London's Premier Home Selection Service


• Which rooms are suitable for hardwood flooring installation?


Wooden flooring can be installed in almost any room in the home, although it is not advisable to install wooden flooring in damp or humid areas such as bathrooms or utility rooms. Harder wood species are ideal for high traffic areas such as halls and kitchens. You will need to be extra careful with beech floors, as this type of flooring is prone to expansion and contraction.


• What is the difference between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring?


Solid wood flooring is manufactured from a solid piece of wood, whilst engineered wood flooring is manufactured using a cross-directional laminated construction of around 3 layers, the top layer of which is made up of hardwood. The construction of engineered flooring helps it to counteract the natural tendency of wood to contract and expand with seasonal temperature and humidity changes, increasing its stability. Both types of flooring can be sanded and re-lacquered.


• What are the advantages of buying pre-finished flooring?


Pre-finished flooring is finished with several coats of V-cured polyurethane or aluminium oxide, which are tough and durable. By installing a pre-finished floor, you can reduce the time, dust and odours that come with the on-site sanding and finishing of unfinished flooring. Pre-finished flooring can be installed within a day, whilst unfinished flooring can take twice as long to install.


• Should I decorate the room before or after flooring installation?


We advise finished as much building and decoration work as possible before installing flooring in a room to minimise the risk of damage to the flooring. You will need to ensure that all plastered and screeded surfaces are dry.


• Can wood flooring be installed over an underfloor heating system?


Whilst wood flooring can be installed over underfloor heating systems, engineered flooring is more suitable than solid wood as it doesn't need to be fixed down and is more stable. It is also important that the surface temperature of a finished floor never exceeds 27 degrees Celsius in any area. Maple and beech species are more likely to expand and contract with changing temperatures, so are less suitable.  


• Does flooring have to acclimatise?


Solid wood flooring will need to acclimatise to its surroundings, which involves storing the opened packs in the room where they will be fitted for a week or more before installation. Engineered and laminate flooring can usually be fitted without needing acclimatisation.  


• What are laminate floors and how are they made?


A laminate floor is a versatile, durable, attractive flooring with the appearance of a hardwood floor. Although laminate flooring looks like wood flooring, there is actually no solid wood used in its construction. Laminate floors are made up of several materials bonded together under high pressure. Most laminate flooring consists of a moisture resistant layer under a layer of HDF (high density fibre board). This is topped with a high resolution photographic image of natural wood flooring. It is then finished with an extremely hard, clear coating made from special resin-coated cellulose to protect the laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is perfect for anyone wanting a durable floor for a fraction of the price and installation time of a hardwood floor, but with the attractiveness of real wood.


• Are laminate floors suitable for wheelchairs?


Generally laminate flooring is suitable for wheelchairs. However we recommend the use of soft, rubber wheels. This is also our recommendation for office chairs.


• How easy is it to clean laminate floors? Are they suitable for allergy sufferers?


Laminate floors are easy to clean. Dirt and dust can be cleaned away in no time. Even dust mites and deeper dirt doesn't stand a chance. This is why laminate flooring is especially popular amongst allergy sufferers.