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Mosaic Wooden Flooring

Cost: Difficulty:


This type of flooring is laid in patterns of herringbone or alternate squares, using one or more kinds of wood.


Start by dry laying a row of panels along the longest straight run of wall in the room. Mark the positions at each end and adjust the positions if necessary, to avoid difficult pieces being cut and added at both ends. Dry lay a single row in the opposite direction to check adjustments on the other side of the room.

When you are happy with the layout of the panels, mark their positions on the floor. Lay all the whole panels first, according to the manufacturer’s fixing details. Use a saw with a fine tooth or a power jigsaw to cut the panels for filling in around the edges and in difficult corners. Make a template of a difficult section using hardboard or cardboard. Check the measurements and alter if necessary, before using the template to help cut the wooden panel.

Once complete use a heavy-duty floor sander to smooth the surface and remove any uneven edges or joins. An edging sander is necessary for the borders of the room. If it is a small room, try using a powered orbital sander to sand the surface. Sanding is a very noisy and dusty job and wearing a mask and goggles is advisable. It is important to keep the doors and windows closed when sanding. This will allow the dust to settle and then be hoovered away as well as preventing dust permeating through the house.

When the sanding is complete and the area has been cleaned to remove dust, the floor needs sealing. Use two or three coats, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, of a matt or gloss floor sealer. For a professional finish, use a fine grade sand paper between each coat, remembering to remove the dust with a moist cloth before applying the next coat.

Cleaning and caring

Mosaic flooring is usually waxed or sealed, which stops dirt penetrating the surface and improves the surface appearance. It is therefore easy to maintain. If newly laid, blocks should be professionally sanded before sealing. Sweep and clean with solvent-based wax. If the floor is darker than you would like, apply bleach to lighten them, always testing an obscure area first. You could also use a coloured polyurethane varnish. Even better use a wood stain, which colours the timber and complete by sealing with a clear polyurethane varnish. Some flooring is factory treated with lacquer, and requires only vacuuming and wiping over with a damp-dry cloth. A rug is advisable where there is heavy usage to avoid scuffing. If the flooring begins to show signs of wear and tear, the surface can be given a new lease of life by light sanding and re-sealing with varnish. A polyurethane varnish is recommended because it is very hardwearing and easy to maintain.

Repairing mosaic flooring

The flooring can get damaged, badly stained or burnt. Use a mallet and a chisel to remove the damaged strips of hardwood from the panel. Clear the area of debris and use the chisel to remove the old adhesive below the strip. Clean the area using a moist cloth to remove any dust. Prepare the new strip and dry lay in the space. Make sure it fits correctly, planing the sides if necessary. Use a layer of adhesive suitable for the flooring already laid and apply it to the floor surface where the strip will be fixed. Press the new strip into position. Once it has dried, rub with a fine grade sand paper if necessary and clean the area. A wood stain may be required to match the colour of the surrounding area before resealing.

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