wood flooring advice


General Flooring FAQs

What is the difference between a solid board and an engineered board?

Solid wood flooring is made from one solid plank and so is solid the whole way through the board. There are technical limitations with a solid plank in that it cannot be laid directly over concrete or under floor heating systems. Engineered wood flooring is comprised of three or more layers of wood in the form of a plank. The top layer is the visible hardwood floor surface, and once adhered to the core, provides the stability. Engineered wood can use the 'floating' installation method, further increasing ease of repair and reducing installation times.

What is the difference between an oil finish and a lacquer finish?

Oil, when applied, sinks into the pores of the wood therefore protects it from both top and internally too. Oiled floors are hard wearing and are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms where spillages happen frequently. Lacquer protects the wood from the top, between 3 – 5 coats are normally applied to ensure a impervious finish. Lacquer normally carries a more glossy finish than oil and although it is very low maintenance, a lacquered floor will need to be sanded and re-lacquered on average every 7 years.

Do I need to acclimatise my floor before it is fitted?

If you are having a solid floor installed than we advise that you allow the product to acclimatise on site for between one to two weeks. However, if you have an engineered floor, three days to one week should be sufficient. Boards should be stored in a watertight environment, as similar an environment to the one they will eventually occupy is preferable, and should be placed horizontally in their original packs for the duration of the acclimatisation period. 

Can hardwood floors be nailed directly to joists?

Yes. Structural boards (i.e. min thickness of 18mm) can be used in most properties as joists are on average 400mm apart. Boards should preferably also be long to allow for each board to span across several joists.

Do I need to cut down my doors?

If the new floor is going to be higher than what was there originally, than you may need to trim the bottom of your doors. Should you be using Ecora’s fitting service, this will be done as part of the installation process.

Are hardwood floors environmentally friendly?

Provided that they are sourced from well managed forests and/or carry a certification. Hardwood floors are usually recyclable and in many cases require less energy and toxins to produce then other flooring materials.

I’m having a new kitchen installed, should I have the floor fitted first?

It is best practice to fit the floor first. This will make the kitchen installation process easier as the surface is level and will also help when removing white goods for service or repair. It may also help should you decide to alter the layout of the kitchen in the future.

Do wood floors change colour?

Wood is a natural material and even when it is protected with oils or lacquered, exposure to UV, sunlight and various other elements will cause it to change colour over time.

Wood that has just been cut will probably look lighter than it looks after finishing and installation. Hardwood flooring samples are also exposed to some UV light and may also look slightly different then the newly unpacked flooring ordered.

Wood such as Walnut has a large range of colour when freshly cut, it is usually supplied as a fairly dark floor following the finishing process, although over time it will turn medium to dark brown and may have some reddish tones. Tropical wood typically darkens quicker when exposed to sunlight then species like Oak, which will darken slowly over time, depending on finish and exposure to light.

I am worried about my downstairs neighbour! Can I have wood floor in the flat? 

In most cases, noise issues can be overcome by installing engineered boards using the floating method over an acoustic underlay, although in some cases some sub-floor work will be required in order to adhere to building regulations and/or property lease covenants. The specific underlay or sub-floor work required will be determined based on existing sub-floor structure.

Can I have wooden flooring in my kitchen?

More than any other surface in your home, the kitchen floor takes on everything from the spilled juice at the breakfast table to the muddy paw prints from the dog. That's why this high-traffic room needs a floor that can withstand ordinary wear. Hardwoods such as Oak, Maple and Jatoba are ideal species to use. You can use solid or engineered flooring, however due to spillages, we normally advise opting for the engineered board and an on-site finish. A clear water based lacquer is the best finish to have applied to your floor if you are looking for a low maintenance option, alternatively, you could use a Hardwax oil to provide a more natural finish.

Can I have wooden flooring in my bathroom?

You can, but we strongly advise that you select dense boards like Ipe, jatoba or Jarrah due to the moisture content in bathrooms. We also recommend an on-site finish to allow for extra protection and a better seal between boards.