One of the things I would like to sell on my website is British Oak Real Wood Floors. Little did I know it would be like searching for the Holy Grail. So it was in my usual optimistic mood that I set off for a meeting at a lovely old family-run Sawmill in the heart of the countryside. I sat down with their sales manager John for a chat about the wood flooring industry. On showing him my five main wood samples he noted that as well as the multiply backing being made with Birch and Spruce, there was a black line that I hadn’t noticed that shows the use of Phenol-Formaldehyde which works as a waterproof layer – a sign of good quality.
Our conversation soon got round to British Oak, but no good news from John. Only that morning my wife had suggested that although many people want locally sourced Oak Real Wood Floors, nobody wants to see their trees being cut down. John went further by telling me that British Forestry was in a poor state of decline and that the biggest use of UK timber these days was for firewood. Since then I have looked on the web for evidence of this, but have come up short. Believe me, if I find some I’ll publish it. I must say that I was really shocked that British Forestry seems to be going up in smoke!
I took a tour of the timber yards and saw French Oak sitting in the boules, seasoning outside in the yard. In the wood sheds, they have millions of pounds of European Oak ready to turn into gates, real wood floors and kitchen worktops. I was then shown the kilns where Oak work-tops were drying so that they could be used close up to an Aga.
John told me that 80% of the wood that they sell is Oak but no sign of a source for Real English Oak Wood Floors, so my quest to sell continues. However, they were able to help me with another quest – to find Steamed Beach Blocks for Parquet Floors. I had the good fortune to travel extensively when I was younger and stayed for a month in an East German housing block. They had Beach Block Wood Flooring everywhere, years before we could use it in the West, due to using Stolf & Lecol wood glues. Beach would have been no good as a flooring wood if stuck down with Bitumen, as it moves too much, but now with the modern glues, it can be the wood of choice for the discerning.
Will my search for British Oak Real Wood Flooring raise eyebrows at the forestry commission or will my quest for good value Beach Blocks lead me back once again to Eastern Europe? Watch this space!