What’s Special About Our Handcrafted Floors?
Galacroft custom hand finished floors are made with great attention to detail and finished in our workshops. None of our floors can be replicated by machine, as a machine coud never achieve the depth of finish attainable by a hand finished wax oiled floor.
Lacquers vs Hard Wax Oil
Its the question that’s asked most often. Which is better. As a company that specializes in finishes, we offer both hard wax oil and lacquers, and will always do a lacquered floor if requested. But if you’re looking for a floor that will look great in 20 years time then theres no choice. Heres the technical difference:
A Lacquer forms a protective ‘skin’over the wood surface, and other than cleaning regularly, it requires no maintainance. You can choose from mat, silk or gloss lacquer. Generally gloss is tougher than mat and it leaves a beautiful mirror finish. But not for long. So here’s the drawback. If you scratch a lacquered floor, then there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, especially if you penetrate the lacquer completely and go through to the wood. And this can happen quite easily with sharp stones left on shoes that people bring in to either domestic or commercial areas. A badly scratched laquered floor looks untidy very quickly. Therefore there is only one thing you can do to refresh a lacquered floor, and thats to sand the entire area, not just the damaged area. Its time consuming, costly, inconvenient, and more importantly, a waste of wood. Each sanding requires you to lose at least 0.5 – 1mm of wood. From an aestethic point of view, they tend to look a little plastic.
Hard wax Oil
Hard Wax Oils work in a completely different way. The oil part of the componant sinks into the wood leaving it rich and natural looking, whilst the wax part forms a hard protective coating that, with simple maintenance, just gets better and better over time, not to mention tougher over the years. It repels water, cleans really easily, and is really simple to maintain. An hard wax oiled floor can breath, and unlikje lacquer, doesn’t crack, peel, flake or blister.
We only ever recommend hard wax oil finishes in high traffic areas.
Our Handcrafted Floors Are Green.
Work done by hand takes less energy than using machines, and makes it more environmentally sustainable.
We’re Good for Employment.
Hand-crafted or hand finished floors usually cost a little more, but the benefits far outweigh the extra few pounds. Traditional hand work creates an important contribution to the economy. Employment. Some of our workers have been with us for nearly 20 years, and there is no question their skills are unique and now in great demand. Not necessarily by other companies, but by our own customers who value their skills.
Hand Finished Products Are Worth More.
There is no question you will love and value your floor more knowing it has been finished by hand. The value of hand made and hand finished products is always enhanced by the individual creativity required to make them.
Hand Finished Floors Are Tougher. Fact.
It’s not just the authenticity that causes people to pay a little more for handcrafted floors. Handcrafted floors are more robust, because they have a stronger and more sustainable finish especially in the case of wax oils
All our floors are finished using wax oils, which are the toughest finishes you can have if maintained properly. (See our Videos relating to wax oils). But it takes more time and more effort, which is why Uv oiled and Uv lacquered floors have become so popular. They are much easier to do as they are finished by machine.
Copenhagen airport has thousands of square meters of wood flooring, most of which was installed nearly 50 years ago. They are regularly maintained and look better today than they did when they were first laid. And the re sale value is probably more than the value of when they were installed.
Hand Finished Floors Give You More Options.
We can do things most other wood floor companies cant do. Custom floors, pre finished just to your liking, ready for immediate fitting.
If you have something in mind and you would like a fully customised or hand made floor, then just call. We can do it all in house. We offer brushing, heavy or light, antique effect, reclaimed, hand scraped, shrunk, or just silk and smooth. We can also make custom floors and custom panels.
Our Hand Finished Floors Are Unique.
Even if you choose a product from one of our standard colours, it will still be unique as it’s been hand finished. Each one of our skilled workers will apply a slightly different pressure when finishing with wax oils, so there will usually be a slight variation.
Keep Our Skills and Traditions Alive.
As technology replaces the skilled workers with machines, it’s important to keep our manual skills alive by hand making and hand finishing, not just in the wood floor industry, but in all industries. It takes an awful lot of training to teach somebody how to finish and treat wood, and a lot of time and attention to detail to make sure your floor is finished to perfection.
Who knows, maybe one day the world may just revert back to traditional skills and it will be technology that is under threat.
That would be nice.