After spending the last three days up close and personal with solid golden oak wood flooring, as always, I felt compelled to write a few words and give my readers a little insight. Insight is always an advantage when you’re considering spending a decent amount of money on a wood floor. I’m sure I don’t have to tell YOU that..
Ok, lets start with the specs :
- 125 mm Wide planks
- 18 mm thick and comes in random lengths between 300 mm and 1500 mm
- Each plank has a crisp ‘V’ groove bevelled edge
- Pre-finished hand scraped lacquered surface
- Installation methods – screwing, nailing, direct gluing to the sub-floor and finally with the use of an adhesive underlay
- Can be installed in lounges, dining rooms, hallways, kitchens, bedrooms and utility rooms
- Cost – Currently £31 including vat per square metre
So you’re here to gain some insight into the Florence golden oak from an installers point of view, and I won’t let you down.
As with all my installations, there are several key aspects that I tend to look at as soon as I hold a wood floor in my hand. I check for bowing, surface blemishes, the amount of knots on the face of each board, average moisture content (Ideally between 8 and 12%), curling or cupping (sign of moisture damage) and finally the machined tongue and groove (where I look for consistency and fit).
The Florence golden oak passed my assessment with flying colours. Each board was straight as a die and true. I did not dismiss a single board for having a surface blemish (This is actually a relatively unique experience for me, as I’m very picky!).
Although the amount of knots were high, they were treated, filled and finished very well (With some flooring products, this process can be rushed and end in the floor looking cheap and unloved).
The average moisture content of the florence wood flooring was around 10% (Perfect). There was no sign of curling or cupping which can be a sure indication of poor preparation or storage of the timber. Finally, I did not have one instance of a failed or poorly machined tongue and groove. A rare occurrence of a wood floor in this price range!
There were two aspects of the florence solid oak that stood out and of which I wasn’t to impressed with..
The first was the stated random board lengths. I know a lot of flooring must be produced and I know each individual board can’t possibly be cut at a different length, again not in this price range, but I found that there were only five different length boards in all! The differing size of lengths themselves were adequate but only having five lengths in total just wasn’t enough in my opinion. This led to some ‘H’ patterns and stair case joins that I would have rather not seen but had little choice when installing. You may be able to see what I mean from the pictures. If you can’t then this aspect of the Florence golden oak is something that shouldn’t worry you.
Secondly, there were several planks, more so the shorter planks, that were very slightly thinner than the rest, by a maximum of 2 mm. This is me again being picky but it’s something I always look for when installing a solid wood floor. I can’t say that this had a huge impact on the installation as these boards were few and when I stood back at intervals, I have to say due to the nature of the design, the slight gaps resulting from several of the thinner boards actually looked like they were meant to be. Although, I like consistent symmetry so different width board bug me some what.
Ok, so now I’ve got mister grumpy out of the way, what did I like about the Florence golden oak??
Well, for me the hand scraped surface and dark stain really gives depth and character to this floor. That might sound like a bit of sales jargon but it really does.
Remember I look at things mostly from an installation point of view. Cutting solid wood can really show the quality of the timber itself. In this particular installation, my client preferred I cut the flooring with a jigsaw as cutting with a chop saw would have created to much dust. Now when using a jigsaw, the blade can chip the edges of a solid wood floor. Cheaper grade timber will often split easily when using this cutting method and is something that I consider as one of the signs of a lower or higher quality floor. With the Florence golden oak, as you can see in the close up pictures above, edge
splitting was minimal and didn’t cause me any problems whatsoever.
The blend between a smooth lacquered surface finish, which is actually easier to clean than a brushed oiled wood floor, and the hand scraped distressed appearance kills two birds with one stone. In a sense it gives both a rustic look whilst at the same time enriching the room with a smooth silky and modern feel (I believe the pictures highlight that fact).
Dare I say that when I’d finished the installation, it looked good enough to eat.
Well, I hope the pictures and material I’ve included through this review will help you make your decision. As you can see, it is truly a beautiful looking floor and with a little imagination, can you see it in your house??
© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor