Our client was searching for an engineered floor in a really light colour for a brand new kitchen extension in their home. The remit was for ‘a light floor with some interest within it’. The initial enquiry started with thoughts of using Sycamore or English Ash.
Both an excellent choice for a paler contemporary floor but to explain the differences:-
Sycamore has a less obvious finer grain and is creamy white in colour. Without the strong grain of Ash it appears as a flatter colour with less interest but will usually have occasional odd splashes of darker colouring.
English Ash is still a pale timber but with a more apparent, yet subtle grain. Supplied either as a white only grade with cleaner boards and fewer markings, or more commonly supplied as a ‘whole tree’ grade. This combines the creamy white tones with olive coloured boards which come from closer to the heart of the tree.
Our client requested a sample of the olive ash board. On receipt she commented ‘the quality exceeded the quality of other engineered samples received.’ ‘It was even better than I thought it would be – it’s beautiful’. The image below exhibits how differing qualities can vary. Our sample, on the left shows a much thicker top veneer than the alternative. At Sutton Timber all our engineered hardwood flooring is supplied with a 5.5mm veneer as a minimum.
Available in a huge range of styles and finishes, put simply it is a top layer of solid veneer bonded onto multiple layers of ply which are tightly fused together. This fusion of layers makes the boards more dimensionally stable than a solid wood floorboard and less prone to movement.
To make our engineered hardwood flooring we take a solid board of 27mm and cut three sheets of 5.5mm veneer from it. Each 5.5mm veneer is glued to best quality 12mm or 15mm exterior birch ply. This produces a floorboard that looks identical to solid but has had any tension removed therefore providing greater stability and reliability.
The kitchen is flooded with natural sunlight and our client was concerned about discolouration of the floor. We explained our ash floors come supplied finished with one coat of white oil. This not only keeps the boards looking very natural, but also offers protection from UV rays thus preventing discolouration. One coat of finishing oil is applied after the floor is fitted.
Comment from our client:-
“Sutton Timber was a really fortunate find. After starting an online search for “light coloured engineering wood flooring” (I knew I didn’t want oak!). Having researched extensively the “commonly stocked” engineering woods (mostly being oak!), when the sample of ash flooring arrived from Sutton Timber, it immediately exceeded the quality of the other engineering woods, was in the same price bracket, and what was more, it was exactly what I was looking for.
Ben’s passion for his product was obvious throughout and he was with me from order through to delivery!! My floor is even better than I thought it would be. I take delight seeing a different part of the ash tree every day! Thank you Ben for producing such beautiful wood!