Old becomes new

When Hoskins Architects were commissioned to design new headquarters for the National Theatre of Scotland in Glasgow, an ingenious bit of re-using, re-purposing and recycling took place. The new office space and social areas were fitted with a previously used Junckers sports floor, complete with the old line marking paint.

Named Rockvilla, the new facility brings together departments previously spread across several sites – rehearsal rooms, a learning and community suite, wardrobe department, production workshop, technical store as well as office space and social areas. The building, housed in a redevelopment of a disused warehouse, retains an industrial aesthetic in a nod to the history of the site.

The interior features a limited use of materials, of which the reclaimed Beech sports flooring becomes a focal point. For this project, our Approved Contractor McKay Flooring had a sizeable amount of lifted SylvaSport Beech salvaged from a previous project. The worn look of the reused floor with its randomly placed line markings in various colours worked perfectly with the rest of the interior and the client decided to leave it as it was.

As it’s made in solid hardwood, an old Junckers sports floor can also be sanded and refinished up to ten times without losing its good looks and performance.

Reclaimed Junckers sports flooring is not for sale through Junckers but can occasionally be sourced through our network of Approved Contractors.

Photography: Gillian Hayes, Dapple Photography

Junckers reclaimed sports floor at Rockvilla, National Theatre of Scotland Photo: Gillian Hayes, Dapple Photography
Junckers reclaimed sports floor at Rockvilla, National Theatre of Scotland Photo: Gillian Hayes, Dapple Photography
Junckers reclaimed sports floor at Rockvilla, National Theatre of Scotland Photo: Gillian Hayes, Dapple Photography

MOD St George’s Barracks – a new sports hall floor

Our Approved Contractor Courtcraft was selected by Amey, a facilities management services company to the Ministry of Defence, to replace an old and worn out sports hall floor at the MOD base St George’s Barracks.

The old floor had been badly damaged through heavy and incorrect use. Following rip up and removal of the old floor, Courtcraft installers laid 458m2 of Junckers Ash Club 22mm solid board on 57mm BluBAT battens to achieve an area elastic floor according to EN 14904 class A3.

Our Ash Club floor has a silvery light colour with a characteristic darker grain pattern. The Club grade offers a rustic, lively look with substantial colour and graining variation. Our solid wood sports floor can be sanded back and re-sealed 8-10 times, giving it a very long lifecycle. The floor installation was completed without having to remove all the PT gym equipment. The line marking was completed by Courtcraft’s partners at MJ Courtmarkers.

Find out more about our sports flooring options here

Junckers Ash Club UnoBAT flooring at MOD St George’s Barracks installed by Courtcraft
Junckers Ash Club UnoBAT flooring at MOD St George’s Barracks installed by Courtcraft
Junckers Ash Club UnoBAT flooring at MOD St George’s Barracks installed by Courtcraft
Junckers Ash Club UnoBAT flooring at MOD St George’s Barracks installed by Courtcraft
Junckers Ash Club UnoBAT flooring at MOD St George’s Barracks installed by Courtcraft

New partnership with England Squash

We’re delighted to announce we’ve become an England Squash Approved Supplier. Our SylvaSquash solid beech floors and undercarriage systems have featured strongly in the UK squash market for many years, in both new build courts and refurbishments, it seems only natural to have a formal partnership with England Squash.

England Squash offers squash court related technical and design advice and its clients are directed towards the sport’s governing body Approved Suppliers to help choose products and installers.

England Squash AJ Bell National Squash Championships 2020

Junckers is partner to this year’s British Squash Championships. Through our links with England Squash the Junckers name and logo will appear on the main show court at the A J Bell British Squash Championships which takes place at Nottingham University 13-16 February. The Junckers name will have high profile exposure not only to audiences at the venue but to wider audiences via TV and online coverage.

To find out more about our SylvaSquash Beech floors & undercarriage systems , please click here

What goes underneath?

Richard Aylen, Our Technical Manager explains why a good quality floor is paramount in a squash court.

There’s no question – the floor in a squash court has to be top notch. In fast paced games like squash and racquetball, the floor should give the player freedom of movement, optimal ball bounce and protection against injuries. A solid beech floor has proved itself to be the best option in preference to all the other types of floor that might be used for squash.

The case for a solid beech squash court floor in preference to laminated wood floors was made decades ago, offering the best surface for players at all levels.  By far the majority of new squash court floors being fitted in the UK are made from solid press dried beech. The UK’s specialist squash court contractors will predominantly recommend 22mm thick solid Beech SylvaSquash from Junckers to their clients as the “go-to” floor.

Unlike and engineered floor, a solid hardwood squash floor from Junckers has no layers of low grade materials that can delaminate, and at 22mm thick it is extremely durable.  Junckers unique press drying process makes the wood very strong and results in a floor that is inherently stable throughout the natural cycle of humidity changes during the year.

A squash court floor must have a high level of ”grip”. Junckers Beech SylvaSquash floorboards are unsealed and have a slightly roughened surface, which provides the right level of friction whether the surface is wet or dry, and so keeps risk of injury to an absolute minimum.

While the surface of the floor is important, what is also vital to a squash floor is what goes underneath. The undercarriage system has a direct bearing on the performance of the floor. All Junckers’ sports flooring systems have unique area elastic properties to ensure optimal shock absorption in accordance with the European EN 14904 standard. This means Junckers’ floors are proven as suitable for squash at the highest level.

A floor that complies with EN 14904 cat A3 or A4, as well as the technical requirements of England Squash and the World Squash Federation, will have defined limits for shock absorption and surface deflection. The standards relate both to safety and technical properties including friction, rolling load, vertical deformation, shock absorption and ball bounce.

In addition to the European standard, Junckers has added two further internal tests to demonstrate the strength and longevity of their floors. A fatigue test where the floor is exposed to a series of controlled, dynamic point impacts of 300kg no less than 100,000 times, which simulates the equivalent of 25 years of normal use; and a point load test.

Not only is a squash floor from Junckers one of the safest and best performing floors on the market, they can be sanded between eight and ten times during their lives. In terms of life cycle cost and investment value this makes them unbeatable. A typical laminated squash court floor can normally be sanded only twice.

Installing a Junckers squash floor gives clients the benefit of full technical backup throughout the life of the floor as well as the option of a maintenance and aftercare scheme through one of Junckers’ Approved Contractors.

Junckers SylvaSquash Beech flooring at University of Birmingham installed by Courtcare. Photo: Hufton+Crow

Kresen Kernow by Purcell

A large expanse of our Nordic Oak Boulevard flooring forms part of this extraordinary new archive and research facility in Cornwall. Designed by Purcell, the UK’s leading heritage and conservation architects, the centre is a landmark development comprising public search, exhibition, education and workshop spaces.

Set within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Conservation Area, Kresen Kernow is housed in formerly derelict brewery buildings, rebuilt and redeveloped whilst carefully conserving many of the historic original features. The new, purpose-built facility brings together a staggering 1.5 million manuscripts, books and documents relating to the history, people, places and culture of Cornwall, dating back to 1150. The centre also includes a new two-storey environmentally controlled archive store with many, many miles of racking.

Purcell retained many of the buildings’ remaining structures and restored elements of the interior. Based on historic records, original cast iron columns were salvaged and incorporated in a new steel frame and brick gable walls at high levels were reinstated. For the floor, the original granite flagstones were carefully lifted and re-laid, installed alongside Junckers’ solid wide board oak flooring in a white-pigmented Nordic finish.

A technically challenging installation, flooring contractor Tre Concepts had to work within an accuracy of 0.6mm to allow for the varying sub floor levels as well as the difference in levels of the granite slabs. Around the rectangular sections of granite, the 185mm wide floorboards were cut lengthwise to form frames around the slabs as per the architect’s design.

David Burne, Senior Architect at Purcell and the project lead said: “Solid hardwood flooring was chosen as it is a sustainable, natural product, with a long life and low maintenance requirements. The Nordic Oak was selected due to its warm appearance and light colour characteristics which complement the tones of the historic granite slabs adjacent, whilst enhancing the natural illumination of the main exhibition space and visitor reception area.”

The 20.5mm thick solid wood floor forms a durable surface for a public space and a fitting backdrop to the strong visual appeal of the interior. A floor from Junckers can be sanded and refinished up to ten times. A long lifespan, PEFC and FSC certified and produced in a CO2 positive facility, means specifying a Junckers floor is an environmentally sound option.

Read more about our environmental policy here

Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Junckers Nordic Oak Boulevard at Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman
Kresen Kernow by Purcell. Photo: Phil Boorman

Junckers New Era Levelling System just got slimmer!

Our New Era Ultraslim System can be laid with a build-up of only 60mm from the base to the finished floor level. This is achieved with a specially designed low-level cradle and 22mm thick battens. The new system is ideal for replacement floors and refurbishment projects where the subfloor may be uneven and the floor finish height is restricted.

For uneven subfloors, a height range from 60mm to 72mm is achievable. Our New Era Ultraslim system provides a “sprung” floor when used in combination with Junckers 22mm solid hardwood floor boards. It’s been fully tested and certified to EN 14904 category A4 for area elastic multi purpose sports floors.
The new cradle is called the “S Zero”. System data:
 
For 411mm Batten Centres:

– Batten size: 22mm x 45mm x 2400mm; Junckers Laminated spruce battens, 2.7m of batten required per sqm of flooring.
– Cradle centres: 300mm, which equates to 10No cradles per sqm of flooring
– Maximum thickness of packing in cradle; 12mm
– Uses standard range of New Era plastic packing pieces for levelling; 1.5mm, 3mmm, 6mm and 12mm sizes.
For further information, have a look at our updated Junckers New Era system brochure, which includes the Ultraslim System.

For further advice, please contact our Technical Department, tel 01376 534 729 or email RIA@junckers.com

Flooring for student accommodation and other residential multi occupancy buildings

Cottrell + Vermeulen Architecture has designed new, bright and airy postgraduate accommodation for Churchill College, Cambridge with interiors featuring Junckers’ solid maple flooring. Cottrell + Vermeulen won a competition to design the new buildings, 16 years after the studio completed a housing scheme on a neighbouring site.

The 35 new units of accommodation comprise five studio flats and 30 en suite rooms with spacious communal areas on each floor, spread across three buildings. The design builds on the original architectural scheme, designed as an extension to CVA’s previous work on the site. The architects sought to recreate the warmth and brightness of the original college rooms from the 1960s and found our maple flooring a good match.

The choice of two-strip boards, where two staves of wood make up one floorboard, was also a reference to the narrow boards used in the original rooms. The naturally pale tone of the maple floor is matched by joinery in birch faced plywood to form a comfortable and welcoming space, ready for students to move into at the start of the new academic year. The floor was installed by our Approved Contractor VA Hutchison Flooring.

Quiet floors in multiple occupancy buildings

An important consideration for student accommodation is how impact sound travels through floors from one dwelling into another. Building regulations set out minimum standards for impact and airborne sound through floors which apply to residential buildings and buildings converted to new uses, including hotels and care homes.

The floor finish will usually act in combination with other elements of the building to achieve the target levels of sound insulation. The design of the subfloor and ceiling beneath play an important role, as does the way the floor finish may need to be isolated from the walls that surround it, but there is no question that the right acoustic floor will control the transmission of impact sound.

We have a range of acoustics systems available which comply with building regulations. The newly updated New Era acoustic system is a height adjustable system for use on structural concrete slabs, block and beam floors and almost any other type of sound, dry load-bearing base.

The New Era system uses acoustic cradles with 10mm thick recycled rubber pads, factory-fitted to the underside. The cradles are height adjustable using purpose-made packers, supporting laminated timber battens. 50mm thick mineral wool insulation is placed between the battens and Junckers 20.5mm or 22mm thick solid wood floorboards are fixed to the battens to complete the installation. The use of 36mm thick battens achieves an impact sound reduction of 27dB; and a 48mm thick batten achieves an impact sound reduction of 28dB, thus complying with building regulations.

For Junckers 14mm thick sold wood flooring installed with Junckers’ Clip System, an impact sound reduction of 19dB can be achieved with Junckers’ 5mm thick CA2 Acoustic Underlay, loose laid with the floorboards installed on top as a floating layer, no fixings required.

All our floor system specifications are available on NBS Plus and draft NBS clauses are available on request. We also provide BIM Objects for all systems. Junckers solid hardwood floor systems are guaranteed for 25 years when installed by a Junckers Approved Contractor. Junckers Approved Maintenance Contractors offer a care scheme where the client’s floor is periodically inspected and maintained so as to keep the floor in good condition and to maximise its life.

Junckers solid Maple flooring, post graduate accommodation at Churchill College, Cambridge by Cottrell + Vermeulen. Photo: Anthony Coleman
Junckers solid Maple flooring, post graduate accommodation at Churchill College, Cambridge by Cottrell + Vermeulen. Photo: Anthony Coleman
Junckers solid Maple flooring, post graduate accommodation at Churchill College, Cambridge by Cottrell + Vermeulen. Photo: Anthony Coleman
Junckers solid Maple flooring, post graduate accommodation at Churchill College, Cambridge by Cottrell + Vermeulen. Photo: Anthony Coleman
Junckers solid Maple flooring, post graduate accommodation at Churchill College, Cambridge by Cottrell + Vermeulen. Photo: Anthony Coleman

Nordic Beech floor for historic music hall

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.

The flooring contractor was West End Flooring.

Junckers Nordic Beech flooring at Aberdeen Music Hall. Photo: David Barber Photography
Junckers Nordic Beech flooring at Aberdeen Music Hall. Photo: David Barber Photography
Junckers Nordic Beech flooring at Aberdeen Music Hall. Photo: David Barber Photography
Junckers Nordic Beech flooring at Aberdeen Music Hall. Photo: David Barber Photography
Junckers Nordic Beech flooring at Aberdeen Music Hall. Photo: David Barber Photography

Add a bit of colour

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

Junckers Rustic Oil in Anthracite Grey adds a deep, dark finish to the wide board flooring in a Danish furniture store

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.

Junckers Prelak White primer adds a white wash to a solid hardwood floor

Coloured Primers

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.

Wood Dyes

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.

Available in several shades, Junckers Rustic Oils can be applied to any unfinished wooden floor and over coated with a lacquer for durability

Coloured Oils

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.

Junckers Black Oak is a solid wood floor that can be sanded and refinished without losing its dark colour. The black stain is drawn deep into the floor board by a specially developed process mimicking nature’s way of darkening timber which has been left in a bog. The floor arrives fully sealed and factory-finished, ready to walk on as soon as it’s installed.

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!

Junckers solid oak floor for award-winning school

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.

Dixon Jones

Junckers solid oak flooring at Marlborough Primary School by Dixon Jones. Photo: Paul Riddle
Junckers solid oak flooring at Marlborough Primary School by Dixon Jones. Photo: Paul Riddle
Junckers solid oak flooring at Marlborough Primary School by Dixon Jones. Photo: Paul Riddle
Junckers solid oak flooring at Marlborough Primary School by Dixon Jones. Photo: Paul Riddle
Junckers solid oak flooring at Marlborough Primary School by Dixon Jones. Photo: Paul Riddle
Junckers solid oak flooring at Marlborough Primary School by Dixon Jones. Photo: Paul Riddle
Junckers solid oak flooring at Marlborough Primary School by Dixon Jones. Photo: Paul Riddle