Solid Wood Flooring from Hackworth Sawmill

Hackworth Sawmill

hardwood flooring manufacturers, oak specialists

We supply a range of hardwood flooring direct from the sawmill, and can deliver anywhere in Great Britain or to a UK port for export. We can supply both solid wood flooring and engineered wooden flooring. Many species of solid wood flooring, including oak, are available in wide, long, 20 mm thick traditional floorboards. We also supply wide, single plank, load-bearing engineered oak flooring, both un-finished and pre-finished. Our solid flooring in oak, ash, walnut and beech, can be machined to the customers requirements, tongued and grooved or square edged, with optional ends matching, pre-sanding and micro-bevel if preferred. Our wood flooring comes from managed woodlands and forests mainly in Europe and North America. Our timber is thoroughly dried in the kilns at the sawmill in the north of England to 8 to 10% moisture content to ensure a stable product.

We are a family business.Our aim is to provide high quality hardwood flooring, at a reasonable price, to the public and the trade. Prices for our wood flooring are very competitive, and there is no minimum size of order. We will supply one plank if that is what the customer needs. Our wood flooring is available in a range of species including European and American Oak, Ash, European and American Cherry, American Black Walnut, Maple, Beech, Iroko,and Red Elm.

Why Hardwood Flooring? Hardwood flooring has dropped in price over the last 12 years compared with other flooring options thanks largely to advances in technology and improvements in machining which have made wood floors relatively cheaper to produce. With their durability and timeless appeal, hardwood floors add a touch of elegance and class to any property, so much so that almost all adverts for furniture show it against a background of wooden flooring, usually oak. Recent research suggests that solid hardwood flooring, or a good quality engineered floor, will enhance the value of a property more than any other feature, while a cheap laminate floor will detract from the value. But perhaps the greatest benefit of hardwood flooring is that it will not wear out. There are many examples both in this country and abroad, for example in stately homes and French chateaux, where oak hardwood floors, once affordable only by the wealthy, have been in place for hundreds of years and still look good.

The latest development in wooden flooring has been the engineered floor, where a hardwood veneer has been glued onto a ply or softwood core, or most recently an oriented strand board (OSB) backing. Of the three options, the plywood or OSB base tend to be the more stable. Some people are concerned about the number of times an engineered wood floor can be sanded. However if you consider an engineered floor where the veneer is 6 mm thick, that is about the same thickness of timber as you will find above the tongue and groove in a solid hardwood floor. You would stand about the same chance of sanding through the veneer on the engineered flooring as you would of exposing the tongue and groove on a solid one. In reality there is little to choose between them. The main difference are

- engineered flooring almost always has a mirco-bevel on the side and this does affect the look of the floor. It accentuates the join between the boards. With solid wood flooring, this is usually an option, particularly if the supplier is also the manufacturer.

- both can be nailed down, but the engineered floor is a safer bet if gluing to e.g. a concrete sub-floor. Solid hardwood flooring can be glued down, particularly if the boards are not too wide, but there is greater risk of failure, although modern wood flooring adhesives are very good.

- engineered flooring can be fitted as a floating floor, but the risks are considerable if trying to float a solid hardwood floor, particularly if the boards are wide and long.

- Because it is so stable, engineered wooden flooring can usually be fitted over under-floor heating, and in many cases, particularly where it has an exterior grade ply or OSB backing, has been developed specifically for this purpose. Solid hardwood flooring can be used, but it needs drying further once it has been delivered, usually by loose laying in the room with the heating on for several weeks before fitting, and even then there may be some movement, e.g. opening and closing of slight gaps between boards, particularly if the temperature is not constant.

Fitting a Wood Floor

Moisture is the biggest enemy of hardwood flooring, so if there is any doubt about permanent damp, do not even consider a wooden floor. Timber will take up any damp from the environment and this will cause wooden boards to expand across their width leading to cupping or bowing of the wood. Then they will shrink when the moisture level drops, and this will lead to gaps between the boards. New builds, where concrete or plaster has not dried out sufficiently, or very old properties where no damp proof course has been fitted, cause most concern for hardwood. However in most properties this is not an issue, and wooden flooring can be fitted without any problem. There are some golden rules where fitting a hardwood floor is concerned.

A solid wooden floor must be fixed down, either nailed, screwed, or, if the floor boards are narrow and short, possibly glued. Fixings for a hardwood floor should be at every joist, or at a similar distance. Secret nailing or screwing should be limited to boards of no more than 150 mm width. Where wooden floorboards are wider than this, surface fixing will be necessary.

There are a number of options when fitting hardwood flooring to concrete. If it is solid wood flooring, then fit either wooden battens (absolute minimum 20 mm deep but 27 mm or more is much better) at 350 to 400 mm centres, or plywood, to the concrete, and then nail or screw the wooden flooring to this. Alternatively and if appropriate, glue the wood flooring to the concrete. The other option is to use a good quality engineered board which can be glued direct to the concrete, certainly the best option if you want wide hardwood floorboards.

In some instances you may want to fit new hardwood flooring to an existing wooden floor. If the original is floorboards, make sure they are secure and level. It�s best if you can lay the new hardwood flooring at right angles to the old, but if not, consider putting a thin layer of plywood onto the old floor first, then nail or screw the new hardwood flooring with fixings every 400 mm along the length of the boards. If the existing wooden floor is chipboard or similar, make sure it is dense enough to hold nails or screws securely. If in doubt, fix the new hardwood floor at the points where the original is fastened to joists, and nail through the chipboard into the joists.

Always use the proper flooring nails. They are usually flat and serrated.

An expansion gap of 10 to 15 mm must be left at the sides of the room. This is normally cloaked by the skirting board or a strip of quadrant.

Finally, only tackle the fitting of a hardwood floor yourself if you are a competent woodworker. It is a specialised job, so if in doubt, get a professional in. If you do decide to tackle it yourself, take your time. The chances are that you will fit only a few square metres of wood flooring in a day. There are plenty of internet sites which give detailed instructions on fitting hardwood flooring. See also fitting wood floors

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