Hand worked solid English Oak Boards over underfloor heating.
This Englishman's home is definitely his Castle.
He has had installed English Oak boards fit for one. For this work
we hand- smoothed the floors before arriving with them on site.
The steps are formed in hand worked 50mm thick English Oak from
a log chosen for its sweeping curve. We removed the sap-wood, carefully
following the natural line of the curve of the grain, then made
the steps and undercarriage to suit.
Why bother? Well, the process enabled a very natural look to the
curve which was characterised and emphasised by the natural sweep
of the grain. It enabled the full width of the boards to be used
to produce very generous looking steps - and anyway, it was fun
and nice to do!
The oak flooring in this barn conversion has been only lightly fumed
to enrich its colour. We avoid using coloured stains, preferring
the more natural look achieved by altering the colour of the tannin
with naturally occurring chemicals. The dull red brick absorbs light.
Large windows have been introduced for sunlight to pour in. It was
not desirable to have a dark floor which would absorb it.
As you see the effect is luxurious, warm, sunny, relaxed and welcoming.
Even here in this darker corner, the soft colour of the floor remains
attractive. It is interesting how the tone of the floor has a different
appearance, dependant upon the point from which it is viewed. Numerous
customers have pointed to pictures of oak floors in David Gunton's
book of projects, saying, 'I like the colour of that floor, but
I don't like this colour', only to be told, 'that is the same floor
but from the other end of the room. 'Well, I want my floor to be
that colour, not the other one' is a common retort!
You can see the sweep of the steps better on this photograph.
This is a 'before' shot. We are playing around with the curved 50mm
boards for the step to make sure we find the right arrangement of
the pieces before cutting them. We could not begin fitting the lower
or upper levels of the floor until the steps were in place and their
carpentry works finished - everything else depended upon them.
The boards are countersunk, screwed and pelleted to stout bearers
bonded and screwed to the concrete base. Between the bearers the
under floor heating pipes are laid over kiln dried sand which in
turn is covered by polythene sheeting to prevent it being scattered.
As you can see, a very plain rustic / industrial environment is
transformed by the addition of this lovely floor.