Installation - the difference between average and excellent
If you want a top-class wide-plank installation, time, expertise and unstinting meticulousness are essential ingredients.
Radiant Underfloor Heating – Wide-Plank
Not only are Element7’s engineered wide-planks specifically constructed for use with radiant under-floor heating, but our fully bonded installations, when combined with the thermal conductivity of our boards, maximise the system’s efficiency.
Owing to its inherent characteristics, any type of wood flooring, wherever it is to be used, must be carefully specified, selected and installed. This is never more critical than when it is to be installed over a radiant under-floor heating system. The close proximity of the heating source and the use, in effect, of the floor as a large radiator can give rise to serious problems. Because floor planks expand and contract dramatically across their grain with corresponding increases and decreases in moisture content, they are liable to distortion and can generate enormous compressive forces; and the wider and longer the plank, the greater the distortion proportionally. Radiant under-floor heating tests a wood floor to its limits. In such conditions both non-engineered solid wood and poor-quality engineered wood flooring variants regularly fail. The technical supremacy of an Element7 engineered wide-plank wood floor, provides the dimensional integrity necessary for a wood floor to withstand the extreme humidity and temperature changes, caused by radiant under-floor heating.
The exceptionally engineered “balanced and blocked” Element7 wide-plank construction has been the informed choice for use above radiant under-floor heating for more than forty years worldwide.
Installation – Wide-Plank
At Element7, not only do our in-house wood floor technicians have to be time served, but more importantly, they operate to our own exacting standards and fastidious installation methodology. The result is that an Element7 installation guarantees perfection, whereas the installations of many others, frequently aim at best, to hastily achieve an arguably acceptable standard only.
Some installers are simply not aware of the correct methodology and refinements necessary to install a floor to the highest of standards. If their clients are not told that the floor could have run seamlessly from one room to another without door thresholds, or that the cut wide-planks at each side of a room should be of identical widths for aesthetic balance, or that the floor should be inserted beneath a door frame, not cut around it, or that an inlaid electrical floor socket should be grain-end-matched, or that the cheaper glue option is not always the right one (radiant heating), or that an obvious gap between planks is unacceptable – the list of such refinements goes on – their clients might remain unaware of this lack of finesse. The average Element7 client however, would notice.
Our philosophy does not distinguish between more and less observant clients: an Element7 installation is the difference between average and excellent. Floors installed by Element7 are fully guaranteed.
Finish & Floorcare – Wide-Plank
There is no doubt that to bring out the beauty of the natural tone of wood, a pure natural oiled floor is unrivalled. Natural oil finishes never have to be sanded, if properly maintained they will last a lifetime. Easy to clean: pH neutral wood floor soap and water are all you need. This finish is also surprisingly resistant – witness linseed oil protecting a cricket bat from the impact of a solid ball, bowled at 75mph or more.
When introducing a colour to a wood floor, the choice of which colouring process to use must be carefully considered. Stains are not colourfast and will need refinishing every few years. Almost all colours, various shades of grey, currently popular, are best achieved using colour enhanced varnishes, or pigmented oils and waxes, not stains.
As many will testify, the look and feel of an Element7 floor is inimitable.
Sub-floors for Wide Plank
Sub-floors are the wide-plank wood floor’s foundation. If a sub-floor is in any way compromised, it can seriously affect both the look and structural integrity of the wide-plank wood floor above. It is therefore essential to ensure that the sub-floor has been properly prepared prior to beginning installation of the floor. As you would expect, Element7 ensures that sub-floors are correctly prepared. Liaising with the main contractor and overseeing the correct preparation of the sub-floor is a key part of our installation procedures.
Download detailed sub floor requirements: Sub-floors PDF (73KB)
Noise Control – Wide-Plank
When you carry out refurbishment or new-build work, there are a number of building regulations governing the minimisation of airborne and impact noise. Element7 can guide you around the pitfalls to ensure that you comply with the regulations and achieve the most practical and aesthetically harmonious solution.
The two most popular options are, first, to use acoustic sub-floor panels which are sound and impact noise-rated: in this case, the wood floor is bonded to the sub-floor in the normal way. Second is to float the floor: this involves gluing only the tongue-and-groove of the floor, not its under-surface, in order to form a single raft of wood. Decibel-rated acoustic insulation is then laid between the wood floor-raft and the sub-floor.
Floor Protection – Wide-Plank
Protect your investment. Once installed, wood floors need to be temporarily protected from the damage that they will almost certainly incur as other trades complete their works. Not doing so is a false economy: the cost of replacing, repairing or refinishing a floor after it has been damaged far outweighs the cost of floor protection.