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)

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 

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)

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.