Do you really need to treat your wooden floors with kid gloves?

Two perceptions of durability: Our Technical Manager Richard Aylen discusses the case for NOT treating your hardwood floor with too much care.

Some people can afford to be a bit meaner to their hardwood floors.

We are all interested in what customers think of our floors, but when I found out for the first time how the same floor type can be perceived so differently when laid in different types of building, I was surprised.

Same floor, different uses

Take for example two different sites; one, a sports hall and the other a shopping centre, both fitted with similar solid hardwood floors. From daily conversations with clients and architects I can say that the shopping centre floor will be perceived as durable, hard wearing, long lasting, repairable – a beautiful but dependable “workhorse” of a floor that can also be refurbished many times over. The client knows that it will take any number of tables and chairs, any amount of foot traffic and stand up to the variety of footwear that the public choose…. all the things we like to hear. A good example is the food court at the Trafford Centre Retail complex in Manchester, a Junckers 20mm solid oak floor over 20 years old and still going strong.

Junckers solid Oak flooring installed at Aeroville Shopping Centre outside Paris. Floors specified and installed in shopping centres will generally be perceived as hard-wearing, durable and able to withstand heavy foot traffic. Hardwood floors are an excellent choice for high traffic areas.

Can I put tables and chairs on my sports hall floor?

The sports floor will also be seen as long lasting and durable, but this will ONLY be so when it is used specifically for sports, and the client may become quite nervous at the prospect of using it for anything else. The floor is often a lot more versatile than they assume it is. School premises managers will often ask if their sports hall can have tables and chairs put on it. They are going to fill the hall with chairs – will it bear the load? Can they use the floor for an open-day or fill the hall with diners? Often they assume it will need protection for all activities apart from sports, and will ask us what the manufacturer recommends for protection. Some clients are keen to allow roller skaters and tap dancers on their hardwood sports floor, but fear that the surface will be damaged. Both activities are usually fine on solid hardwood floors and manufacturers will often have some simple guidelines for users to follow. It’s always good to be able to reassure them that the floor will be OK for all those activities without using protection – so avoiding the cost of buying a temporary covering and finding somewhere to store it.

Junckers solid Beech sports flooring installed at Oriam, Scotland. Photo: broad daylight. With a technically advanced sport flooring system, clients can express worry when it comes to non-sport use, seeing their high performance floor as ‘fragile’, which is not the case at all.

The village hall – a true multi-purpose floor

Community halls are a very good example of the best of both worlds because they can cross over into sports use but are often used for social functions as well. Community hall committees often depend upon a full booking schedule to keep revenue flowing. They tend to give their floors a hard time by getting as much use from the floor as it will give – and still a solid hardwood floor will last them for decades given proper care and maintenance. They really make their floors work hard, but that’s what a solid hardwood floor is designed to do. Of course, the floor will show signs of use, the surface finish will wear, dents and scratches will appear, but solid hardwood floors are actually quite hard to destroy and can be refurbished many times over.

Junckers Oak Golden Pear flooring installed at Warwick Hall community hall. A solid hardwood floor installed in a community hall makes perfect sense. It’s a true multi-purpose surface that can be used for anything from large functions, kids’ parties and sports activities.

Putting your floor to good use

So why do we see the “kid gloves” approach in the sports hall market? Could sports floor manufacturers and the way they sell their products be partly responsible?

Sports floors are usually heavily promoted on their technical performance. If we, as manufacturers, talk about critical surface friction levels, special “sprung” batten systems that have scientifically proven performance and the like, then we are perhaps inviting clients to think that a thoroughbred floor may not be suitable for the knockabout treatment that can happen with everyday multi-purpose use.

The limitations of other types of floor covering may also lead customers to think that hardwood has similar shortcomings; e.g. if a thick cushion vinyl floor needs to be covered up for some types of “non-sports” use, then they may assume that the same will apply to all types of sports floor.

The fact is that a solid hardwood floor has a lot more to offer the client than simply being a technically advanced sports surface, and the life span will often be many times longer than say a synthetic or engineered wood floor. A case in point is a 22mm Junckers Beech floor that we supplied in 1964 to a secondary school dance studio not far from our offices in Essex. It is still giving good service, and we are told it is hired out annually for a local beer festival, so no kid gloves here!

You don’t have to treat a solid hardwood floor like a fragile or delicate surface. Just enjoy it, make it work for you. Be sensible, but don’t be over-sensitive. It will take some hard treatment, it is designed to, and when the battle scars appear you can refurbish it… time and time again.

This article first appeared in Contract Flooring Journal magazine

Richard Aylen, Technical Manager, Junckers Ltd

Have a technical question? Contact Richard on ria@junckers.com

Strong + durable wooden floors for Jaguar Land Rover

Arranged around several courtyards and atria, Jaguar Land Rover’s new Advanced Product Creation Centre by Bennetts Associates is a series of inspirational, creative spaces designed to foster interaction and collaboration. As part of a refined materials palette, over 5,000m2 of Junckers solid Nordic Oak Classic plank flooring has been installed to define zones and provide a warm, natural surface.

High levels of natural light fill new offices, restaurant and a 400-seat multipurpose hall, all linked by generous internal streets. The company’s latest vehicle models are proudly displayed on the ground floor, where the flooring had to be able to accommodate both the cars and a Stringo, a specialist vehicle moving truck. Working with AC Flooring Ltd, Junckers provided a solid hardwood floor able to take the weight of a five-tonne load. Richard Aylen, Junckers’ Technical Manager worked with AC Flooring and the architects to find the best solution for the floor to withstand heavy loads:

“The wooden floor at Jaguar Land Rover’s new Advanced Production Creation Centre was glued to the subfloor using our Parquet Glue. Given a suitable subfloor, this is usually the method that will bear the highest loads.

Worryingly, there is a trend towards substituting proprietary adhesive products for cheaper brands. A cheaper adhesive generally contains more filler, which will bulk out the product but do nothing for its adhesive properties. The high amount of filler in in the cheaper adhesives has reduced the bonding ability and projects where such products have been used are beginning to fail with large claims being fought in parts of Europe. This is an issue many flooring contractors may be unaware of. By choosing Junckers Parquet Glue the client can be confident that they have the best long-term result.”

Junckers Nordic Oak Classic at Jaguar Land Rover by Bennetts Associates. Photo: Hufton + Crow
Junckers Nordic Oak Classic at Jaguar Land Rover by Bennetts Associates. Photo: Hufton + Crow
Junckers Nordic Oak Classic at Jaguar Land Rover by Bennetts Associates. Photo: Hufton + Crow
Junckers Nordic Oak Classic at Jaguar Land Rover by Bennetts Associates. Photo: Hufton + Crow

For more information, please contact us at sales@junckers.co.uk

Another masterpiece by BIG

World-renowned Danish architects Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) designed Glasir Education Centre, the largest building on the Faroe Islands to date. The new centre merges three educational institutions with the aim to combine age groups and disciplines, sharing knowledge to the benefit of students, teachers and staff.

Inspired by the dramatic landscape of Tórshavn, the building’s spectacular glass façade and glazed roof invite the surrounding environment to become part of the interior design. Every room has natural light, with a central courtyard connecting learning spaces, sports facilities, metal and wood workshops, music rooms, a FabLab, a canteen and a library over five levels.

The building features 3,200m2 Junckers Ash Premium, a solid hardwood floor, in walkways, the wood workshop as well as in the large sports hall, where the wood flooring was fitted over Junckers’ UnoBat 45 undercarriage system, providing a safe, responsive surface for a busy multi-purpose hall. A stunning project.

Junckers solid Ash Premium floor fitted over UnoBat 45 undercarriage system at Glasir Education Centre by BIG
Junckers solid Ash Premium floor at Glasir Education Centre by BIG
Junckers solid Ash Premium floor at Glasir Education Centre by BIG
Junckers solid Ash Premium floor at Glasir Education Centre by BIG

City centre hotel in new design

The charming Hotel Kong Arthur in Copenhagen’s Nansensgade Quarter has undergone a complete renovation with 64 new rooms and a new breakfast restaurant featuring our popular Herringbone floors.

The hotel has a relaxed atmosphere with elegant interiors, housed in a beautiful, late 19th Century building near Copenhagen’s historic lakes. The interior design compliments the period building with its many original features, in a style inspired by grand, turn of the century Danish apartments. Junckers’ Herringbone floors in solid oak complete the look, adding a warm, elegant backdrop.

Breakfast restaurant
The large rooms in the hotel’s light and airy new breakfast restaurant are flooded with natural light and have an industrial feel with fixtures, fittings and furniture in natural colours and materials. Our Oak Herringbone flooring grounds the space perfectly with its warm tones and natural grain pattern of the timber.

New hotel rooms
The 64 new hotel rooms were inspired by the classical style of a city centre Copenhagen apartment, all fitted with our new Twin Herringbone flooring in solid oak. Pre-finished with a hard wearing ultra matt lacquer, Twin Herringbone is ready to walk on as soon as it is installed without the need for sanding or on-site finishing treatments. The quick and straight forward installation process saved the Hotel both time and money – installing a Twin Herringbone floor costs less than half of the installation cost of an unfinished parquet floor.

To find out more or order a free sample, email us at sales@junckers.co.uk

Junckers solid oak Herringbone flooring at Hotel Kong Arthur
Junckers Twin Herringbone flooring in solid oak at Hotel Kong Arthur
Junckers Twin Herringbone flooring in solid oak at Hotel Kong Arthur
Junckers Twin Herringbone flooring in solid oak at Hotel Kong Arthur
Junckers solid oak Herringbone flooring at Hotel Kong Arthur
Junckers Twin Herringbone flooring in solid oak at Hotel Kong Arthur
Junckers Twin Herringbone flooring in solid oak at Hotel Kong Arthur

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