Products

Materials

There’s more to a wood floor than just the type of wood that's used. Beneath the wood floor, the sub-floor must be level, prepared and dry, so some form of damp-proof membrane may be required. The adhesive must keep the boards down while still allowing some longitudinal movement to accommodate their natural expansion and contraction. And once the floor is down and has been sanded, oils, varnishes and lacquers are used to draw out and enhance the colour and natural grains of the wood, plus provide a hard-wearing surface that will help resist scuffs and scratches.

Over the years I’ve tried many different products and I’ve settled on a small number that I know, from personal experience, to give good results. Here are some of the products I use. They're mainly from Bona, Liberon, and F. Ball who, between them, manufacture and supply a wide range of products for wood floors, both for fitting and for their subsequent care. They're premium brands which I've always found to be top quality and well worth the extra expense. A wood floor isn't cheap, so there's no point saving a few pounds by using cheap and inferior adhesives and finishes.

F. Ball supplies a full range of products for preparing sub-floors. I use their concrete sealants, floor-levelling compound, and liquid damp-proof membrane. Oh, and I also use their adhesives.
I use Liberon Spirit Wood Dye where the wood needs to be coloured, for example, to match some other feature of the room. This is supplied in a range of colors and can be mixed to create a unique colour with its own warmth and depth, or to achieve an aged effect.
For the final lacquer finish I use products from Bona. In a domestic environment, I mostly use Bona Mega, which has a low solvent content, dries quickly, and gives a finish that maintains the look of the wood. In a commercial environment where traffic is likely to be high, I normally use Bona Traffic, which has an even better resistance to wear, scuff marks and scratches.

 

"The right tool for the job"

It’s always best to have the right tools for the job, and over the years I’ve tried a whole range of kit, some good, some outstanding. I mostly use tools from Bona, BEPo, and DeWalt. They are on the expensive side but I think they’re worth it.

My sanders are top-quality and very heavy-weight (85kg) which ensures a flat, even finish with no 'chatter' marks. The finish I can  achieve with them is stunning and second to none.
I use a BEPo Twist UFS 115 N universal joint cutter to trim the bottom of skirting boards in place. This allows the floor to be fitted using the cut-out space beneath an existing skirting board as the expansion gap but without having to remove and re-fit the skirting board, so avoids any damage to decor.
High-precision mitre and circular saws from De Walt ensure precision cuts. In a patterned floor, any minor inaccuracy in dimensions will be immediately obvious to the eye once the floor is down.