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News & Trends

Keep to date with the latest in flooring development and innovation at Atkinson & Kirby.

Engineered Wood Flooring - From Forest to Floor

Today, more than half of all wood floors installed have an engineered construction. Engineered wood flooring retains all the natural beauty of solid wood but is manufactured in a way that makes it more versatile and practical within a modern space. Prized for its durability, engineered wood flooring is a popular choice among homeowners and designers alike. But how is it made? Let's explore the process, from forest to floor: Material Selection: High-quality materials are chosen for stability and aesthetics. Engineered flooring consists of a real hardwood veneer atop plywood or spruce. Kiln Drying: Timber undergoes kiln drying to prevent warping and enhance durability, while also eliminating pests and fungi. Precision Milling: Raw materials are milled with precision to showcase natural grain and character. Quality inspection ensures only the finest pieces are used. Layering and Bonding: Veneers and core materials are layered in a cross-grain pattern for stability. High-pressure, heat, and advanced adhesives bond the layers together. Pressing and Conditioning: The composite undergoes pressing for strength and conditioning to achieve the desired moisture content, crucial for preventing post-installation expansion or contraction. Finishing Touches: Sanding creates a smooth surface, followed by the application of a protective finish for durability. Quality Assurance: Each batch undergoes rigorous testing for defects, dimensional accuracy, and performance, ensuring it meets industry standards. Installation and Enjoyment: Once installed, engineered wood flooring adds warmth, character, and elegance to spaces, offering long-lasting beauty and performance. This unique process makes engineered wood flooring the perfect choice for contemporary spaces with underfloor heating as it is not susceptible to warping or drying out unlike solid wood. Engineered wood flooring is also able to float over suitable subfloors which enhances its ease of installation. It’s also available in wider planks and longer lengths, enabling a diverse range of finished looks to suit different aesthetic preferences. If you are considering engineered wood flooring for your project, check out our handy guide on selecting the perfect floor here View our range of engineered wood flooring here 

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Archwood Group Achieves Prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise

We have been honoured with a King’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development 2024. Archwood Group is one of 252 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise. As announced on Monday 6 May, Archwood Group has been recognised for its excellence in Sustainable Development 2024. Josh Burbidge, Managing Director of Archwood Group, comments: “Being honoured with the King’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development 2024 is an incredible achievement involving the entire business. We want to continue to do our part in having a positive impact on the planet and society. Each and every one of us plays an important role in our sustainability journey, and we’re encouraging colleagues and customers to get involved in any way they can.” The King’s Awards for Enterprise, previously known as The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, were renamed last year to reflect His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s by recognising outstanding UK businesses. The Award programme, now in its 58th year, is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the esteemed King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years. The award is proof of Archwood Group’s dedication to sustainable practices, following a remarkable 66% reduction in emissions. Installation of over 2,600 solar panels underscores their proactive stance on reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to 100% renewable energy. In 2021, Archwood Group partnered with the sustainability accreditation, Planet Mark, and also joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, whereby the business has committed to achieve Net Zero by no later than 2050. This follows Archwood Group’s appointment of its internal Environmental Action Group to drive sustainable action throughout the business. You can see all the winners of The King’s Awards for Enterprise 2024 in a special supplement of The Gazette:

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Stacey Solomon's Renovation Rescue: Transforming Spaces with Tanami Oak

Renovation Rescue, Channel 4's hit home improvement programme, recently featured Atkinson and Kirby's Tanami Oak product in an episode that aired on the 17th April. Hosted by the vibrant Stacey Solomon, the programme lends a helping hand to homeowners navigating renovation challenges. In this particular episode, viewers were introduced to Jo and Darryl, residents of the picturesque seaside town of Devon, as they embarked on an inspiring journey to rejuvenate their living space with the help of Stacey's DIY expertise and enthusiasm. This came after they encountered challenges with previous builders, turning their renovation project into a stressful ordeal. Focusing on remodelling their space into an upside-down living area, Jo and Darryl wanted to make their home feel light, bright, and airy. Under Stacey's expert guidance, they revamped their upper-ground floor into an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area. This bold decision promised a fresh perspective and renewed vitality for their home, highlighting the expansive room and stunning sea views that accompanied it. A pivotal aspect of their renovation journey was the selection of flooring for their stairs and open plan area. To tie in with the light and bright look of the place, the couple opted to fit Atkinson and Kirby's Tanami Oak flooring. This choice not only infused the space with a sense of warmth and cosiness but also reflected their commitment to quality and style. The brushed and oiled finish of the Tanami Oak flooring offered both durability and ease of maintenance, ensuring that their investment would stand the test of time. To view the full Atkinson & Kirby flooring collection, please visit: Request a sample of Tanami Oak here

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Why Wood Flooring is the Perfect Choice for Restaurants and Bars

Bars and restaurants have the opportunity to mesmerise people with their décor and interiors. Flooring, often one of the first elements to catch your eye, plays a vital role in creating a lasting first impression and unifying the overall aesthetic. Beyond providing stunning results, an investment in high-quality flooring is vital for many other reasons. With constant foot traffic over time, commercial restaurant and bar flooring needs to withstand the test of time whilst maintaining its elegant and clean appearance. The best flooring for bars and restaurants depends on the type of establishment and the desired aesthetic. Flooring in these venues is crucial as it needs to endure foot traffic, spills, and potential damage. While some restaurateurs prefer classic wood floors, others opt for materials like tile, known for its sturdiness but prone to chipping, or laminate, which is more affordable but less durable than wood. For example, our Chiswick oak takes centre stage at several Mowgli restaurants across the UK. This popular, pre-finished engineered white oak floor has an attractive variability in tone, which creates a contemporary feel, ideal for achieving a light, spacious look. If you are looking for a more classic look and feel, a coffee-toned wood may be a better option. Our Adelphi Oak flooring, chosen for Manchester's newest craft beer pub, North Westward Ho, with its dark coffee tones and unique design, not only adds a sophisticated flair to the venue but also ensures longevity without compromising on style. Or, if you want to emulate the atmosphere of an upscale wine bar, you might opt for traditional herringbone flooring. Our Harlesden Smoked Oak flooring in parquet, for instance, proved to be the perfect choice for BrewDog’s London Waterloo location. The colour variation between the Herringbone blocks allows you to add a contemporary twist to a traditional floor style. Blending its unique old-world charm with contemporary design, the variation in colour tones added depth and visual interest to the space, captivating customers from the moment they set foot inside. There are various options for Hardwood flooring available to commercial areas on the market today. However, to simplify, there are two main considerations: Functionality: will the floor serve its purpose in the space Look and Feel: will the floor have the desired aesthetic impact When considering the function of the floor, it is useful to consider the construction of the floor such as using a solid versus engineered floor, as engineered floors are typically more stable and resilient to humidity, moisture changes, temperature changes etc. Read more about engineered versus sold wood flooring in our guide here. It is also useful to consider what finish is on your floor, as different finishes perform differently depending on the conditions. An oiled floor enhances the natural beauty of the wood floor but requires slightly more maintenance and requires periodic re-oiling. Whereas a UV Oil or a Lacquered floor has a harder wearing finish, forming a barrier over the top of the wood, which typically performs better in a high traffic area. For more advice on the finishes within the range please contact a member of the team here. It is also important to consider how the floor will impact the look and feel of the space. Natural hardwood floors bring a warmth and charm to any space, and you can change the feel depending on the colour, size of the planks, various patterns such as herringbone, choosing different grades of timber which will highlight the natural features such as knots and splits or give a cleaner sleeker look, with less of the natural imperfections. All of these considerations mean you have scope to be creative with your floor and there is always a floor to suit the space. If you need specific commercial project advice, get in touch with our dedicated specification team. Explore the full Atkinson & Kirby collection here

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Atkinson & Kirby's Journey Towards a Greener Future

Here at Atkinson & Kirby, through our latest sustainability report, we have taken the time to analyse where our carbon footprint comes from to ensure we continue to deliver on our sustainable promises. The rising threat of greenwashing across competing industries has made it hugely important for us to document regular updates on our sustainability achievements. This is especially vital as we progress further with our pledges to achieve Net Zero, as part of the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, by no later than 2050 and halve our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030. We are committed to delivering the most eco-friendly and sustainable selection of timber products, with a focus on forming eco-friendly initiatives to positively impact the climate and contribute to a better planet and society. Here are some of our most recent achievements: Reduced our Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions by 62% compared to our baseline year. Installed 2,600 solar panels at our North Wales factory, generating 40% of the site's total energy requirements and contributing to carbon emissions reduction. Upgraded our Forklift Truck fleet from 30 diesel/LPG trucks to 20, with 19 now being zero-emissions electric trucks and one remaining diesel-powered. Transitioned to cardboard packaging solutions for all flooring items in the Atkinson & Kirby product range in 2023. Identified packaging changes for the Richard Burbidge product range, with implementation scheduled throughout 2024. Installed seven electric vehicle charging points at our HQ car park. Engaged with 15 global suppliers, comprising 80% of total company spend, to present our sustainability report and updated Archwood collaboration document. Communicated policy changes impacting suppliers, a crucial step in achieving our sustainability goals Reflecting on the past year, our Manager Director, Josh Burbidge, describes how the business is setting the benchmark with Net Zero goals and year-on-year transparency towards our sustainability progress: “At Atkinson & Kirby, we’re passionate about design, manufacturing and the sustainable sourcing of timber products. We have made great progress on our Net Zero journey, reducing our Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions by 62% versus our baseline year. This is a fantastic achievement but there is still much more work to be done.  We have prepared our latest report to update on our journey so far and highlight what we will be focusing on in the coming years’. Download the full Sustainability Report 2023 here.

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Parquet flooring with Atkinson & Kirby

Parquet flooring truly has stood the test of time as a classic and elegant choice for any interior design. Tracing its roots back to the grand halls of the Palace of Versailles, parquet wood flooring always brings a feeling of heritage and class. So, whether you have a traditional or contemporary style, these geometric patterns will add a touch of sophistication to your home. Learn more about Atkinson & Kirby parquet flooring and be inspired to create a stylish, timeless wooden floor for your next project. What is parquet floor made of? First things first - what is parquet flooring? Parquet is a hardwood flooring product, and oak is typically the most common type of wood used. The iconic parquet design is created by placing short planks of wood diagonally, coming together at 90 degrees at the end. Parquet blocks, or planks, come in a few different thicknesses and widths to suit different applications. At Atkinson & Kirby, our curated parquet collection offers a variety of options, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your space and to suit any style. You can create chevron or herringbone flooring patterns and refinish or stain to suit the design. How to style parquet floors With its durability, timeless quality, and versatile options, parquet flooring can effortlessly elevate the aesthetic appeal of any space. At Atkinson & Kirby, our parquet collection offers an array tonal choices and different shades, allowing you to be absolutely bang on trend, perfectly traditional, or anywhere in between. The classic parquet design sits perfectly with both a more traditional and modern decor. Paler shades are great for creating a soft and airy feel in smaller or darker rooms. As a neutral base, the flooring is perfect for furniture and accessories that are more ornate or bold in colour. Our Hampstead Oak is perfect for the current trend of grey floors for living rooms, and works just as well with both classic and contemporary decor designs. Alternatively, darker parquet floors make a beautiful contrast to bright white walls. These shades are best suited to larger rooms such as lounges and hallways where they can make a grand statement. Our Eltham Walnut offers a stunning deep tone and subtle natural variations amongst the planks that add plenty of character to any room. Mixing planks and parquet flooring is another effective way to subtly define areas. Our Norma Smoked Oak or Shrewsbury Oak parquet flooring blend into any space, creating a subtle feature that can complement and contrast with a range of design choices. Where to use parquet wood flooring Parquet flooring is a great option throughout your house.  Engineered parquet is best suited for humid areas, such as the bathroom, and should have a lacquered finish that completely seals the floor to prevent water penetration from any leaks or spills. Darker oak parquet blocks make for ideal living room or hallway options, adding instant style and durability. Parquet patterns like herringbone, chevron or mosaid help to create an intricate look that adds an instant 'wow factor'. Engineered parquet flooring is less susceptible to the effects of moisture and temperature fluctuations than solid wood, owing to its construction and manufactured finish. This means it can be used in areas like the kitchen more safely than with a solid wood option. There are other benefits too - unlike many solid wood floors, engineered parquet is compatible with underfloor heating, allows for easier methods of installation, and can come in bigger dimensions compared to solid wood. Best finish for parquet flooring Adding a finish - whether varnish, lacquer or oil - can completely change the look of a floor and is an easy way to tie your flooring together with the rest of your decor. Whether you opt for a finished or unfinished option, our parquet flooring caters to your needs. While unfinished flooring allows for a personalised touch and a choice of colour, factory-finished floors boast increased durability, quicker installation (eliminating the need for drying time) and come with a manufacturer's guarantee. The Atkinson & Kirby parquet range comes with a range of finish options, including natural oil, matt lacquer, UV oil and regular lacquer. Choose a complementary shade and finish to completely transform any space. Not sure which colour or shade to go for? Order a free sample (or up to three!) using our sample order form to find the perfect parquet for your next project. Browse the full range of Atkinson & Kirby parquet flooring to find inspiration.     Floors that define your space…

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Floors that define your space

At Atkinson & Kirby, we understand the need for an intelligently selected range of wood flooring styles, providing you with a variety of options to suit every project.

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