Wood Floors go above and beyond: walls, stairs and ceilings enjoy the natural touch with a wood finish
As styles and uses continually evolve, recent trends have seen wood floors used in a whole new way. Flooring is literally being turned on its head, with interior designers increasingly fitting wood as sleek cladding and coverings for walls, ceilings and stairwells, not just floors.
Although British interiors traditionally embraced wood cladding less than our Scandinavian or American counterparts, modern products are less ski chalet and more contemporary sleek in style and finish. New materials include high gloss blacks and subtle grey options, with variations on plank width and length allowing greater flexibility in terms of the overall look.
Wood cladding is often traditionally used for rustic style interiors, but by sourcing interesting timbers and selecting sleek finishes a striking design-led look can be achieved.
Choosing wood as cladding is also an excellent eco choice, as not only is it natural and sustainable, it is also brings great insulating properties to your home, which can reduce your heating needs. Wood specialists Ecora of London have a huge range of finishes and timbers in both classic and contemporary finishes. “We find greys and light finishes are really popular for city apartments and homes,” says Jeandrè du Toit, Ecora Sales Director , “As these finishes bring a feel of nature and space, and really open a room up. But for truly striking and very contemporary finishes, dark glossy woods are sensational”.
Don't forget Clerkenwell Design Week starts on the 24th May 2016
Clerkenwell Design Week provides a world-class showcase of leading UK and international designers, brands and companies across showroom events, exhibitions, live talks, workshops and installations.
When choosing engineered or solid wood floors always consider the long-term benefits such as durability and the return on your investment (wood floors can add value to a property). Oak flooring in particular is always a good choice for use within both contemporary and classic interiors and with so many different finishes to choose from it also offers exceptional flexibility in terms of style.
UK’s leading flooring experts Ecora make choosing wood flooring simple and at their London showroom you will find one of the UK’s most inspiring collection of natural wood floors. Sales Director Jeandrè du Toit explains “Manufacturing techniques within the wood flooring industry have improved dramatically and to reflect this we have increased the variety of wood floors, textures, styles and shades offered to meet the diverse requirements of both trade and private buyers. We often mix and match finishing techniques to achieve a bespoke look such as fuming and brushing which add depth and texture to a wood floor accentuating the natural beauty of the grain”
Brushed - Brushing usually takes place as part of the manufacturing process. The surface of the planks are roller brushed to remove some of the softer growth rings from the grain, this gives a textured surface that gently highlights the natural grain structure.
Distressed - Distressing is typically achieved by hand finishing or by tumbling the planks in large tanks, which gives the timber a randomly marked appearance. Another distressing method includes the use of machines that scrape and punch the planks as they go through a conveyor belt system. This method will usually show a repeating pattern of distresses that may look less natural.
Hand-Scraped - Previously this effect was achieved entirely by hand but could leave an uneven surface texture, now, machines are used in conjunction with hand scraping techniques for a rustic finish.
Smoked (Fuming) - Ammonia fuming is a traditional process used for darkening and enriching the colour of oak by oxidation. The physical change in appearance is subject to the tannin and other natural content held within the structure of the timber and its interaction with the treatment.
Thermo-Treated (Carbonising) - In thermo-treating, the boards are heated to a high temperature causing the colour to darken. This method of darkening wood is environmentally friendly as there are no chemicals used during this process; it simply uses heat and steam. The process brings out and accentuates the grain characteristics of the flooring, and unlike a stain, thermo-treatment changes the colour, creating a deep rich hue running through the entire core of the wood.
Lacquered - Lacquer is a clear or coloured varnish that dries by solvent evaporation to produce a hard, durable, protective finish or film in any sheen level from matt to gloss.
Natural Oil & Hard Waxoils - In the domestic market, hard wax-oils and UV oils have become more widespread. They are transparent penetrating substances, usually based on vegetable oils and natural waxes. These oils penetrate into the core of the wood for long-lasting protection, while preserving the wood's natural beauty and elasticity.
Examples of wood finishes available at Ecora…
1.Oak White - Oiled, 2. Oak Brendon White – brushed, 3. Oak Hampstead White – surface planed.
Our sale features more natural flooring and eye-catching interiors products than ever before. With numerous discounts on many of our wood flooring products you can save up to 15% on solid and engineered oak floors. Pop into our showroom to see examples of our flooring products and discover the impressive savings available on our oak flooring, chevrons, block flooring and parquet. At Ecora we offer a personal bespoke service and our range of finishes include oiled, distressed, fumed and brushed wood floors, giving our customers a wide choice of styles and finishes to suit all budgets.
From kitting out a new home to simply bringing life to an existing scheme you will find tons of inspiring ideas. Whether you are looking for key items of furniture such as sofas, tables, chairs and lighting or simple stylish accessories you will find them all in Grand Interiors. Plus, be inspired by the Grand Interiors Room Sets featuring their 2016 collections.
Simple maintenance and care procedures will help protect your wooden floor from unnecessary wear and damage and help keep it at its best:
• Sweep and vacuum the floor regularly to keep it clean and free of dust, sand and other abrasive materials.
• Do not use any harsh household cleaners, oils, soaps, waxes or any abrasive materials or scouring agents on the floor. Instead, for a more thorough clean, use a wood floor cleaning solution approved for use with our flooring.
• Put felt protector pads on all furniture feet and/or accessories placed directly on the floor surface.
• Place area rugs or doormats at entryways to help prevent sand, grit, oils, dirt and other abrasive or staining materials from being tracked from outdoors. Choose mats that enable airflow and avoid using rubber-backed or similarly dense matting materials that may trap moisture.
• Place protective mats at high-use work areas such as sinks, ranges and workstations.
• Protect the floor from any exposure to liquids, water and other forms of moisture. Clean up any spilled drink, food or other liquids immediately. Clean floors using a well wrung mop. Avoid walking on the floor with wet feet or footwear. Damage caused by flooding, broken pipes, wet mopping or any other exposure to liquid or moisture is not covered by the product warranty.
• Avoid sharp or pointed objects coming into contact with the floor surface. Do not walk on the floor with high heeled shoes, trainers, or other type of footwear which may cause damage to the finish or cause indentations to the surface.
• Use heavy duty moving mats, dollies, or other moving aids when moving furniture, appliances or other heavy objects across the floor to avoid scratches or scuffs the surface.
• Hardwood flooring reacts to changes in the environment so it is important to ensure that environmental conditions are maintained with a temperature of 18°-24°C (65°-75°F) and humidity at 35 - 55% at all times. Excessive humidity, moisture, heat, or dry conditions can result in cupping or splitting of boards, gapping between boards and/or other problems resulting from exposure to improper environmental conditions, and are not covered by the product warranty.
• Wood flooring installed over a radiant heating system should never exceed 27°C (81°F) at floor surface. In addition, dramatic temperature changes should be avoided and temperature adjustments should be gradual, in maximum 5°C increments a day it is important that a dedicated thermostat is installed at floor surface level to allow the temperature to be accurately controlled.
• Hardwood flooring will undergo a natural change in colour over time. The degree of colour change varies by species, it is recommended that you do not place area rugs and large furniture items on a new wood floor for at least two months following installation to ensure a uniform change. Following which, periodic re-arrangement of furniture and area rugs will help ensure natural even change.
With the longer days upon us, now is the time to make the most of the great outdoors. With so many of us spending our working lives in stuffy offices or on the road batlling traffic, there comes a time when our soul yearns for wide open spaces. Getting together with friends and sharing a rustic picnic or more elegant al-fresco dinner has never seemed more appealing. So, pack up your bags, drop by the deli and head for the hills, coast or country this weekend. Of course, eating outdoors has its own nostalgic atmosphere, but there is no need to skimp on style. Why not make your picnic a gourmet affair with linen napkins, tablecloths and blankets. Take some vintage style glassware for wine, flasks for tea and baskets for serving fruit or sandwiches. Why not pack some handmade ceramic bowls for olives or baby tomatoes. Dont forget to pack plenty of cushions for lounging on the beach and rugs and throws for keeping off the chill as the evening draws in. For all your picnic essentials pop into Ecora, London's leading natural interiors store. www.ecora.co.uk