Upon installing a new floor such as wooden flooring or refurbishing an old one, you should account for time needed that will render the room in question out of action, as this may affect the method that you choose to use. You will also need to remove all furniture and fittings and make sure that the room is completely cleared before beginning the flooring project. It is also quite a good idea to draw a floor plan on a piece of graph paper to enable you to work out the quantities needed with accuracy.

Wooden floorboards – Wooden flooring is a practical option for every room. Many older houses have floorboards throughout, which, if you are blessed, will be in good enough condition to restore. There are a number of different ways in which you can finish floorboards that have a build-up of years of old finishes. Sanding them back to bare wood is hard work and investing in labour saving devices such as industrial sanders is a great idea.

Protection – A lot of the flooring that we value for its textural quality originates from the slow-growing trees of tropical forests. If it is feasible, you should try to select timber from plantations that come from forests that are well managed. Purchasing hardwood from approved sources – in some areas these are labelled with a Good Wood seal of approval – means you will be encouraging the protection of our forests.

Variety – Whether you want natural tones or more decorative motifs, wooden flooring surfaces are ideal to get creative with. If you like the existing colour of the natural wood: you can seal the surface with layers of clear wax, or a proprietary transparent sealer in either a matt or a gloss finish. A stencilled motif can easily be applied and really adds a touch of luxury to your floors. You should seal the floor with transparent sealer after the paint has completely dried. This will ensure the protection of your handy design work.

Woodblock – Woodblocks, or parquet are shallow blocks that interlock to form solid panels. Prepared woodblocks are manufactured in a range of durable hardwoods from light maple to mahogany. Choose the colour of the wood and the style of grain that you would like to feature as part of your existing decor. All woodblock flooring should be laid on a prepared solid floor surface. The blocks are then secured by glue and some are fitted together with the mechanism of tongue and groove joints.

Style – Wood lends a sense of style to every room in the home. With the beautiful textures and tones of the various different types of wood, it has a character that is unparalleled by any other organic material. Although they can be hard underfoot, they are not as noisy or as cold as ceramic tiles. Added to this is the fact that wooden flooring is easy to maintain and extremely durable. There are so many styles to choose from including floorboards, woodblocks, stencilling and engineered flooring. It's hard to imagine a flooring option without recognising the wonderful qualities of wood.

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3 1 4 maple flooring unfinished