Say No to Bob the Builders

From an independent inspector of failed floor installations we received the following "rant":

"As independent inspector of failed wooden floors, I receive a variety of complaints, mostly about installer error; only occasionally there is a product issue. I am undertaking a survey to get more exact percentages of individual complaints and, specifically, who installed the "problem" flooring.

The results, although not totally surprising, are very worrying for the wood industry: installation was way ahead at number 1 for types of complaints received - 94%. Consumer causes (6%) were at number 2 on issues not related to installation.

The installation of these "problem" floors were carried out by:

  • Builders - 51%
  • Carpenters/joiners - 35%
  • Carpet retailers - 7%
  • Specialist wood flooring shops - 7%

These results are taken from cases I have handled over the last 10 months, but I bet other consultants/inspectors have a similar experience. I'm continuing to update the results.

What does this tell us? Simple, it shows why specialist wood contractors/installers are struggling to get the work they ought to have. There are many reasons for this, but it is mainly down to price.

"Bob promises he will do it better and cheaper".

And when the floor fails, Bob blames the product.
I can tell you for a fact that most manufacturers, distributors and retailers (and I know a few, having done training for them) agree that wood flooring becomes a nightmare if it is installed by Bob the Builder type outfits. As sure as edges is edges, Bob comes back the following week telling them that their product is faulty!!

This is typical of what I come across far too often."


Through Wood You Like's Trade Program - launched end of last year - you will have access to more and more professional fitters/restorers whose application for the program has been approved by us (and only those wooden flooring businesses with the highest standards will see their application approved, that's our promise to you - no Bob the Builders).

At the moment the following areas are covered:

  • Kent & Kent/Sussex/Surrey border
  • Stockport/Manchester
  • Blackpool/Lancashire
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Stroud/Glouchester
  • added end of Jan 2011:
  • South East Wales
  • Bangor - Northern Ireland
  • Hampshire

If you are looking for a trusted fitter/restorer in/near these areas, just let us know and - depending on your needs - we will bring you in contact with each other so you are ensured of quality materials supplied by us and quality installation/restoration by our trusted fellow professionals.

We're also happy to inform you "e francis architects" have joint our trade program and we know more architects, interior designers, project developers will follow in their footsteps to benefit from our program (which of course gives them and their clients access to our growing "team" of professional installers/restorers all over the UK). All the benefits of joining our Trade Program for this group of businesses are spelt out here

Trade Program News will be a regular feature in our newsletter. Not only can you read about new areas covered but also about joined projects successfully executed, plus actions undertaken to stop the "Bob the Builder" outfits ruining your floor (and the wooden flooring trade).
So, stay tuned - or if you are in the trade yourself: join now!

Is your home improvement adding money?

Eighty per cent of UK residents think that renovating or improving a home is better than selling in the current environment 


  • New families may want to create extra space it they cannot afford to move to a bigger property
  • Others may simply want to make the best of their home while they are unable to move up the ladder
  • Some homeowners may be planning to boost their property's value before an eventual sale

Be careful with the last reason

Some renovations are just money down the drain

Trying to add value with a renovation project needs careful consideration as it is easy to spend more on renovations than any gain in house price you may make.

Before increasing your borrowing to fund renovation plans you should decide whether your main aim is to add value to the property that you hope one day to recoup, or whether you simply want to improve your living space.
If your aim to make a profit over time, you need to do your research on the types of renovations that add the most value for the least outlay.

  • Loft conversions and extensions can add up to 20 per cent in value. However, they can cost anything from £ 13,000 to £ 37,000, which means you might not make a profit when you sell.
  • A new kitchen will typically cost about £ 20,000 but the value that it is likely to add varies between 5 and 20 percent.

(source Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Building Cost Information Service - BCIS / estate agent Savills)

Do not expect to get your money back immediately, as much will depend on wider house price trends. If you are looking on renovations as an investment, aim for a quality finish, but do not get carried away or you will wipe out any potential return:

If you have a really dowdy kitchen, replacing it can make a big difference, but upgrading your kitchen when it is already good-quality is unlikely to make much of a difference to the property's value.

Simple changes, biggest impact - but...

Cheap cosmetic changes, such as redecorating, often give the biggest value boost relative to expense, typical costing about £ 1,500 but with the potential to increase a property's value by up to 12% (see also Abbey National's - nowadays Santander - survey results).

Dodgy DIY can decrease the value of your home

DIY-renovations may seem to make money-saving sense, but if the finish is not up to scratch, you can damage your property's appeal.

A recent survey of estate agents by the insurer LV= found that poorly executed DIY could lower a property's value by up to 5% and invalidate home insurance.

Use the professionals when in doubt


Using professionals as part of a home improvement project may well be a good idea, the findings of a new study suggest.

Santander Insurance found that, with families looking for ways to cut costs in the current economic climate, 72 per cent of people planning to undertake home improvement work intend to do it themselves. It quizzed respondents about their capabilities and 37 per cent said they were confident they could fit floor tiles, while 13 per cent even said they were happy to tackle bricklaying or concreting.

However, the insurer estimated that DIY mishaps cause more than £330 million worth of damage a year in the UK.

Santander Insurance UK's chief executive Miguel Sard said he understood why homeowners wanted to save money, but urged them to consider their limitations before embarking on any renovation work.

"When it comes to the electrics of the house or major construction work, it is just not worth taking the risks. Get it done professionally," he added.

Homeowners looking to install new floors may find that a flooring contractor is the best option for them. As well as fitting the new flooring, a good contractor will also provide advice on the best surfaces for the space.

Changing trends?

Renovate with your own taste in mind, you'll get the best results

Various interior designers predict a change in trends, not as in look and colour, but in reasons for renovating/redecorating:
Renovate properties 'to express your taste'

Giving a home a new look should be about expressing yourself and showing off your taste, according to one expert.

Writing for Mercury News, interiors author Marni Jameson explained that while in the past people have decorated their homes in a bid to attract potential buyers, now the time has come for homeowners to indulge themselves.
She explained that since many homeowners do not have a choice at present about whether or not they will move house, Ms Jameson said that they may as well make their home improvements for themselves alone.

Recently, Anna-Marie DeSouza, editor at Build It, suggested that many homeowners will be buying big items in the coming days to beat the tax increase on January 4th 2011.

And Phil Spencer (Location, Location, Location) advises homeowners to consider fitting wood floors.
According to the television program host, installing wood floors can be a good way to make a home more attractive to property buyers. Wood floors are a particularly good choice for families, as they are easier to clean than other flooring materials.

However, the property expert advised homeowners to carry out work now rather than waiting until just before they are ready to sell up and move on.

"There is no point improving your home just before you sell. You might as well do the work straightaway if you can and get the benefit out of it yourself."

Wood floors can be a popular choice for homeowners looking to add a defining feature to a room, as they are capable of adding character and warmth to any space.

Herringbone patterns are set to become the next big thing in wooden flooring fashions.

According to the designer Wendy Cole, wood floors are set to remain one of the most popular options for people redesigning their homes.

However, the huge choice of products and finishes now available means that wood flooring trends are bound to change from time to time. Ms Cole said new fashions are already developing and explained:

"From a design standpoint, large herringbone patterns are replacing boards."
However, anyone who does not like the herringbone look need not worry about getting left behind, as some styles of wood floors are timeless.
"Linear strip wood remains a stalwart, as it gives the illusion of a larger, more open space," Ms Cole added.

DIY expert Bridget Bodoano recently told the Guardian there are several affordable engineered wood flooring products available which could be suitable for people who want to install a herringbone-patterned floor in their home.

Wood - what's not to like?

Natural Wooden Flooring, Oak Rustic brushed and oiled wood-engineered flooring

When choosing for Natural Wooden Flooring you will start to enjoy the many benefits this floor covering gives you from day one on:

  • easy day-to-day care and maintenance with the knowledge that a clean wooden floor is really clean and doesn’t hide house dust mites etc
  • a ‘solid’ investment that keeps its value over years to come and is a quality feature to promote when the time might come you start thinking of selling your home
  • one of the most anti-allergic floor coverings you can have, a real benefit for Asthma, allergy and even eczema sufferers
  • eco-friendly, for every tree used in wooden flooring from sustained forests new trees are planted and trees are nature's way of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and producing the oxygen we breathe.

Having natural wooden flooring installed creates not only beauty, durability and an upgrade in the value of your property; it is also means you have a floor covering that is hygienic, anti-allergic and only needs the minimum of easy maintenance.

Selecting the perfect natural wooden floor for your own home from all the different floor-types, wood-species and finishes available can be a daunting task. Some suppliers are more than willing to send you small samples, but these will never be able to show the full and varied character natural wooden flooring has.

You could of course traverse to a selection of retailers to see what's on "show" in their showroom and try to remember which floor from which store you and/or your partner liked best.

But there is another, easier way!............................. "Sample" in the comfort of your own home

Which floorboard thickness to select: when and why

With so many different floor types to chose from, we know it can sometimes be rather a challenge to know which one to go for and which ones to avoid.
We can't select your ultimate look of the floor, grades and finishes are down to personal taste after all, but we can give you a guideline in determining what floorboard thickness you can get away with to create the right ambiance in your home without going "over board".

Traffic and levelness

Two main considerations to keep in mind when deciding between the main 3 floorboard thickness now commonly available in the market: expected traffic over the floor and the levelness you have under the floor. A third consideration is Underfloor Heating (UFH)

13/3 boards (13mm total with 3mm Solid top layer)

Traffic: light to normal
bedroom, study, tv-room
homes without small children or big pets
homes with "semi-retired" owners

Levelness: flat to very gentle slope
10mm thick boards will flex (bounce) when the underfloor suddenly dips.

: no

15/4 boards (15mm total with 4mm Solid top layer)

Traffic: normal to heavy
normal household
small offices, specialised small retailers/shops (5 - 6 visitors a day), reception areas

Levelness: flat to slightly uneven
15mm can take on more unevenness without flexing, slopes should not be more than 3mm per meter and in one direction

UFH: yes on concrete or level plywood floor using flexible adhesive to fully bond the floor - no on battens

20/6 boards (20mm total with 6mm Solid top layer)

Traffic: heavy to intense
busy households
large and busy offices, shops and other commercial premises with many visitors/shoppers a day
village & school halls
gyms and dance schools

Levelness: slightly uneven to directly onto joist
20mm is load bearing and - depending on the backing used - boards are very rigid

UFH: definitely yes

Price Range: £ 55.00 - 76.00 ex VAT per sq m

Examples of choice - same grade, same finish

Floorboards 10mm thick, Oak Rustic, oiled natural

13/3 Rustic Oak, oiled natural

Floorboards 15mm thick, Oak Rustic, oiled natural

15/4 Rustic Oak, oiled natural

Floorboards 20mm thick, Oak Rustic, oiled natural

20/6 Rustic Oak, oiled natural

Floorboards 10mm thick, Oak Nature, oiled natural

13/4 Oak Character, oiled natural

Floorboards 15mm thick, Oak Nature, oiled natural

15/4 Oak Character, oiled natural

Floorboards 20mm thick, Oak Nature, oiled natural

20/6 Oak Character, oiled natural

See more options

You can see many of the options in our online shop

Too hot to handle

We love to sell a wooden floor, to anyone who enquirs after one of our quality products. It's our business, so no surprise there then.

But sometimes you have to say: no, sorry, in this situation we strongly advice against installing a wooden floor.

Wood You Like's speciality - design parquet flooring

This week a lovely couple came to our showroom to look at our design parquet floors. Oak Rustic herringbone was firmly on their mind, which is of course a lovely choice. With them I discussed how we would install the wood blocks on their concrete underfloor: first a subfloor of Oak Industrial Grade mosaic on to which the individual wood blocks would be glued and pinned down in the required pattern. Sanding, filling and applying a natural HardWaxOil finish would follow the works.

The estimated measurements of the area (large hallway) were translated into a hand-written quote and an appointment for Ton to carry out a survey, to measure more precise and check the underfloor, was made for today (Friday 26.11.10).

After the survey Ton returned to our showroom, where normally all the details are turned into a specified quotation, mailed (or emailed) as soon as possible to the client. Except today it didn't go that way, Ton discovered the concrete floor was "too hot to handle"!

When winter exposes a "weak link"

Too hot to handle, central heating pipes blocking wood floor installation

The concrete was hot enough to bake an egg on it! Presumably, when installing the central heating many years ago, not enough insulation was used between the water pipes and the concrete surface, or the pipes were not laid deep enough. Makes you wonder sometimes where British Building Standards stand for or why some plumbers get away with this type of shoddy workmanship.

Installing a wooden floor which needs to be glued down in this situation would end in tears. The adhesive will sooner or later (sooner no doubt) fail and blocks will start to come loose and/or shrink and buckle. Ton advised them to consider tiles, which are better suited for these "hot" circumstances. The client were both disappointed and glad this issue had come to light.

If the survey had taken place in Summer this "too hot to handle" situation had not come to light. Central heating works completely different than water underfloor heating systems, where the temperature of the water in the pipes is set to a maximum in order not to cause problems to the floor covering and is switched on continuously. Central heating water pipes transport hot water to the radiators when the demand is there, getting really hot and then again cooling down, making any wood floor very, very nervous.

So, when your floor is installed in Summer and starts behaving strangely at some places when the central heating is switched on, check the surface temperature to see if hot water pipes are running beneath it before you call your fitter back to complain. Although all professional fitters try to for see all situations, some tricky situations come only to light when you least expect them. And if you know water pipes could be running close to the concrete surface: tell your installer, no matter what the season is.

Two most popular Basic floors reduced in price!

The Wood-Engineered Oak boards in our Basic range have always been very popular. Basically they suit almost every design style, almost every underfloor and definitely every budget.

Oiled Natural and Brushed & Oiled Natural reduced in price

The two most popular finishes in this range, which is 15mm thick and has a 4mm Solid Oak Rustic top layer, are now - at least for the rest of this year - drastically reduced in price

Oiled Natural


A smooth finish for the 15 x 189 x 1830mm board (2.075 sq m per pack)
Used to be £ 45.20 ex VAT: NOW ONLY £ 41.23 ex VAT per sq m = 8.78% discount
And we'll add a Saicos Floor Care Set with your order for free!

Brushed & Oiled Natural


Lightly brushed surface, excellent floor covering when you have pets = better grip.
15 x 189 x 1830mm (2.075 sq m per pack)
Used to be £ 45.20 ex VAT: NOW ONLY £ 42.87 ex VAT per sq m = 5.15% discount
And here too, we will add a Saicos Floor Care Set to your order for free!


Both floors are suitable to be installed on Underfloor Heating Systems (water and electric)

Give us a call now on 01233 - 713725 to discuss your requirements.

(Orders above £ 1,500.00 ex VAT free delivered anywhere in the South East of England - conditions apply)

New: Wood You Like's Trade Program

The wooden flooring trade is constantly changing, from products to new installation methods and equipment. Clients are increasingly asking for more, quicker and better products/services.

Where would you go, as sole-trader, two/three-men band or retailer, to confer with fellow traders? Where can you share experiences, discuss new methods and new products (all manufacturers promise their products to do what it "says on the tin", but do they really when you're "on the floor"?) and even find out how to implement new regulations, VAT changes and marketing tips?
Where can the faithful behind the scene person, doing the admin etc while you are working on the floor, share her/his worries, discuss costs and logistics ?

Wood You Like's Trade Program covers all


Our aim with Wood You Like's Trade Program is to establish a dedicated forum - only accessible for "members" - to bring traders in the wooden flooring business together to share experiences, advice each other (on installation methods, new products, and even marketing, bookkeeping etc), ask questions and perhaps even "share" jobs.

Read on for more information and how to join (Trade only)

(Architects, Interior Designers, Developers are welcome to join the Trade Program too, conditions apply, see here for more details)

Architect, Interior Designer or Developer in need of wooden flooring?

As the acknowledged authority on wooden flooring, many architects, interior designers and property developers, nationally and locally, frequently call 'Wood You Like' for advice on choice and suitability of different wooden flooring and advice on the fitting and maintenance (they see us as The National Helpline for wooden flooring) - and that expertise and professionalism is also always available to you too.

New Classics, example of the quality wooden flooring Wood You Like can provide you withQuality products and quality people

As architect, interior designer or project developer you want to deal with those in the trade who know their business/trade, who have years of experience with all matters wooden flooring. You and we know of too many horror stories when projects go horribly wrong by so-called experts not taking the correct precautions or using unsuitable products, equipment.

Join Wood You Like's Trade Program and have special, unique, access to ... read more

Flat beading, a neat finish

Frequently we're been asked: I can't/don't want to remove my skirtingboards and I don't like the look of scotias or quadrants. What can I use to cover the needed expansion gap around the floor that does look good?

Our answer is quite simple: Solid Oak flat beading. A simple strip - 6mm thick, 25mm wide, with a rounded edge on the front and tapered edge on the back - that's pinned down on your wood floor to give you a very neat finish. A very unobtrusive finish, like a "picture frame", covering the expansion gap.

Blends in


As you can see, or rather not see, the flat beading is often hardly visible.

Does the job, neatly


Here's another example - also note how the door post is undercut to allow expansion of the floor there too.

Around fireplaces


It also works very well around a fire place - if the tiles etc are higher than the floor. Remember, a wooden floor has to have expansion gaps all around its perimeter, so also in front and beside a fire place.



Because the beading is not very wide or thick, it can be cut (sawn) in the angle you need to fit it neatly whatever the shape of the wall "forces" you to have.

The little details


Picture above shows a build-in cupboard where a little piece of beading right in the corner takes care of those little finishing details.

Also note the Solid Oak radiator pipe cover, it does not just sit on the beading. No, the beading is cut round to allow the round shape of the cover to fit neatly around the pipe.

It's those little details that make your floor look professionally finished.

The beading comes unfinished, so you can stain, varnish, oil it with the same colour/product as you floor (or if needed, colour match it with a tropical wood-species by using an appropriate stain).

Solid Problem

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

Ash lifting, despite screws

We received the following details on a flooring project giving the owners a few headaches:

Hello, we found your website this morning and are very impressed with all the content! We have been searching for a few days for some info regards our recent purchase of ash flooring so wondering if you could help?

We bought 110 sq m of 18mm solid ash, lacquered, 135mm wide with lengths 600-1800mm to do the whole house that we are rebuilding. They have been acclimatising inside the house since april (although without heating), when we opening the packs the long top planks almost sprung out and were bowed by about 5cm at each end which has settled down over the summer.


In July we laid two rooms (3mx2.5m and 2.5m by 2.5m) with expansion gap of 10mm around all edges using tongue tite screws on every board, 3mm foam underlay onto the floorboards. Last month the last few planks started to lift at the end length edges and it had appeared to use up the gap at one small section, so we lifted and relayed again using screws but this time leaving a 3mm spacer every third board (as advised by our joiner friend) as well as an increased gap at the edges of 15mm. We also didn't screw down the first and last rows of boards.

Within a few days it has started to lift at a similar place to before but not as badly (about 3mm up). These sections appeared to have used up the spacer gap on each side of them but not the edge one. As it is happening at the ends does this mean that we should try to seal the cut ends to try to stop the moisture getting in? As I believe Ash moves more than oak is a 3mm spacer every 3 boards sufficient for it?

The biggest room to lay is the lounge which is 7.5m x 6m, would the same plan work for here? And lastly as the floorboards are level does it really matter if we lay the floor at 90 degrees (if we do this in the lounge it will mean that the width will be the longer dimension.)

I know from your site that you PVA glue the tongue and groove so it may be hard for you to comment on this technique, but any general pointers relating to ash would be most gratefully received.

Kind regards, Gregor and Miranda.

Know your nervous wood-species

Hi Gregor

Thank you for your question. You are right, we have no experience with those screws for the simple - perhaps too simple - reason we don't believe you can screw a floor down.
(One of our purchasers of the Installation Manual gave us feedback on the tongue-tite screws here)

It is indeed worrying the boards jumped out the pack the way they did. It could indicate a problem with the wood it self. When a floor keeps expanding after having acclimatised for that long it can also indicate a moist problem in your home.
Ash can expand and shrink much more than Oak - it's therefore one of the wood-species not recommended to use on UFH.

With Oak the rule of thumb is 3mm gaps per meter width of the room with a minimum of 10mm. For Beech - another "nervous" wood this is 7mm per meter width. 10mm in a room 2.5 meter wide is not enough for this species but reading that even creating a gap of 15mm AND using spacers between every third boards did not help does look like a moist problem in the home.

Not sure what to suggest really. For the larger room you should consider a divider in the middle (with Oak 6 meter wide is the maximum you can go with a solid floor - knowing Ash works more I would be reluctant to say it can easily be done without a divider in the middle - where you "turn direction" of the T&G so that the Tongue faces the other wall in one half than in the other half of the room).

Are you able to take moist readings? Both of the floor already down, floor still in packs and the air humidity?

Feedback and update


Thank you for your prompt response, it probably helped confirm what we were thinking.

Just to give you more information, we ended up relaying the 2 small rooms where it lifted - lifting by shearing the screws having expanded and touched a wall. Though as the first row were fixed it must have snapped some screws in order to move far enough to touch the wall. Possibly not enough screws used? Maybe, but I have used similar style screws before with no problem.

I am more inclined to believe that the quality of wood is more to blame. It was purchased as a cheaper grade but I think it was either not dried properly or was dried to such an extent that sitting (for weeks) in a house in the UK it absorbed so much moisture that many of the planks had bent up by 10-15mm at the end of a 1.8m length. Now the heating is on there seems to be no problem (earlier the house was weather tight but unheated) we shall await summer to see what happens then as humidity inside rises.

Using a 2mm spacer every third plank was recommended by colleagues who are joiners and is supposedly common practice when the floor is fixed with screws or nails. Obviously leaves small gaps but it is a safer installation, especially over a large width and if the planks are dark it is not very noticeable.

Hope this helps if others come to you with a similar situation.


Further thoughts

6a00d8341c660f53ef013488946bef970c-piAs mentioned before and here again, we're not in favour of using screws to install wooden floors - especially not with nervous wood-species like Ash and Beech. These wood-species require more expansion room and correct acclimatising preferably in the room where it is going to be installed.

Acclimatise always to normal circumstances no matter what wood species or floor type you have: leaving them in a room without glass in windows or unheated during colder periods does not work. Not even for wood-engineered flooring.

Installing a wooden floor isn't rocket science - all it needs is some common sense, patience, the right preparations at the right time and of course quality materials and the right tools.

Vintage range, reduced in price!

The Vintage Range: hand aged and hand scraped 15/4 wood-engineered authentic Oak floor, is absolutely and truly hefty reduced in price.

Vintage oak wood-engineered boards, hand-scraped and smoked for an authentic wooden floor

From £ 74.47 to £ 58.07 per sq m ex VAT (accurate on 27.10.10)

Once again, simply a matter of dismissing the middle man. We are truly happy to inform you we can now supply you these authentic boards straight from the source in The Netherlands.

Transform your home with authentic aged/scraped boards in no time at all. Order in time for Christmas, and orders over £1,500.00 ex VAT will be delivered for free in the whole of the South-East!

The Vintage 15/4 range comes (both the hand-aged as the hand-scraped) in various finishes:

* Oiled natural
* Oiled white
* Smoked & oiled natural
* Smoked & oiled white
* Deep brushed in various finishes

Also available in load-bearing 20/6 floor in two grades: Rustic and Mill Run.
Mill Run is pure nature: every boards of the tree is used, giving you a truly natural floor containing all grades in one go, from Prime to Extra Rustic. And of course, also reduced in price: 180mm wide from £ 93.97 to £ 73.17 ex VAT per sq m (again a hefty drop in price!) (accurate on 27.10.10)

Vintage Oak load bearing wood-engineered floor, hand-scraped, pre-finished

Image above: Vintage 20/6, hand scraped, Oak Mill Run finished as follows: Brushed, Smoked, Black-washed and natural oiled.

View all the available products in the authentic range at your leisure at home, simply request our Full Colour Online Wooden Floor Range Brochure, a new email with further details will whizz its way to your inbox within 5 - 10 minutes.

Or give us a call on 01233 - 713725 now to discuss your requirements.

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.

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.


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


A true reflection of work well done in pictures


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.


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


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:


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:


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


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*


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.


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.


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.

2010 Awards, in good company

Last month Wood You Like received the 2010 Award "Best Flooring Retailers (1 - 2 shops)"

In good company


In this month's issue, Interiors Monthly lists all the 2010 Award winners and we're in good company:
From John Lewis At Home to Domotex

Interiors Monthlty 2010 awards, wood you like, john lewis at home, carpetright, the furniture village, axminster carpets and others

Our congratulations to all the other winners. You can read how and why the above companies were nominated and winners in the August issue of Interiors Monthly.


DIY client featured in Selfbuild & Design

Wood You Like seems to attract a rather large number of self-builders/renovators from all over the UK (and further afield: skilled diy-ers from France, Germany and even from the USA have found their way to our inbox and online shop).

One of these very skilled diy-ers (or should we even call them semi-professionals) emailed us the following:

Our house to be featured in Selfbuild & Design

"Dear Karin
I hope you and Ton are well.

Just a brief line to let you know that our house is to featured in 'Selfbuild & Design' magazine - as far as I know in the October issue which goes on sale towards the end of August.

Both the externals and internals feature and since we've got a lot of your oak engineered board downstairs, that should feature reasonably prominently as well. The link came via Potton who had been trying to get our house featured in a self-build magazine for a while.

The photographer was here all day taking shots - I attach one of the hall with your engineered boards in it. I have no control over what exactly they publish or which of the many photos, but I was asked to provide a list of about ten key suppliers to us. It is my understanding that they will list these in the article with phone numbers/email addresses. Naturally Wood-You-Like was one of those I mentioned."


Many thanks John. The image above not only shows the Duoplank Oak Rustic, oiled natural looking its best, but the eye for detail in every single aspect of the self-build John and July created almost from scratch. It shines through in the image below too:


Checking the Selfbuild & Design website we discovered the whole feature is published in the September issue, see here.

John emailed us again after receiving his copy of the magazine:

"We've seen a copy of the magazine that goes on sale later this month and we hope it does justice to the service and products that you provided us. 

There are plenty of downstairs shots (4) of rooms that include the engineered boards and the text includes the words "The supplier of the engineered oak boards was particularly helpful - offering technical advice about how best to lay the product over underfloor heating.

Then there's your website listed under Useful Contacts at the back of the article - which, mercifully, has been correctly written."

In July 2007 John and July also very kindly wrote a case study installing the wooden floor over the UFH system for which we and many of our clients using UFH are still very grateful.

Wood You Like, Best Flooring Retailer 2010

The readers of the magazine Interiors Monthly have voted for the 2010 Best Awards:

Best Flooring Retailer ( 1 - 2 stores)


Just returned from our short break we received a very nice surprise in the mail: the above framed certificate of the readers choice in the category Best Flooring Retailer ( 1 - 2 stores).

All winners in all categories will be announced in next month's issue of Interiors Monthly.

Solid wood floors and UFH: take care

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

When installing Underfloor heating systems and deciding on the floor covering on top, many recommend to use Wood-Engineered flooring. These types of boards are more stable and can handle the changes in both temperature and air humidity better than solid wood floorboards (solid design parquet is a different matter all together).

When we received the following question we advised to take care - it is not impossible to install solid wooden floorboards on UFH systems but there's a but....

Random width boards

"This is a new build & we plan to lay solid oak floorboards (random widths) onto a self-levelled screed. There is underfloor heating & the screed is well dried out now. We've been told that gluing is the way to go, but reading thru some comments on your site I'm getting questions ... can we put the glue just into the groove thereby effectively having a floating floor? or do the boards need to be glued underneath? do we need floorboard crampers or could we use some softwood and rubber mallet?"

Words of caution

Thank you for your question. With wooden floors and UFH it is recommended to fully bond the floor to the concrete underfloor to avoid air gaps. For this you should use flexible adhesive that is suitable to be used on UFH.

Word of caution: UFH and solid wood floors are only agreeable when the solid floorboards are narrow. Otherwise there is a great chance the floor will shrink too much during the heating season.
Wood-Engineered floors are better suited in this situation due to their construction, see our Duoplank range page for more details.

"Many thanks for this Karin. Yes of course, very silly of me, couldn't do 'floating' as it would compromise the UFH!
We've had the boards for over 12 months indoors, they look pretty good ie not bendy.
Max width 160mm - would you say?"

160mm is rather wide, it depends on the other sizes and the number of 160mm boards. Try to keep away from installing two wide boards next to each other and leave a wide enough expansion gap all around.

"The widths are 100; 120; 140;160 up to 200mm. The wider ones we'll keep for upstairs to nail.
My other question tho is do we need the crampers or could we knock them 'home' with a long piece of soft wood & rubber mallet? "

100, 120 and 140mm should be ok, as said before, try to avoid placing 2 x 160 or even 1 x 140 next 1 x 160mm and you should be alright.

If the quality of the T&G is good you won't need crampers, just "knock" them home indeed.

I take the liberty to also email you - separate email through our automated system - our special leaflet with how to treat your UFH before, during and after installing a wooden floor.

"Thanks very much for your comments. We have had the solid oak flooring for a few months now. It's getting the time to do it."

Further info - because it's summer


When you install a wooden floor over an Underfloor Heating System in the summer months you often don't have the system switched on (if it is a new system, it will have had its pressure test to check for leaks no doubt). Our special leaflet - see link above - tells you how to start up the system gradually before installing the wood floor.
Doing this before installation when the temperature outside has reach Mediterranean level would be a bit OTT indeed.

Instead, raise the temperature of your UFH system gradually once the Autumn arrives, so your wooden floor (all wooden floors) can adjust gradually to the changes in "climate".

Ash Wood-Engineered floor - DIY-er Martcho

As authors of the Wooden Floor Installation Manual we are always eager to hear how DIY-ers get on with installing their wooden floor with a little help from our manual.

Extra advice

Through our online "Ask Advice" form we received a question about using a specific underlayment from a Dutch manufacturer. The DIY-er in question, Martcho based in South-East England, was strapped for time and could therefore not level out his whole floor using self-leveling compound, just small parts. To get the floor more level in the quickest of times, he needed the special underlayment to try to diminish the problem.
The only product seemingly available in the UK from this manufacturer was in our opinion more suited for laminate flooring than for the wood-engineered floor Martcho was planning to install.

In the end he did manage to source the more suitable type of underlayment from the same Dutch manufacturer and emailed us the following, including pictures of the end result:

Hi Karin
It is almost complete, the screed was dry, but not as level as wanted or hoped. The flooring is laid, cut the doors next week, put the skiring and the rest of the door mouldings and voila - job done. I managed to get the Paladin underlay as you advised.
The floor seems to sag a bit here and there but I hope not too much. I guess it will settle a bit and with the weight of the furniture. And it looks fantastic. The missus is very happy.

Best Regards,


"Wild Ash"


Ash, an European wood-species can have a very "wild" colour difference between the boards, from "mother of pearl" spots to dark brown splashes


It does create a very lively floor though.

Send in your own pictures and stories

If you purchased the "Wooden Floor Installation Manual" too (paperback and/or E-version) and have finished your floor, you're also more than welcome to submit your pictures.

We are creating a growing "show-case" of DIY results with a little help from our manual. As stated in our manual: installing a wooden floor is not rocket science, and these show-cases are the proof in the pudding.

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)

Oak Nature and Rustic 7-finger mosaic - reduced in price

News received from our Dutch design parquet manufacturer:

PEFC Oak mosaic reduced in price


Design Parquet comes in many forms and styles, why not add simplicity to your home - adding wooden features increases both the value as the comfort of your home.

The 7-finger mosaic (8 x 160 x 160mm per block of 7 fingers) in both the Nature and Rustic Oak grade has just been reduced in price, so adding value costs even less. Plus you know the wood comes from guaranteed sustainable sources - PEFC

This mosaic comes in tiles which have a mess-backing (holding the blocks of fingers together for you), are unfinished (so you can add your own preferred finish and/or colour) and can be glued down on any flat and smooth surface (such as concrete/screed, plywood or osb subfloors - never try to glue down on modern chipboard, the moist repellent surface makes it also glue-repellent).

Call us now to discuss your requirements and options: 01233 - 713725 (do note that the product comes direct from our Dutch manufacturer, you have to expect longer lead times).

Adding value to your home with stylish and simple Design Parquet has never been so easy!

More news and novelties in the Design Parquet are coming, so stay tuned!

First-aid for floor covering problems, from carpet, rugs to wood

Moving home is stressful enough without additional floor covering problems to solve!


The last thing you want when finally getting the key of your new home is long lasting floor problems. You already have so many other things on your mind and on your ever growing "to-do-list":

* packing,
* scheduling the home-movers,
* contacting all utility suppliers,
* informing every organisation of your new address etc etc etc.

And it feels as if everything needs to be done right now, this minute!

Discovering stains on the carpet, a dull looking wooden floor or even getting a suspicion there might be carpet moths on the lose is then something you can definitely do without. Some problems do need solving immediately before your own furniture moves in, others can wait a bit longer. Perhaps you even discovered an original parquet/mosaic wooden floor underneath the carpets, and are wondering how to bring back its old luster?

Below you can find some first-aid tips on how to tackle the most common problems, plus if you like you can request our comprehensive report with further tips, recommended preventive measurements and even long term solutions.
Read on.......

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.


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).

6a00d8341c660f53ef01348417dfab970c-pi  6a00d8341c660f53ef0133f0edad47970b-pi  Media_1276267161697

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).


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.


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.

Creative with herringbone blocks

Standard wood blocks are 9 times out of 10 used to create a herringbone pattern in a room. Why? Because that's what we know from the olden time and it is therefore one of the best known design parquet patterns.

Solid wood blocks in herringbone pattern, one of Wood You Like's specialities

As you can see in the above image, this pattern really suits a square or rectangular room, making it even more spacier and lively with all the individual small blocks (10 x 71 x 284mm).

Not a rule set in stone: be creative

There's almost no limit to the designs you can create with Wood You Like's standard wood blocks

The beauty of having individual blocks is that you can easily create a design that suits an awkward space better than a herringbone would. One of our DIY design parquet clients tackled his hallway in a creative way shown here. The specific measurements of the standard blocks enabled him to design a large mosaic (284/71 = 4) creating a playful and impressive result most suited to the shape of the hallway.

Standard wood blocks from our Design Parquet manufacturer always come in specific measurements which allow you to be as creative as need be. Besides the 71 x 284 there are the
71 x 355 (5 x 71)
90 x 360 (4 x 90) and
90 x 450 (5 x 90)

Running comments from our proud client during and after the installation, sanding and finishing of his "bespoke" design floor:

"I glued the final pieces in place this morning and I’m very pleased with the results. It took longer than I expected because of the cutting around the 5 doorways and the stairs but I have an excellent mitre saw which proved invaluable. I have the sanding machines arriving on Saturday and will be finished sometime over the weekend.

Had a busy Bank Holiday and I didn’t manage to waxoil the floor until Tuesday and I’m very pleased with the colour.
I found the Trio sander very nice to work with.
I just have to finish fixing skirtings, carpets and thresholds.

Thanks for your help and advice."

Richard O - London

At your service.
If you have your own project in mind and are wondering how to tackle a not so square and rectangular room, why not design your own "bespoke" wood blocks pattern? Let your creativity flow.

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

VOC regulations means introducing new fitting and finishing materials

Rules and regulations, we all encounter them, if we like it or not. The VOC regulations to reduce the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds in products is there for a very good reason: reducing negative effects some compounds have on the environment and some times even our own health.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) refers to organic chemical compounds which have significant vapor pressures and which can affect the environment and human health. VOCs are numerous, varied, and ubiquitous. Although VOCs include both man-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds, it is the anthropogenic VOCs that are regulated, especially for indoors where concentrations can be highest. VOCs are typically not acutely toxic but have chronic effects. Because the concentrations are usually low and the symptoms slow to develop, analysis of VOCs and their effects is a demanding area. (source - wikipidea)

These regulations take their time to be passed on to the public, manufacturers have to be allowed to find suitable alternatives for some compounds in order for the product to still do "what it says on the tin".
That's why - like now - a whole bunch of well-known products are disappearing from the shelves and are replaced with other, more "greener" products.


F.Ball B91 parquet adhesive

Only one month remains for two Lecol products frequently used with design parquet (new installation or restoring): from the end of June 2010 Lecol5500 (parquet adhesive) and Lecol7500 (wood-filler) will no longer be produced or even shipped from the manufacturer. We have a limited stock left at the moment, when that's gone it's gone!

(Update 01.06.10: Please note, as we've been told by Lecol UK, these specific EU VOC regulations are ratified for The Dutch and Belgium market. In/for the UK market both products will still be available. Only not through Wood You Like Ltd once our stock is gone.)

We are replacing this with:
F.Ball B91 and Basicol PU-650SE for parquet adhesive 
Blanchon Resin Filler (1ltr and 5 ltr cans)

Euku Oil1

Also, introducing a brand new product in our range of oils which replaces, for starters, the Euku Oil1 as best finish for tropical wood floors (finished on site that is). Again, due to changes in VOC regulations the "old" Euku Oil1 had to go, but in our opinion the replacement Euku Oil 1 HS did not do the same job as well.


Saicos Coating Systems introduced us to their Color Wax Clear Extra Thin, which is especially suited to treat tropical wood. Only 1 coat needed, to be finished with only 1 coat of Premium HardWaxOil natural. Both products are available in small tins, so could come in very handy for those restoring existing tropical design parquet floors.
You will no doubt hear more about Saicos product range in future newsletters and/or FAQ & News items. All products from Saicos are of course eco friendly EU VOC 2010 compliant

For more information and up to date prices see our online shop or give us a call on 01233 - 713725 to discuss your requirements

Why old methods still work

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

Dull floor after wood worm treatment


Hi, can you advise please?

I have a herringbone parquet wood floor in my entrance hall and hallway in my house that was built about 60 years ago. Recently I was redecorating the entrance hall and noticed some woodworm flight holes in areas of the entrance hall: some clearly old and some newer looking ones.
The specialist treatment I applied needed the surface coat to be stripped away, which I did on the area affected (about a dozen tiles covering about 1 sq m). I did this by stripping and sanding and then treating.

However, I am puzzled on how to get back to a matching finish now that I have completed the treatment. It is not a polyurethane varnish as a drop of water leaves a white mark. But danish oil does not give any shine and floor wax does not seem to bring up the shine and lustre. Previous to my treatment, the floor was occasionally polished by my wife with a wax polish. But this, on a trial area, on its own wont bring the surface condition back. Your site looks very informative and helpful. Any advice would be welcome. My local paint shop simply say buy some satin polyurethane varnish, but I am careful about this.

In essence, I don't really want to sand the whole floor down if I can help it.

Thanks, Ian

Old fashion does not always mean obsolete


When a floor is sanded bare it will take a few coats of wax before it comes back to its shine and lustre. If the floor always has been polished with this wax it would indeed be best to treat the sanded part with this wax too but it might take a bit longer to give you the result you are looking/hoping for.

Also bare in mind that when an existing floor is sanded it will lose its matured patina and will show slight colour differences between non-sanded and sanded parts of the floor. This will gradually "fade" to the same appearance.

Treat the sanded part with wax, buff it in and give the floor time to absorb it. Then treat it again one or two days later in the same way. Repeat this a few times, but make sure the floor has time to absorb it before you apply the next coat of wax otherwise you'll end with a sticky mess.

Hope this makes sense?

Let us know how you get on. Remember, it's taken your floor a long time to get its authentic shine and lustre and these things do take time (us modern humans would prefer everything to be done/finished/right yesterday, but nature takes it time to give you the best )

Karin - Wood You LIke Ltd

Answered received:

Very many thanks for this advice. I was getting a bit despairing at getting back the look without considerable effort and expense.

I will have a go at your suggestions this weekend.

Best regards


And the result:

You asked for feedback on how I got on.

Well I started on Friday evening and followed your suggestion: particularly to leave it to absorb. The effect has been great. The luster is returning – although there are still patina differences between the areas.

I have repeated the treatment and as you say it does blend in better each time.

Many thanks indeed.


At your service, always more than happy to help out, even if it means re-instating old-fashion methods which now in these (ultra) modern times still prove their worth.

Easiest Maintenance Program (ever)!

Ever been in the following situation?
"There’s a knock at the door.

You walk towards it, turn the handle, and open it. Your friends have arrived. Is this the moment you’ve been dreading all day? You'd planned to apply a polish to your wooden floor, but you found the bottle empty! Now the floor looks a bit dull.

Or are you going to be glowing with pride as they enter, "wowing" at your beautiful wooden floors, bounteously rich in colour, wonderfully warm, and abundantly full of character?"

Why don't you join Wood You Like's Easy Maintenance Program - so that you can be assured of getting the best out of your wooden floors too.

You don't have to remember to order products in time, we do this for you the minute you join this program! The maintenance product(s) of your choice, delivered by courier at reduced delivery charges, once every year without you having to lift a finger to order again.
And we even throw in a free polish application, followed every year with a free replacement woollen sleeve for the applicator. 

Solving 3 problems in one go: simple floors

One of the questions that landed in our inbox concerned that "old problem" of trying to find a budget solution where the existing type of underfloor threatened to put the whole project on hold.

Chipboard and short length solid oak flooring - a no no

Budget range (below £35.00 ex VAT) in Solid Oak floorboards 9 times out of 10 comes in a box with random length boards. Random between 300 or 400 - 1200mm long. On its own nothing wrong with this, however most of these budget boxes contain over 50% short - very short - lengths and only one or two long ones (if you're lucky). These types of floors should not be installed floating because you will have too many joints in the whole floor, working like hinges and making your floor unstable, prone to move. Fully bonding with flexible adhesive or secret nailing is the solution.

Only, when you then discover your underfloor is cheap and cheerful chipboard you find yourself between a rock and a hard place. Modern adhesive does not bond with the moist repellent surface layer of the chipboard and nailing into this "wood-pulp" will not give you the strong fixing you need.

Budget alternatives in real wood

The person asking for advice really wants to replace his carpet with an easy to clean and anti-allergic floor covering mainly because to the number of animals they care for. Wooden floors are then indeed the best solutions: easy to clean, anti-allergic and simply beautiful.

When you find yourself between this rock and a hard-place due to the chipboard underfloor, why not opt for simple 2 or 3-strip wood-engineered flooring? All long boards, so can be installed floating without any problem, and most times within the same price range as these "cheap offers" in Solid Oak floorboards. Quality 3-strip floors have a total thickness of 14 - 15mm with a Solid top layer of 3.6 - 4mm

3 strip wood-engineered floor, simple real wood for every budget

2 or 3 strip flooring is available in many wood-species but like with most other wooden floor types, Oak is still the most popular (and therefore often the lowest in price).

Alternative 2: pre-oiled 10mm boards

Quality wood-veneer Oak flooring, real wood for any budget

Another budget alternative, especially for areas with low "traffic" such as bedrooms, for you would be the Basic 10/3: Oak top layer (3mm) on a high quality ply backing. Total thickness 10mm and available in many modern Oak finishes, from natural to white oiled or smoked for warm dark tones.
Again, long lengths for simple "Floating installation" without problems on chipboard - and of course other types of underfloors.

Basic wooden flooring gives you:

a real wood floor, easy maintenance and within your budget. Simples.

Call us on 01233 - 713725 to discuss your own budget requirements and we'll find the perfect wooden floor for you in our Basic Range.

Chaco Wood Commercial and Vertical Parquet

Commercial/Vertical parquet is the new fresh and creative version of solid wood flooring from our Chaco Wood manufacturer. Their Chaco Wood species will give the interior a trendy and artistic look. All these species are FSC certified.

Architects' choice

Since the wood is delivered untreated the most appropriate finishing for your requirements can be applied after installation.

Because of the many wood species and multiple creative options Chaco Wood Commercial and Vertical Parquet is popular amongst architects and interior advisers/stylists. Commercial Parquet is perfect for use a s project


floor in shops, offices, ball rooms, party locations but also as special design floor for your domestic home.

Commercial = 14 x 22 x 250mm (15 strips per tile), approximately 1 sq meter per pack
Vertical = 22 x 8 8 x 160mm (40 strips per tile), appr. 1 sq m per pack

All wood-species available are FSC certified.
Tarara Amarilla Commercial Parquet

Prices etc

For up to date prices give us a call on 01233 - 713725 now to discuss your requirements and accessories (such as suitable adhesive and finishes).

Or request the full colour online Wooden Floor Range Brochure Design Parquet here to view even more large images and interior designs.

Renovating and extending an original parquet floor

We received the following question through our "Ask Personal Advice on Wood" form.

1950's house renovation and new extension

We are renovating the parquet in our 1950's house. We have parquet blocks in our lounge (not T&G) that are stuck with bitumen (3 fingers per square approx 11x11cm per square). We have extended the lounge and I have reclaimed the parquet from another room and would like to lay it in the lounge extension to complete the floor. Then sand and redo the whole floor as one. The new floor will be concrete screed.

My questions are: Can I glue the blocks directly to the screed or should it be sealed or leveled out first? If so with what? The screed is pretty flat but is quite sandy/gritty. Is there a product I can use to glue the parquet which will bond even with the residual bitumen on the old parquet so I don't have to remove it? It's only a thin layer of 1-3mm? I was intending on leaving the existing floor alone as it is sound.
Thank you.

Primer and bitumen advice (again)

Thank you for your question. Starting with the dusty concrete floor, this needs a primer to prevent any adhesive only bonding with the dust and not the concrete. 

If the concrete floor is very new, you have to be aware it takes time - 30 days per inch of new concrete - for it to dry out sufficiently before you can install any floor covering on it.

As for the bitumen, remove as much as possible (leaving just the "stain" of bitumen on the blocks, not actual bits of bitumen) because any residue will have a negative effect on the bonding time of the adhesive.

Have you had a look at our "7 easy steps to repair/restore your original parquet"?

Hope this helps

Kind Regards
Wood You Like Ltd

Grigio Range - rediscovered Artist's Pigments on Oak

Until paint was produced commercially during the Industrial Revolution (circa 1800), painters had to make their own paints by grinding pigment into oil. The paint would harden and would have to be made fresh each day. Paint consists of small grains of pigment suspended in oil.

In portraits and in illustrations of religious and mythological subject matter the great Venetian masters of the sixteenth century manipulated the substance and colour of pigments to achieve naturalistic, decorative and expressive ends.

Introducing the Grigio Range Load-bearing Wood-Engineered boards


Last year our Dutch (Bespoke) Design Parquet manufacturer Lieverdink introduced this new oil finish, Grigio (Italian for Grey) using 5 rediscovered Artist's Pigments to create unique authentic appearance of Oak flooring. From the launch these original finishes have been available in 6mm wood blocks and "tapis" or "overlay" floors in various widths.

Now they - and we - are happy to inform you that the 5 olden colours are now also available in 18mm load-bearing wood-engineered boards in 2 widths (180mm and 220mm).
The 18mm thick board has a 6mm Solid Oak layer, unbevelled (square edged). An extra feature of this new Grigio product is the (unique) dark tongue which gives a shade effect to the boards should there be any (seasonal) gaps appear between the boards.

5 Authentic colours:


From left to right:
Antique Red, Old Brown, Pure Grey, Valed Grey and Slate Grey

Every floor its own certificate


Because of the uniqueness of this range you will receive a Certificate of Authenticity with your floor and the floor itself will have its own production code (printed on the back of the product).

More info

See our dedicated Wooden Floor Range page: Aged flooring - where you can request the full colour online brochure with many more (interior design) images of this new range or give us a call on 01233 - 713725 now to discuss your requirements and accessories (such as suitable underlayment).

Delivery time: between 2 - 4 weeks, so order in time!

Alternatively: visit our showroom in Charing (Kent) where we can show you large samples of this quality range.

Feedback and Tongue-Tite story

Feedback received from (DIY & Professional) floor fitters on Wood You Like's Wooden Floor Installation Manual

From John - Hampshire

Hi Wood You Like!

Floor is now complete, just the beading around the hearth to finish. I read the book from start to finish before starting. Most of the information I had found from your web site before hand but I did refer to it during the installation and for the finishing.

Tongue-Tite screws

Just an observation that you may want to share, I used Tongue-Tite screws to secure through the tongue (I always like my work to be reversible!). Although they claim the screws are 'anti-jacking' I found they did occasionally lift the boards by a millimetre or so. Usually found the next day when walking across the floor and hearing a creak. I lifted sections of floor 5 times to rectify, no joke!
Also the heads of the screws are T10 Torx feature and both heads and bits wear quickly. I found the bit supplied with each box barely did the 200 screws supplied. I found pilot drilling made the bits last longer, but more time consuming.


(Features and Advantages from Elka's own website)

Finished the floor with Osmo HardWaxOil which looks beautiful. Just the hall to do next. The box instructions for the flooring said to allow 10% for waste but I found virtually no waste, all off cuts were used to stagger rows, so I have 5 spare boxes.

Regards - John (Hampshire)

Hi John

Thank you for your feedback and we will definitely use your experience of the Tongue-Tite screws for the benefit of others (as you know we are not very much in favour of screwing floors, but then again have no own experience therefore with these "special" screws).

As far saw-waste: it indeed depends per room/rooms and the length plus width of the board you are using (plus the quality of the product) how much saw-waste you end up with.

Kind Regards and once again thank you for your feedback, much appreciated

Wood You Like Ltd
Karin Hermans / Ton Slooven

Wooden Floor Installation Manual available now!


Buy the 160 page Wood Floor Installation Manual created by Wood You Like. Filled with tricks of the trade to install your own floor like a professional!

Paperback £ 17.97 (plus £3.97 p&p) (secure Paypal payment)

E-version available too! See here for more information and other purchase options

Feedback and case study received

Feedback received from (professional) floor fitters on Wood You Like's Wooden Floor Installation Manual


Hi Karin & Ton

Well done on the ‘Installation Manual’, very informative and to the point.

Most manuals are very general and vague about the details, which are the most important bits if you’re going to be able to understand the reasons for doing or not doing certain things. It’s always essential to understand why you’re doing something so that you know why it’s correct and therefore you can then apply that method of thinking in general.

With regards to my flooring project(s). I had just completed a 55 area in a new extension for a client before receiving the manual.

The back of the house had been knocked through and the extension was built across the whole width of the house. One third was the kitchen,

Continue reading "Feedback and case study received" »

The 18 x 120mm Solid Floor question

Wooden floors come in many types, wood-species, constructions, sizes, quality and prices. One of the more "common" ones is the 18mm thick Solid Oak floorboard, 120mm wide and with random lengths. Popular priced too at many DIY-sheds like B&Q, Wickes or even Floors2Go, but in our opinion the boxes in which they come should carry a big red exclamation mark on it: random lengths, nice but.... know what you are buying can restrict your choice in installation methods.

The problem is, the boxes do not come with that warning. So if you are in the same position as the person who asked the following question in regards of the "infamous" 18 x 120mm you might like to hear this too:

Question received:

Hello , Hope you can help me ? Ive just bought a new solid 120mm wide 18mm thick wooden floor to be fitted in the kitchen/dining room and the sub floor is concrete what would be the best way to fit the wooden floor?

Answer - includes warning

Thank you for your question. Question for you in return: does your floor come in so-called random length, for instance the known 300 - 1200mm? If so, you first have to check how many very short lengths are in a box.

If too many then it is not advisable to install such a floor using the floating method and it would be better to fully bond the floor with flexible adhesive to the level and dry concrete floor. See this article about the short end of the stick/board. Solid Floors - what to note

Hope this helps
Wood You Like Ltd

And flexible adhesive is - compared with combi-underlayment and a few bottles of PVAC-wood glue - higher in price, turning your "cheap" or cheaper wood floor into a more expensive (but not necessary better quality) floor.
See example of what's on "offer" here:


Would you care to count the number of long boards in the image above? Many short boards mean many joints = many hinges when you install this type of flooring floating, making your floor rather unstable and prone to movement.

Sheen and shine

Questions in the comment box of this blog are a great source of articles - it reflects the problems/thoughts and even dilemmas people can have. Like the question we received recently:

I want the floor to have a sheen/shine

We have had a wood floor laid fairly recently and it has been waxed, which is high maintenance if you want to keep it looking good. I want the floor to have a sheen/shine, would you use lacquer and if so can you over wax.

Old fashion solution

Wood You Like's old fashion buffing block to bring sheen to your oiled/waxed floor

Your solution might lay in our "old-fashion" 7kg cast iron buffing-block, making light work of the maintenance and making your floor looking really good with a shine. You don't need to apply wax or polish that often when you use a buffing block (and applying wax/polish too often can have the reverse effect on your floor, too much and a greasy, sticky layer will keep dust and dirt trapped).

If that's not what you have in mind than sanding the whole floor to remove all the wax - using a wax-remover first - and then apply a lacquer could be done, but in our opinion will not look as good or as long good as an oiled/waxed floor does.
(You cannot lacquer or varnish straight over an waxed/oiled floor!)

Hope this helps
Wood You Like Ltd

(Have a question? Submit it in the "comment box" or fill in this form to receive our answer by email.)

New narrow boards on existing floorboards: nail or float?

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

90mm x 18mm pre lacquered pine boards

At 17:56 20/03/2010, you wrote:

I am laying 90mm x 18mm pre lacquered pine boards over existing floorboards in my hall and wanted to lay in the opposite direction to existing boards. I am a bit confused over the best method of laying, secret nailing or glueing tongue and groove. If I nail as I am going in opposite direction to existing boards I will not be able to nail into joists but understand that the new boards may be too narrow to for gluing. Also can you assist in advising if I should lay an underlay and which type and thickness is best.

Secret nail in existing boards not only on joists

At 12:07 21/03/2010, Wood You Like Ltd wrote:

You are right, the width of your new boards are too narrow to use the standard floating method.
Secret nailing straight onto the existing floorboards (specially in the opposite direction) would work well - you nail the new boards every 20 - 25 cm into the existing floorboards, no real need to end up on a joist, presuming the existing floorboards are in good nick.
If you opt for this method then no underlayment is needed.

Alternatively you could use the self-adhesive underlayment Elastilon onto which the narrow new boards are stuck down.

Elastilon self-adhesive underlayment for wooden floors: the original product

When nailing - which underlayment?

At 14:19 26/03/2010, you wrote:

This has been extremely helpful. Had not considered self adhesive underlayment will do now.

If I do nail can I use an underlayment. I was considering a 3mm, this to help with noise and eliminating any small imperfections in existing floor.

When nailing - no underlayment!

At 15:42 26/03/2010, Wood You Like Ltd wrote:

Nailing and using underlayment is not really practical: the force and angle of the nail will compress the underlayment and render any effect of sound-insulation useless.
If there are only small imperfections in the floor, the 3mm Elastilon can tackle them - but don't regard it as a "filler".

More of these tips and standard practices etc can be found in our Wooden Floor Installation Manual

Hope this helps

Wooden Floor Installation Manual - everything you need to know about DIY wooden floors

Even more design images of design patterns

Design Parquet is still one of the most admired (and valuable) wooden floors around. The choices are bountiful, over 30 "standard" designs available from our Design Parquet Manufacturer and then some.

Design Parquet pattern 4 Avegoor in Curupixa
(Design Parquet pattern 4 - Avegoor - in Curupixa (Ruby - robijn wood)

In the online wooden floor range leaflet you can now view them all on your leisure. Also added - since this afternoon - images and details of all wood-species you can have your design floor created (crafted) in.

From Padoek to Oak Exquisite, from Panga Panga to American Red Oak and plenty more European and (FSC/PEFC) Tropical species.

Oak Prime Padoek

(Oak Prime and Padoek)

Request access to our online wooden floor range leaflet by simple submitting your name and email address in the form below and a confirmation email will be whizzing its way to your inbox in no time at all.

First Name*

Last Name*

Range leaflet*

Email Address*


New range in Design Parquet: Old Manor

Yesterday we received the largest ever sample in our showroom - a massive 80 x 120cm board:

Old Manor Double Smoked Natural - news range from Wood You Like 

It is part of the new range from our Dutch Design Parquet Manufacturer: The Old Manor Oak edge-distressed range.

The wood blocks (with distressed edges) are 10 x 70 x 350mm or 10 x 80 x 425mm and come pre-finished in a variety of colours and smoked treatments (single and double smoked). Also available as strip flooring (500 - 1000mm long).

Because this floor is pre-finished you need a level underfloor or subfloor - on a concrete floor we recommend to install a Industrial grade Oak mosaic subfloor first, which can be sanded level and gives your Old Manor floor the most stable base it can have.

Request our Design Parquet Range leaflet to discover all the colours in high definition interior design images or call us for more information and up to date prices/lead-times now: 01233 - 713725

Bring authenticity back into your home with this range, guaranteed from PEFC sources.

Find the perfect wooden floor for your own home

It's a known fact wooden flooring adds allure and value to any home. Selecting the best suited floor for your specific circumstances, interior design wishes and budget can however be a daunting task - there are so many different types around!

Let us help you with this: request any of our Quality Wooden Floor ranges and we will immediately direct you to our online leaflets, filled with large interior design images, Technical Specifications and much, much more. - see below for an example.


Request your own leaflet now

You can browse the leaflets on your leisure in the comfort of your own home!

Once more: battens - too low and your floor will rattle!

This subject seems to be a recurring "problem": battens on a concrete floor.

9mm battens

I am laying 21mm thick solid French oak tongue and groove floor boards on a stable 21-year-old concrete floor. I've been advised to fix battens to the floor and then nail the oak floor boards to the battens through each tongue. What I am unsure about is whether I need to lay any insulation between the battens and if so, what sort? The battens are 9mm thick - just enough to secure the boards to. The planks have been in the room for about 3 weeks to acclimatise.

Recommended height of battens: 50mm

Thank you for your question. Are the battens really only 9mm thick?? That's way to thin for this method of installing a wooden floor, the nails alone should be 50 - 60mm long for the best and long term problem free result - and on 9mm battens the nails will hit the concrete, turning your wooden floor into a rattling one.

Various options here - depending on the width of your floorboards

Install "floating" on a combi-underlayment glueing the T&G's correctly (only if your boards are 100mm or wider and the whole floor does have many long lengths)
Recommended reading on the subject of Solid Wooden Floors: Solid Floors - what to note
Glueing your floor down with flexible adhesive
Using self-adhesive underlayment like Elastilon
Or installing higher battens first (at least 50mm thick and preferable 75mm wide)

Hope this helps

Kind Regards
Wood You Like Ltd
(check out our new Wooden Floor Installation Manual)

Wood You Like's Wooden Floor Installation Manual - everything you need to know about DIY wooden floors

14 days left to pre-order Installation Manual

Planning to select a wooden floor? Planning to install a wooden floor in the near future?

Not sure where to start? Look no further than Wood You Like's new publication:

"Wooden Floor Installation Manual" - paperback

Official launch of the comprehensive manual which contains everything you need to know about DIY wooden floors is second half of March 2010.

This is your chance to pre-order the paperback for reduced price and without any p&p to pay! Pre-order price only £15.97

(Official price for the manual: £17.97 plus £3.97 p&p)

See here for all details on the book and here to pre-order now.

Please note: This offer ends Sunday morning 14 March! (OFFER HAS NOW EXPIRED)

Wood You Like's Wooden Floor Installation Manuul - everything you need to know about DIY wooden floor installation

Do you like the taste of a bargain?

This week we had the following conversation (by email, through our "Ask Personal Advice" system).

Question: I am a DIY-er who has laid a solid wood floor onto timber batons successfully (secret nailing 15 years ago and no problems). I have also laid a couple of floating laminated floors successfully.

However, I have been asked to lay a solid oak floor onto a concrete base. The boards are of variable lengths from 400mm to 1000mm. I have only seen one pack opened and it contained 17 @ 400mm, 4 @ 500, 4 @ 800, 4 @ 900 and 6 @ 1000mm. What would be the best method of laying the floor. Would Elastilon self adhesive underlay be OK.

I am concerned that there are a lot of small pieces. What is the minimum overlap of the boards? Thank you.

Our answer:

You are absolutely right, this type of product (cheap offer?) should not be installed floating. Due to the many short lengths it will have many too close together joints (300mm apart is the minimum when dealing with a "normal floor that has all long length, but a lot of 400mm long boards does not make it better)
You're best bet is indeed Elastilon, giving it the best support. You have to install a DPM first (sheet) because the Elastilon does not contain one.

On which we received the following reply:

Hi Karin,
Thanks for the advice you gave. The floor is for my brother-in-law and I have told him that I am not happy doing the job, because of all the small pieces. I don't think it would look very good, even if Elastilon solves the problem of it being unstable.

I would prefer him to take it back and buy engineered wood with a real oak surface and all of the same length. His problem is buying this for the same bargain price he paid for the oak.

Thanks again.

We know it is the best advice he can give his brother-in-law and these stories always remind us of one of our favourite quotes:

“The bitter taste of poor quality remains much longer than the sweet taste of a low price.”

Buyer beware, cheap offers are often just that: cheap with 9 times out of 10 an awful end-result.
Good quality wooden floors will give you value for money for a very long time and will be your trusted assistant during the installation.

UFH and wooden flooring: it's all in the preparation!

Last week we received a question from a rather frustrated home-owner:

"Hi, I am having trouble in getting my floor leveled. Got the builders to remove the floor joists and lay concrete layer. I went on holiday post this and when i returned, builders suggested this was topped with insulation, and then followed by the UFH pipes. They say it was then topped by Latex screed, which by the time i came back was very unleveled and had cracks all over.

To get it to level, builders use self leveling compound wherever it was needed (in large parts), but to my dismay just after 10 days, the floor has started cracking and unleveling again because of these cracks.

I am so damn frustrated with all this leveling thing, and we have already got the engineered wood we want to lay on top of it. But my floor layer says, if he lays the wood on top of this floor, it will move quite a bit and be wobbly and also showed me the movement by placing a few pieces together.

I have no clue as to what we should be doing now, even though builders are very nice i guess they are clueless as well. They are thinking of topping it with another layer of some kind of mixture, and I am just concerned that with 2 layers already on top of UFH, a third layer of a compound, which if everything works ok will be topped by engineered wood - which will make the UFH pretty useless or extremely expensive to heat up the floor in my view.

Would you be able to advice what you think we did wrong and how can we get our floor to be leveled so the wood floor doesn't wobble and UFH remains effective too.

Thank you for your question and sorry to hear about your problems. However, very glad to read that your wooden floor fitter refuses to install the wood floor on this crumbling underfloor, 'cos he's absolutely right.

If the crumbling layer is patched up again your UFH system will never work properly - as I fear it will not do this anyway at the moment due to the cracks (patching up solutions on patched up solutions never works!)

A floor can be unlevel, but only 3mm maximum over 1 meter and only in one direction. Presumably your fitter plans to fully bond the floor to the concrete with flexible adhesive and if the floor is too unlevel (dips and hills) this will never work: there will be air-gaps underneath the wood everywhere, rendering your UFH system useless indeed.

I'm afraid you have to re-call your builders and tell them to start over with the screed - preferably back to the insulation. Your concrete/screed ontop of the UFH needs to be smooth and whole (no cracks!) in order to work and in order to provide a proper surface for your wood floor fitter.

Sorry we don't have better news for you and I recommend you also get advice from the manufacturer/supplier of the UFH system.


An installation of a wooden floor starts with the correct preparations, especially when there is new concrete or screed involved. Like in the case above, when you also add Underfloor Heating to the fro - a sound, dry and level concrete/screed surface is even more important. A defect surface will definitely mean a defect or at least inefficient working of the UFH.

Always get advice from the supplier/manufacturer of the UFH system about the correct preparations, follow this (have this followed by you builder) and prevent aggravation, frustration and extra costs and/or delays.

And never accept patching up solutions, no matter how nice or hard working your builder seems: it is bound to end in tears.


If you are thinking of using Underfloor Heating and install a wooden floor, request our start-up tips here.

From underlayment, to direction and thresholds

An 'live' example of "asking personal advice on wood", a conversation by email - see our form here

At 21:41 13/01/2010, you wrote:

Question: Hi I hope you can help me. This is a really stupid question and one that you'll be telling your mates down the pub for weeks to come!!! I'm about to lay an oak finished engineered floor in my hallway and I've bought some Timbermate Silentfloor Gold underlay. But I'm standing here scratching my head because I can't work out whether the gold side should face up or down!!!! Please could you help??? Thanks Ian

Hi Ian

Stupid questions don't exist, only stupid answers and even worse: not asking when you're in doubt

Rest assured, we scratch our heads too once in a while when thinking the manufacturer would make life easier for a fitter and produce the roll in such a way it is being rolled out with the bottom side down (and not as happens with some products you have to roll out the length you need and then turn it over because the roll is produced with the topside under!).

In your case the gold side should face down (according to the image of the manufacturer itself in their catalogue).

Hope this helps and here's hoping they rolled it up to make your life easy, because Timbermate can be quite heavy to handle.

At 13:24 14/01/2010, you wrote:

Hi Karin

Thank you very much for your advice and your very prompt reply. You’re right this stuff is very heavy! I had enough trouble carrying it from the car into the house, so laying it probably isn’t going to be much fun!!

Thanks again for your help.

Hi Ian

How are you getting on with the installation for your floor? Any problems or queries?

At 11:07 18/01/2010, you wrote:

Hi Karin

I intended to make a start this weekend but I’m afraid my ‘better half’ had other ideas and we ended up entertaining her family instead – ah well, maybe next weekend!!

But, since you ask, I’m wondering if I could perhaps ask your advice once more?
The hallway I am intending to install the timber flooring in is L-shaped. Obviously, the timber boards will fun lengthways along the longer branch of the ‘L’ and widthways along the shorter branch. At the end of the shorter branch is a small cloakroom in which I am also intending to install the new flooring. Do I stop at the flooring at doorway to the cloakroom install a threshold and run the boards in the cloakroom lengthways or do I keep the boards running width-ways in the cloakroom to match the part of the hallway immediately outside???

I’d be very interested in your opinion.
Very many thanks once again.

At 11:16 18/01/2010, Wood You Like Ltd wrote:

Hi Ian

The best plans to tend to go haywire during weekends

We always recommend to install a thresholds especially in small areas and cloakrooms (different temperature and humidity). Because of this you can decide for your self how to run the boards in the cloakroom, what looks most aesthetically in you (your wife's) eyes. The door of the cloakroom will be closed most of the time no doubt, so no 'clashing' with how the floor looks in connection areas.

Hope this helps

Have you had a look at our Installation manual?

Hi Ian

Any progress on the decisions about directions or have you completely finished the job already? If so, are you happy with the result, any problems encountered and tackled?

At 14:41 03/02/2010, you wrote:

Hi Karin

At last the job’s all done!!

I think it’s turned out OK and I’m really pleased with the results – it seems a shame to walk on it!!
The main problem I had was getting the individual boards really tightly together. I’d bought some ratchet clamps made for the purpose, so that when I had glued the tongue and put the boards together I could tighten everything up and let it set. Although the clamps were really tight, some of the boards were still not as tightly together as they could be. In the end, I found the best way was to knock the boards together using a hammer and an offcut of flooring. This seemed to get everything really tightly together. The problem here is that when you get close to the wall of the room you don’t have enough room to use a hammer. I tried using a ‘pull bar’ without much success – it just seemed to damage the boards too much. But all in all I’m pleased with the job and wouldn’t hesitate to put timber flooring in the other rooms of the house.

With regard to the direction of the boards in the cloakroom, I decided to keep them running in the same direction as the hallway and to use a threshold too. Having laid the flooring in the hall, it looked a bit odd when you opened the cloakroom door to see the boards going the other way. The chances are nobody else would ever have noticed, but I know it would really have got to me after a while.

Many thanks for all your advice – I couldn’t have done the job without you.

Ian R

Why Wooden Flooring: keeping out the draft

Keeping out the draft

Many older homes (still) have existing old fashion floorboards over the void: causing draft and dust because these boards do not have a 'modern' Tongue and Groove' construction. Gaps between the boards cause draft and dust coming through.

Knowing that exposing wood will add to the value of your home, it would be a shame to cover this old floor covering with carpets to make your home look and feel warmer. If needed new floorboards with T&G and at least 18mm thick can take the place of your existing floorboards.

If that is too much work and hassle you can quite easily install new (thinner) floorboards on top of your existing drafty floorboards to stop the draft and dust devaluing your home.

Plus in all circumstances it will reduce your heating bills!

(Filling the gaps between existing old floorboards is a very temporary - and 'ugly' - solution: due to the natural movement of the wood any filling material will drop into the void underneath the boards within a matter of weeks!
And no matter what you do: DON'T block any ventilation - air-bricks - in walls, your house needs ventilation to remove excess humidity. Blocking air-gaps can cause damp and the rotting of joists.)

New: Planning to Install a Wooden Floor?

Planning to install a wooden floor?

"How do I install the last row?"..... "My room is part chipboard, part concrete. What do I do?".... "Can I install a wood floor in a kitchen?".... “I've got underfloor heating, can I have wood flooring?".... "Do I glue or float my wood floor?".... . "The pack says to glue it, the supplier says nail it. Now what?".... "I've got two dogs and four kids, my wife likes wood flooring, what do you suggest?".... "How do I know how much wood to buy?".... "There are Marley tiles, can I glue a wood floor on them?”....

Wood You Like's Wooden Floor Installation Manual - everything you need to know about DIY wooden floor installation Just a small collection of questions that has found its way to Wood You Like's inbox over the last 5 years. After answering all questions individually the owners/directors have now created a comprehensive manual on installing natural wooden floorboards for diy-ers based on these frequently asked questions. The manual covers all basics from what to note when selecting your own natural wooden flooring, the schedule of works, three different installation methods to the easy maintenance principles that will keep your floor healthy and beautiful and much, much more.

Installing a wood floor isn't rocket science - all it needs is some common sense, patience, the right preparations at the right time and of course quality materials and the right tools. Wood You Like's Installation Manual for Wooden Flooring covers it all: including tricks of the trade to install your own floor like a professional!

Read on.....
and order your copy today!

Why Wooden Flooring: lifetime value

Lifetime value

Standard carpets last around 5 - 7 years, standard wooden flooring already comes with a manufacturers guarantee of between 10 - 30 years.
High quality carpets will set you back around £50 - £70 per sq m supplied and last around 10 - 15 years. Highest quality wooden flooring costs around £50 - £70 per sq meter supplied and even without the manufacturers promise will definitely last around 30 - 50 years.

Translated in 'costs per year':
high quality carpets between £ 3.33 - £ 7.00 per sq m per year
highest quality wooden flooring between £ 1.00 - £2.33 per sq m per year.

Why Wooden Flooring: keeping up with changing trends in design colours

Keeping up with changing trends in design colours


This year's new black is Honey Colour and next year's new black is light chocolate brown.

If you plan to sell your home and know trendy buyers buy into the colours of that year, how are you going to please them? With a wooden floor - especially the lighter European wood species like Oak, Ash and even Pine - you can quite easily change the appearance of your floor without having to replace the whole floor-covering.

All it needs is a light sanding and the application - by yourself or done professionally - of the right colour finish. This tactic will also make your wooden floor almost brand sparkling new again.