Wooden flooring – a target for thieves?
Police in Norfolk are investigating a crime that should act as a warning to anyone in the process of installing a wooden floor. A total of 15 boxes of oak flooring were stolen from an outbuilding in Downham Market, leaving the distraught homeowners without their new oak floor and a hefty bill to replace the stolen flooring. It goes to show just how desirable oak flooring can be, and how the old adage that ‘thieves will steal anything that isn’t nailed down’ is quite literally true!
At first glance, stealing a floor sounds like something out of a comedy show. But when you consider that hardwood floors in particular can be worth thousands of pounds and represent a considerable investment in your home, you start to realise that having your wooden flooring stolen isn’t quite the joke you thought it was.
According to the Timber Trade Federation, imports of timber and panel products grew by 5% in the first two months of 2012, showing that the popularity of wooden flooring continues unabated. But as with everything else, wooden flooring has a value to thieves too. With so many people looking to trim a few corners when it comes to costing up a wooden floor, a few boards that ‘fell off the back of a lorry’ and are cheaper than flooring sold in a normal shop may be tempting. But it’s important that if you want to be sure your wooden flooring comes from a legitimate source, you need to go to a company that specialises in fitting, repairing and restoring wooden floors, and not some ‘bloke down the pub’.
Ethical and legal…
If you don’t have the confidence or the experience to fit, repair or restore a wooden floor, leave it to the floor sanding experts. Not only will you get the peace of mind that they know exactly what to do to make a wooden floor look its best, but you can also be sure that the wood they use is ethically sourced…and legal! No company wants to put their reputation in jeopardy by using stolen products, and a legitimate floor sanding and polishing company will use reliable and dependable suppliers to source their wooden flooring. This gives your floor what is known in the art world as ‘provenance’ – the history of your wooden flooring can be traced through a trackable paper chain, sometimes right back to the very forest it originally came from.
This also brings us to the ethical issue. If you want to ensure that your wooden floor is made using wood from a sustainable source, then avoiding dodgy deals with less than salubrious characters will ensure that you don’t lose any sleep over the ethical integrity of your new wooden floor!
It seems a strange topic to address, but in an economic climate where the ‘black economy’ is starting to become a powerful driving force for those who are quite literally watching every penny, even something as basic as wooden flooring is subject to the taint of criminal behaviour. Stolen property is stolen property, whether it’s a wallet stolen from the pocket of a commuter, or wooden flooring stolen from an outbuilding. The criminal fraternity will look for opportunities wherever they may present themselves, so if you are in the process of renovating your house, make sure that your supplies are secure – even wooden floor boards.
As much as we would all like to assume that everyone we meet is honest and above board, that is sadly not always the case. Only deal with people you can trust and remember that someone, somewhere with lower moral standards than you will be perfectly happy to buy your ‘acquired’ wooden flooring from a thief. Make sure you never give them that opportunity by making sure all of your possessions, including your DIY or restoration materials, are kept safely under lock and key!