|Reclaimed stone floor using slabs taken from a |
When considering our hall flooring, we thought it would be a simple choice between 2 natural products: Wood or stone...simple?
No! But it led us down an even better path - to the reclamation yard!
Looking into the price of stone, I immediately crossed that off the list too. We had a budget to stick to and this would take me way over. I simply could not believe how expensive it was to buy new. I decided it would have to be wood!
However, when looking at the options for a wooden floor, we were face with a minefield of choices - each, seemingly, with a pitfall.
Floorboards V's Engineered flooring
A floating engineered floor is an option where the floor base is not entirely flat. Our hall floor falls away at a slight gradient towards the garden door. By putting down a leveling compound we could level the floor where the engineered tolerance levels were exceeded and lay the engineered floor on top.
It 'floats' as the planks slot together rather than being secured to the floor and they sit on a membrane layer. There is a certain amount of 'give' in the engineering of the wood allowing level variance in the pre-exisiting floor.
There is also the option of a non-floating engineered floor, where the planks are slotted together and stuck to the floor down if you don't like the slight bounce a floating floor gives. The allowances for uneven floor are understandably reduced here although there is still a slight give in the boards so some slight unevenness is acceptable.
The Downside of a Wooden Floor
As ever, I asked a few companies to quote and an independent carpet and wooden floor fitter gave us the best feedback.
He was quick to point out that with three boys and two dogs in the house, he could almost guarantee we would get deep scratches from stones or grit in shoes. As the doors from the hall lead straight to the garden and front drive this was key. Deep scratches would be seen through both a wax finish or the more hard-wearing matt varnish.
A wood floor would therefore create a degree of ongoing care and maintenance. Both day to day care and occasional sanding down and re-varnishing. Engineered flooring only gives so much tolerance for sanding down as the depth of boards are significantly narrower than planks.
Our downstairs loo floor runs on from the hall and we wanted to use the same material for both. We were advised that the wood floor would not cope well with water and would possible warp and stain around the base of the loo and sink.
It is also worth investigating if your floor lets in any damp. Any moisture rising from the floor will cause problems to a wood floor long term (worth considering if you are thinking of a wood kitchen floor).
Low Maintenance Alert!
The prospect of spending a considerable amount of money on a product that would take a lot of maintenance was not for us.
|Wood effect laminate is ideal for a games room |
as it can take heavy wear and tear without marking
Wood Effect Laminate
The Sauna Effect
One thing that occurred to me was that as we had an oak front door, oak internal doors an oak beam and oak staircase all in the hall, an oak floor might make the hall begin to look like the inside of a sauna... and so the thought process kick-started again.
Reconstituted Stone Slabs
|It is difficult to tell that these reconstituted stones are not original farmhouse slabs|
The Reclamation Yard
With reclaimed products there are often new items coming in to a yard so each visit can offer something different. Do phone to check before you make the journey to make sure they have what you are looking for. If you find it secure it with a deposit as things go quickly and they are one-offs!
When I visited Coventry Reclamation Yard (link www.coventry-demolition.co.uk) was thrilled.
|Viewing stones at Coventry Reclamation|
They had crates and crates of stones in all shapes, sizes and colours within what we considered a reasonable budget. They also have a vast range of other reclaimed items which can be used in the build or as finishing touches - well worth a potter!
|Original kitchen floor in charming|
olde worlde layout
|The hall tiles were laid in a uniform style rather than |
attempting to cut down the large tiles and copy the kitchen
The kitchen already has a beautiful stone floor (one of the first things I fell in love with on entering the house) so I decided to try and be as sympathetic as possible with colour but lay the stone differently, rather than trying to match the random pattern and infills.
|The finished floor|
Consider sinking a matt well into the floor
when laying. Coir matt can be cut to size
I bought enough tiles to put in the hall, the front porch and in a corridor leading from the kitchen to the breakfast room.
We got there in the end! The stones are big, heavy thick slabs from a Birmingham factory. I'm thrilled to have sourced something local with a history of its very own while weaving more of ourselves into the fabric of the house.
Even more lovely that the reclaimed floor slabs ended up being less than half the price of new stone floor tiles!
I hope you have found this post useful. Do let me have any comments or feedback!
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