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That’s where the comparison ends, as Hardwood flooring is not like carpet by any means. It is a highly sensitive material that demands skill, respect, care and absolutely the correct installation environment.
Loughton Contracts own dedicated Hardwood flooring division understands the needs of the material, but also understands the needs of a client or main contractor. We know what it takes to deliver exceptional flooring installations, carefully honing our procedures, based on lessons learnt completing some of the highest profile Hardwood flooring projects in London in recent years.
We have our own in-house consultant, Jonathan Burch, who is responsible for ensuring that our supply chain is fully audited, factories are inspected, specifications are dissected, materials and site conditions are tested and everyone involved with the project, from the client, architect, main contractor, supplier, installers and our own project management team are all on the same page.
As the previous owner of the only Hardwood flooring company to hold the Royal Warrant, Jonathan knows exactly how to achieve the highest possible quality and now owns ‘Humidity Devices’ the company responsible for bringing the Fidbox, otherwise known as the ‘Black Box data recorder for flooring’ into the UK marketplace, giving Loughton Contracts access to cutting edge testing and monitoring technology, long before the competition.
Tony Smyth is our Technical Manager and more often than not can be found based on any one of our more challenging Hardwood installation projects, where his keen eye for detail, willingness to collaborate and determination to get it right first time, means our clients know they’ve got a safe pair of hands looking after their interests. Tony has been with the business for over 20 years and having previously been involved with the successes that were Eurostar St Pancras and the University of the Arts projects, now has the Tate Modern and Battersea Power Station projects firmly in his sights.
Our Hardwood installation teams are managed by Jared Pace, who after many years working with us as a bona-fide sub-contract installer, was persuaded to join us as our Hardwood Flooring Installation Manager. Jared’s installation knowledge is unsurpassed in the industry and he is responsible for training our installation teams and dealing with all aspects of our on-site installation. We are developing our own in-house Hardwood Flooring training school to ensure our installers are fully conversant with the latest products, techniques and technology, and to offer apprenticeship schemes to local school leavers.
The correct environment for the successful installations of Hardwood flooring is absolutely critical, at Loughton Contracts we don’t shy away from this fact or pass the buck to our client, we face the issue square on and deal with it. Using our developed system of humidity and temperature control measures, which can be monitored remotely via The Cloud, we are able to ensure that the site conditions are suitable to install Hardwood flooring, no matter the weather or stage of build. Partnering this system with Fidbox in-floor monitoring, we are able to determine the degree of moisture in the screed and in the Hardwood flooring by vertical measurements.
Just as important as the environmental conditions is the moisture content within the Hardwood flooring that is to be installed. Most Hardwood flooring contractors use hand held moisture meters that measure the DC electrical resistance of the wood to calculate the moisture content. These are not always accurate and cannot be used for testing Fumed Oak, for example. At Loughton Contracts, we take this process a stage further and use a Wood Moisture Analyser. This piece of equipment works by taking a small sample of sawdust which is weighed by the analyser and then fully dried. The analyser weighs the sawdust until it stops losing moisture and then calculates the weight drop which is the moisture content. The whole process is completed in just a couple of minutes, and the data can then be read from the machine, printed or stored on a PC.
Working closely with some of the UK’s most successful, innovative and design conscious Hardwood flooring suppliers means that we can be involved in projects very early, sometimes long before the main contractor has been appointed. This level of involvement at such an early stage provides the client team with a joined up approach from supplier and installation sub-contractor alike, ensuring that many of the standard issues relating to product, specification, testing and installation that are regularly encountered, have already been discussed. And resolved.
We have been involved with Hardwood flooring for many years, with many successful projects under our belt, so it is not new to us, but we have traditionally stayed away from the mainstream residential schemes, which were usually solely procured based on the lowest value products and service. That is not where we want to be, so instead we focus our business on the more significant, landmark projects where our expertise is valued and fully utilised.
Projects such as: