Frequently Asked Questions

Engineered or solid?

Care & maintenance

Delivery

Payment

Installation

Wood flooring and under floor heating

Wood flooring and the environment

Warranties

 

Engineered or solid?

Which to choose? Engineered and solid wood floors are both available in the same species and finishes, and once laid the finished floors are very similar. 

Engineered wood flooring has the advantage of extra stability so it can be used over under floor heating and in rooms where there will be large variations in temperature and humidity throughout the year (e.g. conservatories.) Engineered flooring is also available at reasonable prices to create a floor with wide widths and long lengths.

Solid wood flooring has the appeal of a traditional product, with the environmental advantages of using all sizes and grades of lumber and being produced without the extra machining and adhesives involved in the manufacture of engineered floors. A properly laid solid wood floor can last for hundreds of years.

Please bear in mind that both types of wood flooring must be laid in suitable conditions by a competent installer. The majority of problems with wood flooring are caused by moisture so it is essential to check site conditions with moisture meters and if necessary to use a moisture barrier under the floor and to improve or add ventilation. Sometimes it will not be possible to successfully install wood flooring if site conditions are too damp.

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Care & maintenance

Download Care and Maintenance Tech sheet

Wood flooring is very easy to look after, and a few simple precautions and a little regular maintenance will keep the floor looking good for years to come. Here are some simple tips:

  1. Make sure there are good quality entrance mats to prevent damage caused by grit or particles carried in on the soles of shoes. Sharp heels or animal claws are also likely to damage the floor. 
  2. Protect the floor from damage by furniture legs or casters by using felt pads and caster cups. Be aware of possible damage from sharp objects or when moving anything heavy across the floor.
  3. Sweep or vacuum clean the floor regularly to remove any rough particles.
  4. Mop up any liquid spills immediately.
  5. Use a manufacturer approved cleaner and/or polish to maintain the floor finish on a regular basis. Modern ‘oiled’ (hard wax oil) finishes do not require regular re-oiling, but do benefit from the occasional polish. We recommend that you buy a care & maintenance kit when ordering your wood flooring.

DON’T mop the floor with a wet mop or use any abrasive cleaners or scourers.

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Delivery

Please allow 3-5 working days for standard delivery. Our flooring is delivered on pallets on a multidrop vehicle, so we will confirm the delivery day but cannot deliver at a specific time. The hauliers are not insured to handle and unload goods, so please ensure you have sufficient manpower or equipment available to unload your delivery.

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Payment

We accept payment by cheque or direct bank transfer.
Please make cheques payable to Foresbec UK Ltd

Our bank details for payment by transfers are:

            Account Name:         Foresbec UK Ltd
            Bank:                      Barclays Bank plc
            Branch:                   Bristol, Clifton
            Account number:      20085545
            Sort code:               20-13-34

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Installation

Correct installation is essential for any wood floor, as many of the problems that arise with wood floors are avoidable.  Installation guidelines for all our products are included on our product specification sheets, however they are no substitute for the skills and experience of a specialist wood floor installer. The first step is always to inspect the site carefully, using moisture meters to test the relative humidity and subfloor moisture levels, checking ventilation and looking for sources of excessive moisture or humidity. Moisture problems may be caused by blocked airbricks, tumble dryers, fresh concrete or plaster, etc. Any site where the floor is below ground level or where the ground slopes downhill towards the building must be approached with great caution.

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Wood flooring and under floor heating

Wood flooring and under floor heating can make a great combination, however care must be taken to choose a heating system and wood flooring that are compatible.

Under floor heating systems: The most suitable types of under floor heating in conjunction with wood flooring are either radiant screed or electric systems. Some electric systems now have the ability to vary the temperature in different areas of the floor, and this is ideal as it helps prevent hot spots occurring under thick rugs or solid furniture. It is essential to install efficient thermostats to avoid overheating the floor – it may be necessary to fit a thermostat outside to help keep the temperature balanced. Please see our products section for details of electric under floor heating systems available from Foresbec.

Wood flooring: the flooring will usually lose moisture and contract when the heating is turned on, and expand when it reabsorbs moisture in summer. For this reason engineered flooring is recommended as this effect will be minimised – however check that the flooring is suitable with the manufacturer. If you prefer solid wood flooring, you need to choose the species carefully and fit flooring narrower than 100mm that is kiln dried to below 9% moisture content. Some species, in particular Beech, Birch and Maple, are not suitable for use with under floor heating, regardless of whether the flooring is solid or engineered. Our product technical specification sheets specify suitability for use over under floor heating for all our wood flooring.

Installation procedure: First check with the manufacturers of the heating system and the flooring that both are compatible. If the under floor heating is set in a screed, make sure that this is thoroughly dried out over a minimum of 3 – 4 weeks. The recommended method is to turn the heating up slowly over about 2 weeks, then run the heating system at the maximum setting for six to seven days and then turn off for 2 days to cool down before installing the flooring. With any under floor heating system it is necessary to turn off the system and allow it to cool down before installing the flooring.

Moisture precautions: carefully check the moisture levels in the subfloor and the flooring. It is essential to take great care regarding subfloor moisture as the under floor heating system can act like a pump, drawing moisture up from the subfloor into the wood flooring above.

  • Radiant screed systems: The screed moisture content must be under 65%RH / 2% TRAMEX. If necessary, use an epoxy DPM (eg Rewmar MB)

  • Electric systems: Fit a sheet damp proof membrane as per manufacturers instructions.

Installation:

  • Radiant screed systems: The best method is to glue down the floor as it enables the heating system to operate most efficiently. After installation allow two days for the glue to cure before tuning the heating back on.

  • Electric systems: Float the flooring using an acoustic underlay approved for use with UFH.

After installation turn heating system on gradually, increasing temperature by max. 5° C per day.

The temperature setting of the heating system must be carefully monitored to ensure that the maximum surface temperature of the floor does not exceed 27°C. The relative humidity should be kept in the range 45% – 65%, which may require the use of a humidifier.

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Wood flooring and the environment

Hardwood flooring is a natural product, made from a renewable resource and completely biodegradable. In fact, using hardwood flooring helps encourage responsible forest management and the planting of a diverse range of species of tree. The total area of hardwood forest in Europe and North America is actually increasing every year because of active replanting.

Another point in favour of hardwood flooring is that traditionally flooring has been produced by making use of the smaller pieces of timber left by the sawmill after grading the full size planks (typically 180mm x 4m/ 7” x 12 foot) for sale to furniture manufacturers and joiners. Thus it has always contributed to making the most efficient use of each tree felled.

Foresbec UK environmental policy

As a major part of our commitment to the environment we aim to source all our products from responsible manufacturers (which is also reflected in the high quality of all our flooring). Our stock management system makes it possible to track every pack of flooring we sell from our customer back to the producer, hence the use of the pallet number on all sales documentation. We are currently in the process of applying for Chain of Custody certification by the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) and the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes). This will mean that our stock management system will be independently audited and that we will be able to provide certified chain of custody from the forest all the way through production and distribution to our customer.

The starting point is our own Canadian Foresfloor production, which all is made using North American timber. The forests in Canada and the USA are very strictly controlled by provincial and/or state authorities, as well as by independent forestry certification schemes, so there can be no question over the environmental credentials of the timber used. Our Canadian mill is currently in the process of applying for FSC Chain of Custody certification, which will mean that our Canadian production will also be independently audited. All our other flooring products are sourced from very carefully chosen manufacturers, and we plan to add more FSC and PEFC certified products to our range in the near future.

Merbau flooring from Indonesia: in recent years there has been a serious illegal logging problem in Indonesia, which has created controversy over the use of Merbau and other hardwood products from this country. Ironically, Merbau is a fast growing and abundant species, ideal for sustainable forestry. We have continued to buy Merbau flooring on a small scale, with the aim of supporting responsible Indonesian manufacturers that are using timber from legitimate sources, rather than stopping buying from Indonesia altogether. Our buyer works with high level Indonesian government officials when selecting and monitoring manufacturers, and we insist on full documentation that our flooring is legally produced and exported.

Floor finishes: we recommend the use of Treatex hardwax oils. These are produced from natural plant oils, with very low solvent content. They give a very durable finish is easy to maintain. If necessary the finish can be cleaned and touched up or given an additional coat at any time. This removes the need to re-sand and seal the complete floor to rejuvenate the finish (except where the floor has been very badly damaged), reducing environmental impact over the lifetime of the floor.

Links:
FSC: www.fsc.org
PEFC: www.pefc.org

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Warranties

We do not offer a formal warranty on our wood flooring, as we cannot be liable for any problems caused by incorrect installation or site conditions. However, we take great pride in the quality of our products and will consider very seriously any quality issues with products supplied by Foresbec. If you have experience problems with a floor after installation, please submit your claim in writing with proof of moisture readings taken before and at the time of installation and accompanied by photographs if possible. If you request a site visit we can either recommend an independent  technical inspector or arrange for a member of our team to make a site inspection, and this inspection will be charged for at the current rate.

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