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In Conversations With Tom of Wood Floorers

Each week we like to showcase an emerging small business we think you all will love, this week it’s Tom of Wood Floorers, the mastermind behind our Khoollect HQ wooden floor.

We spoke to him to find out more about his business, how he finds his inspiration and his top-tips for caring for wood floors – your future mansion will be happy to hear.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
“I’m excited by all things wood. It’s fortunate as my business specialises in fitting bespoke hardwood floors. I started it in 2003 and I fit everything from standard floorboards to intricate parquet. One client described me as a wood floor superhero! I’m happy with that. I lead a small, highly skilled team and over the years we’ve had our work featured in various magazines. We are equally passionate about carpentry. So much so that we offer other services besides flooring.  It’s good to mix it up. I’ve made everything from wardrobes to beds to handcrafted kitchens. As if that’s not enough, I even enjoy wood carving in my spare time. That and hanging out with my wife and kids.”

What made you want to set up your own business?
“It happened organically. I started out as a landscape gardener and it evolved from there. I’ve always had a flair for woodwork so it made sense to make that the focal point of my business. I’m a people person so I was drawn to the prospect of collaborating with clients to make their ideas a reality. I also wanted to be my own boss. The flexibility that running my business offers is priceless, especially now I have a young family. And let’s face it, working indoors is a lot drier!”

Tell us about your team?
“I’m blessed to have such a great team. Dean is my right-hand man and has been with me for over 6 years. He previously worked for another high profile wood flooring company where his clients included Madonna and Bill Gates. Rigo is from Mexico and used to fit wooden floors in the States. The three of us offer a combined experience of over 50 years. I’m confident that, between us, there’s nothing we don’t know about wood floors.”

What do you love about your job?
“I love creating beautiful pieces of work. Nothing beats the look on a client’s face when they see their home or business transformed. No two days are the same for me so I never have the chance to get bored. I’m based in London and my work takes me all over this wonderful city. We do venture out of the capital from time to time. We’ve worked on projects as far afield as the Isle of Wight and France. It’s also the people. My clients make my day and being able to nurture those relationships is fantastic.But ultimately for me, it always goes back to working with wood. That’s where my passion lies. I am lucky to have a job doing what I love most.”

What’s one stand out job you’ve done?
“My favourite job involved over 300 sq metres of English brown oak! It’s a highly sought after wood which gets its distinctive colour from a rare fungal infection. The house centred around a huge sweeping spiral staircase for which we had to individually cut and shape each step. At the top of each flight of stairs we fitted the landings which curved all the way around the stairwells and looked fantastic. The main reception room was fitted out in sections of chevron blocks and again, we had to manually cut each one to size. The thing I loved most was the huge amount of design input we were given. It was great to be the authority on all the flooring, especially as it was such an integral part of the overall finish. The final result was incredible and I still go back regularly to inspect and maintain the floors.”

Tell us your 3-5 tips for choosing and caring for a wood floor?
“Firstly I would always recommend getting wood that’s FSC certified so you know it’s come from a sustainable source. Secondly, remember quality costs! Don’t be fooled by all the cheap timber out there. It may seem comparable to the more expensive stuff but it won’t stand the test of time. It’s a false economy. Lastly, it’s essential you care for your floor once it’s been fitted. We offer comprehensive maintenance contracts to keep your floor looking its best throughout its lifetime.”

Where do you source your wood and why?
“Most of the wood we use comes from the Natural Wood Floor Company in Wandsworth. They grow and machine all their flooring themselves. In fact they have their own sustainable forests in Romania. When you buy wood from them you can rest assured that it’s been ethically sourced. I also work closely with Lassco reclamation. Not only do they offer quirky and unique batches of wood, they can also tell you its provenance. I recently fitted a floor that came from the Hampton Court stables and was originally owned by King Henry VIII!”

What’s the most popular flooring you get asked for?
“Most of the floors we install are oak. Reclaimed herringbone and chevron floors seem to be very popular at the moment too.”

Who or what inspires your work?
“I’m inspired by nature. It’s why I like working with wood in it’s most natural state. There is so much beauty in the wood grain. Each pattern is unique. I find this even more so when I’m fitting reclaimed floors. I also think it’s important to keep up with the latest trends. In my spare time I can often be found flicking through interior design magazines, as well as trawling Instagram, for new ideas.”

What advice would you give for others setting up their own business?
“Follow your dreams and never give up. It may sound trite but it’s true. For me, it’s been hard work but so worth it. I’ve never looked back. The jobs are continuous these days and I’m proud to say it’s usually down to happy customers who recommend my service to others. You can’t ask for more than that.”

You can follow Tom on instagram or head over to his website.

Have someone to suggest for our small business feature? Let us know in the comment section below. 

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