ESB Flooring is here to help. Find answers to frequently asked flooring questions below and contact us for personalised assistance.
Where can I see all your flooring products?
We welcome you to visit our ESB Flooring Showroom in North London. It is located at Kingsbury Trading Estate and is open 7 days a week. For your convenience, our Showroom is open extended hours and has a large free on-site parking lot.
Do you offer free samples?
Yes, you may request samples of any of our products. We want you to easily see and compare your options side-by-side and have 100% confidence in your decision before placing your flooring order. We will happily provide numerous free samples so you can view different colours, textures, and finishes before making your decision.
Please note that because of the size of product samples, wood flooring samples may not showcase all the knots and colour variations inherent in natural wood. To view larger samples and gain a more accurate impression of each wood flooring option, we recommend visiting our North London Showroom.
Free samples may be requested in our Showroom or online. Should you wish for samples to be mailed to you, please contact us (link to Contact Page) to place your sample request and we will mail your samples to you via Royal Mail 1st Class service within 2 business days.
What do your Package Deals, Special Offers, and Clearance Sales include?
What do your Package Deals, Special Offers, and Clearance Sales include?
We offer Package Deals, Special Offers, and Clearance Sales on select online orders, overstock items, and product lines that are no longer available for manufacture. This is a great opportunity to purchase high-quality flooring at a reduced price. To find out more about our current specials, please click here (link to Specials section) or visit our North London Showroom.
How do I choose the perfect flooring for my needs?
Choosing the right flooring can be tricky and depends on a number of factors. Our friendly team of flooring specialists at ESB Flooring in North London are here to guide and assist you in making the perfect decision for your needs. To begin the process, take a moment to review our 5-step guideline below:
Species and Colour
Natural wood flooring is available in a number of different species. Oak flooring is the most popular choice; other options include Maple, Walnut, Ash, Jatoba, and Merbau. Each wood species has different colours, grains, and textures, and the choice really comes down to individual style preference and what will complement your wall colour and furnishings.
This refers to the oil or lacquer applied to the surface of the floor. Both finishes provide protection for your floor; lacquered floors have a shinier, smoother finish, while oil-finished floors appear more natural. While most floors come pre-finished, we also stock unfinished floors that may be finished after they are installed.
Often misunderstood to mean the quality grade of the wood, grade actually refers to the appearance of the product. A higher grade does not mean a better quality product (in fact, all grades are cut from the same logs), the level of the grade simply refers to the amount of knots and colour variations naturally present in the wood. Since grade is purely aesthetic and many flooring suppliers have different names for grades, it is important to view samples and select your preference. The three grades we refer to at ESB Flooring are: Select (AB/Prime), Natural (ABC/Classic) and Rustic (ABCD/Country). Our Showroom stocks all grades in large samples, to enable you to easily see the slight variations inherent in real wood and select the right grade for you.
The width of floorboards greatly impacts the overall look of the flooring and should, therefore, be carefully considered. Floorboards range in width from about 127mm to 300mm; the most popular being the 189mm width engineered wood floorboards and the 120mm solid wood floorboards. Wider floorboards are typically more sought-after, but in the end it is an entirely personal preference.
The direction in which floorboards are laid can have a significant impact on the finished look of the floor, but the direction you choose should also take into account stability. For this reason, it is important to discuss the best laying direction with a professional floor fitter. Professional floor fitters will also ensure that the boards are arranged optimally to best showcase their natural design.
For a handy visual explanation of the above five steps, see our Room Planner app. (link to App)
While we certainly encourage you to consider those five technical factors, ESB Flooring only stock high-quality flooring designed to last so, above all else, we recommend choosing flooring that you really like and will cherish for many years to come. After all, flooring is an investment and we are here to assist you in finding the best value for your needs and preferences.
How thick is your flooring board and what is it made of?
ESB Flooring only stocks quality imported floorboards that are durable and designed to last. Plywood or 3 Ply, our floorboards are of the highest standard and have been thoroughly inspected to ensure the structure will last at least 10-15 years. With us you are in excellent hands and can focus on the flooring aesthetic of your preference.
How long will my floor last? Can I sand it?
Many people think that when it comes to natural wood flooring thicker is always better, as that will allow for more opportunities to sand and refinish the floor. Most people, however, don’t ever end up sanding our floors and, despite that, the floors look great for many years. If you do choose to sand your floors, using a professional sanding machine will only take about 0.3mm off the top layer. So, even if you sanded your floors every 7 to 10 years, your floors would last 30 to 40 years and, as such, very thick floorboards are really not needed.
How do I properly care for my floor?
Every floor type requires a slightly different care and maintenance procedure. With every ESB Flooring purchase, we will provide recommended instructions to ensure the longevity of your investment. For general maintenance information, please view our Maintenance Guide. (link to Maintenance Guide page)
Is there anything I can do to prevent my floor from getting scratched?
We understand that you want your floor to remain in excellent condition for years to come and ESB Flooring only stocks the highest quality products to ensure the longevity of your investment. The reality is that most flooring products are made from natural materials, which are inherently prone to be scratched over time and anyone who says otherwise is simply not being honest. It is important to note, however, that the part of the floor that scratches is not actually the finish and, as such, even with inevitable scratches, your flooring will still look good. In fact, often slight wear creates a warm and lived-in feel in a home. That said, because natural floors will likely endure some scratches with everyday use, we always recommend purchasing a few extra boards that you may use to replace sections of your floor, if ever needed.
Do you supply flooring for both residential and commercial projects?
Yes, ESB Flooring is trusted by both residential and commercial customers. 25 years in the flooring industry has enabled us to form close relationships with mills and trade partners and offer high-quality flooring at the best value for money, regardless of whether you seek flooring for a new home, renovation, office, or large-scale commercial project. We also supply a variety of flooring accessories to provide you with a one-stop shop for all your flooring needs.
How should my flooring be installed?
Proper installation is essential for flooring to look its best, and to ensure its stability and longevity. While there are standard guidelines for flooring installation, each flooring product has its own installation requirements. Please refer to the guidelines provided with your flooring purchase, seek help from a professional floor fitter, or contact ESB Flooring (link to Contact Page) for assistance.
What is Engineered wood flooring?
Engineered wood flooring is comprised of three layers of real wood, bonded together with adhesive under extremely high pressure. This method of construction makes engineered wood flooring stronger and more durable than other types of wood flooring, which is why engineered wood floors are such a popular choice. Engineered wood flooring is also less of an investment than solid wood flooring. The stability of engineered wood enables it to maintain its shape well in climates with extreme temperature changes, making engineered wood flooring an excellent choice for rooms with underfloor heating or varying conditions. The base layer of engineered wood flooring provides the stable foundation and is typically made of pinewood; the middle layer is usually made from a softer material, such as birch plywood; and the top layer, which is the only layer visible when installed, is a solid wood veneer that is available in a variety of different styles and finishes. When sanded and retreated, engineered wood can be revitalised to look brand new, or be restyled to achieve an entirely new look.
To learn more about engineered wood flooring and to view our engineered wood products, click here. (link to Engineered Wood Page)
What is multilayer wood flooring?
As its name suggests, multilayered flooring consists of multiple layers of plywood or birch wood, bonded together with adhesive under high pressure and topped with a solid wood veneer. While the top layer of multilayer wood is typically thicker than engineered wood flooring, it is not as strong or stable when installed over underfloor heating, and special care is required.
To learn more about multilayer wood flooring and to view our multilayer wood products, click here. (link to Multilayer Wood Page)
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring consists of high density fiber that is fused to a supporting base layer and a coated melamine top layer, by way of heat and pressure. Highly resistant to everyday wear and tear, scratches, and stains, and very easy to install, laminate flooring is a great, affordable alternative to engineered wood flooring and solid wood flooring. Available in numerous finishes, colours, and styles, and made to resemble real wood, laminate flooring is ideal for use in any commercial or residential environment, and is safe for use in bathrooms and kitchens as it is also extremely resistant to moisture.
What is the difference between lacquered and oiled wood finishes?
Wood flooring is finished with a protective layer of lacquer or oil.
Lacquered floors are varnished and have a shinier, smoother look and feel. While there is a matte lacquer finish that is less shiny than traditional lacquer, it is still sleeker than oil-finished flooring. Lacquer-finished wood floors are more susceptible to scratches and show scratches more visibly, but they require very little maintenance, which makes lacquer a popular choice.
Oil-finished wood flooring is either UV-oiled or natural-oiled. UV-oiled flooring is dried in the factory with UV lights and does not require an oil coat after installation; natural-oiled flooring dries naturally at a slower pace and requires a layer of oil treatment immediately after it is installed. There is a common misconception that oiled floors are not protected, but they actually have the same level of protection as lacquered floors. In fact, an oil finish provides protection for the flooring both inside and outside the wood, because oil penetrates deeply into the wood and provides long-term protection, while also coating the surface of the wood. Oiled floors are equally easy to clean and tend to hide the appearance of scratches better than lacquered flooring, but oiled floors do require re-oiling every few years.
How do you acclimatise wood flooring?
Wood flooring is natural and needs time to acclimatise to its new environment. Temperature, moisture levels, and humidity are all factors that can impact the way a floor adjusts—wood flooring will absorb moisture and can expand in humid conditions and contract in dryer conditions—which is why it is important to allow your wood floorboards time to acclimatise before they are installed. We recommend your new wood flooring should be left unopened in the room in which it will be installed for a while before installation; the timeframe for acclimatisation depends on the wood flooring you selected. Engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring should be acclimated for up to 48 hours before installation, and solid wood flooring should ideally be acclimated for up to 7 days before installation. If your flooring absorbed any moisture during collection or delivery, or if you recently painted or plastered the room, allow extra time before installation and avoid installing flooring on a rainy day. During acclimatisation, the room in which the wood flooring is acclimatising should be kept at normal temperatures and in normal living conditions for example, central and under-floor heating should be kept on during the winter.