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
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
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