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Engineered Wood vs Solid Wood

Investing in quality, durable and sustainable flooring is always the most crucial step, but which is better - engineered wood flooring, or solid wood flooring?  There are benefits to both types of flooring, and with Atkinson & Kirby you can rely on all flooring products being made from real wood from sustainable sources and crafted according to our high standards.  What is engineered wood flooring? Engineered flooring is made from real wood, as opposed to laminate flooring which is generally made from high-density fibreboard with a printed wood texture. By contrast, true engineered flooring is made from layers of wood bonded together and finished with a solid top layer.  Engineered wood flooring is a popular choice for modern applications because it's very durable - it can be used with underfloor heating, and is reliable in high-traffic areas like kitchens and hallways. It’s available in a variety of styles, such as parquet for a striking look, contemporary flooring for something on-trend, or a classic wood flooring pattern for something more simple and traditional. What is solid wood flooring? Solid wood flooring is basically exactly what it sounds like - a solid piece of hardwood. Depending on the style, the wood might be oak or another durable alternative such as walnut or hickory.  To manufacture solid wood flooring, a piece of wood is cut and then sanded down into planks. Our solid flooring is available in a range of finishes and styles to match any aesthetic.  Benefits of engineered wood flooring Suitable for a range of uses Engineered wood flooring is typically the more stable flooring option for areas that might see fluctuations in temperature or moisture levels - for example in kitchens, bathrooms or conservatories. This is because real wood expands and contracts in nature, and the engineered finish can help limit this. However, it is important to note that engineered wood flooring is not a completely waterproof solution. Because engineered planks have a central core layer and the finishing layer too, it is typically the more stable option for a floor. This is because solid wood planks can range in length and are more susceptible to warping, expansion and contraction.  Can be used with underfloor heating If you're looking to install underfloor heating, engineered flooring should be your go-to. It's not recommended to use heating with solid wood because of its tendency to contract and expand, so an engineered floor offers more versatility for modern designs.  Benefits of solid wood flooring Easy maintenance Solid floors made of high-quality real wood are easy to maintain, and require low maintenance. You can use vacuums, brushes and brooms to clean. Of course, wood has a high natural resistance to stains too, so you don't need to be as worried about the occasional spill as you would be with carpeting or another synthetic flooring type.  Durability Solid wood that has been properly cut and finished is extremely durable. Even scratches or fading can be easily fixed with light maintenance and refinishing, making this one of the longest-lasting options for many flooring applications. With the right maintenance and cleaning, a good quality hardwood floor can last a lifetime.  Timeless style You can't go wrong with a classic, well-maintained quality wooden floor. Wood can adapt to virtually any decor theme or aesthetic, and offers a timeless style that will look good no matter how many changes you make to the decorations or styles of a space.  For example, opt for natural grade solid flooring for a classic look. Or, go for rustic or super rustic flooring for plenty of character and pattern variation.  Of course, wooden flooring can also be refinished easily, so you can switch up its look if desired.  With quality wood, both solid flooring and engineered flooring can enhance any space and add a sense of style and reliability. Browse our collections and download a brochure to find the perfect fit for your project. 

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The Ultimate Guide to Underlay - Wood Flooring

Underlay is an essential component when it comes to installing wood flooring. It provides a foundation for the flooring, offering stability and support. Additionally, underlay helps to reduce noise transmission and acts as a barrier against moisture. Without proper underlay, your wood flooring may not perform as expected and could suffer from premature wear and damage. By understanding the importance of underlay for wood flooring, you can ensure that your flooring installation is successful and long-lasting. It is crucial to choose the right underlay that meets the specific requirements of your wood flooring. Factors to Consider When Choosing Underlay for Wood Flooring When selecting underlay for wood flooring, there are several factors to consider. First, you need to determine the type of wood flooring you have. Different types of wood flooring may require different types of underlay. For example, solid wood flooring may require a thicker underlay compared to engineered wood flooring. Another important factor is the subfloor. The underlay should be compatible with the subfloor to ensure proper installation. Additionally, consider the moisture levels in your environment. If you live in a humid area, you may need underlay with moisture-resistant properties. Noise reduction is another factor to consider. If you want to minimize sound transmission between floors, look for underlay with good acoustic properties. Lastly, consider your budget and choose underlay that offers the best value for money. Different Types of Underlay for Wood Flooring There are various types of underlay available for wood flooring. One common type is foam underlay, which is lightweight and easy to install. Foam underlay provides excellent cushioning and sound absorption.  It is affordable and easy to install. Another popular option is rubber underlay, which offers superior durability and moisture resistance. Rubber underlay is ideal for areas with high foot traffic or where moisture is a concern. Additionally, there are cork underlay and fiberboard underlay options. Cork underlay provides natural insulation and is eco-friendly, while fiberboard underlay offers excellent stability and moisture resistance. It is important to research and understand the characteristics of each type of underlay to determine which one suits your wood flooring needs the best. How to Select the Best Underlay for Your Wood Flooring To select the best underlay for your wood flooring, start by considering the specific requirements of your flooring. Evaluate factors such as the type of wood flooring, subfloor compatibility, moisture levels, noise reduction needs, and budget constraints. Next, research different underlay options and compare their features and benefits. Read customer reviews and seek recommendations from professionals to ensure you are making an informed decision. It is also recommended to consult with a flooring specialist who can provide expert advice based on your unique circumstances. They can help you choose the most suitable underlay for your wood flooring, considering factors such as the room's usage, location, and any specific concerns. By following these steps and investing time in selecting the best underlay, you can enhance the performance and longevity of your wood flooring. Available Underlayment from Atkinson & Kirby Product Code New Code Basic Cushioning and Light Traffic Protection Moisture Protection Impact Sound Resistance Suitable for Underfloor Heating For advanced comfort Woodtex Underlay 530511 UND1002 x x x x x XPS Foam 540585 UND3001 x   x   x Quicktherm 530513 UND1001 x     x x NXT Underlay ACC2010 UND4001 x     x   Polyfoam White 540580 UND2004 x         Polyfoam Vapour Control 540586 UND2001 x x       Polyfoam Acoustic Gold 540587 UND2002 x x x   x Quicktherm The QA QuickTherm impact noise reducing underlay is designed specifically for underfloor heating, in addition to being dense for floor support but also lightweight for ease of installation. 1.8mm thickness 19db impact sound resistance High quality, high density non-crosslinked premium polyethylene Light weight & easy install Suitable with UFH 0.35 Tog Woodtex Underlay Is made from a dense rubber material, thick enough to soak up small sub-floor undulations and imperfections.  The density of the rubber will also significantly reduce the hollow sound that can occur when floating flooring, and is suitable for underfloor heating 3mm Thickness Sponge rubber underlay Antimicrobial and Mildew Resistant 20dB Impact Sound Resistance Suitable for Underfloor Heating (water system) 0.32 Tog XPS Foam XPS underlay is designed for sub-floors that are quite uneven, and will create a firmer base for your new floor. Not only are the boards lightweight, making them super easy to lay, XPS also provides outstanding insulating properties, reduces noise and is also moisture resistant. 5mm thickness 20db impact sound reduction 2.0 Tog Benefits of Using High-Quality Underlay for Wood Flooring Using high-quality underlay for wood flooring offers several benefits. Firstly, it improves the overall comfort of your flooring. Underlay provides cushioning and insulation, making your wood flooring more comfortable to walk on. Secondly, high-quality underlay helps to reduce noise transfer between floors. This is particularly important in multi-level buildings or areas where sound insulation is desired. Furthermore, underlay acts as a moisture barrier, protecting your wood flooring from potential damage caused by moisture or humidity. It helps to prevent warping, buckling, and other moisture-related issues. Lastly, using high-quality underlay can prolong the lifespan of your wood flooring. It provides additional support and stability, reducing the risk of premature wear and tear. This can save you money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs or replacement. In conclusion, investing in high-quality underlay for your wood flooring is a wise decision that enhances both the performance and longevity of your flooring. Download our Installation Guide Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on flooring installation best practices. It provides advice from pre-installation preparation to installation methods to common troubleshooting issues.  Download here

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Care & Maintenance Guidance

Maintaining engineered wood flooring involves a mix of regular care and occasional deeper cleaning. Here's a comprehensive guide: Daily/Regular Care: Sweeping/Vacuuming: Use a soft-bristle broom or vacuum with a soft brush attachment to remove dust, dirt, and debris regularly. Avoid vacuums with beater bars as they might scratch the floor. Mopping: Damp-mop the floor with a well-wrung mop or a microfiber cloth slightly dampened with a recommended wood floor cleaner. Avoid excess water on the floor. We do not recommend steam cleaners/mops. Avoid Excess Moisture: Engineered wood is more resistant to moisture than solid wood, but it's still susceptible. Clean spills immediately and avoid leaving wet items on the floor. Protect from Scratches: Use felt pads or coasters under furniture legs to prevent scratching when moving or shifting items. Trim pets' nails regularly. Periodic Maintenance: Deep Cleaning: Periodically, use a dedicated wood floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Avoid oil-based, wax, or ammonia-based cleaners as they can damage the floor. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: When using cleaning products, make sure they're specifically designed for engineered wood floors. Test in an inconspicuous area first. Refinishing: Some engineered wood floors come with a thick wear layer that can be refinished. Consult the manufacturer's guidelines to know if your flooring can be refinished and how to do it. Protect from Sunlight: Direct sunlight can fade the color of the floor. Use blinds or curtains to minimize prolonged exposure. Tips: Area Rugs and Mats: Use area rugs and mats at entryways to reduce tracked-in dirt and moisture. Temperature and Humidity Control: Maintain a consistent indoor climate. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause wood to expand or contract, leading to damage. Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect the flooring for any signs of damage, such as scratches, dents, or loose boards. Address any issues promptly. Follow Manufacturer Guidelines: Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations and warranty guidelines for cleaning and maintenance. Remember, while engineered wood flooring is more resilient than solid hardwood, proper care and maintenance will extend its lifespan and keep it looking beautiful for years to come. Care and Maintenance Guidance – WOCA Kits For the specific maintenance of oiled or lacquered finished floors, instructions for using the appropriate WOCA maintenance kits. Oiled Kit – for use with natural or UV oiled floors When applying the oil please ensure that product, room and floor temperature should be between 15–35°C. Ensure good ventilation at all times during the application and drying time. Clean the floor with WOCA Intensive Wood Cleaner. Leave the floor to dry for at least 8 hours. The floor must be completely dry. Always remember to test on a less visible spot to check the compatibility of the surface with the product. Clean the floor with 125 ml Intensive Wood Cleaner mixed into 2.5 L water. Leave the floor to dry for at least 7-8 hours. The floor must be completely dry. Shake the container well before use. Apply approx. 1 dl of Maintenance Oil per 4 m² floor using a pad, short-bristled paint roller (3-4 mm) or a polishing machine with a white or beige pad on slightly larger areas. It is important that Maintenance Oil is carefully polished into the wood. Continue polishing until the wood appears saturated and the surface looks uniform. Wipe down the floor with clean, dry cotton cloths before proceeding with the next section of floor to be finished. The floor should not appear wet and there should not be any excess oil left on the surface after polishing. Continue stepwise till the floor has been finished. When polished with polishing machine the floor will be pre-hardened after 4 hours and may cautiously be taken into use. Manually polished floors may be taken into use after 24-48 hours. Do not expose the floor to water during hardening time of the polish. Do not clean the floor or expose it to water during the first 3 days, while the oil is curing. Natural Soap is used for regular cleaning after the floor has been maintained with Maintenance Oil. Please follow the work instructions on the different products. Download specification sheet Lacquered Kit – for use of lacquered floors Master Cleaner removes dirt and grime effectively and can be used for regular cleaning. Mix 125 ml Master Cleaner into 5 L warm water, wash the surface and let it dry. When using the Intensive Wood Cleaner and Master Care please follow the work steps. Always remember to test on a less visible spot to check the compatibility of the surface with the product. Mix 125 ml of Intensive Wood Cleaner with 5 L warm water. Wipe the wood surface with a well-wrung mop. If the surface is very dirty, repeat. Let the surface dry for 2 hours before subsequent treatment. Shake the container well before use. Apply the concentrated care product in a thin and even coat, using a WOCA Wool Pad and WOCA Pad Holder. If the cloth/mop becomes dirty, rinse in clean water and wring thoroughly. Then continue the application. Do not apply additional Master Care once a surface has begun to dry. Leave the floor to dry for 1-2 hours at 20°C. Drying time will vary by temperature, humidity and application quantity. Lower temperatures and/or higher humidity can extend drying time. Download specification sheet here Aftersales & Support For any further support, please contact Customer Services: 01695 573234 |  

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Understanding Flooring Profiles

From understanding the various types of flooring profiles to considering factors such as durability and aesthetics, here’s a guide to everything you need to know. Understanding Flooring Profiles When it comes to choosing the perfect flooring profile for your space, it's important to first understand what exactly a flooring profile is. A flooring profile refers to the transition piece that is used to connect different types of flooring materials or to cover the edges of a floor. It not only provides a finished look but also helps to protect the edges of the flooring. There are various types of flooring profiles available in the market, each serving a different purpose. Understanding these profiles can help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right one for your space. In addition to their functional aspect, flooring profiles also come in a wide range of designs and finishes, allowing you to enhance the overall aesthetics of your space. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern look or a more traditional and rustic feel, there is a flooring profile that can complement your style. By understanding the different types of flooring profiles and their uses, you can ensure that you select the perfect one for your space. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Flooring Profile Choosing the right flooring profile for your space involves considering several factors. One of the most important factors is the durability of the profile. You want to make sure that the profile you choose is able to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. Another factor to consider is the aesthetics of the profile. The profile should complement the overall design and style of your space. Whether you want a profile that blends seamlessly with the flooring or one that makes a statement, there are options available to suit your preferences. Additionally, it's important to consider the maintenance requirements of the profile. Some profiles may require more upkeep than others, so it's essential to choose one that fits your lifestyle and maintenance routine. Other factors to consider include the installation process, cost, and availability of the profile. By considering these factors, you can ensure that you choose a flooring profile that meets all your requirements. Different Types of Flooring Profiles There are several types of flooring profiles available, each designed to serve a specific purpose. One common type is the T-molding, which is used to transition between floors of equal heights in doorways.  It is recommended where possible to include a door threshold as a ‘break’ in your wood flooring running from one room into another.  Remember, thresholds are necessary for lengths exceeding 12m. To ensure optimum performance, we highly recommend installing a threshold strip at each doorway, allowing your flooring to expand and contract accordingly.  Another popular type is the Ramp, which is used to transition between a higher and lower surface, such as a step-down between rooms. This profile provides a gradual slope and ensures a seamless transition between the two surfaces, e.g. wood floor to LVT   Semi-Ramp is used to connect your hardwood floor with a slightly lower surfaces such as wood flooring with carpet. End cap Thresholds are used to finish the edge of the flooring, especially near stairs or sliding doors.  They add a finished look to the space and help to protect the edges of the flooring. The Flat Threshold is the ideal solution for covering gaps between hardwood floors of the same level.   Summary of Profiles: Profile Image Application T-Molding / Twin Threshold Used to transition hardwood flooring from room to room that are the same level. Ramp Used at the bottom of the doorway which provides a smooth and clean transition from hardwood floor to a lower smooth floor such as vinyl.  Also known as ‘reducer profile’. Semi-Ramp Used to transition the room from hardwood floor to a carpet or slightly lower thickness. End Cap Used for a clear transition from the wood floor to higher surfaces such as high carpets or very thick tiles.  It is also used to border off where a floor ends, such as at a doorway or to any vertical surfaces that are no walls such as fireplaces or sliding door tracks. Flat Threshold Used for covering gaps between hardwood floors of the same level. These are just a few examples of the different types of flooring profiles available. By understanding their uses and benefits, you can choose the right profile for your specific needs. Materials & Finish to Consider Material: Solid Oak – offers durability and a classic look, blending seamlessly with the oak flooring. Metal – Metal thresholds can offer waterproof properties and are less susceptible to water damage if considering using near a wet area such as bathrooms. Dimensions: Ensure the desired profile covers the required gap between floors adequately and choose the height that matches or compensates for the difference between the floors. Finish: Match the finish of the threshold to your flooring for a seamless finish.  All of Atkinson & Kirby flooring profiles come in natural oak as standard in either unfinished or UV satin lacquer.  The flooring profiles can be stained to match your desired colour scheme.  Installation Tips for Flooring Profiles Installing flooring profiles can be a DIY project or can be done by a professional depending on your skills and preferences. If you choose to install them yourself, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Firstly, it's important to measure and cut the profiles accurately to ensure a proper fit. Use a saw or a profile cutter to make precise cuts. Before installing the profiles, make sure the subfloor is clean and free of any debris. This will help the profiles adhere properly and ensure a long-lasting installation. Apply adhesive to the back of the profile and press it firmly onto the subfloor. Use a rubber mallet to secure the profile in place and remove any excess adhesive. Once the profiles are installed, allow them to dry completely before walking or placing any furniture on them. If you're unsure about the installation process, it's always best to consult a professional to ensure a proper and secure installation. Maintenance and Care for Flooring Profiles Proper maintenance and care are essential to prolong the lifespan of your flooring profiles. Here are some tips to keep them looking their best. Regularly clean the profiles using a mild detergent and warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that can cause damage to the finish. If you notice any scratches or dents on the profiles, you can use a touch-up pen or paint to restore their appearance. Avoid dragging heavy furniture or sharp objects across the profiles, as this can cause scratches or other damage. If the profiles become loose or damaged, it's important to repair or replace them as soon as possible to prevent further issues. By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your flooring profiles remain in excellent condition for years to come. View Atkinson & Kirby Flooring Profiles here:- If you require further advice or guidance on selecting the most suitable profiles for your project, please contact a member of the team on 01691 573234.

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Flooring Installation Guide

The smart guide to wood flooring installation. Includes advice on:- Pre Installation Preparation Installation Methods Maintenance: Looking after the floor Troubleshooting Common Issues Aftersales & Support

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Choosing your Perfect Floor

When selecting the right floor for your project, there are several considerations to be made. SUITABILITY When making the choice between solid and engineered hardwood flooring you must consider the suitability. Engineered boards have grown in popularity over the years as an excellent alternative to solid wood, engineered boards boast superior stability, versatility and use a smaller amount of eco-precious hardwood. Unlike solid wood, engineered boards are composed of multiple layers of timber, as a result engineered wood is compatible with under-floor heating and can be used in kitchens and basements as it's more dependable. Solid boards are the traditional choice offering a thicker wear layer allowing the boards to be sanded and refinished many times. Also consider the installation method, each floor has a recommended method. We don't recommend hardwood flooring for bathrooms or areas exposed to water. GRADE The grade of hardwood is set when the natural logs are selected, the timber is grouped according to the number and nature of features, like knots, splits, grain and colour variances. We offer five grades: Prime, Select, Natural, Rustic and Super Rustic. Prime has the cleanest most uniform appearance, down to Super Rustic given to our most characterful boards, with large knots and splits being a prominent feature of these floors. FINISH The choice of finish determines the overall aesthetic of the floor. Our finish options include oiled and lacquered. Generally speaking oiled floors have a natural matt finish, while lacquered boards give your floor a subtle shine. You should also consider the surface of the floor, with smooth and brushed being our most common surface options, we also supply hand-scraped and saw cut floors for a highly on-trend 'craft' look. Unfinished boards are supplied for finishing in-situ. The edge style of boards has an impact on the overall look of a finished floor. A bevelled edge offers a distinctive depth, while a square edge provides a seamless surface. SHADE The colour and shade can help set the tone for the whole look and mood of your space. Rustic warm mid tones can create a vintage ambience, whereas Scandinavian influenced pale woods give a fresh, light, modern effect. Dark floors can work well in larger areas, and can be both historic or ultra-modern in appearance. Smaller rooms, or rooms lacking natural lights tend to benefit from pale or bleached tones helping to create a feeling of open space. Of course personal preference is a major factor, and our comprehensive range of timbers means your perfect floor is right here waiting for you. ENVIRONMENT At Atkinson & Kirby, we are proud to hold an extensive list of environmental accreditations so you can be sure you're getting the most sustainable high-quality floor. It's always important to consider the environment when choosing your flooring. Engineered boards use less eco-precious timber making them the most environmentally friendly option. Oak has the incredible ability to withstand the test of time. Taking the time to care for your floor will increase its longevity, making it even more sustainable. If you require any flooring advice, please get in touch with our expert team here or calling 01695 673234.

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