Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Outdoor Flooring

When we talk about wooden flooring, we don’t just mean interior designs. The garden is now seen as an ‘outdoor room’ and as such we need to consider what type of wooden flooring and floor sanding polishing works with this unique space. Here are a few ideas on outdoor flooring to play with, depending on what you want to do in your outdoor room and the design and layout of your space.

Railway Sleepers

Railways sleepers are a wonderfully recyclable asset to any type of garden space. Made from oak, these reclaimed timber edgings, in good condition, are likely to last for the duration of your garden. Railway sleepers are graded A, B and C so that the consumer knows exactly what they are buying and how long the sleeper is likely to last:

A Grade:        Sleepers in excellent condition with no rot and with bolthole marks which once attached it to railway lines. Grade A sleepers are popularly used as high-profile patio edging.
Grade B:        Sleepers with slight damage on one side, a little rot but otherwise in good condition. This grade of sleeper is used for stacking and for building retaining walls.
Grade C:        This grade of sleeper will likely have damage on both sides and the damage will be more extensive that Grade B. There may also be a higher percentage of rot but the Grade C will have one good facing which can be used for edging purposes on driveways and as a base for a garden shed or gazebo.

Green Structural Oak

This is oak wood that has been cut within the last six months. Because it is still ‘young’ timber it will hold a high percentage of moisture and is prone to shrinkage and will shift as the wood dries out. So when purchasing green structural oak, make allowances for shrinkage and/or movement in the early days of your construction.

Structural Oak (air dried)

This is oak that has been held in ideal drying conditions for anything from 3 – 5 years. When used for any kind of construction, air dried oak should not be prone to movement or shrinkage, thus avoiding those irritating squeaks and puffs which can plague outdoor hardwood constructions. This type of treated oak is popular when installing oak beams.

Wood Tiling

Wood style decking can look great on the patio and is easy to lay. Ideal for the perimeter of swimming and paddling pools around Jacuzzis and hot tubs too, these easy-grip tiles look great in any outdoor setting. If you are wondering why wood tiles can be placed so close to water without becoming damaged or warping, it’s because patio wood tiles have a plastic base which lift the tile slightly higher than the ground so that the wood escapes water damage. The screws that fix plastic to the tile itself are treated to be rust-proof too.

The Distressed Look

Distressed (or hand-scraped) wood has been enjoying a renaissance in homes and offices across the UK, and this trend continues outdoors as distressed decking gains popularity as an alternative to patio slabs and traditional decking. Hand-scraped wood brings uniqueness and personal style to any floor sanding that cannot easily be copied. So if you are looking for the ultimate in patio originality, go for distressed wood flooring.

Bamboo Flooring

Ideal for inside and out, bamboo decking is the new kid on the patio block who looks set to be around for a very long time. The durability and sheer good looks of bamboo makes it one of the most versatile and eco-friendly patio options around.

Ipe Wood
The seasoned veteran of the patio floor, ipe wood is one of the hardest woods out there and is extremely popular for use in all types of outdoor projects including raised decking, patios, flooring for gazebos and summerhouses, outdoor staging and other portable structures. Ipe wood contains no toxins and is safe for use beside water. Typically this wood carried an attractive greenish-red undertone interspersed with light and dark markings. Ipe wood is distinctive and extremely attractive in appearance and remains a popular choice for UK garden lovers everywhere.

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