Saturday, 5 July 2014

Why stain a tropical floor?

Sometimes a question arrives which we truly have to anser according to our own principles:
"We got a reddish coloured floor in our house and want to lighten the colour - how do we go about this?"
 To be honest, more often than not we tell them it would be a shame to change the wonderful natural colour of the wood-species. Once we inform them of the nowaday prices of tropical wood floors most are then (although some reluctantly) changing their minds.
 Merbau mosaic, tropical wood

Restoring a original tropical wood floor will add value to your property and we can highly recommend Saicos Tropical Combo as the best finish.

For those still wanting to change the appearance of their tropical floor: think about adding a light rug to the floor which keeps the value of your floor intact (for instance when you sell your property the new owners could appreciate the original floor more than a stained one) and gives you more of the "design-style" you were after at the same time.

Don't use cork strips top fill the gap!!

Some issues keep recurring in our inbox, on flooring forums: cork strips among them.
A few days ago we received the following email:
"I realise the importance of leaving an expansion gap around a wooden floor (oak parquet in my case) but can you tell me why we are told to insert cork strips around the edge? Surely the cork is only taking up valuable expansion room. Is it ok to  just leave a 10mm gap all around?" 
This was our (recurring) answer on this subject:

Thank you for your question. We are trying so hard do tell everyone exactly that: DON'T use cork strips to fill the expansion gap.

These were used many, many years ago to divide design parquet pattern and the block border and somehow ended up in the expansion gap. 
So, you are absolutely right. Leave your expansion gap 'empty' to cater for any natural seasonal movement of your wood floor."
The reply:
Many thanks, it's nice to be right for once!
Of course he was right, we still don't understand how the old-fashion cork divider strip ended up as recommendation to fill your expansion gaps.
Looking for more tips and tricks of the trade to install your own natural wooden floor like a pro? Look no further than the "Wooden Floor Installation Manual"

Wood You Like Wooden Floor Installation Manual

Which floor finish is the best?

Which of these two wood floor finish options would be best: Oil or lacquer?

One of the hardest questions to answer is: what makes a better finish, lacquer or oil/HardWaxOil?
First of all it’s down to personal taste and secondly to what is expected of the floor, e.g. easy maintenance, shiny look or natural appearance of the wood.

BrushHistorical the wax floor is still seen as very labour intensive to maintain, who doesn't have memories of caretakers buffing away endlessly week after week after week (be it your “Gran” or the school caretaker). Then came the ‘modern’ lacquer (and synthetic and affordable wall-to-wall carpets) and the original wax floor almost became extinct.

For many decades most of the wooden flooring in the U.K. were pre-finished lacquered or lacquered/varnished on site. Maintenance became simple, buffing on hands and knees a thing of the past and there is a choice between high gloss and matte appearance. The newest innovation in lacquer even has the same appearance as an oiled floor to make the wood look more ‘natural’.

The biggest disadvantage of a lacquered finish on a wooden floor is that it ‘sits’ on the floor.
When damaged with a sharp object or due to the long term abrasive effect of dirt (‘dirty’ shoes ‘sanding’ away in heavy traffic areas or under chairs, tables) the lacquer doesn't protect the wood any more and dirt/moist will make the wooden floor look ‘grey’ regardless of maintenance efforts. In fact, cleaning damaged areas with a moist cloth will make things worse.

The only proper solution would be to sand the complete floor and to apply a new finish. Applying a proper lacquer layer is a job for the specialist, lacquer is not very forgiving to mistakes made.
The labour intensive maintenance of the old-fashioned wax-floor has now become a thing of the past:
oils replaced the many layers of wax. The oil penetrates the wood deeper than lacquer and makes it moist resistance, but allowing the wood to ‘breathe’. A hardwax layer is applied afterwards to make the wear and tear layer water repellent.

Nowadays most oiled floors are pre-finished (or finished on site) with HardWaxOil, combining the natural oil (long term protection) and the carnauba or bees hardwax (wear and tear layer) in a two-in-one product. It’s very easy to apply and a very forgiving product when some mistakes are made, in fact an ideal DIY-finish (but we strongly recommend you read the instructions thoroughly and use the right equipment).
It has a great surface density and therefore very resistant to abrasive movements. Besides that, any (small) damages are very easily repaired with some wax or maintenance oil without the need to sand the whole floor.
The appearance of the finished wooden floor is satin-mat with the advantage of making the floor look warmer, deeper in colour over the years.
Easymaintenance

An oiled-waxed or HardWaxOiled wooden floor requires slightly more maintenance than a lacquered floor, but not on the level of the old-fashioned knee and backbreaking wax floor, the modern maintenance products have taken care of that.
And on the other hand: wet shoe prints (think rain, Autumn, incoming traffic in hallways) don't show up immediately, like it does on a varnished or lacquered floor.

You can request our maintenance tips by popping in your name and email address in the form below (we hate spam as much as you do and your details will never be forwarded to any one else!)

Have we answered the question of what makes a better finish? No, sorry we still can't. Ultimately it is still down to personal taste, we're afraid.

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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

World Cup 2014 discount

During this years World Cup football, you can purchase the E-guide
"Wooden Floor Installation Manual" 
EmanualCat
Valid up untill 13.07.2014
The E-version: instant access to the exact same content as the the paperback, plus includes all colour images and drawings.
This version can be:
  • viewed online with multiple search-options,
  • downloaded (PDF) and printed, and
  • gives you even the opportunity to ask your own questions underneath every section, every chapter even.
Wooden Floor Installation Manual, everything you need to know about DIY wooden floors

This 160 page manual in plain English contains all the tricks of the trade we and other professionals use which will make your wood floor look like it was installed by a professional too.

Let the sun shine, but protect your floor

Enjoying the sunny weather we're having of late? I'll bet you do!

The intens sunshine however resulted in a panicky email:

"I hope you can help us. We had an Oak floor installed which was finished with UV-oil. Now with all the sunny weather of the recent weeks, the part of floor that gets the sun all afternoon long is still changing colour! How is that possible, we thought with the UV-oil the floor was protected against this???"

An UV-oil finish is quite common nowadays. but is sets most people on "the wrong foot". UV-oil means the oil in the factory has certain particles in it that assists the quick factory drying of the oil with UV-light. It does not mean your floor is now protected against the effects of the UV-light of the sun.

Any wood floor reacts to light, by turning darker or lighter - depending on the wood-species. The best way to protect your floor (and its colour) is to shade it from intense sunlight during mid-day when the UV rays are at their strongest. Awnings, screens or even soft curtains will reduce the UV effect on your floor.

Plus, as you would (should!) do with your own skin to protect it during the most intense sunshine, you can also protect your floor - no matter if it is treated with UV-oil or not - by applying a regular maintenance regime which keeps the surface healthy and will reduce the effect of the sun's UV light.
Ecoline Pflegewachs Spray 1 GB

A regular maintenance regime means nothing more than applying a polish or a wax every 5 - 6 months (do avoid treating your floor in direct sunshine, the high temperature of the surface will dry out the polish/wax too quickly and result in a patchy result).

The simplest way to treat your floor - and protect it better against the sunshine - is using Saicos EcoLine Wax-Care Spray. Simply spray it on your floor, spread it out with the polish applicator and within 10 minutes the job is done!

Treat your floor regularly, enjoy the sun and don't get burned!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Non visible finish, new from Saicos

Often we are presented with the following question:
"We've sanded down our Oak floor and like the pale colour the wood has now. How can we keep this colour?"
Before we had to tell every one that even a natural finish (such as Saicos Premium HardWaxOil, available in 4 sheens) would "darken" the wood to its natural characteristic. With Oak this tends to be honey - or yellow, and not the pale(r) colour you see right after sanding. Doing the "wet-finger" test on sanded Oak will show you this authentic colour the boards/blocks will get after oiling.
However.......!
Saicos Coating Systems has just launched a new "sheen" in their Premium HardWaxOil (the quick drying product) which will keep your Oak wood the paler colour you saw after sanding:
  • Saicose pure 4 (3)Another innovation from Saicos to keep the wood looking as natural as possible. It’s a Non visible finish.
  • After completely sanding the floor, and you would like to keep the same appearance, you should apply two coats of Saicos Pure Hardwax Oil.
  • Does not yellow over time and easy maintenance with Saicos wash care.
  • Coverage 14m2 with 2coats per litre
  • Available in 0.75 litres and 2.5 litre
  • Also ideal for Kitchen worktops, doors and furniture as well.
 Available now in our secure webshop:
Saicos Premium HardWaxOil 0.75 ltr - select the "pure" option
Saicos Premium HardWaxOil 2.5 ltr - select the "pure" option
If you are looking for a pale look on your tropical floor - for which we highly recommend the Tropical Combo - two coats of HardWaxOil staight on the sanded surface will create a patchy look, due to the fact the tropical wood is oily of its own and the oil in the HardWaxOil will have trouble penetrating to wood as it should. Therefore we do not recommend the pure on these wood-species, use the Tropical Combo and apply the single oil first!

Monday, 26 May 2014

High praise for Saicos by DIY Grandma

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

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

When she first contacted us, the hardest part - sanding the old finish off - was already done. She just needed to know which finish would be best for her tropical floor and we advised to use the "tropical combo" from Saicos.



Saicos tropical combo
Saicos doesn't call the combination of the two oil products this way, we baptised it ourselves last year when we had to look for an alternative for the thin oil (Euku oil 1) which, due to VOC regulations, was not longer being produced. Our own experience with Saicos Colour Wax Clear extra thin, followed by one coat of Saicos Premium HardWaxOil (or in lesser traffic areas with Saicos Wax-Polish) proved to us it was a very worthy if not better alternative.
(Side-note: Saicos' Colour Wax products are a thin oil and not - as the name suggests - a wax).

Tropical wood species are oily of themselves, which, when applying HardWaxOil as first coat, can result in patchy areas when the oil in the HWO can not penetrate the wood enough before the wax part of the HWO starts doing its work. Therefore it is better to apply a thin - single - oil first, which can do its work to penetrate the wood for long term protection undisturbed, followed by one coat of HardWaxOil.

Uncertainties gone

This week Mrs Lewis called us again with high praise for the "Tropical Combo". 
Well done wood you likeIt had been so easy to apply, she told us, and brought out the original grandeur of the parquet floor in no time at all.

"And it is so hardwearing! I don't have to worry about the floor when my grand children visit, it doesn't show anything at all."

One worry she did have after applying the Colour Wax Clear was the fact it seemed to dry up a bit dull, not what she had expected. But after applying the coat of HardWaxOil the sheen of the original tropical floor showed up, dissolving her fear she had not applied the first coat correctly.

"You should explain this better in your guide! You know how people are uncertain about these things, doing this for a first time, and telling them upfront what to expect takes away these uncertanties."

Point taken, Mrs Lewis.

The reason Mrs Lewis called us was one little area of the restored floor stayed dull, she thought it might have had something to do with sanding this particular area more than others - closing the grain. Should she apply a second coat of HardWaxOil there?


In these cases we recommend to treat the spot with wax or wax-polish first, 9 times out of 10 this solves the dullness and it rather quickly to do.
(Side-note: one of the advantages of using HardWaxOil over varnish/lacquer is the fact you can "repair" small areas locally without having to sand down the whole floor again. Varnish/lacquer applied only on a small area can result in a patchy appearance when new finish overlaps with old finish, this will not show when you use HWO.)

Now she experienced the great result of her first floor restoring project Mrs Lewis has changed her mind about buying new rugs to put on the floors of the bedrooms, covering the original parquet in there.

"They are too beautiful to stay covered up really and now I know how well and simple your Tropical Combo products work I'm more than confident I can bring back their grandeur too."

Who are we to argue?
In our secure webshop you will find everything you need to repair/restore your own original parquet floor too.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Care/Repair set - everything you need in one box

When you are (re)searching products to care or repair your wooden floor, you could be forgiven for becoming overwhelmed by all the products available. Which one, or combination of products, would do everything you want it to do, AND is suitable for it?
Do I need an oil when my floor has been oiled before to bring back its lustre, do I need a cleaning product first and what wax or polish can I apply and how often?
What products do I need when I only have to add a few blocks to our existing parquet floor, and want to sand and re-finish the whole area of flooring?
The list of questions can go on and on.

Restoration packs

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Since long, Wood You Like's secure webshop has presented you with 3 different Restoration Packs when you're in the process of restoring your original parquet floor:
  • Oak pack - with HardWaxOil, among other products
  • Tropical - with the Tropical Combo as finish
  • Pine - with a thin colour oil to prevent the pine turning ugly orange
All three packs also contain parquet adhesive, notched trowel and trowel knife, wood-filler, oil/polish applicator and the "7 easy steps" guide.
For some "restoration" jobs the above packs contain more products than needed. For instance, when you don't have any missing or loose blocks the adhesive is not needed.
And sometimes there is even no need to sand your floor, making the wood-filler superfluous too.

New: Care/Repair Kits

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If that's the case we have make life easier for you by creating 2 brands new Care/Repair Kits - more Kits might follow in the near future.
We had a close look at our sales statistics to see which products were frequently combined in orders through our secure webshop, and simply put them in one box - to make it easier for you if you are planning a sort like DIY-Repair project.
The EcoLine Cleaning Kit contains all the EcoLine products you need for regular and thorough maintenance: Magic Cleanser, wash care and the wax-care spray.
The Intensive Cleaning/Repair Kit are ideal for those floors which have been covered with carpets for a long time. The Magic Cleaner - dilute with water - will remove all the dirt, grime and even old wax/oil layers. Once this application has dried - do read and follow the instructions of use - it is simply a matter of applying Premium HardWaxOil on your floor. No need for sanding at all!
In the Care/Repair Kits category you will also find the Floor Care Set: 1 ltr Wax-Care and 1 ltr Wash-care for regular maintenance for your wooden floor to keep it healthy, durable and beautiful.

More Kits? Tell us!

The above Kits came to be after researching our own data, but of course it is possible we are overlooking something you are in need of.
That's why we said: more Kits might follow.
If you think there is a specific combination of products to care/repair/restore your wooden floor which is now missing in our secure webshop - simply tell us now!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Due to popular demand, the buffing block is back!

The most effective and eco-friendly way to maintain your natural wooden floor the easy way!

Note:
Due to popular demand it is back in our secure webshop. 
We - Wood You Like Ltd - seem to be the only company supplying this great and handy tool in the U.K. We therefore have to add international freight to the standard price of the buffing block and since it has a weight of 7 kg these add up, but nonetheless it is still cheaper than an electric household floor polisher.

Real natural wooden flooring are an asset to any home. A valuable asset you want to keep healthy and beautiful. Therefore any wooden floor, no matter what type of finish it has, needs maintenance, only once every 5 - 6 months. This way you make sure your floor not only stays protected against dirt and drips but becomes even more beautiful with every maintenance treatment it receives.

Buffing blockMaintenance is made even easier with the modern liquid polishes, waxing your floor on hands and knees is a thing of the past! You sprinkle the polish over the floor and with an applicator with woolen sleeve you spread it out.

The best, long lasting result comes when you use our genuine 'old-fashion' buffing block to polish the floor. The buffing movement spreads out the maintenance product more evenly and enhances the appearance of your floor by feeding both the wood and the wear & tear layer.
(You could even wrap a non-fluffy cloth around the buffing block and use it as applicator)

Our genuine cast-iron buffing block weighs 7kg! Heavy enough to make light work of the polishing.


Our genuine buffing blocks are in fact cheaper and more effective than any of the electric household floor polishers (buffing machines) we've come across. These machines are just not heavy enough to do the job properly. They just skim over your floor, where the pads soak up more of the polish than they work into the wood.
  • The 7kg cast-iron block with natural bristle brush doesn't need electricity - just a broom stick, doesn't have cables to trip over or to get smeared under with polish.
  • Just a simple cast-iron block moving to and fro over your floor - giving you some exercise at the same time too!
  • Eco-friendly, wood floor friendly and exercise friendly.Now, price comparison:
  • The cheapest electric floor polisher (Karcher) we've found online (new)
    £ 154.70 
  • One genuine cast-iron buffing block with natural bristle brush only £100.50 (including delivery charges from The Netherlands straight to your home address in the U.K.)
As said before: cheaper and more effective!
Buy now and see the result immediately, your wooden floor will truly love you for it.
(Please note: buffing block will be dispatched without a broom stick, to avoid additional delivery charges for longer lengths)

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The importance of the wet finger

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

Surprise, surprise!

This week we received a phone call from a lady, who had bought and installed reclaimed Oak wood-blocks. After sanding the floor down she'd used a tester pot of Osmo HardWaxOil and was very surprised to see her Oak floor turn pinky.
She had been expecting a warm honey colour, the typical characteristic colouring of Oak:
Oak after it receive a natural finish 
But instead her "Oak" floor showed a pink tone:
Red Oak, after it received a natural finish, looks pinkier than Oak Beech - unsteamed - with a natural finish will not look like Oak
(example 1: American Red Oak, Example 2: Beech - which belongs to the same family as Oak
When I asked her to do the "wet finger" test on a bare area of the wood floor the result was again a pinky tone, and not as she had hoped the typical Oak colour.
The result of this simple and oh so effective test told me the wood-species was something different than Oak. But it had been sold to here as Oak, she told me. Well, American Red Oak is Oak, although I'm not even sure the seller had known the difference him or her self, because as said in the beginning of this article: bare wood of different species can look pretty much alike, especially if the grain structure is rather the same.
The lady in question felt rather disappointed ("bummer" was the word she used after discovering the result of the wet finger test) and didn't really know what to do next, perhaps she will stain it an Oak colour now.

The importance of the wet finger test!
The importance of the wet finger test on bare wood
Especially when you are in the market for reclaimed wood blocks, no matter if it is on offer on Ebay, in a local shop or reclamation yard, you'll have to be sure the wood-species are as claimed.
Two simple tools you have to have with you: one finger and a piece of sanding paper.
  • For bare wood blocks: simply wet your finger and place this on the block(s). This will show you its natural colour after you applied a natural finish and could prevent disappointment afterwards. (After you bought the lot, cleaned of the bitumen, glued down your pattern, sanded the floor smooth and level and applied your natural finish - only to make the same discovery as the lady who'd called us in a panic!)
  • For "finished" blocks: use the sand paper to clear off the finish of part of the block, then do the wet finger test. The finish could be a stain, disguising the original species.
Also use the sand paper if an apparent bare block doesn't change in colour after the wet finger test - a sure sign there is a finish on the block.
(On Ebay it could be a bit difficult doing these tests, best is always to have a sample send out to you).
Know the result before you start
 As you can see, it is really simple to know the result of any natural finish applied to bare (sanded) wood long before you start all the hard work: use the "wet finger" test and never be surprised again!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

New look for Saicos Products

New Spring = New Look - at least for Saicos high quality products for floor finishes, floor maintenance - for your interior and exterior wood.
Saicos Hartwachöl 2,5  Grundieröl GB  Saicos Colorwachs 2,5
Premium HardWaxOil, Ground Oil Extra Thin and the Colour Wax - all available in the Floor Oil Category
Ecoline Pflegewachs Spray 1 GB  Ecoline Wischpflege 1 GB  Ecoline Magic Cleaner 1 GB  Saicos Pflegewachs 1D  Ecoline Pflegeset GB

All maintenance products in their new "coats": Wax-Care-Spray, Wash-Care, Magic Cleanser, Wax-Care Polish and the Floor Care Set - all available in the Maintenance Category

Grün-Ex 1 GB Holz-Entgrauer 1 GB  Holspezial-Öl D  Saicos Klarlasur GB

Green-Ex, Wood Brigtherner, Special Wood Oil and Clear Oil Finish, quality products for your exterior wood
Great products which will give you ease of use and do exactly what it says on the tin (or can)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Knowing your way

InformationzoneThere is a massive amount of information available online about wooden flooring and all things related. Where to start if you are looking for something specific?

Well, one point of access would be Wood You Like's information centre (online) where you will find various carefully put together information packs you can not go wrong with:
For instance if you are planning to install your own wooden floorboards there is the
Wooden Floor Installation Manual (160 pages)

or if you still are undecided on what type of flooring to have, the Buying Guide for Wooden Flooring is THE place to start

Perhaps you discovered an original parquet floor underneath old carpet? 7 Easy Steps to Repair/Restore your Parquet Floor will tell you all you need to know to bring it back to its former (valuable) glory.

And the Ultimate Maintenance Guide will help you keep your wooden floor - any wooden floor - healthy and beautiful in the most simple ways.

Or, all information problems solved in one go!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Time for the Garden

This Spring weather seems to be planning to stay here for a while. High time to clean and spruce up your garden furniture:
Saicos Garden Set
This handy set contains all the products you need to keep your wooden garden furniture healthy and ready for the ongoing Spring, and Summer of course:
1 x 1.0 litres Wood Brightener concentrate (to clean the furniture before application of oils)
2 x 0.375 litres Special Oil Teak (covers approx 10m2 with 2 coats)
1 x Flat Brush
Application Cloths
Cleaning Pad
Application instruction
Order it now in our secure webshop, only £ 34.85 per set (excluding delivery charges)

Monday, 31 March 2014

House Climate

House Climate: how to keep your home and floor 'healthy'

All homes have their own indoor climate. With that we mean the amount of moist in the air (humidity), the temperature, the type of heating and the amount of ventilation. Some factors you can control yourself, some are caused by outside conditions.
Timber framed houseIn a comfortable home with slight humidity variation through the seasons, wooden floors react by expanding and shrinking. These changes may be noticeable.
During warm, humid weather wood expands. During dry weather wood shrinks - usually during Winter. Just think of when you have the clearest views from a hill top: when it's cold - when the air can't contain much moist = low air-humidity = Winter. And since this is also the normal "heating season" your indoor climate can have an even lower humidity.
This seasonal movement is a normal characteristic of wooden floors and it never stops, regardless of the age of the wooden floor.
  • If you notice gaps appearing between your boards in Winter then 9 times out of 10 there is nothing to worry about, these gaps will disappear again when the humidity gets higher.
    If your floor is expanding in a normally dry season, then you might have a moist problem (leak, large spillage of water or perhaps one of your pets had an 'accident').
  • If your floor is shrinking in a normally 'wet' season then the problem might have been caused by the moist contents in the flooring itself: higher than normally allowed (standard Oak normally between 8 - 12%) or the wood hasn't been stored 3 - 7 days in the room were it is installed to acclimatise to the normal house climate.
ForestSome types of wood react more than others. Beech is known as a 'very nervous' wood. It can expand or shrink 7mm per meter width. By 'steaming' beech (giving the floor also it's characteristic pinkish/salman colour) the reaction will be less.
Solid wooden floors react more than Wood-Engineered floors. The crossed backing of Wood-Engineered floors stabilises the reaction. This makes this type of flooring preferable in areas where there is more moist (kitchens, bathrooms), were temperatures can change quickly (conservatories) or on underfloor heating.
  
Most important to keep your wooden floor (and in fact also yourself) healthy is to allow for a stable humidity in the house.
  • When humidity is higher (Summer, Autumn) wooden floors expand. A simple way to prevent excessive reaction is to open (a) window(s) every day, even for 10 - 15 minutes, to allow the cumulated humidity to disappear. Alternatively, when you are away for a whole day: keep a small window upstairs open and keep all other internal doors open.
    In Winter and early Spring, the heating season, try to keep the humidity between 50 - 60 %. This can be done by having plants in house, ceramic water containers on radiators etc. When the humidity in house gets very low (30 - 40%) you will notice this yourself (dry skin, lips and even sore throats). A simple 'trick' to increase the humidity rapidly is to place damp (NOT dripping wet) tea-towels on radiators.
  • Monitor the typical average air-humidity in your home by using an indoor minimum-maximum Hydrometer
When you have underfloor heating you might notice these conditions during most seasons. To help minimize the effects we recommend the use of a humidifier (preferable with humidity monitor).

Installation Manual

(UK's first)
Wooden Floor Installation Manual

Everything you need to know about
DIY wooden floors

Having a quality wood floor in your home is a real asset: it’s durable, anti-allergic, easy to clean and very, very beautiful. Many before you have discovered it adds more value to your home than any other flooring option, including tile or wall-to-wall carpeting. And unlike other options, wooden floors not only maintain their value over the years, but effectively retain and improve their elegance and their beauty.
Stackpaperbacks250-1You can have your natural wooden floor professionally installed, an increasing number of DIY-ers opt to “go-it-alone” with mixed results. Wood You Like’s 160 pages Manual higly increases your chance to achieve a guaranteed great, if not professional, result!

Install your floor like a pro

  • Learn how to tackle underfloor problems
  • Know what to look for when purchasing your materials
  • Use the check-list before you start with the job:
    • the correct preparations
    • the correct tools and materials
    • the correct schedule of works
  • Discover the Tricks of the Trade that will make seemingly difficult obstacles easy to execute
  • Finish your floor to the highest quality
  • 160 pages, all in plain English with product recommendations - products used by the professionals
  • Written by genuine floor fitters, not by academics or so-called diy-experts
  • With extra (online) bonus filled with colour images and drawings

The Wooden Floor Installation Manual - rated 5 stars on Amazon.co.uk!

See here for all purchase options, including how to claim the purchase price back!
Wood You Like's Wooden Floor Installation Manual is first in its kind: written by experts who deal with wooden flooring and all the different situations imaginable on a daily basis, situations and circumstances you can encounter too but with the Manual at hand are no longer an obstacle for diy-ers.
"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?”....
Just a small collection of questions that has found its way to Wood You Like's inbox over the last 5 years.

Read Feedback we received from (DIY & Professional) floor fitters

After answering question after question for three years we decided to create a simple but comprehensive installation guide, and to make this not only available to our own DIY-clients, but to anyone planning to install a wooden floor in the best possible way. This guide (in a simple PDF format, delivered by email) was launched in December 2008, and was an instant success.
It also triggered more questions. So we kept adding to the guide, which became more and more a collection of questions and answers grouped in a few logical categories. Late in 2009 we decided it was time to completely overhaul the guide, and make it available not only as a PDF, but also as a proper paperback. So you can have it handy by your side while you're working on your floor. The end result (160 pages) is what you can have in your hands right now.

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. 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!

Underfloor Heating (UFH) and wooden floors

Underfloor heating is nowadays more and more used as main heating source instead of an additional heating system (in tiled bathrooms or kitchens). The advantage of underfloor heating over normal central heating with radiators is exactly that: no radiators on walls, allowing you as home owner to use all the available wall space in the most practical way.
But underfloor heating comes with some disadvantages also:
  • it can take a while for the room/rooms are 'warming-up' because of the layers of 'insulation' the heating system has to 'work through' (concrete or sheet materials, floor covering on top of the water/electrical system) and visa versa. During a cold-snap this could mean that before the system is truly 'heated-up' again, warm weather is back with us, because you can't use underfloor heating the same way as central heating with radiators.
  • using underfloor heating can reduce the humidity in your home rather significantly, and have a drying effect on your skin (causing irritation/itching and even increasing eczema and other skin problems).
A good alternative for losing radiators and gaining more room space without the disadvantages underfloor heating can bring with it could be installing a skirting heating system.
Types of underfloor heating systems:
Maine source of heating: Electrical wires (DRY-system) or water pipes (WET-system).
UnderfloorheatingWith warm water underfloor heating there are 3 methods of preparing/creating the subfloor (subfloor is the base for wooden floor):
  • Dry method: between the water pipes battens are placed on underfloor and sheet material (chipboard, plywood) is installed on the battens to create smooth subfloor for installation of wooden floor
  • Wet method: concrete/screed is laid over water pipes to create smooth subfloor for installation of wooden floor
  • Direct method: the water pipes are placed in special modular sheets, battens are glued between modular sheets and wooden floor is nailed (secretly) on battens or even installed floating. (Direct method is not possible with all types of warm water underfloor heating, please ask you Under Floor Heating supplier).
Wood is a natural product and reacts to the surrounding climate. Please keep that in mind when selecting your wooden floor and make sure the type of flooring or wood-species is suitable to be installed on UFH (Maple and Beech are for instance NOT recommended: both are know as a 'nervous' - unstable - wood which can shrink/expand up to 7mm per meter wide).
We recommend Wood-Engineered flooring because the cross-backing of the boards do not react to temperature or humidity changes in the same way as solid wood does.
If you decide to install solid wooden flooring then choose a narrow board, the narrower the better. If your heart is set to have a wide floorboard that really gives you that 'old-fashioned' plank-look we recommend the Hattan European Oak engineered boards (180mm wide, 6mm solid top layer on 15mm water-resistant plywood) which are guaranteed for installation on Under Floor Heating.
Case-study "Duoplank on Underfloor Heating"
Most manufacturers of Wood-Engineered flooring recommend to glue down your wooden flooring on UFH and to use a suitable parquet adhesive (flexible adhesive) in order to avoid any air pockets between the subfloor and the wooden flooring.
Be careful with placing rugs and/or large pieces of furniture (like dressoirs or floor standing cupboards/bookcases); they can (locally) trap the heat underneath it.

With the maintenance of wooden flooring on underfloor heating Wood You Like recommends maintenance product is applied before the real heating season (Autumn) start to keep the wood healthy and 'moist'. After the heating season, when the temperature of the system can be reduced to a minimum level your wooden floor will benefit from a maintenance service to counter-balance the effect of the dehydration of the wood caused by the higher temperatures of the months before.
All types of underfloor heating have their own specifications for how to install and how/when to start the first sequence of heating. Please read the instructions supplied with your underfloor heating system carefully before deciding on wooden flooring and please make sure all steps for the first sequence are completed before the installation of wooden flooring takes place.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Spring is on its way: outside wood

Now it seems that Spring is definitely on its way - and in some parts has already arrived - this period would be an excellent time to prepare your outside wood for the coming longer and warmer days.
Decking, garden furniture all need TLC, and specially for this task Saicos has the right products:
Saicos Green-Ex Concentrate:
Removes green-growth from all exterior wood, painted or unpainted. Highly effective - self-acting - checks new growth! 
Saicos Wood Brightener Concentrate:
an easy to use,
 highly effective special liquid detergent to clean and refreshen greyed, unattractive looking exterior wood surfaces without sanding.

Saicos Special Wood Oil:
Natural wood stain for exterior wooden decks, garden furniture and other wooden surfaces which shall keep their natural appearance.Available in colourless and colours Bangkarai, Pine and Teak. Special colours can be ordered in White, Black and Grey.
For your own Spring Cleaning of Exterior Wood we've put all three products into one "pack" at a discount: together now £ 42.40 (instead of £ 43.45)
Spring Clean your exterior wood with Wood You Like's special pack

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Quality, a point of view

This website constantly talks about quality products.
However, what exactly do we mean with quality I hear you asking. Often all businesses promote their products and services being of quality, high quality even, so how can you - the ultimate buyer, user - determine the things on offer really is a great and long lasting product?
We know - from experience, reading and answering many questions weekly - the trust in so-called quality offerings is waning, due to the tremendous use (and misuse) of the term itself.
So why would you trust us? We thought to show you with a few simple images. These images will also explain why we are very reluctant to stock "quality" products manufactured in China.
China_-_european_1  China_-_European_2
The first image shows you an Oak multi-layer wood-engineered board, 20mm total thickness with a 6mm solid top layer. The second images show you this board again, next to another same like board (keep with us to hear why first appearances don't always tell the whole story).
The board in the first image is a sample given to us by a rep from an European wooden flooring business. He explained this European business is working together with a manufacturer in China and due to the lower labour costs can offer it at low prices. On first sight it looks a high quality board, doesn't it?
The neighbouring board in images 2 is a cut-off from an European Oak multi-layer, manufactured in Europe (in The Netherlands to be precise). It looks awful - doesn't?
The main reason for this appearance is the fact this board has been left outside for over 7 months already and has had all kinds of weather thrown at and over it.
Price-wise, the multilayer produced in The Netherlands costs more - but this is not just due to the "higher" labour costs (seeing as how automated the manufacturing of wood-engineered floors is). It all bears down really to the quality in the manufacturing process, the quality materials used - backing, adhesive for bonding, the plants itself - and the knowledge of/in manufactuering quality products.
China_-_european_3  China_-_European_4
A closer look at the China-made product shows the backing is delaminating - imagine this happening when you've just installed your floor. Looking at the weather-worn sample - as said above, rain, snow, hail, wind and even sunshine has been thrown at it - there is nothing amiss with this board's construction even after all that time being exposed to the weather elements.
Is is quite easy to believe that "lower labour costs" is the main contributor to the low (much lower in some cases) prices of wooden flooring manufactured in China (be it on their own or in cooperation/in order of European businesses), the truth of the matter is the use, or more the lack in use of quality materials and knowledge that brings the price down. Even if products from China comply with the European Timber Regulation, it has become very hard and difficult to trust these types of low-cost offers.
And although we are just a small business, we know where we stand in quality matters. So we say a wholehearted NO to the cheaper product and continue to offer you high quality, both in materials and production methods, wood-engineered products "made in Europe", such as Hattan, Venture and Duoplank products.
Remember: the bitter taste of poor quality lingers long after the sweet taste of low price is forgotten

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Ultimate Maintenance Guide

The Ultimate Maintenance Guide

everything you need and must know about keeping your wooden floor healthy and beautiful

 Welcome to Wood You Like's comprehensive maintenance guide, filled with tips, examples, advice and videos to show you how easy, simple and necessary wood floor care is.

 Every wood floor needs - simple - care

A wooden floor is a wonderful lively and natural floor covering, more and more home owners are installing (or restoring) this type of flooring:
  • it's beautiful
  • it's eco-friendly
  • it's anti-allergic
  • it's clean
  • it's healthy
  • it's long lasting
  • it's practical
  • plus it can add value to the home
But no matter what type of wood floor or finish you have, the surface of the wood floor needs a bit of TLC once in a while to keep its healthy and grand appearance. The best comparison you can make is with your own skin: to keep this important part of the body healthy we often - daily - treat it with feeding and moisturising creams or lotions etc. A flaky, dry skin doesn't look good plus it will not effectively protect your body against outside (harmful) influences.
Just like you want to look great and healthy, your wooden floor will look at its best when it's been taken care off regularly.
What this guide will show you
A splash of lotion on your skin is easily applied, and so is treating your wooden floor! That's one of the things this guide will show you - and we'll be using videos to really show you how easy this is.
This guide contains:
  • what absolutely NOT TO DO
  • why floor care is important
  • a maintenance plan
  • stain removing tips - just in case
  • how to restore your parquet floor without sanding
  • images and videos
  • recommended high quality products and tools
  • vouchers to use in Wood You Like's secure online shop
  • and more

Order the guide now!

 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Wood Grades

How to recognise most wood grades, without the brand-jargon

Excellence, Elegant, Diamond, Harvest, Cottage, Exquisite or even Cambridge, Copenhagen. Grade names to inform you about the characteristics of the wooden floor you are choosing? Or why one so-called grade costs more than the other?

Wood You Like applies and promotes the 'KISS' (Keep It Simple Sweetheart) principle. We don't use fantasy or grand names. We use, as much as possible, the classification in grades most of the manufacturers use and which tell you what characteristics you can expect in the floor you buy.
Tropical wood normally comes in two grades: Prime or Rustic.
Prime here means hardly any colour differences between/in the floorboards; where Rustic in Tropical wood means that (many) colour differences between/in boards are allowed (like the yellow streaks in Rustic Merbau). Only some of the tropical woods have knots and if any are found in the boards it's normally in the Rustic grade.
For Oak flooring we use four different grades to distinguish between the typical characteristics of the boards/blocks:

Prime - Nature - Rustic and Industrial.

As with Tropical wood one of difference between these grades is the colour variation but here also the amount and width of knots determines the grade of the floor. And how the log has been cut (see below).
Quarter sawn (Radial)
Sawwayquarter200

Log is as much as possible cut at right angles to the heart. Sap canals (medullary rays) show as ‘mirrors’ or 'flecks'. There is a lot of saw-waste in this cutting-process, which translates in the price, but the planks are very stable.
The medullary rays are very specific to Oak and it is one way to distinguish Oak from Chestnut also called "Poor men's Oak" because of the stark resemblance in appearance with Oak. Chestnut is however softer than Oak and doesn't have any medullary rays in boards cut radial.
Half-Quarter Sawn 
Sawwayhalfquarter200

Log is cut headlong and afterwards cut in planks. One side of the plank shows one half of the grain. Lower in price than quarter sawn, medium stability.
Dosse Sawn (Tangential)
Sawwaydosse200

Log is simply cut in planks, like most pine boards are. Very pronounced grain. This type of cutting can react more to changes in humidity than the two above. Is lower in price and stability.
Side-note: frequently used in 'cheap offers' in solid or wood-engineered Oak floors. The finished result is rather dull in character because there is hardly any variation in the boards. Our own Oak floors always contain a mix of all cutting ways to give your floor the true, authentic and characteristic appearance you expect of it.
PrimeHardly any colour differences; no knots or sapwood (= lighter, sometimes even white colour along the grain). The floor contains mostly quarter sawn and half-quarter sawn boards, some dosse sawn boards.
This grade is frequently used for herringbone and other patterns that uses small blocks. In the U.K. not very popular in floorboards because of price and look (most U.K. customers find this floor too 'neat' and resembling Melamine Laminated flooring instead of real wood).
NatureSome colour differences; some closed knots not larger than 15mm, some sapwood. The floor contains mix of different sawn boards.
RusticColour differences, closed and open knots up to 60mm, some sapwood and tiny dry-cracks are allowed. The floor contains mostly half-quarter and dosse sawn boards, some quarter sawn board possible.
Most popular grade in the U.K. because of its 'lively' character.
IndustrialColour differences, large open and closed knots, sapwood, beetle holes, manufacturing mistakes/damages and size differences (width) allowed. The floor contains all sawn methods with these characteristics in the boards.
Frequently used for mosaic tiles when used as subfloor for herringbone or other pattern floor. Some suppliers/manufacturers sell this grade as the so-called 'Wagon-boards'.
Some floors have a mix in grades. In our Wood Floor Ranges you will find that every floor has a grade classification consistent with the descriptions above.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Case-study: bespoke Hackfort tiles

Our bespoke parquet design comes in at least 30 different 'standard' patterns - in many combinations of wood types - and even then our manufacturer (Lieverdink Parket) can make bespoke even more bespoke by altering the chosen pattern at the request of our clients (when possible of course).
Below is an 'adapted' Versailles panel (or adapted "Hackfort") - a whole block in the middle instead of the 'standard' two wood strips -  in Prime Oak and this is the story we received from our delighted client:
Wood You Like Prime Oak Design Parquet Floor"Hi Karin,
Having trawled the timber suppliers in the UK and Europe, plus the so called timber floor experts in the South my wife and I were on the brink of giving up on finding a supplier who could help.
Having spoken to Karin on the phone we decided to drive down to Wood You Like's premises in the wilds of Kent. We decided if she couldn't help we would give up. Our aim was to find a supplier that knew what a Versailles panel was, at a reasonable price, and a short delivery.
Karin knew exactly what we wanted, spoke to her factory in Holland whilst we were there, in Dutch (of course). Stated that it would be no problem, gave us a very competitive price and confirmed delivery would be about 10 days.
At last, so within 10 minutes of meeting we placed our order. Had confirmation the next day, and hey presto a very large lorry showed up 10 days later with our beautiful Premium Oak panels, exactly as promised.
Many thanks Karin for your excellent service from start to finish. A real pleasure, the photographs do not do the floor justice."
Wood You Like Prime Oak Design Parquet Floor Wood You Like Prime Oak Design Parquet Floor
Kind regards
Kevin Beasant
(Senior Manager The Wilton Carpet Factory Limited, Wilton Wiltshire)