Frequently Asked Questions
Our wood flooring is a carefully chosen, select range of solid wood and engineered flooring based on quality, appearance and durability. Willowson wood flooring is naturally hypo-allergenic and easy to clean.
We want your floor to last just as much as you do. Willowson only offers the best flooring available for the domestic market at an affordable price. Our long experience has shown that a lesser product just will not do the same job. We also offer a 30 year guarantee, free no-nonsense returns and customer service that is second to none.
How much choice of wood is there?
We stock engineered, muli-layer and solid flooring in oak and walnut. There are a number of finishes : lacquered, oiled or unfinished, handscraped, brushed, stained, smoked...in fact, something for everyone.
What is engineered wood flooring?
Engineered wood flooring is a product made up of 2, 3 or multi-layer sandwich construction hardwood/plywood and a top layer of hardwood veneer varying from 3mm - 6mm deep that is bonded on the top surface of the core. The product has the natural characteristics of the selected wood species as opposed to the photographic layer of laminate floors. The “engineered” product has been designed to provide greater stability, particularly where moisture or heat pose problems for solid hardwood floors.
Should I choose Solid or Engineered?
Each customer has their own decision-making process but there are certain considerations to be taken into account when choosing what kind of wooden floor you want for your home.
Due to their nature, solid hardwood floors are recommended for those who might wish to change the colour of the floor from time to time using a recoating process, those who might wish to rejuvenate the floor due to heavy foot traffic and for those who wish to give their property more stability as the solid wood is extremely strong. It is important however, to consider the fact that solid floors react to heating and moisture, tending to shrink in summer and expand again in winter.
Solid wood products, on average, have a substantially thicker sandable surface and can be installed using nails or suitable adhesives.
Engineered hardwood floors are very strong, and easier to install than solid wood which cannot be laid on concrete unless installed by a experienced floor fitter. Engineered floors are less likely to react to atmospheric conditions (except in severe conditions) and so unlike solid floors, they are not as prone to gapping, crowning or cupping. Engineered wood can be sanded a limited number of times. The installation costs of engineered flooring are typically lower than for solid flooring.
Does a solid wood floor look better than an engineered wood floor?
Not at all. The top hardwood layer is the same genuine hardwood you have in solid hardwood floors. The finished look of an engineered floor will look the same as a solid wood floor.
What appearance will my floor have, grading?
It is most important to be happy with the grade of wood you choose to obtain the look and feel you require. At Willowson our products fall into one of three groups below:
AB Grade Mixed (Select /Nature)
A Grade wood is taken from the core of the trunk and tends to be clean with a uniform grain structure. Moving outwards from the core of the trunk is B Grade wood which will become slightly more varied in colour with some knots. Expect variation in the natural sapwood colour, limited marks, sound knots of less than 3mm x 100mm. No stains or splits.
CD Grade Mixed (Rustic)
Moving towards the perimeter of the trunk is the CD Grade wood. This will become more rustic and varied in appearance. All colour variations including sapwood are allowed and all characteristics of the species allowed. A serviceable floor after knot holes, check, splits and other imperfections are filled and finished.
Please note: Where knots have been filled, it is sometimes impossible to closely match the colour to the wood, holes or voids.
ABCD Grade - A combination of the two groups above
Who will install my flooring?
At Willowson our research has shown us that savvy customers want high-quality, value-for-money flooring. That is what we offer, the flooring itself. We highly recommend that your flooring is installed by an experienced floor fitter.
Do I need to buy anything else when I purchase my wood flooring?
As well as your wood flooring you will need underlay, adhesives (when applicable), trim and so on. We will do our best to recommend the accessories you will require, but make sure you read the Willowson Fitting Instructions so that you know what you need. There is a full range of accessories on the Willowson website at http://www.willowsonflooring.co.uk/accessories.
When you enter your room size on our online calculator, it will automatically tell you how many packs you need to order, and give you a price for these. Please note we recommend that you order an additional 5-8% more flooring than required to allow for wastage. Please note, our policy at Willowson is to accept returns of unopened packs completely free of charge. So don't worry if you over order as these will be refunded.
What is acclimatisation?
The purpose of acclimatising wood flooring is to allow the moisture content of your new floor to adjust to the normal expected day to day temperature within the building . Engineered boards should be acclimatised for at least 48 hours in the room it is to be laid, at normal room temperature. For solid wood boards this should be extended to 10 days. The packs should remain unopened. Prior to installation, check that the internal site conditions are stable and are suitable for the installation of hardwood flooring.
Why do I need to allow for wastage?
The allowing of 5% - 8% wastage is standard practice, to allow for wastage incurred during the cutting and fitting process. For example, you must allow for offcuts when trimming boards to the correct length for the room; some of these offcuts may be too small to use , hence the need for the wastage factor. It also helps you to pick and choose the boards as you lay them. Each one will be the style you ordered, but unique because they are a natural product; having some excess boards will allow choice in the order you lay them.
How do I look after my wood flooring?
Caring for your floor after installation is an important part of keeping its good looks. Willowson carries a full range of after-care products on our website at www.willowson.com/wood-care. Here you can purchase items such as specialist mops, detergent, oils, sealants and fillers for each different type of wood flooring that we sell.
Is there any kind of guarantee on Willowson’s flooring?
Willowson offers a 30 year guarantee on our flooring. This can be viewed at http://www.willowsonflooring.co.uk/30-year-guarantee
Can I order from outside the UK?
We are sorry but we do not accept orders for products from addresses outside the UK and our flooring products cannot be delivered to addresses outside the UK.
Why do I need to create an account on the Willowson website?
By creating an account with our store, you will be able to move through the checkout process faster, store multiple shipping addresses, view your orders in your account and more.
How will my personal details be stored?
How do I make payment?
You can order securely online or by phone. We accept all major credit cards and payment is made through SagePay or PayPal. You can order online 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Are my credit card details secure?
We use the latest encryption methods and provide physical security for our data servers to gather your personal information such as your address and phone numbers. Your credit card details are only entered on our payment partners highly secure server direct from HSBC. Internet commerce is fast becoming the preferred method of shopping for quality, variety and price. The SSL Protocol used by Willowson assures that your shopping experience is secure and confidential.
Who do I contact if I have a query about my online order or delivery?
You can contact one of our customer service team by e-mail us on email@example.com
How long will it take for my order to be delivered?
All orders of wood are despatched on a next working day service, if placed before noon.
How much will delivery cost?
For mainland UK addresses:
Wood orders over £500 are free of charge - orders under this amount will incur a charge of £50 .All orders of wood are despatched for next day delivery as long as you place your order by 12 noon on a working day, and a Saturday delivery for an additional £40 . If you are ordering accessories the standard delivery charge is just £15.
For non-mainland, Scottish highlands and Northen Ireland addresses, delivery is a standard charge of £70. Next day delivery is not possible to these areas.
How big is my flooring order likely to be?
You do need to be aware that enough flooring for a room of, say, 25m2 will be around 8 or 9 packs of wood and each pack of wood weighs between 20 and 30 kgs. Our price and quantity calculator will give you the exact number of packs that you are ordering. These are heavy items and require two people to lift each pack. You should ensure that there are two people available to accept the flooring delivery.
(Below you can see an order for 100m2).
Can you explain the delivery process please?
Once we receive and process your order we will notify our warehouse. Your order will then be picked and prepared for dispatch and you will receive notification that your order has been dispatched. On pallet orders only (ie wood orders 6 packs and over), the courier will then call you to arrange a convenient delivery date. When your order is delivered, please ensure that everything is in order and that no damage has been done in transit. If you are not happy for any reason, you must notify us immediately and reject the order. The courier will then return it to the warehouse.
Do I need to make any special arrangements for delivery?
Yes. Delivery of your Willowson wood flooring is direct from our warehouse by a lorry or van. There needs to be suitable access to your property. If, for example, there are restrictions to the entry of your property or timing restrictions, please let us know. We will make your delivery as close to your property as possible.
Please note: We offer 'kerb-side' delivery service - our courier is not insured to carry the delivery into your property; therefore you need to arrange for at least two able-bodied people to be at home in order to receive your order.
What happens if I'm not there to receive my order, once I've agreed a delivery date?
The delivery details will have been agreed with you. If for any reason you find you are unable to accept the delivery as arranged, we require 24 hours notice to rearrange a drop off. However, if we arrive to make the delivery and you are unable to accept it (either by not being there or not having suitable help to carry your order), our courier will take the delivery back to the warehouse. There will be a redelivery charge before we are able to rearrange your delivery.
What if my order is not in stock?
We only sell items that are in stock and therefore if we get low on stock it won’t be seen on the Willowson website.
What if any of the products arrive damaged?
Our couriers are selected through stringent guidelines for service and quality control. If the goods are damaged such that you are not happy with them, please refuse to accept delivery and they will be returned to us. However, please email l us immediately and let us know.
What is your returns & cancellation policy?
Buying flooring for your home is a big purchase and Willowson wants to make it easy and trouble-free. We will organise a delivery day to suit you and are at the end of the phone to answer any questions you have. In the unlikely event that you aren’t completely satisfied with your Willowson floor, you may return your purchase at any time up to 7 working days after the day of delivery and we will refund your order value in full minus any delivery charges we incur. If you think you might need to return your purchase, all we ask is that you inform us as soon as possible, as the flooring can be affected by atmospheric and light conditions. We ask that storage of your flooring complies with the delivery/storage details provided.
How do I arrange a return?
To arrange a return, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org within 7 days of delivery, and we will be happy to refund or exchange your goods.
Do I have to pay for returns?
We pride ourselves on our no-nonsense cancellation policy. If you cancel your order up to 7 days after receipt of goods, we will arrange collection and there will be a full refund minus delivery charges we incur.
What if I have opened the boxes?
If you are opening any boxes to examine your flooring we recommend that you take care with the packaging and try not to damage it - it is specifically designed for that particular product. When returning products, as far as possible, we would ask that you please ensure all the products remain in their original packaging and if necessary re-seal the boxes with additional tape to ensure they are protected in transit. If you fail to take reasonable care of the goods before they are returned to us, and this results in damage or deterioration, we will, unfortunately have to charge accordingly.
Can I send back part of my order?
Yes, of course. We will accept part order returns as long as the packs are un-opened and un-damaged. Just call us to arrange collection.
Can i send back a Profile/Trim?
We do not take returns on any of our accessories.
Can I install my Willowson floor over under floor heating?
Yes, Willowson engineered & multilayer flooring can be installed over under floor heating providing the guidelines listed below are followed
Installation of Willowson Hardwood flooring in conjunction with under floor heating
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS A GENERAL GUIDE FOR HOT AIR / WATER PIPE / ELECTRICAL MATTING UNDER FLOOR HEATING SYSTEMS.
Where the under floor heating system incorporates a screed above the piping/electrical matting, the heating should be run on half load for at least 14 days after the sub floor has reached its ultimate hardness. The heating system should be ready to function at least 2 weeks prior to the installation of the flooring and then switched off 2-3 days before the flooring is fitted. The maximum moisture content of the screed should not exceed 2.0%MC at the time of installation or otherwise less than 70%RH.
Care should also be taken to ensure that the under floor heating is installed in such a manner as to not create 'hot spots' on the surface which would be detrimental to the performance of the floor covering. Where an electrical matting system is installed, provision should be given for thermostatic probes at various points across the floor area to avoid localized overheating which can cause serious damage to the flooring.
Failure to allow sufficient drying of the screed can cause numerous issues, including discoloration of the surface / opaque appearance of the surface lacquer on lacquered products.
The heating should not be operated within 48 hours of installation of the flooring.
Willowson engineered hardwood flooring is generally deemed to be suitable for use with under floor heating, however special consideration should be given to ensuring a comfortable environment for the flooring.
An excessively dry atmosphere should be avoided as this may create stress within the structure of the boards. Ideally the Relative Humidity should be maintained within the range 45% to 65% RH. This can be easily monitored with the use of an inexpensive hygrometer gauge.
Relative Humidity is a measurement of the degree to which air has the ability to hold water at a given temperature. Therefore the warm air to be found in the summer months may typically present a moisture content of 70% RH.
Damage to the construction of boards when used in conjunction with under floor heating is most commonly caused during the winter months, when the relative humidity of the air outside is low, typically 30% RH. Static shocks in the home or workplace are a common indication that the RH is too low.
In the interests of maintaining a comfortable environment for flooring throughout the winter months, consideration should be given to the provision of a humidification unit. Otherwise pot plants will assist in maintaining a reasonable level of humidity.
With regard to the operation of the under floor heating system a rapid increase or decrease in the temperature of the under floor heating will cause discomfort to the flooring. In consequence the heating should not be turned on suddenly or the temperature of the floor raised or lowered quickly. The temperature of the system should be raised / lowered slowly - recommended 1 degree centigrade per day.
Willowson Flooring recommend that rather than waiting for a marked drop in temperature in the winter months prior to activating the heating, that ideally the system be set low early on, then brought up to a comfortable level and run throughout the winter months at a constant temperature. This will allow the flooring to remain stable and thus avoid dimensional changes which may cause the floor to shrink, crack or delaminate. Maximum comfort for the occupants of the property will usually be achieved somewhere between 16 and 21 degrees centigrade. This is also a comfortable range for your Willowson floor.
Please note that the maximum recommended temperature for under floor heating in conjunction with Willowson Flooring products is 25 degrees centigrade (this allows for more nervous species)
There are differing schools of thought regarding the best method for the installation of engineered hardwood floors over under floor heating. On the one hand it can be argued that over larger areas, adhesion of the flooring to the sub floor with a flexible adhesive may help restrict the potential movement of the flooring. Where solid timbers are concerned there is also the question of whether or not to glue the header joints? Arguably if there is cumulative expansion this may be less noticeable if there is provision for the header joints to move apart than if they are glued together, as would be standard practice on an unheated floor.
Directly Adhered Floors
For those who are considering an installation where the hardwood flooring is directly adhered to the sub floor, bear in mind that should the flooring need to be uplifted, the potential for the under floor heating system to become damaged or destroyed in the process is considerable. Furthermore where the pipe system is immediately below the underside of the boards, there is also greater potential for damage to the pipe work in the event of a board replacement.
When the flooring is installed as a floating floor, an underlay should be used which offers a low resistance to heat conduction, allowing maximum efficiency of the heating system. Provision should also be given to a minimum 0.2mm PE-film to act as a vapour barrier. This will often be incorporated within the construction of the underlay. The joints of this film should overlap by at least 20cm.
Gluing of the tongue & groove on T&G products must be carried out using a high quality PVA D3 adhesive. SOLID HARDWOOD FLOORS CANNOT BE INSTALLED AS A FLOATING FLOOR.
PLEASE NOTE - WILLOWSON SOLID HARDWOOD FLOORING CANNOT BE INSTALLED OVER UNDER FLOOR HEATING SYSTEMS
Failure to allow due consideration to the information above may result in excessive gapping, splits appearing on the wear layer of the flooring or de-lamination within the construction of the boards. Due to our inability to control either the local environment in which the flooring is installed or the manner in which the under floor heating system is operated, Willowson Flooring cannot accept any claims in this regard.
Furthermore due to the constant innovation within the under floor heating industry and the numerous systems on offer, we would advise that specific recommendations concerning all installations of hardwood flooring be sought from the respective supplier of the under floor heating system in question.
The ultimate FAQs - Why should I choose a wooden floor for my home?
Where to start? Here are just a few reasons, please feel free to send us an email to email@example.com with your own thoughts, or send us a tweet to @Willowson:
- Wood flooring has a timeless air of quality and luxury – there is a depth to it that exudes a feeling of permanence and classic quality especially when compared to manufactured floors.
- Wood flooring brings the natural outdoors inside, and does not contain man-made chemicals in the wood itself. Homeowners and interior designers with exclusive design tastes will tend to gravitate towards the quality and natural feel of real wood floors - there is just something about them that cannot be duplicated in a factory.
- Wood flooring is a true investment that will retain its value. In many cases, installing wood floors will generate a return on investment that exceeds the initial cost of installation.
- There is a timeless quality about the natural colour of wood flooring that will ensure it will never be out of date, or out of fashion.
- Wood flooring is far warmer and much more forgiving than a tiled floor, a comforting investment for any home
- Wood flooring is a naturally hypo-allergenic product.
To keep up with current Willowson wood flooring NEWS, please click here.