Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

Ordering from Hard Decor

At Hard Décor, our aim is simple, we want you to be so pleased with our products and services that you will share your experience and recommend us to others..! 

All our wood flooring is finished in the UK to your specification. This means we have complete control of your order from start to finish, ensuring the investment you make is not only safe and sound but makes you smile every day - all backed by a 50 year warranty.  

We have curated a range of 45 unique colours that can be used with 4 different types of engineered boards to suit your individual requirements.

What are the widths and lengths of Individual floor planks from Hard Decor?

Wide Oak Plank – 220mm x 2200mm length x 14mm

Herringbone – 90mm x 400mm x 14mm

Premium Oak – 190mm x 1900mm x 18mm

Classic Oak – 190mm x 1900mm x 18mm

How do I work out the measurements of an area of floor

If you have a tape or laser measure you can simply calculate the amount of wood flooring you require by multiplying the width by the length of your room.

For example a room measuring 4 metres in width by 6 metres in length equates to 24 square metres of flooring. You would typically need to add an additional 10% for plank flooring to allow for cuts into doorways and around obstacles such as pillars or steps.

If you choose a herringbone floor it will be more like 15%. It is always best to ask your professional wood installer to calculate how much flooring you need to order, especially as he is going to install it.

It works out less expensive in the long run even if you have a slight amount left over rather than ordering additional flooring later on to make up shortfalls.

How do I to convert square feet to square metres

One square meter equates 10.764 square feet. To convert square feet to square meters, follow the example below:

If your room is 20 feet long and 15 feet wide, multiply the length by the width:
20 feet x 15 feet = 300 square feet

To convert to square meters, divide the total square feet by 10.764:
300 square feet / 10.764 = 27.87 square meters

This is the net area in square meters. Remember to add a bit more for wastage and cuts.

How do I to pick the right colour of wood flooring?

To choose the right colour of wood flooring, consider existing décor, lighting conditions, and room size.

Determine your style preference and request free samples from Hard Decor to compare before making your final decision.

If you have engaged with an interior designer they will help you bring all the key elements together.

How easy is it to choose & purchase your products?

Step 1.
Narrow down your preferred choices from our selection of colours and wood styles - Consider your existing décor, lighting conditions and the size of the room. Prices for our engineered wood flooring differ between styles so it is worth keeping an eye on your budget at this stage by calculating the meterage you require – see our FAQ on Calculating your meterage  

Step 2.
Go to our samples page and add up to three free of charge wood samples to your basket. You will need to provide us your details and any special delivery instructions.

We operate an honesty policy with samples and only make a small charge for additional samples if you require them.  

Step 3.
When you receive your samples try them out under different lighting conditions over a few days; at night, during the day and in direct sunlight. Set them against your favourite paint colours and furniture such as sofas, tables and kitchen units.   

Step 4.
Made your decision? Congratulations, now all you need to do is place your order for your new wooden flooring and let us get on with creating your new floor. 

Helpful Hints pre order 

  • Check again how much you require – pleased feel free to call us with any questions – it's better to take your time and get everything right first time
  • Select your preferred material and colour from our store. Add the total m2 you require including any extras and add to you cart
  • Take a look at our accessories page for door bars, nosing's and trims which we will colour match to your choice of wood colour 

What is the difference between engineered and solid wood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring and solid wood flooring differ in their construction and performance characteristics. 

Our engineered flooring consists of a sub-base made from several layers of high quality ply with a wear layer / oak veneer, that offers multiple finishes and importantly provides excellent performance. It is more stable and less susceptible to moisture than solid oak. It is also significantly more sustainable due to the reduced volume of the slow growing oak materials used in its construction.  

Solid wood flooring is made entirely of hard or softwoods such as oak or pine, and was the traditional way of producing wooden flooring. It is susceptible to shrinkage and twisting and not recommended for use with underfloor heating systems.

Is engineered wood flooring suitable for use with underfloor heating systems? 

Yes, engineered wood flooring is best for homes with underfloor heating. It is more stable because of its multi-layered construction and won't expand or contract as much with temperature changes. However, make sure the floor's temperature doesn't exceed 27 degrees Celsius, or it could get damaged and void the manufacturers warranty conditions.

How does engineered wood flooring compare to laminate flooring?

While both engineered wood and laminate flooring offer durability and easy maintenance, engineered wood flooring features a real wood veneer, providing a more natural and authentic look and a noticeably different ambience to the room.

Is engineered wood flooring suitable for homes with pets?

Engineered wood flooring can be a good choice for homes with pets, but it’s important to maintain regular nail trimming and protect the flooring from scratches using rugs or furniture pads.

Installation FAQ

What is a floating floor? 

A floating floor is a type of flooring installation method where the individual planks or tiles are not directly bonded (glued) to the subfloor. Instead, they are fitted together using a click-lock or tongue-and-groove system to hold it in place, allowing the floor to “float” above the subfloor.

Can engineered wood flooring be installed over concrete?

Yes, engineered wood flooring can be installed over concrete, provided the concrete is dry, level, and properly prepared with a moisture barrier and/or underlayer.

Can I install engineered wood flooring in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms or basements? 

Engineered wood flooring with its moisture-resistant properties can be installed in bathrooms and basements. It isn't suitable for the wet areas like a walk in shower and it is important to note that long term damage can be caused if water is left to sit on the surface or there is high moisture levels constantly present in the room.

If the latter is the case then please consider using an alternative material such as porcelain tiles.

Please see our range of alternative flooring solutions and contact us with any technical queries you may have.

Should underlay be used for engineered wood flooring installation?

Underlay is recommended for engineered wood flooring installation as it provides benefits such as moisture protection, sound insulation, and a smooth surface.

Please consult with your installer who will recommend the best solution for you.

Can I install engineered wood flooring myself, or should I hire a professional? 

While DIY installation is possible, it’s recommended to have some level of experience or expertise. If you are not confident we recommend that you hire a professional installer to ensure the correct process is followed to ensure a high quality and durable finish.

Should I acclimatise the oak flooring prior to installation?


Store the flooring in the installation area:
Bring the packaged flooring into the room where it will be installed at least 48 to 72 hours before beginning the installation process.

This allows the planks to adjust to the ambient temperature and humidity levels in the environment.

Maintain ideal conditions: During acclimation, ensure that the installation area is at its typical occupancy conditions, including temperature and humidity levels. Ideally, maintain a temperature of around 60-80°F (15-27°C) and relative humidity between 35% and 55%. Avoid extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity during acclimation, as this can affect the performance of the flooring.

Open the packaging:
Once in the installation area, carefully open the packaging of the engineered oak flooring. Stack the planks horizontally with spacers between each layer to allow for air circulation. This helps the planks acclimate more effectively to the environment.

Monitor the acclimation period: Keep an eye on the acclimation period, ensuring that the flooring remains in the installation area for the recommended duration. The specific acclimation time may vary depending on factors such as the size and thickness of the planks, and the local climate conditions.

Installation note:
Check moisture content with new or refurbished screeds before installation, check the moisture content of both the flooring and the subfloor using a moisture meter.

The moisture content should be within the acceptable range specified by the manufacturer for a successful installation. If necessary, take steps to address any moisture issues before proceeding with the installation.

Should I allow for expansion gaps when I have my floor installed?

Engineered oak flooring, like any wood product, will naturally expand and contract in response to changes in temperature and humidity levels.

To minimise the risk of buckling, warping, or gaps appearing, it's essential to leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room and at transitions between rooms and doorway and to other surface types.

The recommended expansion gap width typically ranges from 6mm to 12mm, depending on the type of flooring and the size of the installation area.

Additionally, maintaining a consistent indoor climate with relative humidity levels between 35% and 55% can help mitigate excessive expansion and contraction of the flooring.

Maintenance FAQ

How should I clean my engineered oak flooring?

To clean engineered oak flooring, start by regularly sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and debris. Use a damp mop with a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors.

Avoid using excessive quantities of cleaner or hot water, harsh chemicals and steam cleaners, as these can damage the flooring's finish.

Can I use rugs or mats on my engineered oak flooring?

Yes, you can use rugs or mats on engineered oak flooring, but it's important to choose ones with a non-abrasive backing to prevent scratching.
Additionally, avoid rubber-backed or non-breathable mats, as they can trap moisture and damage the floor's finish. Remember to periodically lift and clean underneath the rugs to prevent dirt build up.

How do I protect my engineered oak flooring from scratches and dents?

Whilst engineered oak flooring is extremely durable you can help prolong its natural beauty by protecting it from dents and scratches;

  • Consider placing felt pads on the bottom of furniture legs to prevent them from scoring the oak surface
  • Avoid dragging heavy furniture across the floor, and use furniture coasters or glides when moving items
  • Additionally, consider using rugs in high-traffic areas to minimise wear and tear

How do I maintain the finish on my engineered oak flooring?

To maintain the finish on engineered oak flooring, avoid using abrasive cleaners or wax-based products, as these can dull the finish and attract dirt. Instead, periodically apply a hardwood floor cleaner or polish specifically formulated for engineered wood floors. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for application frequency and techniques to keep your flooring looking its best.

Regularly sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dirt and debris. Use a slightly damp mop with a recommended wood floor cleaner for deeper cleaning, ensuring not to use excessive quantities or hot water. 

Periodically, you may wish to apply a maintenance oil to refresh the finish. This should be done when you notice signs of wear or light scratches. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for maintenance.

Should I use rugs or mats to protect my engineered wood flooring? 

Yes, placing rugs or mats wells in high-traffic areas, near entrances, and in front of sinks can help protect the flooring from scratches, spills, and dirt.

Ensure the rugs have non-slip backing to prevent slipping.

I have spilt water on my Oak floor what should I do?

Try to wipe up spills as soon as possible avoid excessive moisture being present on the wood surface.

Use mats or trays under potted plants and avoid placing the flooring in areas prone to high humidity, such as bathrooms or basements.

Can I repair an engineered wood floor? 

To repair engineered wood flooring, assess the damage and fill scratches with a matching wood filler or consult a professional restoration expert. Please feel to call us for useful contacts.

Delivery FAQ

How long does it take to receive my new wood flooring?

Please allow up to 3 weeks for your new floor to be delivered. We will be in contact with you prior to ensure everything is delivered without a hitch.

Will the flooring I have ordered be delivered on a pallet?

Yes, for larger orders, you wood flooring will arrive on pallets and be offloaded typically using the vehicles tail lift and pump truck.

Will the delivery driver offload the flooring into my property?

The delivery personnel are only insured to offload your flooring to the nearest curbside to your property. It will be important to have your own resource available to move your flooring into your home or office.

Do you take away the packaging?

All packaging and waste will need to be disposed of by you and your team.

We do ask you to dispose of all wrapping and pallets, responsibly and recycle where possible please.

Should I check for damages before the driver leaves?

Yes, if your order is noticeably damaged upon delivery, please do not accept the consignment and refrain from signing for it.

In cases of damage discovered after delivery, please contact us immediately to arrange the return of the item for examination. According to government regulations, you have the right to inspect the goods at your home as you would in a physical shop. It is imperative to inform us of any damage or missing materials within 48 hours of delivery.

We do recommend that you take a video or photographs of any damage that is visible to aid us in resolving any issues.

Ordering Samples

Should I order any samples before I buy?

We strongly recommend that you make good use of our free sample service before you place your main order.

This allows you to check and see our finishes in person and in the environment they will be installed.

How do I order flooring samples through the website?

There are two ways to order through the website

The simplest way is to order from the sample page here.

The other way to order is directly from a product page. You will see the option to 'Get Free Sample' button directly under the 'Add to Cart'

How long does it take to get my samples?

Please allow 2-3 working days for delivery of samples by Royal Mail.

I need to order more that 3 free samples as I have different rooms to check can I order more?

If you require more than 3 free samples then please do call us to discuss on 01432 674718

Or use the contact page here.

Refunds and Returns

I need to return some flooring can you help?

We have a full refunds and returns page dedicated to returns, please use the link here to find our returns section