English Timbers

Solid Hardwood flooring

The Technical Guide Home Page

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Since our first written guide back in the early 1990's, new products, equipment, methods of laying and changes in building techniques have been developed.

The timber flooring market has grown dramatically and with it, new ideas, new floor layers and self builders with a need to understand and identify the technical aspects and potential problems in the field of wood flooring.

Much of the information in this internet guide is the result of new research and experience. A typical example would be the new approach to acclimatisation.  

Because the wesite is easy to revise, this guide will always contain the most recent information.  It should be taken as the best guide to technical information for our solid hardwood floors.

In addition to this internet Comprehensive Guide and the Technical Summary, we also provide a printed A5 Brief Technical Guide and printed fitting instructions which are sent with the flooring.

All these guides are based on common sense, best practice, science, theory and research where possible.

It is important that the floors are installed by experienced and competant craftsmen who can measure and assess site conditions and fit the floor accordingly.

Factors for Success.

The three most important factors in the long term performance and stability of a new solid hardwood floor are the correct site conditions, the correct timber moisture content and professional installation.

The process of installation is straight forward provided that both the specifier and installer are competent and understand the technical factors which influence the floor.

During and following installation there are a number of technical conditions which must be met if floors are to perform satisfactorily. It is important that these technical aspects are considered at the planning stage so that the correct sub-floor/hardwood floor combination can be chosen.

Problems are usually caused by incompetant installation and incorrect site conditions.

This technical guide is very comprehensive and covers virtually all topics governing the performance of our hardwood floors. Because we have very exacting quality control, it has been possible to be reasonably accurate when compiling this guide, but the information may not be applicable to other products with a different specification or less than acceptable quality control.

Please use the drop down menu or the headings below to navigate through the guide. Below is a summary of the topics in each section:-

Grades & Flooring Range - This section explains quality control and how various factors affect the performance of the floors, the types of flooring we make and the grades.

Site Conditions and Other Factors - This fully explains the importance of the moisture content of the wood, relative humidity and how to measure both. It discusses how timber is affected by site conditions, the effects of types of heating, humidity, temperature and damp in the fabric of the building. It considers concrete sub floors, potential problems and case studies.

Laying Guidelines - This section considers acclimatization, general laying methods with different sub floors, expansion and contraction, good practice and the use of damp proof membranes.

Finishing and Maintaining your Floor - This covers surface preparation, the types of finishes and basic maintenance of solid wood floors.

Site Survey Section - This is an in-depth look at how to survey and monitor site conditions prior to laying. It covers equipment, survey methods, interpreting the results and predicting movement in the floors.

An Explanation of Terms - This explains the meaning of words and phrases used on this web site.

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