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Choosing the Right Floor Boards

The most important architectural item in your house is the front door. Agree or not but it is in the direct line of sight for every visitor. After that it’s your floor.

Stone? Tiles? Floorboards? Carpet? It’s your choice. Here is some advice on floorboards based on our experience.

Antique Solid Oak

Every country house owners ideal however scarcity has driven the price up into the stratosphere to the point that many clients are now selecting:

New Recently Milled Solid Oak floorboards which are available in a wide range of widths up to 10/11”. Easily aged or left a contemporary finish the main advantages are ready availability, ease of laying, competitive pricing and minimum wastage.

A 'Character’ grade - Smaller knots, plenty of grain pattern makes for a clean contemporary floor whereas a ‘Rustic’ grade with its large knots, minor stressing and colourful grain gives the traditional feeling of age.

Engineered Oak

Don’t attempt to use solid oak in a damp situation or with underfloor heating.  Fit an engineered oak board for stability. These boards comprise a 6mm thick top solid oak layer bonded to 14mm of ply board. This is a tongue and grooved board which accepts all finishes. The thick top layer allows for sanding and refinishing in the future. Again easy to lay with minimal wastage

Reclaimed Pine Floorboards

For that country cottage honey coloured look specify Reclaimed Pine floorboards. Pine was widely used in Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian housing and as a rule the older the property, the wider the board. Georgian boards can be 8 – 10” wide, Victorian were typically 6 ¾” wide and as you move into the 20th century , 5 or 5 ½” became the norm.

Typically 18 to 21mm thick (7/8”), square edged and with a nice used patina. Our boards are supplied de-nailed, trimmed square ends and usually with an “as removed” finish for sanding once laid. As with oak, nice original pine is becoming increasingly scarce and so you might consider:

Re-sawn Pine boards

Re-sawn boards milled from reclaimed joists which are de-nailed and sawn down their length to give clean floorboards. They still retain the older colour and knotty look of the reclaimed boards with the added advantages of ease of laying, uniform thickness and lack of wastage. Boards can be up to 8” wide.

General advice

When selecting reclaimed “straight from site” pine boards steer clear of tongue and groove. Invariably either the tongue or the groove will have broken and split edges will be common. 


We haven’t mentioned reclaimed elm mainly because we never get it and if we do, it’s full of woodworm! You can find elm boards but the price is like antique oak.

  • Write By: Jonathan-Watson
  • Published In: ROOT
  • Created Date: 2016-08-23

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