What are timber floorboards?
As the name suggests, it is a floor that entirely made of wood, preferably hardwood. Timber has always been used as a favourite flooring material of most homeowners because of its beauty, durability, and beauty. And now that timber floors have become a bit more affordable than they were before, a lot of people are considering changing their floors.
Why are they so popular?
It is easy to clean – Unlike carpets, it is easy to clean timber floors. You do not have to vacuum it every day, just a light sweeping and the occasional mopping will do. Dust particles and pet hairs will not have anything to hold onto on smooth timber floors, this is great news for people with allergies. You also do not have to worry about stains when someone spills wine or juice on your floors as long as it is wiped up immediately.
It gets more beautiful as time passes – The great thing about having wood as a flooring material is that it can actually get more beautiful the older it gets. Even though there will be an occasional scratch or gouge on the surface of the floorboards, they add character to your home; and if you want to, you can always get a timber floor polishing come over to get rid of the damage and restore your floors to its original beauty.
It is beautiful – Timber floors come in many different shades and colors, you just need to choose the one that suits your fancy and fits in with the décor of the room; whatever kind of wooden flooring you get, you can be sure that it will only enhance the beauty of your home if anything else.
How are they installed?
Some methods for installing timber flooring includes nailing down, stapling, adhesives, or floating.
Pros and cons of timber flooring
Pros: A long-term investment, variety, ageless quality, hygienic, healthy air quality at home, better for babies, good acoustics, improves the value of your home, organic and easy installation.
Cons: Cost, prone to termite attack, avoid water contact, scratching, limited versatility/usage ie not used in bathroom, cupping, crowning, molds, noise and high maintenance.
Price Range for timber flooring
The cost of hardwood timber floorboards varies according to the species and grade of timber chosen. Expect to pay:
• $50 per square metre for low grade timber with lots of knots and imperfections
• $55 to $80 per square metre for mid-grade timber with some imperfections
• $100 to $150+ per square metre for timber with the few or no defects
In terms of the species you choose, standard grade overlay Jarrah, for example can cost approximately 20-25 percent more than a more readily available timber like Blackbutt or Tassie Oak. Cypress Pine, Brushbox or Spotted Gum are generally cheaper and more popular.
For individual species, expect to pay:
• $65 per square metre for Blackbutt
• $72 per square metre for Jarrah
• $85+ per square metre for Ironbark
• $90 per square metre for Bamboo
• $150+ per square metre for parquetry
Note that these prices are indicative only, and will vary depending on where you live, how much preparation is involved and the complexity of the job. You will also need to ask if sealing/oiling is included in the price.
Which variety of wood is best and most durable?
As far as durability goes, hardwoods such as oak, maple and cherry, are among the most durable species, making them ideal for long-lasting looks in a busy household. However, they also the more expensive wood flooring choices. If you are on a budget, go for a softer species, such as pine. Most popularly, engineered timber flooring is a universally versatile product making it a competitive and more affordable option.
Can you DIY or do you need to hire a professional?
Most flooring installation projects can be done as a DIY project, but some may require a professional, and making the right choice can save you a lot of time and money. First determining how the flooring will be installed depends on several factors. Type of material, size of space, the primary use of space, are some determining factors. You will also make to make sure the type of flooring you are installing will match your furniture, walls, and décor, and that you will not change your mind later.
There have been huge advancements in the construction of hardwood floors. These technological advances have made many types of hardwood floors easier to install. In fact, most wooden floorboards suppliers can work with customers to find out just how much work they really want to do on their own. For instance, you can order wood floors that are pre-finished, so there is no need to finish or seal the floor before or after installation. Or alternative, you can research the different ways to install, such as tongue and groove. These installation alternatives can be explored at places like Bunnings also. In fact, factory-finished floors can be installed straight out of the box. Because of these types of advancements, it is easier than ever to install a hardwood floor yourself.
What is engineered timber flooring?
Engineered timber flooring is a timber flooring that has been designed and manufactured specifically to be used for flooring, so it is a very stable alternative to solid timber floors.
Typically made from three layers - a top layer (usually of a more expensive hardwood), a core layer (hardwood, plywood or HDF), and a backing layer - which are pressed together in opposing directions to create a single board.
It is a very universal product that can be installed over all types of subfloors, and this has made it a very popular flooring choice. It is a strong and durable product, and it is easier to install than solid timber. It is also more affordable than solid timber flooring, but can still give you the same look and feel. Engineered timber flooring allows for a lot more variety of floorboards to be available than ever before because exotic species and rich colours can be simulated using oils, heat, and pressure.
What is laminate flooring?
Vinyl and laminate flooring can have a timber flooring look and feel, without the price tag of proper timber. But, unlike engineered timber which uses real timber on the top layer, laminate uses a photo of timber for its top layer, and vinyl uses a plastic formed to look like wood. Bamboo flooring is another popular alternative - technically a grass, it is very strong and durable, and is often called a hardwood material. It is also environmentally friendly since bamboo is incredibly fast growing.
Are there different styles wood can be laid in
Yes, some of these styles include herringbone, chevron, mosaic, parquetry, cheverny, and more.
5. Solid timber
Solid timber is made from solid hardwood planks.
Pros/Cons: If it is thick enough, it can be used as a structural floor, while thinner overlay timber flooring is installed over a structural subfloor. All solid timber flooring is fixed to the subfloor and most is sanded and coated on site.
4. Engineered timber
Engineered flooring consists of a layer of real timber veneer laid over a supporting board, commonly plywood. The veneer layer varies in thickness from about 1-6 millimetres.
Pros/Cons: Engineered timber boards can be fixed onto a subfloor with adhesive or floated on a foam underlay (the latter can be installed over existing floors, such as tiles). Most engineered timber comes pre-finished, which means that it’s quicker to install than solid timber.
3. Laminate flooring
Laminate flooring is made from multiple layers of pressed wood topped with a photo image of timber that is then covered with a layer of clear, tough melamine plastic.
Pros/Cons: Laminate flooring is very stable and can provide a highly wear-resistant surface. The latest styles are specially textured to mimic real timber.
Laminate is installed as a floating floor on a foam underlay. It requires no sanding or coating and is quick to install.
2. Bamboo flooring
Bamboo is technically a type of grass, but often gets grouped with timber floors. It is hard-wearing and comes in a range of colours.
Choose from ‘strand-woven’ bamboo flooring, where strands or strips of bamboo are fused together to create a board, or laminate or engineered flooring styles.
Pros/Cons: Most bamboo floors are floated over a foam underlay. Consideration is often needed to accommodate seasonal shrinkage and swelling.
1. Parquet flooring
Parquetry is made up of small pieces of solid timber that are laid as flooring. The width of a piece is a multiple of the length and this allows a wide range of different patterns to be created.
Pros/Cons: Australian block parquetry is commonly 260 x 65 millimetres in size, where the length is four times the width. Larger pieces are generally laid piece by piece. Smaller ‘finger’ parquetry often comes on a backing sheet to speed up installation time.