Sara Walker talks to Peter Keane, director of the London-based Natural Wood Floor Company, about the whys and hows of using wooden flooring in your home.
FDB: How did the Natural Wood Floor Company get started?
PK: We have been selling wood floors since the early 1990s, originally operating out of a small shed in Balham, London, to supply reclaimed and re-manufactured wood floors sourced from old buildings. As the company grew, we started to source different types of wood flooring, and we invested in a new high-tech factory in the UK and have continued to grow the business ever since. Many of our team members have been with us since the early days and the Natural Wood Floor Co is a very big part of all our lives.
FDB: Are there fashions in the styles and types of flooring you’re asked to install?
PK: Trends obviously come and go, but the use of real wood in the home is something that never really changes. For flooring, this is a material that is timeless and it works with virtually any décor, so we have been installing our engineered wood flooring in country cottages and urban apartments throughout the decades. We do see variations in colour trends, for example, recently darker tones have been particularly popular. Parquet flooring too is a very popular choice, although this has never really gone out of fashion, but we are now seeing it used to give a classic twist to contemporary settings.
FDB: How do I choose the right type of flooring for my home?
PK: When choosing flooring it is important to think beyond the look and style, for example, how suitable is your preferred flooring type for the space? Engineered wood flooring has a similar life span to solid wood but is able to withstand changes in temperature, humidity and moisture, because of the way it is constructed. Ask yourself questions such as how the room will be used and by whom. In high traffic areas, you will need your flooring to be easy to care for and keep clean.
FDB: Why choose a wood floor over a cheaper alternative? Are there any rooms/circumstances where wood isn’t suitable?
PK: Engineered wood flooring can be fitted in most rooms in the house, including wet and humid areas such as the kitchen and bathroom and can be floated or fixed to most types of subfloor together with an underlay. It can also be used with underfloor heating. Once laid, keeping engineered wood flooring looking as good as new is straightforward too, so it is a low maintenance option.
FDB: What’s your best-selling floor?
PK: Parquet has to be one of our favourites; the pattern options make this such a versatile option that can have enormous visual impact on any space. For our customer our range of oak flooring is popular and, again, the sheer range of colour options with this type of wood make it one of our bestsellers.
Wooden floors are easy to look after – sweep them daily of any grit or debris, and damp clean them once a week to remove fine dust. Depending on the finish of your floor (lacquered or oil), you will occasionally need to re-apply a layer of a finishing product to keep it looking pristine. For more advice on looking after your wooden floor, or to browse the range, visit www.naturalwoodfloor.co.uk.
All images (c) The Natural Wood Floor Company 2020.0