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1. Preparation

2. Installation

3. Finishing

4. Maintenance

5. Pricing and Delivery

6. Product Range

7. General questions

 

1. Preparation

1.1 How should I prepare the room for the floor to be laid?

1.1.1  Complete wet trades

Firstly, it is vitally important that the heating is on and the air humidity levels are approximately 40-65% relative humidity. Also, please ensure that all wet trades (i.e. plastering, painting and plumbing) are complete prior to introducing the floor to the room.

The above is very important; as wood is hygroscopic, it absorbs and releases moisture in line with the environment it is in. Consequently, if there is excess moisture in the air this will affect the boards and may cause problems as they will start to expand. Conversely, if the air is to hot/dry then the boards may contract (shrink) and gaps may start to appear.

1.1.2 Ensure that concrete is dry

When a new concrete sub floor exists great care must be taken to check that it is at a moisture content lower than your flooring (which has a moisture content of 8-10%) before the floor is delivered. As a rule concrete will dry out at approximately one inch per month, but this is dependent on the overall thickness of the concrete (e.g. a 150mm screed may take up to a year to dry out if only one face is exposed). Consequently, moisture content should always be checked prior to installation.

If the floor is being laid on an existing concrete base it may be beneficial to discuss this with your joiner/builder as the use of a self-levelling compound, to correct any unevenness prior to laying the floor, may be required.

1.1.3  Store and acclimatise flooring

It is important that the flooring is stored correctly after purchase and allowed to acclimatise before laying. In all cases we would recommend that the flooring is first unwrapped from ALL polythene and then lattice/criss-cross stacked in order to allow air flow (it is not necessary to separate every individual board).

It should then be acclimatised in the room that it is being laid (or a room with a similar room temperature) for 1-2 weeks for engineered oak flooring, or 2-3 for solid oak flooring, at room temperature so that it can reach an equilibrium with its surroundings.

To allow for seasonal variations in temperature and different levels of heating an expansion gap of at least 10-15 mm should be left all around the perimeter of the floor (skirting can then be fitted over the gap or a plinth strip used if existing skirting is still in place)

2. Installation

2.1 What is the best way to lay my floor?

The floor can be fixed in any of four ways; using flexible adhesive, nailing, compression clips or adhesive underlay. Our solid and engineered floors are suitable for use with any sub-floor, with the optimal fixing method being dependent on the type of sub-floor used.

The following table details the fixing options available for the various sub-floors:

 

Concrete

Plywood

Chipboard

Joists

Flexible adhesive

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Nailing

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Compression Clips

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Adhesive underlay

Yes

Yes

Yes

No


2.1.1 Flexible adhesive

Flexible adhesives are most commonly used to affix the floor directly to the concrete, giving a secure bond to the sub-floor whilst enabling natural seasonal movement. We recommend the use of SikaBond® MS Flexible Wood Flooring Adhesive, which provides a highly durable bond, adheres to a broad variety of materials and provides shrink free hardening. SikaBond® MS also complies to stringent environmental certifications and regulations.

SikaBond should be applied 3mm thick with a square notched trowel, or equivalent. A 14kg tub should cover 14m2 if the subfloor is of a smooth finish but, if the subfloor is uneven, the adhesive will level out any slight deviations and, in our experience, will yield slightly less coverage. 

Please note that SikaBond® MS will begin to set in 10 minutes, allowing you to work on the newly installed flooring without any worries about the boards slipping.

2.1.2  Nailing

Nailing is the traditional form of laying a wooden floor, and is more cost-effective and potentially less messy than using a flexible adhesive.  However, once the floor has been laid there is no flexibility in it, and this can mean that there can be occasional squeak in the boards (this is unlikely when using flexible adhesive).

For laying solid boards up to 180mm in width we would recommend secret nailing at 400mm centres through the tongue of the board using a flooring nail gun and 50mm serrated flooring nails.

For solid flooring greater than 180mm in width we would recommend face fixing (i.e. nail through the face of the board onto the joists) with screws which can then either be plugged or filled. This can provide an attractive flooring feature.

2.1.3  Compression Clips

Compression clips are metal spring s-shaped clips which can be used along with an Alufoam underlay (foil side down) to allow the floor to “float” – this means that the floor is not actually attached to the sub-floor. The clips should be at 600 centres, along the edge of the floor, and at the end of every second board across the width (in the expansion gap). This allows the flooring to move naturally while keeping the boards tight together.

Please note that this method is only appropriate for rooms up to four metres wide (the length of the room is not significant) and, if the floor is not expertly fitted, it is possible that it may bow slightly.

Advantages of this method are that clips are more cost-effective than flexible adhesive or adhesive underlay and, if there is a requirement for the floor is to be taken up at a later date, this is possible using this installation method (but would not be if flexible adhesive or nails are used).

2.1.4  WorkPro Tack Plus Adhesive Underlay

This is an adhesive mat underlay which represents a versatile solution designed for use on any smooth sub floor. The floor is adhered to the underlay, rather than the subfloor, and renders the use of screws, nails, glue or clips as unnecessary during the laying process.

Advantages of using this method are that the laying process is rapid and clean, shrinkage, swelling and warping are reduced and the solution is almost emission free.

Disadvantages are that it is more expensive than nailing (although similar in cost to flexible adhesive) and can prove slightly tricky to fit for those who are inexperienced in laying floors.

2.2 Can you lay flooring for me?

We are a specialist flooring supplier and, as such, do not offer a floor laying service. However, we can recommend approved contractors for floor laying in your area and we can offer full technical advice and support to assist you throughout the laying process.

2.3 Can I lay Russwood oak flooring onto underfloor heating?

Yes, both our solid and engineered oak floors are suitable for use with underfloor heating.
Our solid oak flooring up to 150mm in width is suitable for use with underfloor heating. However, if you require a board which is wider than 150mm, we would recommend our engineered range.
Special care must be taken at the preparation stage to ensure that the installation is successful. This care should include acclimatising the floor for one additional week whilst the underfloor heating is turned on.

2.4 How do I lay my floor over underfloor heating?

If fixing with SikaBond® MS onto concrete then the heating should be turned off for two to three days before laying (if possible maintain room temperature when the heating is off using another heat source). A period of 24 hours must be allowed prior to re-starting the heating.

For re-starting the heating after installation it should be left at a low temperature (15°C) for the first week. The following week it may be adjusted according to your supplier’s recommendations. Note that the maximum floor surface temperature should not exceed 26°C and there should not be hot and cold areas within the same floor. Also, if rugs or loose carpets are used, the temperature underneath may exceed the recommended maximum.

2.5 Spans for fixing

When fixing into joists or battens fixed to the surface of the sub-floor using screws or nails, the guidance on span centers for domestic and residential use is given in BS8201.

The span table (see below) is suitable for domestic or residential use. Spans for commercial environments will be smaller depending on the severity and type of trafficking regime the floor will be subjected to in service.

Maximum batten spans for sports halls and gymnasiums etc should be no greater than 300mm.

Finished board thickness (mm) Maximum span (center to centre, mm)
16

505

19

600

21

635

28

790

3. Finishing

3.1 How should I finish my floor?

If you have purchased a pre-finished floor it will have been fully factory finished with two coats of machine-applied Osmo Polyx Oil (matt), and does not require any further treatment on-site.

If you have purchased an unfinished floor, it requires to be finished in order to protect it.  To seal the floor we recommend using hardwax oil. To ensure optimal protection two coats of Osmo Polyx Oil should be applied. After the first coat has been applied it should be left overnight to dry then all dust should then be removed before applying the second coat. The process should then be repeated for the second and third coats and the floor should be left for 24 hours after the final coat has been applied.

3.2 Which hardwax oil would you recommend?

When oiling your unfinished floor, or maintaining your unfinished/prefinished floor we recommend use of either Osmo Polyx Oil or Russwood Hardwax Oil.

All of our pre-finished boards are finished with machine-applied Osmo Polyx Oil. We use this oil as it is the brand leader for wood floor treatment, combining all of the advantages of traditional oils and waxes in one unique product range. There are a number of different product variations available, all of which are resistant to water and dirt and are very durable. The Osmo product range complements Russwood’s wood flooring range nicely as Osmo use natural ingredients and they state on their website that their aim is “to be as environmentally friendly and ecologically sound as possible”.

Please note that Osmo can also be used to finish doors, skirtings, wooden worktops and other wooden furniture.  This can be useful when matching furniture and household accessories to the new floor.

3.3  Why don’t you sell lacquered floors?

Here at Russwood we firmly believe that floors finished with hardwax oil (i.e. Osmo Polyx Oil) are the best choice.  One reason for this is that the hardwax oil penetrates and protects the wood, providing excellent durability properties.  Also, if the floor is damaged at all, it can be repaired easily without having to redo the whole floor – small sections can simply be sanded and re-oiled. 

Although lacquered floors are initially hardwearing, they cannot easily be repaired if scratched/scuffed; the marks will be permanent.  This can often result in higher traffic areas looking inferior to other areas of the floor.

4. Maintenance

4.1 How should I maintain my floor?

Firstly, we would recommend that you download our "Step-by-step Guide to Maintenance of your Russwood Floor", which you can print and keep for reference in the future.

Floors should be kept clean using a vacuum cleaner (it is important to ensure that the vacuum head brushes are engaged to avoid unnecessary scratches). Alternatively, a flat mop or regular brush can be used.

On a regular basis (i.e. at least once a week) this should be followed up with use of a damp mop with Osmo Wash and Care, which removes most day-to-day stains from your floor. For more stubborn marks, Osmo Liquid Wax Cleaner is recommended (this can also be used 2-3 times per year to refresh the whole floor).

After approximately two to three years some areas may require a further coat of hardwax oil. This should be applied with a brush or a soft cloth and, if the area has not been maintained with Osmo liquid wax cleaner, if may require to be lightly sanded with fine grade sandpaper or wire wool.

A range of Russwood and Osmo floor cleaning products are available to buy from our online shop and we are more than happy for you to contact us for further advice.

5. Pricing and delivery

5.1 Do your prices include VAT?

Prices displayed on our on-line shop are all inclusive of VAT. Prices given in quotations are indicative, and exclude VAT.

5.2 From the day I order, how long will it take to deliver my floor?

We will inform you of the lead time when you place your order.  As a guide, for made-to-order floors please allow approximately six weeks’ lead time (unless you are purchasing a stock item, such as one of our unfinished floors, which can be ready for collection on the next working day if required).

5.3 Where do you deliver to?

We deliver nationwide from our Newtonmore HQ.

5.4 How much do you charge for delivery?

Delivery charges are dependent on your location – please call us for a quotation.

5.5 Do you provide a guarantee?

We guarantee the quality of your floor until it is delivered and is checked on site prior to installation - if there are any issues at this time we will of course be happy to help. After this period we cannot guarantee your floor, as the condition of it will be dependent on how effectively the installation is carried out by the on-site team.

6. Product range

6.1 What products do you hold in stock?

All of our most popular widths of unfinished products are available from stock. All other floors are made to order as per your specification.

6.2 Can I buy a Russwood floor anywhere else?

No, we are the exclusive distributor of Russwood floors so you will not be able to find our products elsewhere.

6.3 Where can I see your products?

Please feel free to visit our showroom, where one of our highly experienced flooring advisers will show you our extensive range of solid and engineered European Oak flooring. We can also advise you on your fitting, laying and finishing options. For details of our showrooms go to the Visit Newtonmore HQ section.

6.4 I am not able to visit the showroom - where else can I see your products?

We offer a postal sample service, to allow you to match the floor to the interior of your home. If this is not sufficient for your needs, please give us a phone and we may be able to arrange for you to visit a property in your area which has been fitted with a Russwood floor.

For architects and interior designers we offer an accredited CPD presentation, where a product specialist will brief you on oak flooring and show you samples from our comprehensive range.

6.5 Are you able to send me samples?

Yes, please give us a call so that we can discuss your flooring requirement and provide you with appropriate samples. Customers may order up to four flooring samples free of charge, including postage. Any additional samples will cost £1.99 each plus VAT + postage (£3.50). The cost of all samples will be refunded should an order be placed. 

6.6 Do you sell other oak finishing products?

Yes, we offer a standard range of finishing profiles, skirtings, facings and radiator pipe collars which are available to purchase with your floor. 

We also offer a bespoke service for stair treads and risers, which can be supplied to match the finish of your floor (please note that the lead times for these items will be around six weeks, so it is advisable to order alongside your floor).

6.7 Do you offer any oak furniture?

Yes, we offer a range of oak dining and coffee tables, which are all made-to-order in the colour, finish and size of your choosing.  These tables are made of 100% solid European Oak, and are the perfect accompaniment to your Russwood oak floor.  Due to the bespoke nature of this range, please speak to us about your requirements.

7.General questions

7.1 Where does your oak come from?

All of our oak comes from PEFC sources in Europe, primarily France. PEFC stands for The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification and it “works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. Thanks to its eco-label, customers and consumers are able to identify products from sustainably managed forests”.

For further information on this certification go to  www.pefc.org.

7.2 Are your flooring products sustainable?

Yes, all of our oak flooring products are PEFC-certified (we can provide certification if required)

7.3 Can you give me advice on my flooring project?

Yes, as experienced timber specialists, with a reputation for unrivalled technical advice, we are happy to advise you on every step of your flooring project.