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Oak Flooring Frequently Asked Questions

Considering an oak floor? We answer some of the most common queries and concerns relating to this much-loved wooden flooring.

Does oak flooring need protection immediately after installation?

A new oak floor is a considerable investment – and if properly installed, will last for years. To ensure longevity, it’s sensible to apply a quality maintenance oil to your newly installed flooring. Not only does the oil provide greater durability, but it also guarantees stain protection and long-lasting shine.

This treatment is especially important in high traffic areas. Those portions of the house that are subject to heavy use, such as hallways, kitchens and commercial premises, will need an extra level of protection, and a good quality oil is the best way to do this. Always remember to test it on a small area of flooring beforehand, so you can check you’re satisfied with its appearance once it’s dried.

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What is the best way to clean an engineered oak floor?

Always use the the most compatible cleaning product which is Osmo Wash and Care. It’s simple to use – you just need to closely follow the steps outlined on the label. One easy application of Osmo Wash and Care will remove any dirt or stains that are tarnishing the look of your floor, returning the oak grain to its former glory.

And even if you haven’t protected your floor with Osmo Polyx Oil, we still strongly recommend using this cleaner to remove any stubborn stains or marks.

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What is the best way to install engineered oak?

All wet works should be completely dry before accepting wood flooring to the site. This includes plastering, rendering and ideally decorating. The moisture reading for a normal concrete screed must be 2% or less and the room humidity should be between 35% and 55%.

Store the boards in the conditions they are to be fitted for 7 – 10 days to allow them to acclimatise. Open the ends of the cartons to allow the air to penetrate, and store them at least 50mm off the ground and 500mm from any wall.

It depends on your sub-floor. A concrete or screed subfloor must be dry and level before you can fully bond the engineered oak to it. Once dry and level, you’ll be able to use a specialist adhesive. This substance dries like a hard rubber and won’t ever become brittle.

With a timber sub-floor, you’ll need to use a weak PVA solution to prime it. Afterwards, you can install in the same way as above.

If the board is 20mm thick, you can secret nail or screw it to the timber sub-floor.

We only recommend a floating installation (i.e. not directly secured to the sub-floor and using an underlay) if you have different substrates within the same installation. For example, an old timber substrate that runs into a new screed subfloor.

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Do I need an underlay?

Only if you have two separate substrates – this is explained in more detail above.

You may have specific issues that require a specialist underlay e.g. noise reduction or insulation. Ask your installer for guidance with this.

We don’t stock fixing products or underlay for engineered oak.

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What thickness of engineered oak board should I use?

We offer both 15mm and 20mm thick boards.

If the board is to be fully bonded, then either thickness is suitable.

Similarly, if the board is to be floated, then both are fine. However, the 20mm thick board will have less movement over the long term – so this is what we tend to recommend.

If you’re planning on secret nailing or secret screwing, only the 20mm board is suitable.

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Can I use engineered oak with underfloor heating?

Engineered oak can be used with both wet and electric underfloor heating systems. You’ll only be able to use a maximum wood thickness of 15mm, if you’re using an electric system though.

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