Wooden Flooring FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between laminate and parquet/wood flooring?

The term ‘parquet’ is used to describe all wood floor coverings where the wear layer (meaning the upper part of the strip that is made of wood) is at least 2.5millimetres thick. Laminate consists of, essentially, a photo of a floor board covered in plastic film and merely looks like wood. The terms ‘laminate parquet’ or ‘laminate wood’ or ‘wood laminate’ are therefore completely incorrect, as there is no such thing.

Should I choose a lacquered or oiled surface on my wood floor?

A lacquered floor is an easy maintenance, everyday floor. They are attractive and hard wearing, and over the years have been the most popular finish for wood floors. This is a relatively hard, smooth surface coating. A good quality wood floor will have several layers of hard lacquer applied to it which will be extremely resistant to fluids and scratches and will require minimal maintenance whilst looking fantastic. The lacquer applied will normally have either a matt sheen, or a more shiny, satin finish. The matt lacquer gives the same impression as an oiled floor but has the added benefits of the reduced maintenance required from a lacquered floor. We recommend that your lacquered floor be cleaned on a regular basis using a Bona Wood Floor Cleaning kit. When lacquer starts to lose its sheen, it is a very easy task to apply a coat of Bona Wood Floor Refresher – this revives a scratched and dull surface giving a newly finished look and continued protection against wear.

An oiled floor offers tactile, softer protection. Oils for wood floors are very fluid. They penetrate the wood and protect it against stains and marking, offering a non-filmogenic finish (meaning that it is not limited to the surface of the wood). In keeping with lacquered floors, good quality oiled floors will have several layers of oil applied. At least one coat of hardwax oil should be included during this procedure, either by the manufacturer, or by ourselves after we have fitted your floor. Superficial scratches can be removed by sanding the affected area and applying maintenance oil. To maintain the surface protection, oiled floors should be thoroughly cleaned and re-oiled every year or so with a good quality maintenance oil. It is not necessary to sand the surface before doing this, and it is a task that most people can do themselves. Both lacquered and oiled floors should be vacuumed regularly or swept with a soft broom, and we recommend that they be cleaned on a regular basis using a Bona Wood Floor Cleaning kit.

Will my wood floor change colour?

Fading, bleaching and darkening in wood floors because of sun exposure is a pretty complex subject. Ultimately, colour deterioration in hardwood floors is the result of over exposure from 3 things; ultra violet (UV) light, visible light and the infrared (IR) light which causes solar heat.

UV light has the most impact on colour change of the actual wood. Wood is extremely photosensitive – which means it reacts to sunlight.

Unfortunately, the issue of fading and colour change from exposure to direct sunlight does not have a single fix-all solution. But there are a number of different steps you can take, that if done all together, will greatly minimize the amount of direct sunlight your hardwood floor receives and slow the process down.

Here’s the list:

  1. Move rugs and furniture – From time to time, rearrange your furniture and floor coverings to allow sunlight to hit the previously covered areas of your floors. This will equalize the UV and IR light exposure and even out the fading process so a consistent colour will be achieved within the entire room. If it’s not possible to move furniture, consider removing at least the rugs during the sunnier months and replacing them in the darker winter months.
  2. Window coverings – It makes sense that if you can keep sunlight off your floor then it won’t fade as much. Drapes, curtains, shutters or blinds are some of the best defences against fading wood floors. If you keep them closed on the side of your house when the sun is hitting the windows it will drastically cut down on any UV and infrared light reaching the floor.
  3. Window films – You could consider applying a speciality film to your windows. These thin multi-layered films are designed to drastically cut down the UV and IR light while allowing different percentages of visible light to come in. There are endless brands and companies that manufacture and install these coverings so do your research well before committing.
  4. Awnings – One of the best ways of stopping the sun’s harmful rays from damaging your floors is by blocking them before they even get to your windows. Awnings work really well in this regard.
  5. Low-E glass windows – If you are doing an extensive renovation and are changing your windows, or you’re building a new home, you should look into low-E (low emissivity) glass windows. These windows have special coatings that do a great job limiting the amount of UV and IR light that passes through the panes.

In conclusion, fading is an inevitable part of having hardwood floors.

Unless you install hardwood flooring in a room with no windows, or you completely board over your windows, there is no way to completely avoid UV and IR light exposure. All you can do is delay the process.

What you can do though is 1) minimize the amount of damaging light your wood floors are subjected to and 2) balance the amount of light each part of your floor gets so all areas blend well together as the whole floor changes slowly over time.

Which floors are the hardest?

The relative hardness of the various species of tree is measured in a number of ways. One of which is the Brinell test, where a metal ball bearing is dropped onto a piece of timber flooring from a given height, and the dent made is then measured in micro millimetres. The deeper or shallower the dent, the harder or softer the timber in question is deemed to be. We show below a ‘league table’ of popular wood floors, showing the hardest surfaces at the top:

  • Bamboo (Strand Woven)
  • Wenge
  • Jatoba
  • Merbau
  • Maple
  • Iroko
  • Ash
  • Oak
  • Beech
  • Red Oak
  • Walnut
  • Bamboo (Engineered)
  • Cherry
  • Birch
  • Pine

Why are some floors more expensive than others?

There are many things that affect the price of wood floors:

  • The length of the boards – generally speaking, shorter boards cost less than longer boards, and again, generally speaking, boards that are supplied in packs where all the boards are the same length, will cost less than boards which are supplied in random lengths (up to 3m long or more!).
  • The width of the boards – wider boards cost more than narrower boards, because you can get fewer wider boards out of a tree than you can narrow boards.
  • The thickness of the boards.
  • The thickness of the wear layer on an engineered board.
  • The type of material used to support the wear layer on an engineered board.
  • The overall quality of the manufacturing process, for example, the quality of the glue used to fix the layers together, the type and quality of any plywood that has been used, the type and quality of the filler used in knots etc.
  • The style of the board – whether it be a plank, or a multi-strip board.
  • The species of tree.
  • Where the tree was grown.
  • What manufacturing process it has gone through to make it look like it does, for example, some floors have been through an ageing process, some have been smoked to deepen the colour of them, whilst others have been scraped, brushed, distressed or had the bevels hand cut. The manufacturing process is most important, and is usually the biggest factor in the pricing of wood floors.
  • The grade of the wood – prime grade costs more than a rustic grade.
  • If it’s a lacquered floor – the quality of the lacquer used and the number of coats of lacquer that have been applied.
  • If it’s an oiled floor – the quality of the oil and the number of coats of oil that have been applied.
  • The volume of flooring that you wish to purchase.

What is the difference between one grade of floor and another?

There are very many different manufacturers of wood flooring throughout the world, and they all describe the grade of their floors in a different way, which can make it confusing for the customer.

There are a number of words used to describe the grade of a floor.  ‘Rustic’ is probably the most common, and then we list here some, not all, of the others that we have come across.  All of these are in current usage – Nature, Prime, Country, Exklusiv, Markant, Sauvage, Universal, Arizona, Alabama, Trend, Tundra, Terra, Favorit, Basixs, Family, Authentic, Select, Unica, Canyon, Zenitude, Salvagio, Origine, Tradition, Classic.  Enough said!

It is also common to see letters used to grade the floor, for example, ABC or CD, but one company’s grade ‘C’ floor may be quite different from another’s in appearance.

What does this all mean?  Well, we have done our best to simplify the system for you.  We have introduced our own grading system, which is a mixture of terminology from all the companies that we deal with, and we are using the lettering system as this is the simplest to talk about.  We have graded all the floors in our showroom to the best of our ability in an effort to bring in some continuity.  We have tried to be as honest and informative as we can.

However, it must be remembered that all wood floors are sorted into grades by hand, and human error will sometimes occur which means that occasionally the odd board or two will find its way into the wrong category.  Please do not blame us for this, but instead enjoy the odd rogue board in your floor just as nature intended.

So here goes, this is our interpretation of grades A to E as shown on our display panels.

Grade A – Very few knots, which should be no bigger than 15mm across.  A large number of the boards will have no knots at all.  No splits or sapwood.  Shaker marks not allowed.  Straight, oblique and wavy flame grain.  Possible colour tone differences typical of the wood species.  Generally a clean uniform grade.

Grade B – Knots will be common in at least half of the boards, but they should not be more than 45mm across.  No splits but a small amount of sapwood allowed.  Variations in grain and colours of individual boards.  Shaker marks allowed.

Grade C – Any size knots common in the majority of the boards.  Splits allowed up to around 200mm long but filled.  Sapwood and shaker marks allowed.  Full variation of grain and natural discoloration allowed.  Worm holes possible.

Grade D – Any size knots common in most boards.  Some very large knots allowed which will be mostly filled.  Splits allowed up to the length of the boards, not all of which will be filled. Sapwood and shaker marks allowed.  Full variation of grain and natural discoloration allowed – as nature intended.  Worm holes possible.

Grade E – Anything goes, all characteristics and in any quantity, including some unfilled knots and splits of any size.  Rough surface texture allowed.

Most of our floors will contain two or more letters to describe the grade.  For example, a floor graded ‘BC’ would expect to include the features of a B grade over 50% of the surface and the features of a C grade over the other 50% of the surface, mixed together.

What care and cleaning tips do you recommend?

  • It is a condition of all wood flooring manufacturers that the wood floor product is looked after properly, in order that their guarantee/warranty may apply.
  • To ensure the best possible performance from your wood floor, the room temperature should be kept in the range of 16 – 25˚C, and the relative humidity in the room should be maintained in the range of 40 – 60%, using a dehumidifier or humidifier.
  • In order to prevent sand and other abrasive materials damaging your wood floor, a good sized entrance door mat should be used.
  • Use a soft broom and/or vacuum cleaner regularly with the appropriate head for your vacuum cleaner.
  • To clean the floor more thoroughly we recommend the use of a Bona Spray Mop Cleaning Kit. The cleaning fluid used in this equipment is especially formulated for use over all wood floors. Extreme care should be observed when using any other cleaning product, some of which are capable of stripping off the surface protection.
  • Mop up as soon as a spillage occurs and do not let liquid or food spillages dry on the floor.
  • Only use a damp cloth/mop on your wood floor.
  • Never use a wet mop or steam cleaner as this can cause damage to your wood floor.
  • Furniture legs and feet can cause scratches, so we recommend the use of felt pads, castor cups etc.
  • High heels/stiletto heels concentrate a person’s weight onto a small point and can dent a wood floor, fracture ceramic tiles, perforate vinyl and tear carpet.
  • Metal heels, ‘Blakeys’, will damage and wear away the surface protection of a wood floor quickly and we therefore recommend that these are not used/worn.
  • Dog and cat claws can scratch a wood floor so it is a good idea to have them trimmed regularly. Pet urine should not damage a wood floor if cleaned up immediately.
  • Never place pot plants directly on a wood floor even if they are in a water proof saucer. Always use trivets or similar under the saucer so that air can circulate underneath. This will prevent condensation forming under the saucer and damaging the floor.
  • Adopt a regular maintenance programme for your wood floor thus ensuring a lifetime of use and enjoyment. The timescale of this will depend on the type of floor you have and the amount of wear it receives. But as a general rule give the floor a thorough clean once every year and apply a maintenance oil / lacquer refresher as appropriate. Failure to do this will leave your floor susceptible to stains, and will affect our warranty. We will happily quote to do this for you.
  • Commercial use, for example, schools, retail stores, offices, bars and restaurants, – in these situations you should adopt a more rigorous maintenance programme, on a more regular basis, dependent on usage. We would be happy to quote for and/or provide advice on this.

Does Antares have a warranty?

  1. Manufacturing defects warranty – Antares Wood Floors Ltd (herein after referred to as ‘Antares’) warrants to the purchaser that the wood plank and surface finish are free from manufacturing defects in material and workmanship at time of purchase.
  2. Structural defects warranty – Antares offers a 2 year guarantee against delamination of the planks to the purchaser from the date of purchase, provided that the planks are maintained according to Antares’ ‘Care and Cleaning tips’.
  3. Residential finish warranty – Antares warrants, to the purchaser, that the surface finish will not wear through for a full 5 years from the date of purchase, provided that the planks are used under normal residential traffic conditions and that the floor is maintained according to Antares’ ‘Care and Cleaning tips’.
  4. Commercial finish warranty – Antares warrants, to the purchaser, that the surface finish will not wear through for a full 5 years from the date of purchase, provided that the planks are used under normal light commercial traffic conditions and that the floor is maintained according to Antares’ ‘Care and Cleaning tips’, commercial section.
  5. Antares warrants that engineered hardwood flooring will not cup or crown when properly installed over a heated subfloor with a maximum surface temperature of 27˚C, provided that all the installation instructions, precautions and maintenance procedures as specified in Antares’ ‘Care and Cleaning Tips’ and ‘Under Floor Heating’ notes are strictly complied.

The warranty as set out above is made subject to the following conditions and exceptions:

  1. It does not extend to or cover any damage, warping, cupping, crowning, discolouration or any other defect caused by accidents, alterations, misuse, abuse, or direct exposure to the elements.
  2. Recommended ‘Care and Cleaning tips’ provided by Antares must be adhered to and the flooring be used for its intended purpose.  Exposure to extreme heat or dryness, moisture, water saturation (including wet mopping) and other sources of moisture or extreme changes in temperature must be avoided.  Alteration or repair that is not Antares authorized will void the warranty in its entirety.

Warranty excludes discolouration, scratches, impact damage or wear from furniture or equipment used without proper protection to the floor.  Warranty excludes indentations, scratches or surface damage caused by lack of proper maintenance, moisture, water, negligence, high heeled shoes, steam cleaners, insects, pets, vacuums with beater bar heads, casters, falling or dropped objects, pebbles, grit, sand and other such abrasives. 

Warranty excludes any damage or defects resulting from the settlement or movement of the structure on which the floor is laid.

Warranty excludes any damage or defects caused by faulty laying by you, or any other third party not approved or contracted by Antares.

Warranty excludes changes in the colour of the planks due to exposure of sunlight; these changes may vary in areas of the floor that receive direct or indirect sunlight.  This is not a product defect.

If Antares determines that a valid claim is made under this warranty, it will repair or replace, at its option, the affected flooring material.  This warranty covers the repair or replacement of the affected material only, it does not cover any incidental costs or consequential damages, and will be repaired or replaced within a reasonable time period from the date that the claim is deemed valid by Antares.  If flooring product for which the claim is being made is no longer available, Antares will replace the affected flooring material with product of equal or greater value.

Any claims under this warranty must be made in writing, within 30 days of it being detected or should have been detected, and posted to the following address:

Antares Wood Floors Ltd., 14 Sussex Road, Haywards Heath RH16 4EA

Or email your claim to the following email address:  info@antareswoodfloors.com

If after a reasonable number of attempts Antares is unable to substantially correct the defect covered under this warranty, Antares will refund the purchase price for the portion of the floor that is not reasonably corrected.  Antares reserves the right to have a designated Antares representative inspect the floor and remove samples for evaluation of the claim.

No other warranties, expressed or implied, are made and under no circumstances shall Antares be liable for any loss or damage arising from the purchase, use, or liability to use, this product or any special, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or punitive damages.

Antares expressly disclaims any and all warranties, whether statutory, express or implied, including without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability, non- infringement or fitness for a particular purpose.  Neither party’s liability for any and all claims arising in connection with this agreement will exceed the amounts paid to Antares for the services and product which proximately caused the event for which damages are claimed and irrespective of whether such party has been advised of the possibility of any such loss or damage.  Each party hereby waives any claim that these exclusions deprive such party of an adequate remedy.

Save as provided herein, Antares shall not be bound by any representations, agreements, undertakings or warranties made by any person whatsoever, whether in the employ of Antares or not, pertaining to the use or installation of the flooring.

This warranty should be read in conjunction with Antares’ Installation Notes, Terms and Conditions, Care and Cleaning Tips, Grading Notes and Under Floor Heating notes.

The parties agree that this agreement and warranty will be governed by the laws of the United Kingdom.


Neither party will be held responsible for any delay or failure in performance to the extent that such delay or failure is caused by fire, flood, explosion, war, riot, strike, embargo, government requirements, earthquakes, civil or military authorities, Act of God or by public enemy, transportation facilities, acts or omissions of carriers or other means beyond control of Antares.

What style of floor would suit me best?

  • Plank – This is a single strip of wood which can be selected from a wide variety of widths and lengths. They are available with and without bevelled edges depending on whether you want to emphasise the plank or to let it blend in more subtly. Bevels are chamfered edges, only available on planks. Bevels on the 2 long edges emphasise the length of the room, while bevels on all 4 sides will shorten the appearance of the room and emphasise its width. A floor without bevels gives an unbroken flat surface.
  • 3 strip – This popular style are usually engineered floors made from staves of wood which have smaller widths and lengths than you would get with a plank. However, each piece of wood has its own individual colour, character and variety, depending on its grade, blending into a beautiful floor.
  • Designer floors – There is a wide variety of special designer wood floors to choose from. These range from the old traditional finger parkett or mosaic floors, to hardwood block floors, often laid in a herringbone pattern, plus a myriad of different panel floors, sometimes known as Versailles or Marquetry panels. These add a whole new dimension to wood flooring, and can look quite stunning when professionally fitted in a wide choice of locations.

Will Antares supply only?


  1. To protect your investment, we strongly recommend that you employ an experienced hardwood floor fitter. Given the complexities of fitting hardwood floors and methods of installing used today, we cannot impress enough how important this is to ensure the longevity of your wood floor.
  2. There are three main methods of fitting a wood floor.
    Fully Glued – when the flooring is fully glued to the sub floor, this is generally our preferred method of installation.
    Nailed – when the boards are secret nailed through the tongue at an angle into the sub floor. We recommend that the joints are also held together with PVA.
    Floating – when the flooring is laid over an underlay, and the side edges either click together or the tongue and grooves are held together with PVA.
    A moisture barrier should be in place or put in place by the fitter in all situations.
    The choice of method of fitting is the responsibility of your experienced floor fitter.
  3. It is impossible for us to list all site permutations, however, listed here are some of the most important factors a fitter must ensure before installation:
    The building must be watertight and heating commissioned and working. All wet trades must be complete. The sub floor must be flat and dry. It is the fitter’s responsibility to take moisture readings of the sub floor, plus humidity readings, and note these down for future reference if required. Extreme caution must be used when fitting over under floor heating and this work should only be done by a fitter experienced in these matters.
    Neither Antares nor the floor manufacturer will be held responsible for any product failure caused or associated with sub floor or on-site environmental conditions.
  4. The fitter assumes all responsibility for the final selection of each piece as to grade, colour, finish and suitability. Once fitted, a piece of wood flooring will be deemed acceptable. The purchaser assumes responsibility for quantities ordered.
  5. Any claims arising from badly laid or incorrectly supplied or fitted floors are the responsibility of the Customer or their agents. In such cases the Customer’s claim is subject to the floor fitter’s own guarantee, terms and conditions which are separate from these terms and conditions.
  6. It is important that the relative humidity of the room should be maintained between 40 – 60% and the room temperature between 15 – 25c at all times. As the home owner/occupier, this is your responsibility.
  7. It is the Customers responsibility to check quantity delivered and report any missing goods immediately, before installation commences.
  8. Any period, time or date of supply is quoted as an estimate only and Antares shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from delay in supply or delivery of the goods.
  9. Risk in the goods shall pass to the Customer when the Customer or its agent (builder for example) takes delivery of the goods.
  10. Title in the goods shall pass to the Customer only when payment in full has been received by Antares for all goods whatsoever supplied. The Customer shall permit the servants or agents of Antares to enter on to the Customer’s premises and repossess the goods at any time prior thereto.
  11. Antares cannot be held responsible for non-delivery caused by the existence or apprehension of war, acts of terrorism, riots or strikes.
  12. Antares reserves the right at any time prior to supply of the Goods to adjust the price to take account of any increase in the cost of raw materials, or any currency fluctuations affecting the cost of imported materials.
  13. Antares reserves the right to withdraw a quotation at any time before it has been accepted by payment of a deposit.
  14. Payment of a deposit or full payment implies acceptance of the Antares Terms & Conditions.

Is Antares Wood Floors insured?

Antares Wood Floors has full Public Liability Insurance. We recognise that strict adherence to current health and safety guidelines and legislation during any floor fitting project is essential, no matter whether the project is domestic or commercial.

As one of the leading wood floor fitting companies in East and West Sussex, we have a strong reputation for a thorough and detailed approach to health and safety, and make the safety of our clients and our fitters our priority. All of our fitters are fully insured.

What about Under Floor Heating?

Under Floor Heating

Most engineered products supplied by Antares are suitable for installation over Under Floor Heating.

Engineered wood flooring works well with under floor heating, when particular attention is paid to ensuring that the maximum temperature of the sub floor/heating element/water pipes never exceeds 27˚C. Any increase in the temperature above this level will damage the wood flooring and render all warranties and guarantees void. A floor probe must be used within the installation which can monitor the temperature of the sub floor and ensure that no part of it ever exceeds 27˚C.

In all situations, it is essential that the sub floor temperature (NOT the air temperature) never exceeds 27°C. The placement of rugs or other floor coverings over the wood floor will inevitably insulate and increase the sub floor temperature and this must be very carefully monitored to ensure that it does not exceed 27°C at any time.

On acceptance of your order we will supply you with the thermostat(s). Power for these needs to be wired into the thermostat(s) by a “Part P” qualified electrician prior to the installation of the under floor heating by us and not left unconnected. We do not directly employ a Part P qualified electrician so cannot provide this service.

We will install and wire the heating system to the thermostat(s). If your thermostat(s) are mounted flush into the wall, a trunking and draw wire must be provided (by others) from the box to the floor. We will then use this to pull the wires from the heating system into the box for wiring into the thermostat(s).

We are happy to liaise with your electrician regarding the power output of your heating system and preferred positioning of the thermostat(s).

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FAQ - wood flooring