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Useful questions and answers when choosing a wood floor.

We know how difficult it is to juggle when choosing a wood floor, which is why we have tried to answer some of the questions our customers ask us most often, to help you choose the right floor.

Although the term "parquet" is commonly used to refer to any wooden floor, there is a big difference between the two terms. A floor made of solid wood boards (thickness varying from 1 to 3 cm) is properly referred to as "parquet". After being applied over a screed of concrete using adhesives, they are sanded and then oiled or varnished on site. Over the last few decades, the small parquet boards have gradually been replaced by large planks made up of several layers of wood. Wood floors are therefore medium and large-sized planks that are pre-finished in the factory and do not require sanding and varnishing once installation and set up is complete. In addition to this, the thickness of noble wood (top layer) must have a minimum size of 2.5 mm, so veneered or laminate cannot be considered wood floors.

Varnished are those wood floors that are covered with a layer of insulating varnish on the surface. Varnishes, both with solvent and water-based (polyurethane), are harmful to our health because, being derived from petroleum, they release harmful substances throughout their life. This solution, in the short term, can be very practical, but after a few years of use, especially in high traffic areas, the varnish (polyurethane) wears out and tears away, causing the wood left unprotected to become grey. The only way to restore it is to sand it and repaint it: an invasive, expensive and unhealthy procedure.

Oil treatments, produced with vegetable chemistry, can instead be defined biocompatible and, therefore, healthy. They are the real alternative to varnish: instead of creating a surface film, they soak the wood in depth, saturating it and protecting it from liquids and wear, making it possible to restore it without sanding. Attention, however: on the market there are many oil treatments that, due to the fast industrial procedures, are not practical and they are easy to stain because the pores of the wood are not completely saturated.

Thanks to our BioPlus® oiling cycle, which saturates the wood pores without clogging them, we at Fiemme Tremila can guarantee you an oiled, biocompatible and stain-free wood floor. Test it with wine: pour a glass of red wine on the wood and let it dry for 24 hours. If the stain is cleaned with simple water and mild soap, we have kept our promise.

In the case of layered wood floors, this depends on the thickness of top layer, while in the case of solid wood it depends on the thickness between the surface and the upper part of the joint, under which you cannot laminate so as not to destabilise the structure. Normally, sanding involves the removal of 1 or 2 mm of wood: considering this, it is easy to calculate the number of possible sanding operations. Please note, however, that impregnating oil treatments such as BioPlus® does not require sanding under any circumstances, which is instead necessary when restoring a coarsely painted or oiled floor.

The type of laying mainly depends on the structure of the floor. Solid wood floors, two-layer plank floors and some types of three-layer floors require laying with two-component or one-component silanic glue, or at least this type of laying is strongly recommended to avoid movements due to climatic conditions. However, this involves the use of 1.2 to 1.5 kg of glue per square metre: the floor, therefore, will continue to release harmful substances into the air, i.e. the so-called harmful VOCs.

Floating laying, on the other hand, is a dry laying that does not require the use of adhesives and is therefore healthy by definition. In order not to have problems of stability, the floor must be made of boards with a three-crossed-layer structure of solid wood, where the total thickness is at least 15 mm. For this reason we have created our Triplostrato® cwhich combines this structure with a top and bottom layer of equal thickness and a central core in spruce.

The so-called sick building syndrome (Sick Building Syndrome - SBS) is a well-defined symptom that manifests itself after a few hours in a certain closed environment. Tests carried out on offices and other public buildings in various countries have revealed upsets among the occupants, ranging from a general sense of malaise to headaches, irritation of the nose, eyes and mouth, dry coughing, itchy skin, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. The causes (in almost half of the cases) can be attributed to inadequate ventilation: air changes are insufficient and the chemical compounds present in the indoor air stagnate. Although these symptoms usually resolve in the course of a few hours or a few days (in the case of rashes) after leaving the building, the syndrome has a considerable impact both in economic and social terms, just think that it affects between 15% and even 50% of the occupants.

Every material naturally emits substances, harmful or beneficial, called VOCs, literally Volatile Organic Compounds. For example, our own skin emits VOCs; perfumes are VOCs that give off a very pleasant smell. There is, however, a very important distinction to make: the harmful ones are clearly the ones that worry the most because they have a negative effect on our health (see "sick building syndrome"). The benefits are those to aspire to, because they produce well-being for our organism. They are those present exclusively in nature and in materials that are not artificially spoiled.

For this reason, today, in the building sector there is an increasing demand for zeroVOC materials or, at least, for low-emission materials. But wouldn’t it be better to guarantee products that emit only beneficial VOCs, rather than zeroVOCs? At Fiemme Tremila, we do that. Not only our Disegno di Legno floors and furniture are free of harmful emissions, but it is certified by CNR-IVALSA that they are good for our health, thanks to the exclusive emission of beneficial VOCs, such as Alpha-Pinene and Limonene. These are the same substances that are present in an uncontaminated forest and that, in medicine, are used in pharmaceutical products to help treat the respiratory tract.

Usually the floor is made by flooring companies, the staircase by the carpenter and the furniture by the furniture maker, perhaps obtaining a result with similar colours, but never the same. With the Disegno di Legno furniture project it is possible to have a single interlocutor for the whole process: Fiemme Tremila. Each object is tailored made using the same biocompatible wood floor boards, to give the possibility of material continuity and colour from the floor to the furniture. From the stairs to the boiserie, from the doors to the accessories such as desks, tables, bookcases, etc.

When choosing your wood floor, be sure to select only raw materials guaranteed by authoritative sustainability and salubrity certifications. Don’t settle for a general "green" certification: always ask for the list of substances released by your floor, especially if it has to be glued.

In order to close the virtuous cycle of forest heritage preservation, make sure you make a responsible choice that can make a difference: when you select your wood, always ask for these 2 certifications.

Always check that your floor boards are made of quality wood and have a top layer at least 3 mm thick.

To check the naturalness of the product, ask which glues are used to couple the layers (or in the worst case to glue the floor to the screed). Remember that the only glue not harmful to humans is vinyl. The most technologically advanced structure that guarantees the greatest stability of the floor is the three-layer one. Always check that the top and back layers must have the same thickness, the central layer must not be made of plywood or low quality wood and that rift wood is used with the grain oriented vertically.

Always ask for details on the materials that have been used to get to the finished product after laying (glues, treatments, etc.) and what procedures have been followed to guarantee its wholeness.

Every wood floor, freshly laid, is beautiful. However, wood is a living material and, as such, its appearance changes over time. The right surface treatment makes all the difference in terms of greying and wearing. You guarantee your floor only the best oilings that will help it stay as beautiful and healthy as when it was first laid over the years.

In order for a wood floor to be completely natural, gluing must be avoided. Floating installation, however, requires a stable and suitable structure for this type of installation. The most reliable is the three-layer structure, but it is important that it has certain characteristics: the wood layer on top and below must have the same thickness, the central layer must not be made of plywood or low quality wood and the veining must be arranged vertically.

Hardwoods (oak, walnut and elm) are the most resistant types of wood. Coniferous woods such as spruce and larch are not recommended. It is also important to work on the wood surface to protect the wood with e.g. the brushed technique (which eliminates the soft part), or even more incisive processes, such as the saw cut or seasoned surface finishings. The smooth surface is not recommended.

The veining must be arranged in the walking direction, for visual pleasantness and because in this way the floor wears out more slowly. The planks should be oriented in the direction of the light coming from the largest window: this will mask the joints.
Another important factor for laying is to choose which wall to start from: we recommend starting from the one closest to the entrance door or the longest one without interruption. This will allow you to have a perfect alignment of the elements, without over-laying or cuts.
In the case of irregular walls, it is best to follow the parallelism with the wall closest to the door and use diagonal laying, which better masks the defects of the walls.
If you choose diagonal laying, it is advisable to start from the corner closest to the door, to ensure the best view of the entrance, and continue in the direction of the point of light. In the case of very large rooms, the advice is to align the boards on the longest diagonal.

Liquids can create problems and stains on oiled floors and those whose varnish does not offer sufficient protection to the wood. Fiemme Tremila floors are protected from these inconveniences because the pores are saturated with BioPlus® treatment, based on oils, waxes and resins. In this way the wood remains resistant to liquids: this means that it does not absorb water, coffee, wine, oil, lemon, etc.. It will be sufficient to clean the floor normally with water and Fiemme Soap. The only liquids that can damage a natural surface are aggressive liquids with strong chemical components, for example ammonia, bleach or acetone for nails.

Generally you can almost always lay your wood floor on underfloor heating, you just have to avoid beech and maple that are at risk of cracking, and solid wood. Fiemme Tremila floors are perfectly compatible with underfloor heating systems: the yield of the system is not diminished, nor is the beauty of the boards affected.

Of course! Fiemme Tremila floors are laid floating. This means that they can be laid on any surface as long as it is flat, with a maximum difference in height of 2 millimetres every 2 metres.

No problem. Fiemme Tremila floors are not afraid of water, which should be used for their correct cleaning, together with Fiemme Soap. If, over time, a more thorough intervention should become necessary, it will be possible to carry out a deeper washing followed by the application of the maintenance oil Fiemme Oil.

If the floor is suitable for floating installation and has been laid correctly, no. The creaking or the movements are due to three main factors:
- any irregularities in the screed, if it is not flat (with deviations of more than 2 millimetres every 2 metres) or if it has not been cleaned well from any residues before laying. In these cases, the irregularity can create undesirable acoustic effects (vacuum sound) and a feeling of movement and creaking when walking.
- low quality structure not suitable for floating installation. It is essential that the floor has a perfectly stable structure and is not fixed to the screed with glue to prevent movement. If the structure is of low quality it is likely to move with changes in temperature and humidity, resulting in creaking. All inconveniences that do not happen with quality floors, such as those of Fiemme Tremila.
- thickness of the plank. To avoid cracks and movements, it is important that the plank have a certain weight: for this reason it is fundamental that the total thickness of the plank is at least 15 millimetres. Below this thickness, the plank will be too light and the floating effect typical of the laminates and possible creaking will begin to appear. Fiemme Tremila boards have a thickness of 15 millimeters.

If you have a dog or a cat in the house, there are two main risks of damaging a floor:
- scratches
Our little friends run, play, brake and slide on the floor leaving possible scratches on the parquet. Wood is a soft material, not indestructible, so it is important to use a few strategies that limit the effects of scratches. We recommend a surface finishing that removes the softest part of the wood, such as brushed wood. If you have large animals then it is better to choose an even more incisive finishings, such as saw cut or seasoned ones. The smooth surface is not recommended. Oil treatments (such as those on Fiemme Tremila floors) are an additional help because any scratches that can be seen against the light can most often be hidden by applying the specific maintenance oil Fiemme Oil.
- urine
Urine, especially if very concentrated, is very aggressive towards natural products such as marble and wood. Unfortunately in these cases it is possible to see a stain, sometimes against the light. In these cases you can try to restore the floor with a professional intervention, contacting your dealer.

Wood is a natural, living material. Just like our skin it can show the signs of time over the years.
However, you can protect it by choosing specific surface finishings, designed to make the wood more resistant. A smooth floor is not recommended, it is better to choose a surface for your floor where the softest part of the wood is removed such as the brushed one. If you have unleashed children then it is better to use more incisive finishings such as the saw cut and the seasoned ones, perhaps even only in their bedroom and play areas.

The fear that sea salt can ruin a wood floor is a false legend. The usual rules for the durability of a wood floor also apply to the house at the seaside or on the beach: a stable structure and a resistant treatment are important. Fiemme Tremila wood meets these requirements extensively and it is therefore suitable for every environment, also to make your house at the seaside more beautiful.

Durability depends on stability and resistance to wear and stains. A Fiemme Tremila floor has been designed and tested to last a lifetime, and at least 30 years, as long as it is cleaned with official Fiemme Tremila products and properly maintained.

In order to speed up production times, silanic, phenolic or urea-formaldehyde glues are used with low-cost boards and in particular with multilayer structure floors. Instead, only water-based vinyl glues are used to glue the Triplostrato® structure of Fiemme Tremila floors. They require much more time for gluing and drying than synthetic glues. This is the only way to avoid introducing harmful substances into the wood, which will then be released into the environment.

I can clean it with a regenerating and nourishing Fiemme Oil, useful for the maintenance of Fiemme Tremila biocompatible wood floors.

A photo can never substitute the natural and unrepeatable beauty of wood. A picture often depends on the light on the panel: if illuminated with warm lights the wood will turn more yellow, if with cold lights it will turn blue. The best and more realistic look the wood has is obtained by placing the wood sample in the sun. It can also happen that a sample that has been closed in a box for a long time has not had a normal oxidation, unlike another one which has been exposed to light.

The basic rule is: wood lives well if/where people live well, so with a temperature of 18-22°C and a degree of humidity of 35 to 65%. Outside of these parameters it is better to use humidifiers/dehumidifiers to maintain a balanced environment.
In case of more serious problems, such as infiltrations, it is better to intervene at the root of those problems. This is because being "open-pore" treated, Fiemme Tremila floors, live and breathe. Unlike varnished floors or floors made of artificial materials, Fiemme Tremila wood floors help to regulate humidity inside homes. Absorbing humidity when it is in excess and releasing it when it is deficient.

Fiemme Tremila floors are relatively easy to lay, but it is still better to ask for an official installer who has followed a technical training course at Fiemme Tremila. This is to make sure that some basic rules are respected: for example the perimeter edge that must be left for normal handling of wood, and other tricks that only a professional can know and put into practice. All to the advantage of the beauty of the final result, and its durability.

No, you cannot use steam cleaning methods because high temperature ruins the wood and its treatments. On the other hand you can use the robot which is excellent and has no contraindications. To sanitize your Fiemme Tremila wood floor you simply perform an ordinary cleaning with water and Fiemme Soap, which has a highly sanitizing effect.

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