David Gunton's Hardwood Floors.
Grange Lane, Winsford,
Cheshire, CW7 2PS
Tel: +44 (0)1606 861 442
Fax: +44 (0)1606 861 445


Badly Made Floors

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It is generally considered bad form to critisize other contractors and competitors. We do not think we are infallible nor the only craftsmen who can carry out excellent work. Nonetheless, we are fed up seeing so much very poor workmanship in our trade, much of which has been dearly paid for by innocent customers.

So here are some photographs and critiques that may help you to avoid the worst of the nightmares.

The owner of the extensive old and elegant manor house in Herefordshire that houses this disaster put his faith in a local carpenter who professed expertise in making oak board floors. So what is wrong?

The boards are end matched 9" wide tangentially sawn American white oak and have a wire brushed surface. As a species they are inapproriate to a traditional English house. They have all cupped because the cut of the timber is inherently unstable. The boards are fitted across the light and across the width of the room. This alone looks ugly. The coarse wire brushed finish has been oiled or lacquered but looks patchy and inelegant. The head joints of the boards are scattered illogically, rarely sighting through on the joists, but when they do, are too close to another in another row. Though it is not visible in the photograph, the bay window is fitted with an entirely different floor made of original ancient oak boards. The whole floor is quite beyond comprehension.

The picture below the top one shows the new quarter sawn oak board floor which we installed to replace the disaster.






Wide Oak Boards



This knotty oak board floor has been fitted in a principal room in a fine house in one of Belgravias elegant squares - also sold for a kings ransom. This is the work of some tasteless developer who cares not a jot for history, has no sense of design, no respect for the ecological waste of the the oak used- for the new owner brought us in to quote to replace it - only a regard for the bottom line profit.

This floor might properly be found in the attic of a barn conversion. It is made from a low grade of oak, so busy with knots one would be forgiven for mistaking it for a cheap pine board. It is of variable colour, short in average length and the head joints fall randomly and frequently too close to one another.


Another London developer job! I have been a bit naughty here. I have pinched this photograph to demonstrate a point - so if the copyright owner cares to ring me to ask me to take it down I will do so.

This flat is for sale for squillions of quids. This is a famous floor pattern, Bayonne, which has been done an injustice. It has no border - the border frames the floor pattern and the room. As it is one would be forgiven for thinking the walls had been built over the floor of a larger room. The pattern runs through the doorway - if there are doors there should be a threshold. The panel size has not been made to suit the rooms. The panels have been laid square on instead of on the diagonal. The colour selection is simply appalling. The finish is uneven and patchy. Shall I go on?







The oak is wasted in this house. In principal it is of good quality. However, the colour selection is very poor. The pale boards are mostly grouped together near the door.

The fitting is not terrible but many of the head joints are too close together. The finish is intended to be satin but looks dull and is patchy.

What a shame. A very little more trouble and hardly any more expense would have made this an acceptable floor.

If, for this floor,you had paid nearly enough to buy a small house, do you think you would be delighted? This disgrace was sold and fitted by a large and very well known hardwood flooring company with an international reach. Described as an 'original face' ancient oak floor it is nothing short of fraudulent. It is ancient oak, but the boards have been sawn from old beams, then ground with an angle grinder in a poor imitation of worn boards. It looks like and, to walk upon, felt like a cobbled street.

It is so bad it deserves a page of its own. Click here!

To see our replacement floor Click here.


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