The historic Aberdeen
Music Hall has been restored and redeveloped by architects BDP. The Category A
listed concert hall has been completely refurbished and now includes a
performance studio, creative learning space and a café/bar.
Nearly 1,500m2 of our solid Nordic Beech Classic flooring has been fitted as part of the transformation, including in the impressive 1,300 seat auditorium, which now has step-free access to all levels. Nordic Beech with its white pigmented finish offers a light and bright backdrop to the interior and makes the most of the new architectural lighting by reflecting an abundance of light.
By specifying the same floor for much of the building, the various spaces are seamlessly connected by a unifying element. At 140mm wide, Junckers’ signature wide board, long-length floor boards really come into their own in the open spaces and circulation routes, offering a clean and elegant look. Solid beech is amongst the most hard-wearing timbers used for flooring and our pre-finished floors are well-known for their durability.
In his series of articles highlighting technical issues to do with wood flooring and woodcare, our Technical Manager Richard Aylen explains how wood dyes and colouring processes work
One of the many reasons why beautiful timber floors have been around for so long is that they blend perfectly with many styles of interior. In common with other natural materials, timber may be used next to a wide variety of other colours and textures. The colours that nature provides are very familiar to most of us, but we can create even more choices by using stains, textures and colouring processes.
What options are there if you’re looking for a floor with a coloured finish? It might be a new floor or refurbishment of an old one – there are a few popular choices, each with its own pros and cons.
For refurbishments, a decision must be made if the products to be used will be from one manufacturer that are guaranteed to work together. Alternatively, there is the option to “mix and match” using wood dye from one supplier and lacquer from another. If the latter method is chosen, the flooring contractor needs to guarantee that the products offered are compatible. If in doubt, always do a test area and be aware of the risk that manufacturers sometimes alter formulations… so what works today may not necessarily work tomorrow. The timber species may also affect the result. Some water-based finishes may not perform well on naturally oily tropical hardwoods, but will be perfectly fine on traditional species such as oak and ash.
Let’s look at some of the choices that are available for customers who want to add colour their floors.
These will usually be water-based and used instead of a clear primer. As well as providing the desired colour, the primer will reduce the “gluing effect” that can occur with water-based finishes. A good, and very popular, example is Junckers Prelak White.
Primers provide an even, transparent “wash” effect and work well on wood that may have a patchy finish if a conventional wood dye is used e.g. maple or beech. Skill and care are needed during application to avoid overlaps, especially on darker, parquet style floors. The primer needs to be over-coated with clear lacquer and it is safest to use a lacquer recommended by the primer manufacturer.
Not strictly a coloured finish; “Invisible” primers and lacquers are fairly new to the UK market. They are used where the final colour of the floor needs to be as close as possible to bare sanded wood. Their “invisibility” works in two ways; one, that they have a very “flat” matt surface which gives the impression that the wood has no coating. Secondly, they change the colour of the wood very little. That said, these are often normal properties of many water-based primers whether marketed as “invisible or not. Best results are achieved on light coloured timbers as some colour change will be seen when applied to very dark woods.
These are low-solids, fast drying products, not to be confused with coloured varnishes or “wood stains”. They must be protected with lacquer. The “rule of thumb” is that if the wood dye is organic solvent-based, a water-based lacquer is most likely to be suitable for overcoating, and vice versa. This must not be fully relied upon though, and a test area should always be done prior to treating the whole floor. Often, the lacquer used to over-coat the dye will be from a different manufacturer.
Dyes are easy to apply using a cloth or pad and it is fairly easy to avoid overlap marks etc. They are fast drying, so the first coat of lacquer or primer can be applied soon after. Bear in mind that stained floors may be difficult to patch repair – especially if the colour has faded over time and may appear patchy on certain types of wood eg maple, beech.
Oils often produce a uniform colour on beech, maple etc. compared with wood dyes. They tend not to be prone to application issues such as roller stop marks and work well on herringbone and parquet floors. Oil can be used on its own or may be used as a primer and then over-coated with lacquer. Check that the oil is compatible with lacquer – some are not. Junckers Rustic Oils may be used either as a full treatment or over-coated with HP Commercial lacquer. Oils tend to have a longer drying time than a primer or wood dye.
The Effect of Sheen
Many customers will prefer matt finishes on textured and
coloured boards as this tends to look more natural, although this is largely a
matter of current taste.
Vacuum coloured floor boards
For a very consistent and permanent coloured finish, some types of timber lend themselves well to vacuum staining. Here, the colour of the wood itself is altered by using a chemical or staining process. This affects the board through the majority, if not all its thickness. So when the floor is sanded there is no need to re-apply the colour treatment. Fumed oak, or Black Oak, is perhaps one of the better-known examples of this. Junckers has also used this process on beech to make its Sylvaket boards, and has extended the process further by vacuum staining with water-based wood dyes.
The ever-increasing choice of finishes has led to an increased demand for ‘the perfect shade’, a perfect match to another design element of the interior. It’s always important to assess the use of the floor, estimated foot traffic and maintenance issues before recommending one choice or another – that’s where the expertise of a professional flooring contractor comes in. Our network of Approved Flooring Contractors and Approved Maintenance Contractors might be able to help!
Architects Dixon Jones specified 600m2 Junckers solid oak flooring for Marlborough Primary School, a multi award-winning building on a densely populated urban site in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in London.
The brief to create a primary school much larger than the original Victorian building on the existing
site challenged Dixon Jones to design a school where teaching accommodation is arranged
vertically around a series of cascading roof terraces. With nursery and reception classes on the
ground, children progress upwards through the building the older they get, with the junior years
arranged on the upper floors.
The interior forms an equally dynamic environment for students and staff with teaching spaces arranged around communal halls and generous circulation areas. A large main hall and multi-use space flooded with natural light from two central roof lights, features Junckers wide board oak flooring throughout, providing a natural, unifying backdrop. Junckers’ FSC and PEFC certified floors are a durable, long-lasting choice with low lifecycle costs. Made in solid wood, the floor can be sanded and re-finished multiple times without losing its good looks or performance, ideal for a thriving community school.
Main contractor: Mace; Joinery contractor: Swift Crafted; Photography: Paul Riddle.
Spanish City pleasure dome, a Grade II listed building which has been completely transformed and restored in 2018. It features an incredible domed ceiling in a rotunda, with a large open space and a circular balcony plus three restaurant areas elsewhere in the building – all fitted with Junckers’ Black Oak floor.
We’re absolutely delighted to announce that together with our Approved Contractor Stenhouse Flooring, we have won the 2019 Contract Flooring Journal / Contract Flooring Association Award for ‘Best use of flooring in a visitors attraction’ with our Spanish City pleasure dome project.
An extraordinary project with a complicated flooring installation featuring a concentric dodecagon pattern where the lines of the flooring on the balcony continues in the circular floor on the level below. On the balcony, the mitred boards run from column to column and downstairs from columns on the outer circle, where there is a step down, towards a centre point in the middle fitted with a small section of paler oak (just visible underneath the grand piano in the main image). There are 12 identical sections that form the circle, each segment overhung, angles adjusted to fit perfectly with the previous piece, mirrored in all sections. Every mitre was hand cut and hand routered, grooved with false tongue so the whole floor is connected. Over 2000 cuts in total. On completion a final coat of finishing oil was applied by hand.
The work to approximately nine weeks and required two highly skilled floor layers. The floor is finished with Junckers oil to allow for spot repairs without much downtime and minimal disruption.
Metropolis, one of Norway’s leading interior design and interior architecture
firms, designed their own offices in central Oslo, the design concept took them
on a journey around the world, bringing different cultures, colours, sounds and
smells under one roof to create an inspirational, creative working environment.
dividing the space into different zones, which each have a different feel and
purpose – flexible working stations both for teams and individuals; dedicated
project and meeting rooms and a more relaxed and informal section which serves
as a material library and social area, Metropolis created a workspace which in
itself is a ‘tool’ in their creative process.
solid Black Oak Herringbone flooring has been installed throughout, an elegant
floor for an elegantly designed space. We especially adore the confident
pairing of our dark floors with dark walls, continued in the furniture, wall
panelling, accessories and more.
Our Approved Contractor Courtcraft has installed a gigantic sports floor at University of Hull’s new sports facility, one of the largest in the country. Working in collaboration with Henry Boot Construction, Courtcraft supplied and installed 2600m2 of our SylvaSport Premium sports flooring system.
The multi-purpose hall has been fitted with an A4 rated, sprung solid timber floor, in accordance with the specification recommendations issued by Sport England and the ESFA, the Government’s Education & Skills Funding Agency. The solid wood floor boards were laid onto our New Era cradle and batten system, with double battening installed underneath the area where retractable seating was to be positioned in order to spread the loading weight. Courtcraft’s partners MJ Courtmarkers line-marked the floor for badminton, basketball, netball and volleyball use, sealed with a topcoat of Junckers HP Sport lacquer.
With the correct care and maintenance, this floor will last for a lifetime. Our floors are known for their exceptional longevity – they can be sanded and re-finished eight to ten times without losing their looks or performance. With 12-year intervals between sandings, a typical lifespan of 60 years will comfortably be exceeded. Compared with a typical 15-year life of a synthetic or “engineered” floor, there really is no comparison in terms of life cycle cost – the numbers speak for themselves.
Courtcraft will be back at University of Hull working with Henry Boot Construction in the summer to refurbish and existing maple hardwood sports floor as well as a multi-purpose studio floor. The job will involve replacing damaged boards, sanding both floors back to a smooth, open grain and sealing the floors with Junckers PreLak followed by Junckers HP Sport lacquer.
A hardwood floor is one of the most environmentally friendly sports floor finishes you could hope to find. All Junckers’ timber is from properly managed forests with FSC and PEFC chain of custody certification. Timber is harvested from old, established forest areas, which are constantly replanted. Junckers floors are BREEAM A+ rated in the BRE Green Guide and have EMAS 111 and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification. In addition, they have low (E1) formaldehyde emissions under EN 14342. Junckers timber floors are carbon neutral and at the end of their lives they are very easy to recycle, in contrast to materials made from fossil fuels.
This really isn’t something you see every day – a wooden floor installed in a circular pattern, a concentric dodecagon (yes, we had to look it up too!) to be precise. The famous Spanish City in Whitley Bay has undergone major refurbishment works, which includes new solid wood flooring from yours truly. Architects, ADP, brought the seaside pleasure building back to its former glory by carefully restoring the original decorative features in the Grade II listed building.
The works included revealing the magnificent dome in the rotunda by removing a mezzanine floor, restoring the triple height ceiling to create a large, circular space. The grand room required a complimentary floor and the choice fell on our Black Oak, fitted in the aforementioned pattern. Installed by Junckers’ Approved Contractor Stenhouse Flooring, the project features mitred joints which require a high level of skill and experience.
This is an extraordinary project with a very complicated flooring installation. The lines of the concentric dodecagon pattern on the balcony continues in the floor in the circle below (see images). On the balcony, the mitred boards run from column to column and downstairs from columns on the outer circle, where there is a step down, towards a centre point in the middle fitted with a small section of paler oak (just visible underneath the grand piano in the main image). There are 12 identical sections that form the circle, each segment overhung, angles adjusted to fit perfectly with the previous piece, mirrored in all sections. Every mitre was hand cut and hand routered, grooved with false tongue so the whole floor is connected. Over 2000 cuts in total.
The work to approximately nine weeks and required two highly skilled floor layers. The floor is finished with Junckers Oil to allow for spot repairs without much downtime and minimal disruption.
Junckers’ solid wood flooring was also installed in several other areas in the building, which now includes bars, shops, restaurants and a suite of rooms for events, conferences and weddings.
Our thanks to our Approved Contractor Stenhouse Flooring for the detailed information, and a for job well done!
The magnificent, light-filled Paul Hamlyn Hall at the Royal Opera House has a new floor. Junckers’ dark grey Oak Spicy Pepper was specified both for its good looks and its durability.
The textured surface, achieved by a special hard-brushing technique which removes the sapwood from the outer layer of the timber to reveal a raised structural grain pattern has been enhanced with a deep, dark grey stain. The new floor adds an elegant backdrop to the glorious Paul Hamlyn Hall, which was originally built in 1858 to house a flower, fruit and vegetable market.
After a fire destroyed the roof in 1956, it lay nearly derelict until the 1997-9 redevelopment of the Royal Opera House. It is now a much used public area, a restaurant and champagne bar for patrons during performance intervals, the setting for Tea at the Royal Opera House during the day as well as a performance space. The hall was renamed in 2007 in recognition of generous financial support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.*
Our Oak Spicy Pepper is a solid hardwood, wide board floor suitable for commercial installations, public spaces as well as residential homes. All our floors are ideal for use with underfloor heating and have a virtually limitless lifespan as they can be sanded and re-finished many times.
We are very proud to have supplied our solid timber floors to this amazing project which recently won a Wood Award, the Education and Public Sector 2018 category and was also shortlisted for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize 2018.
The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre by Níall McLaughlin Architects is a graceful addition to the listed parkland at Worcester College, Oxford. The striking contemporary building houses new conference and events facilities. With a high-end finish throughout, the building houses a large lecture theatre and dance studio fitted with Junckers Oak Boulevard flooring. With a plank width of 185mm, Oak Boulevard is our widest dimension board, an elegant and durable option for a public building.
Last week we showed off our Hexparket flooring alongside a whole host of Danish design brands at London Design Fair. The Danish Country Pavilion was initiated by the Embassy of Denmark in London, who curated a real-life Danish Living Room full of furniture, lighting, homeware and sound, with our Hexparket floor forming the backdrop.
A celebration of Denmark’s strong tradition of design and craftsmanship, the large stand brought together well-known iconic brands and promising new talent. Thousands of visitors from the global design community came along to discover the room and learn more about the individual companies represented. Styled by the talented women who run Arttiles, Trine Galschiøt and Anette Nørmark, the overall design presented as a cohesive look with elements from many different sources, just like in a real home.
Throughout the room, the emphasis was placed on exquisitely crafted pieces, using quality materials. Made in solid wood, the hexagonal design of the Hexparket floor showcases Junckers’ own long-standing tradition for quality and craftsmanship with a contemporary take on the classic parquet floor. The geometric shapes of the large hexagonal staves combined with the structural grain patterns of the timber contrast beautifully.
Danish design brands represented in the Danish Living Room included:
Arttiles – handmade tiles
BoConcept – furniture
Dottir Nordic Design – ceramics
Danish Fuel – bar cabinets made from fuel cans
Eberhart – furniture
Libratone – sound
LOP – furniture
Made by Toft – furniture & home accessories
Mobel og Rum – homewares
Morso – wood burning stoves
Noorstad – furniture
Overgaard & Dyrman – furniture
Republic of Fritz Hansen – furniture
Spekva – furniture
Tom Rossau – lighting
Warm Nordic – furniture
Hexparket by CarpEnter Cph & Hartmann. Hexagonal staves made in solid oak are laid to form an intricate design mimicking nature’s own geometric pattern based on equilateral triangles. The staves measure 370mm on all sides by 20.5mm thick, with an untreated surface to be finished on site. The natural grain structure of the timber adds texture and interest resulting in a lively, elegant floor.