What Makes The Castle Grade So Unique?

13th April 2015

Our Castle grade, is one of our most unique grades of oak flooring that we have available, offering something different to the more standard grades.

The Castle Grade engineered oak flooring very much carries on from the success of our Hartington solid oak door, created in very much the same style. With our standard grades of solid and engineered oak flooring, the boards have a flat surface. The Castle grade is for those who require more depth from their flooring.

Castle Grade Oak Flooring

Each board in the castle grade has an undulating surface. This creates a worn appearance, and a texture that is unmatched by other floors. To really appreciate this grade, we always recommend you come and see it in person where you can look and feel the boards.

The grading of the boards have a similar range of knots, cracks, shakes, fissures and areas of perfectly grained oak, as the character grade oak flooring. Like the character grade, the castle grade can look great in a range of different environments.

Supplied unfinished, these boards can be finished however you see fit. So whether you prefer a more darker stain, or the unfinished look, it can be achieved with the castle grade.

Give us a call on 01538 304584 to discuss the Castle grade further.

How Is Maintenance Easier With Unfinished Oak Flooring?

7th April 2015

When purchasing oak flooring, you are going to come across the choice of whether to purchase unfinished oak flooring or prefinished oak flooring.

Prefinished oak flooring can be described as the the quicker option for many. These boards have been specifically finished prior to laying the floor, so you see exactly what colour and tone they will be once laid. The finished boards are normally finished using hard wax oils or lacquers.

Unfinished oak flooring are boards which require finishing once they have been laid. With unfinished flooring you can apply whatever finish you wish, to achieve your chosen style.


The choice of whether prefinished or unfinished oak flooring is right for you very much comes down to your own situation. One area where an unfinished floor may be a better option for many is during the maintenance process.

Over time an oak floors finish will naturally fade and suffer from wear and tear regardless of the finish chosen. This can lead to you wanting to “refresh” your oak floor to bring life back into the boards.

With a prefinished floor it can often be difficult to know exactly what product was applied to your floor originally. This can make it difficult to use the appropriate products to either refresh the floor finish or to recoat the affected area. Serious marks that may require sanding over will be difficult to repair and could become even more unsightly.

Maintenance Oil Application

With an unfinished oak floor you have applied your chosen finish yourself, and so therefore know exactly what finish was applied and what appropriate oils can be used. In the case of a hard wax oil finish, many of the brands have specific maintenance oils which will reinvigorate the finish when it has dulled. For more serious marks, the area can simply be sanded away and recoated.

Whether you choose unfinished or prefinished oak flooring the general day to day cleaning is an important aspect that can help to preserve the life of your floor. Daily sweeping your oak flooring will help to keep any dust particles from sitting on the top of the floor. Regular vacuums of the floor can also help to remove these particles. If left, these particles could be pushed along the floor, causing scratches.

If you would like to discuss the different aspects of prefinished and unfinished oak flooring with us further, please give us a call on 01538 304584.

Why Should I Choose Engineered Oak Flooring Over Solid Oak Flooring?

3rd April 2015

The choice of whether you should choose solid or engineered oak flooring is a question that can only be answered depending on your own situation. So in which situations would you choose engineered oak flooring over solid oak flooring?

Lets begin by establishing exactly what solid oak flooring and what engineered oak flooring means.

Solid oak flooring boards consist 100% of solid oak. Nowadays the majority of these boards are tongue and grooved, with stress grooves on the underside. These boards are available in a number of different grades and widths, dependant on your preference. When choosing a solid oak board, be sure to take note of whether the thickness is suitable for your situation, what lengths of boards are available and the quality of the oak used.

Solid Oak Flooring

Engineered oak flooring is made up of a combination of solid oak and a ply-board base. Again these boards are usually tongue and grooved and available in a number of widths. The same range of grades that are available with solid oak flooring are also available with engineered oak flooring. From above, equal quality solid and engineered oak boards will look indistinguishable. When choosing an engineered oak board, the key aspects to look out for is the overall thickness of the board, the thickness of the wear layer, the thickness/amount of layers of the ply, and the quality of both the oak and the ply.

Engineered Oak Flooring

If you are planning to lay your oak flooring in what could be described as more traditional circumstances, more often than not solid oak flooring is perfectly fine for the job. For example when laying over joists or an existing timber floor, in a living environment, solid oak flooring is normally used. Engineered oak flooring is generally used for more complicated situations or areas with changeable humidity’s.

A prime example of a more complicated situation is using engineered oak flooring in a kitchen or bathroom environment. These rooms in particular are likely to experience changeable moisture levels. It is these changes that can cause a solid oak flooring to expand and contract, leading to more serious problems. Due to its construction, engineered oak flooring is much less prone to these changes. This gives engineered oak boards an added stability in areas where solid oak would be less suitable.

European Engineered Oak Flooring

Another example of where an engineered floor may be used over solid is when laying over a concrete sub-floor. When laying solid oak boards over concrete, the method of fixing would be to glue the boards. Due to proneness to movement of solid oak boards and the increased likeliness of this happening with wider solid boards, we do not recommend gluing boards which are wider than 120mm. For boards wider than this, we recommend using engineered oak flooring, which is more stable and less prone to movement when glued down.

In most modern day renovations, underfloor heating is being fitted more and more. With underfloor heating the fluctuations in temperature mean that the flooring will need to cope with these variable temperature changes. It is in this situation again, where we would recommend using engineered oak flooring over solid oak flooring.

If you are unsure whether you need solid or engineered oak flooring for your project, give us a call on 01538 304584.