finish will bring out your floor's character much better than varnish, plus will be easier to keep beautiful without too much trouble.
Have you read through our 7 Easy Steps?:

What materials?

Yes, I have read the Easy Steps - I think I would probably join in on step 5 as our floor is perfectly sound, just worn.
I really wanted to check that the varnish can be sufficiently removed by sanding and that it hasn't penetrated deep down in the wood in a way that would stop oil soaking in should we decide to change the finish. It as a relatively small area - about 14 sq m - what tools and materials (apart from hiring sanders) would you recommend we use?

Recommended products

Saicos HardWaxOil and Wax-care with simple polish/hwo applicator

Varnish can normally be sanded off rather easy - you could even decide to start with grit 80 instead of 40. Try this out, it will save you time and sanding belts.

Saicos HardWaxOil is a very good product, and comes in 4 sheens (Satin-mat the most popular one still)

To apply the two coats of HWO you can use our polish applicator

If there are obvious gaps between individual blocks you could decide to fill these, using a wood-filler:

Hope this helps?


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!


Mosaic - definitely back in fashion

Since the introduction of the small packs of 5-finger mosaic we have been inundated with small (and large) orders for this Solid Wood product.

There's nothing more exciting it seems than to rip out old inherited carpets in the home you just bought and discover you are the proud owner of a real wooden floor.

looking for missing parts of your mosaic floor? And then the search is on when parts are missing, due to whatever building works done previously (central heating installed, or fireplaces changed). Hallway cupboards are know to have mosaic floors too and there often the missing original blocks of fingers can be "reclaimed" from.

If you are out of luck there, measure one block of 5-fingers to get the size you're after to make your search and enquiries easier. The size of most readily available 5-finger mosaic species in our secure webshop is: 12cm by 12cm, 7.5mm thick.

Teak

5 finger teak mosaic available in small packs at Wood You Like Ltd In bungalows built (or renovated) in the 1950's upto the 80's tropical species such as Mahogany, Teak and Merbau were most common, preferred - then - even over Oak.

The mosaic comes on mesh-backing (tiles), simple to install tile after tile with parquet adhesive (F.Ball B91 for instance) on dry and level concrete or onto level plywood. Finishing the floor - after a light sanding - with a natural oil will bring out the species character best in our opinion. For tropical species we recommend the "tropical combo": one coat of extra thin oil, followed by one coat of HardWaxOil (in the sheen of your liking). Oak should be treated with two coats of HardWaxOil to give the best result.

New sample boards

Ton of Wood You Like applying an oil finish to teak and mahogany mosaic boards

Here's Ton, in his workshop at home, applying Saicos Wood Wax Clear extra thin to the brand new 5-finger Mosaic sample boards. In front you can see the Mahogany and the Teak board is just receiving the first coat.
If you look closely you can see two other boards hiding underneath: Merbau and Oak - which will be treated to their own finish once the top boards have received the final coat and are dry enough to be turned round. All 4 (2 double-sided) boards will be on grand display in our showroom soon.

Ton and Barry - our professional installation and restoration team - have the world of experience installing all types of parquet floors, from mosaic to design patterns. If you live in Kent, give us a call on 01233 713725 to discuss the option of supply and install in one complete package.

Diagonal (Oak)

You can install 5 finger Oak mosaic diagonal And who said you have to install straight? Add some spectacular (but simple to achieve) difference to your room by going diagonal.

Normally this would create much more saw-waste, but because the mosaic consists of a whole load of little fingers which can be individually used, this is not the case here.

In a way, going diagonal could be your solution when you have extended a room which has an original mosaic in an old size. Make the mosaic floor in the new extension a feature by installing it diagonal, it will look the same "pattern" even though the blocks of fingers have a different - modern - size. And none would be the wiser, the human eye is not really equipped to detect small size differences when it has to compare different "shapes".

Diagonal (Merbau)

Mosaic Merbau available from sustainable sources at Wood You Like Ltd Kent

(Unfortunately we couldn't find representative images of 5-finger mosaic floors, therefore - if you'd noticed - we used images from our Design Parquet manufacturer's 7-finger mosaic examples. 16cm by 16cm, 8mm thick if you are interested, packed per 4.1 sq m and in many wood-species available.)

Different sizes

Not all old (or new) mosaic floors have to contain 5 or 7 very small fingers. Another rather common size and pattern is the 3 fatter finger mosaic: 46 x 138mm per block (and 3 times 46 makes 138, a square of three fingers). Not a standard size, but with help from our Design Parquet Manufacturer we have already been able to supply new blocks of this specific size in Iroko and Oak Prime.

So if you discover an odd size fat finger mosaic floor, don't despair, just give us a call on 01233 713725 (maximum thickness of these blocks is 10mm though).

Creative

Create your own large mosaic pattern with standard herringbone blocks, from Wood You Like

And who's to stop you from using regular size blocks to form a large mosaic pattern? If you look at the size of one individual block you can determine how many fingers will make a square - in most cases that is.
Many of the standard size of the so-called herringbone blocks are based on this: 10 x 71 x 284mm (4 x 71) or 10 x 70 x 280mm (4 x 70), 10 x 60 x 300mm (5 x 60) 10 x 71 x 355mm (5 x 71) or 10 x 70 x 350mm (5 x 70) - depending on the manufacturer's specifications of the blocks.

On their side

Hogh kant mosaic or vertical parquet in FSC certified wood-species

Vertical mosaic - also known as hogh-kant mosaic - is a different method of putting the fingers on the mesh backing: on their side. You have plenty of FSC certified wood-species to choose from in this very hardwearing and filled with colours product.
Vertical Mosaic (22 x 8mm) or Commercial Parquet (14 x 22mm)

Mini herringbone

Mini Herringbone, only at Wood You Like Ltd Kent Another way to group little mosaic fingers is in a mini-herringbone pattern. This product comes in single, double and even triple pattern. Again, on mesh backing for simple installation on a dry, level concrete floor (or plywood subfloor). Call us for up to date prices and lead-times.

Plenty of choices in the Retro Mosaic Wooden World!


5-finger mosaic small packs

Oak 5-finger mosaic rediscovered in lounger Frequently used in bungalows - and of course other types of homes - during the 50's upto the early 90's, the 5-finger solid wood mosaic floors are a common sight.

And nowadays very often a common and pleasant discovery by the new owners of the house when ripping out the wall-to-wall carpet or vinyl that had been installed over it - perhaps even many years ago.

Restoring or adding mosaic floors

A design parquet floor, and a mosaic floor is definitely a design parquet floor, is a valuable floor covering to have/to discover you have. Sturdy, beautiful and most often than not, adding value to your home. Plus of course, very easy to keep clean.

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Beautiful Iroko, beautiful restored

There are wood species and there are wood species. The best known and most common/popular in wooden flooring is still Oak Rustic, showing its full natural character. Often stained - unfortunately, why would you disguise nature's own beautiful colours?

Nature's own variety

Original Iroco/Kambala herringbone rediscovered after restoration Recently we were asked to sand down and renovate an original parquet floor near Kent's coast. The home owners wanted the existing dark stain removed from their herringbone floor and bring back it's original Oak - so they thought - character.

When we arrived on site it was immediately clear that hiding beneath the dark and knackered varnish layer lay not an Oak floor, but one of nature's most versatile in colour spectrum tropical wood species: Iroko (Kambala).

Iroko (Milicia excelsa) grows in tropical Africa as 50 - 60 meter high straight and often branchless tree, with an 1upto 2.5 meter wide trunk.
The wood sources from this tree various from butter yellow to golden brown, from soft pearly green to brownish red. The grain is often straight, but can have a slight wave. It contains a substance that dissolves in organic solvents which increases the drying time of varnishes/lacquers finishes.

Barry, Wood You Like's head floor restorer, with the professional buffing machine spreading out the thin oil

On this particular floor - as we prefer to do on all tropical wood-species - we applied one coat of Saicos Colour Wax Clear extra thin for long term protection. The oil is applied very thinly and then spread out evenly with none-fluffy cloth underneath the professional buffing machine.
After this has dried, the floor is finished with solid wax, an old-fashion but very, if not the most, effective method to create the wear and tear layer.

Ton, co-owner of Wood You Like - buffs in the solid wax to create the natural wear and tear layer on the Iroko parquet floor
The professional buffing machine above works in the solid wax, leaving a satin to shiny and non-slippery finish, bringing the wood's own character fully to life!
One Iroko/Kambala original herringbone parquet floor brought back to its original glamour
The end result: gone is the darkening and scruffy lacquer finish. The restoration works fully exposed this Iroko/Kambala natural full and versatile character.

Wondering what your own original parquet floor is hiding beneath its old finish? Call the professionals and who knows? Your floor might be an even bigger treasure than you think.


Something different than just Oak

Late last year we were asked to sand down and restore an original Parquet floor, herringbone pattern. Our clients was not really sure what wood-species his floor was, it looked a bit dark: stained wood or a dark species?

Sanding reveals all

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  The minute our "work-horse" started its work, removing the old finish layers, it became clear not one but various wood-species were involved here! Oak, Walnut, some Iroko and Maple and perhaps some other ones (some wood-species are difficult to determine, knowing there are around 3000 different species all in all!)
Restoration of original parquet floors by Wood You Like Ltd

Sanding the wood bare and eliminating all height differences with our workhorse "Viper" re-exposed this truly unique parquet floor for the first time in many, many years.

Last fine sanding to prepare an original parqeut floor for its new oil finish

A final sanding with the "Multidisk" prepared the floor for the new finish: natural oil (from Saicos) this time to let every wood-species involved show off its own character.

restoration of original Parquet floor almost completely  finished (Wood You Like Ltd)

As final treatment the floor received a thorough buffing.

Various wood-species re-appeared in restore original Parquet floor in Kent

Our client was amazed his floor had turned from dark and spotty into this bright, "glowing" and very, very colourful original parquet floor.

If you have an original parquet floor in your home (inherited from the previous owners) the old dark and spotty finish on it might just cover a marvelous treasure too! Call the professionals to do a small test with a professional sander and who knows, you could well have a valuable floor in your own home without realising it at the moment.


High End Properties in Demand

The sale of high-end properties continues to be strong, especially around the London area, according to one expert.

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Nick Pejacsevich, assistant manager at independent estate agent Douglas & Gordon, explained that the company is continuing to register a large number of people who are looking to purchase a property.

He said that many of these people are very specific about the homes they want to buy, which is beginning to create a two-tier market.

"If there is a property that ticks all the boxes and comes on the market, then it will sell very quickly for good money, but other properties that may have some issues are struggling," Mr Pejacsevich added.

A recent study from Investec found that on average it takes between one and two months to sell a home worth £1 million or more.

Homeowners who are considering selling their property could try adding quality wooden flooring (specially design parquet) to the most important rooms - which has proven to increase the chance their home will sell quicker and for more.
If your property already has an original wooden floor - hidden underneath carpets - it's always worth calling in the professionals to have it restored to its former glory!


Don't despair, we'll bring back its character

When you (re)discover an existing parquet floor in your home, the first thing that comes to mind is normally: o oh, that's never going to look right again!

Old and tired

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Parquet floor rediscovered underneath carpet: partly lacquered, loads of stains, residue of carpet underlayment and height differences.

Old lacquer

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This part of the floor still had the old lacquer layer on it, but damaged and looking very, very tired

The work horse

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In these, and many other cases, we just bring in our work horse: the Viper continuous beltsander. It makes light work of existing lacquer layers, stains and height differences, hardly producing any dust.

Smooth

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After various sanding rounds (each with a higher grit) your floor will start to look bright and right again. It's sanded down to its bare wood again, ready for the finish of your choice - but to bring out the wood's character best we always recommend to finish with oil (HardWaxOil natural or the old-fashion way: thin oil as deep sealer, followed by wax or wax-polish for your wear and tear layer).

Fresh

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What a complete difference a few days make!

Despairing yourself? Don't!

Just give us a call on 01233 - 713725 and we'll bring back its character for you (bringing our head floor restorer Barry and our work horse to the rescue).


Who else wants to change to colour of their floor - without sanding?

Although nature is a wonderful being, versatile in many aspects, sometimes you just want to chance things a little bit with hardly any effort. The Oak floor you once selected has now matured from its paler beginning to the characteristic honey colour; the pre-finished white-oil Oak boards are beginnings to "grey" or the stain applied to have it look more like a "tropical" wooden floor is fading.

Normally you could only change the colour of your wooden floor by sanding off the existing oil finish and to apply the colour of your new preference.

6a00d8341c660f53ef0133f4e8ef01970b-pi Not any longer with Saicos Coloured Wax Care!

The Wax Care is indeed a maintenance product, applied once every 4 - 5 months to keep your floor healthy and better protected against dirt and drips, but the three colour versions will add colour to your wear and tear layer.

You can choose white, brown and ebony. Simply spread the liquid wax over your floor, rub it in gently without any effort and see the appearance change within minutes!

We do recommend you try it out first in a non-obtrusive area to make sure you like the new colour before you treat your whole floor with it. And of course, you will have to apply the colour wax as maintenance product as long as you want to keep this colour on your floor (but only once every 4 - 5 months as you would normally do with the natural wax-polish/care).

If your floor is finished with a varnish/lacquer then we're afraid you're out of luck and still have to sand off this finish before you can apply a new colour (coloured HardWaxOil for instance).

Changing the colour of your oiled wooden floor has never been so easy. Saicos coloured Wax-Care takes care of this.


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" »


Introducing Wood You Like's Floor Restore Service

Besides supplying and installing new wooden floors, with design parquet as a specialty, we can also offer you a professional design parquet floor restore service - in the Kent area (crossing the border to East Sussex and Surrey will always be considered).

Barry, our Head Floor Restore Service, will bring back your original parquet floor to its authentic lustre and grandeur. Herringbone, mosaic, basket-weave or any other pattern can be revived to sparkle again. With the professional heavy sanding equipment we use the old finish layer, most of the dents and scratches will be removed to lay bare the original wood, while keeping its authenticity as original floor.

Barry who loves wood flooring, especially bringing back original parquet floors to their authentic grandeur

Together with you Barry will discuss the best new finish layer to apply, tropical wood-species need a different product than original Oak floors, for the best result.

Oak mosaic floor lovely restored - finished with natural HardWaxOil

Determining what wood-species your original floor has can be difficult - depending on how many different types of finishes and even various stains your floor has had over the times - but Teak, Rhodesian Teak, Merbau and Oak were mostly used for herringbone, basket weave and mosaic floors in the 50's to 80's.
Through our contacts with the Dutch bespoke parquet manufacturer we can often supply you with missing "blocks" in the original wood-species.

Call us on 01233 - 713725 now to discuss your requirements and options.

Brand new Oak Rustic "old-fashion" herringbone, complimenting the design style of your home

And if you are considering to add the same pattern of your original and rediscovered parquet floor in other rooms where better to go than to Wood You Like, where both the restoring of the original and installing of the new parquet floor are the specialty of the house. Often both types of jobs can be done in one go, saving you time, hassle and costs.

Visit our showroom to discuss your plans and projects and we will be able to give you an indication of total costs straight away, where after you can decide to have a site survey done (Kent area only, sorry)


Floor restore service

No matter if you are looking for quality flooring to install yourself - with help from our Wooden Floor Installation Manual - or have it done professional, we can cater for your needs.

Wood You Like's installation service covers the whole of Kent and crosses over to Sussex and Surrey if so required.
And the quality wooden floors from our ranges can be delivered anywhere in the UK (mainland).

But there is more:

Treasure Hunt

Wooden floors have been around for a long time, from pine floorboards to herringbone and mosaic floors frequently used in homes build around the 5-'s to the 70's. Most often these parquet floors are still really valuable. (Old Pine floorboards are a different story we're afraid.)

When you move to a new home you might not even know there is a treasure hiding beneath the floor-covering you inherited from the previous owner. After the dust of your move has settled why not go on a "treasure hunt" especially when you already decided to change the existing floor covering (the carpet could not be to your liking, or the vinyl is more torn that expected). Lift a small corner of the carpet/vynil and see if there is an original parquet floor hiding, if not then that's a pity and you could decide to have a brand new wooden floor installed instead.

But very often the previous owner(s) had carpets installed over neglected mosaic or herrignbone/basket weave floors when wall-to-wall carpets came into "fashion" and the then laboursome maintenance of wooden floors became a thing of the past. But since maintenance with all the new modern finishes available - even for existing floors - is no longer laboursome it would be a shame to keep your rediscovered treasure hidden and/or uncherished.

Keeping in style - keeping the value

Parquet floors, be it herringbone or mosaic - are charateristic to older properties. Keeping the style of your interior, including the floor covering, consitent with the period the house was built in will be in yours and the home's best interest. By keeping the style of the house, the house will keep its value - or at least more than when the interior is turned (too) modern and period features are abandoned or (gasp) ripped out and sent packing in a skip.

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Decision time: restore or cover up, diy or professional?

Restoring an original parquet floor is always worth a try. You can find plenty of help online, for instance with Wood You Like's own "7 Easy Steps to Repair/Restore your Original Parquet Floor". Sometimes all your rediscover treasure needs is a good cleaning, for which you can turn to our other guide: "3 Easy Steps to Clean and Maintain your Original Parquet Floor".

Modern eco-friendly products and modern tools can help you with the "elbow grease", and you should always consider it a "labout of love". Once you brought back your floor's original grandeur you'll be proud of yourself, and the envy of the neighbourhood!
For a rough estimate of costs for a DIY job: between £ 5.00 - £ 15.00 ex VAT for materials, plus hire costs for professional sanding equipment: between £ 50.00 - £ 95.00 per day (take care you hire the correct sander, drum sanders are not really recommended for parquet floors; always look for a contiues belt sander of at least 65 kg or a Triosander).

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Professionals floor restorers have plenty of experience with the heavy equipment, know when and where which tool needs to be used and which finish would suit the wood-species and your circumstances best.

Again a rough estimation of costs: depending on the finish materials required a professional restore service will be between £ 35.00 - £ 55.00 ex VAT per sq m including the sanding equipment and finish materials and will be done quicker, plus of course guaranteed (certain conditions and distance can effect the exact price).

Wood You Like's Floor Restore Service

Besides supplying and installing new wooden floors, with design parquet as a speciality, we can also offer you a professional design parquet floor restore service - in the Kent area (crossing the border to East Sussex and Surrey will always be considered).

6a00d8341c660f53ef0133f0edad66970b-pi

Determening what wood-species your original floor has can be difficult - depending on how many different types of finishes and even various stains your floor has had over the times - but Teak, Rhodesian Teak, Merbau and Oak were mostly used for herringbone, basket weave and mosaic floors in the 50's to 70's. Through our contacts with the Dutch bespoke parquet manufacturer we can often supply you with missing "blocks" in the original wood-species.
Call us on 01233 - 713725 now to discuss your requirements and options.

6a00d8341c660f53ef01348417dfe8970c-pi

And if you are considering to add the same pattern of your original and rediscovered parquet floor in other rooms where better to go than to Wood You Like, where both the restoring of the original and installing of the new parquet floor are the speciality of the house. Often both types of jobs can be done in one go, saving you time, hassle and costs.
Visit our showroom to discuss your plans and projects and we will be able to give you an indication of total costs straight away, where after you can decide to have a site survey done.