Bracknell Gardens, NW3: Ecora Floor.
Posted on September 06, 2010 by Martin Preisler
Trends in the High End segment of the construction industry.
To those of you not familiar with refurbishments, you will be surprised to hear that construction work is a bit like fashion. It may be more slow moving, but basically the trends change all the time. One moment people want to have spotlights, then they want soft wall iighting. Six years ago people wanted to have transparent oiled oak planks. This was followed by five years of people going crazy over walnut. Although this trend still prevails in some aspect of carpentry, when it comes to flooring this trend is definitely on the retreat. We have worked with a number of architects over the last couple of years, (more specifically David Rea Architects and DDWH Architects Ltd.), and they are both moving towards grey tones in everything they do.
We just finished a total refurbishment of an apartment in West Hampstead. I will write about that particular project in detail in another blog, as it deserves to have an article in its own right. This article, however, is more to do with the above mentioned trend and a comparison between a few suppliers of plank flooring in general. So, for this particular project DDWH Architects Ltd. had specified a Grey Oak from Ecora. We probably lay 30 floors a years, and as usual, I was just expecting a standard plank. However, when it arrived, I was positively surprised by the quality, colour, width/length of the board itself.
We are talking about a fumed solid French oak which has been grey oiled. The dimensions are 1800mm, (L), by 210mm, (W), and at a price of around 90 GBP per square meter it is not cheap. Having said that, to find that kind of quality board at this kind of price is not easy. More importantly finding a supplier who is on top of the trends in the market is even more difficult. See, the thing is, that we could have had a similar board from the likes of Walking on Wood, but the price would easily have been double Ecora's price. And yes, there are many flooring companies in the London area, but in reality, it would have been very difficult to find someone who would actually have any idea of where the market is heading. The Natural Wood Flooring company for example have a lot of choice, but they are more like a timber yard than a flooring specialist, and finding something which will go well with todays trends would have proven next to impossible. This leads me on to the my next point: The personnel.
Over at Ecora I had the pleasure of running into Daniel Bloom, the manager at Ecora. Not only is he a nice guy, but he is exceptionally knowledgeable about all things flooring related. You would think that being knowledgeable about your trade is a must regardless of industry, but if you go to Walking on Wood for example you end up with a very polite young lady who can not make a decision without calling the headquarters and in the Natural Wood Flooring company you will deal with a young lad who may as well have worked in B&Q. WIth Daniel you get a friendly, knowledgeable pro who also takes great care in maintaining good relations at all times.
Let me conclude by saying that it is not the last time we use Ecora. That is for sure. As long as they continue to follow the trends and have people like Daniel working there I'll vouch for them. Beautiful flooring at reasonable prices. If you are looking for a place to a start, I suggest you take contact to Daniel.
Ecora, 20 England's Lane, Belsize Park, London, NW3 4TG