When it comes to selecting the flooring during building or renovation, a timber floor is often recommended as the best choice for many reasons.
A timber floor transforms a house into a home with its naturally warm vibe; additionally, timber floors, especially Australian hardwood timber flooring, offer a huge range as well as a broad choice of colours. Australian timber has a characteristic appearance not seen in timber from other sources, with the endless species ranging from Jarrah to Spotted Gum and Black Butt.
A high quality timber floor offers several advantages to the home: It’s not only tougher and more durable than most other flooring products, but also healthy, natural and easy to clean, unlike carpeted floors that only trap dirt and allergens and have a short lifespan. A quality timber floor can last more than 100 years and can be repurposed at end-of-life. A carpet floor will need to be replaced after an average lifecycle of 10 to 15 years.
Timber floors are also a more practical choice, especially when it comes to maintenance. Cleaning a timber floor is a relatively easy task, requiring an antistatic mop to collect dust and grit every week, and a damp mop every month using just mist water or a cleaning product approved by the coating company. Avoid wet mopping and steam mops to extend the life of the floor’s surface coating.
Following this simple cleaning regimen combined with using felt pads on furniture feet and mats at the entry to avoid deep scratches, will ensure longevity. At the most, the floor will just require a light scuff back and recoat after about 10 years.
Being naturally warm and attractive, timber floors help create a relaxing and comfortable environment, turning a house into a home.
Natural timber flooring is also an environment-friendly option as it’s not only more energy efficient than other surfaces but also uses less energy during production. Many Australian timber floors are sustainable as they are made using timber sourced from carefully managed Australian forests.
Timber stores carbon for life; by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, forests and wood products are helping mitigate climate change. A comparison of building materials will reveal that carbon emissions during timber production are less than 2 tonnes of CO² equivalent, while concrete equates to 12 tonnes, steel frames 11 tonnes and ceramic tiles 5 tonnes. Additionally, wood products break down naturally when disposed of, while carpet, vinyl or tiles will not.
A report by Planet Ark (Wood – Housing, Health, Humanity) reveals that wood delivers multiple benefits including enhancing a person’s emotional state and level of self-expression; reducing blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels; improving air quality through humidity moderation; and fighting climate change by storing carbon for life. Therefore, a timber floor is not just good for the home but also for the planet. Not surprisingly, timber flooring has a healthy 25 per cent share of the flooring market and is seeing steady growth in Australia.
A timber floor is an investment for a lifetime – it not only adds value to the home but also gives it character and life. A correctly installed timber floor will last forever.
This is where the Australian Timber Flooring Association (ATFA) can ensure your timber floor is sourced and laid correctly. The peak body for the timber flooring industry, ATFA is a member based association, which provides information and services to its members and the community. The ATFA is predominantly made up of timber flooring contractors, as well as timber flooring manufacturers, coating manufacturers, adhesive manufacturers and their suppliers.
Image: A timber floor transforms a house into a home with its naturally warm vibe