In homes, timber flooring has become more popular than ever. This is due to the aesthetic appeal and durability they provide. But are they the right option for your home?
Engineered timber flooring are a practical and popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners. But if you’re going for a luxurious feel, nothing can substitute for the real deal. Let’s take a look at what to look for when choosing timber flooring.
Variations of Timber Flooring in Sydney
- 80mm x 19mm
- 85mm x 19mm
- 130mm x 19mm
There are some variations in certain boards and styles. They may be narrower, thinner, or wider.
Timber Moisture Content
There should be between 9% to 14% moisture content in timber flooring Sydney homes. But, it’s recommended to use timber with a moisture content of between 10% to 14%. There may be some circumstances where timber needs to first be acclimatized to conditions. But it is usually only for areas with extreme temperature variations.
Grade of Timber
Timber is usually available in three different grades. It’s determined by the appearance of the wood’s natural characteristics. Which includes insect holes, gum vein, surface checks, and any other natural marks.
The three grades are A, B, and C. Grade A represents the highest quality timber. It’s generally used for exposed cladding and top-class joinery. There are subdivided grades within Grade A from A1 to A4. In construction, Grade B is the most used grade, and Grade C is often used in packaging.
Boards of the same species may vary in markings and colours. This is because timber is a natural product.
Timber changes colour when exposed to natural light. Over time, areas which receive more light may become darker or lighter than other areas of the floorboards.
Timber flooring in Sydney has variable moisture content. This means it will move over time, as it adapts to changing humidity in the local environment.
During low humidity, the floorboards will release moisture, and they will shrink. When this happens, it may lead to gaps appearing in the floor. But, during high humidity, the floor expands, and the gaps will close.
Professional flooring installation experts allow for natural floor movement. They install flooring based on natural moisture levels based on your location.
Cupping occurs when the top of floorboards become drier than the bottom of floorboards. This is due to timber shrinking when it loses its moisture and expanding when it absorbs more moisture.
Causes of cupping include:
- Dampness under the floor. This makes the bottom of the floorboards collect moisture at a faster rate than they can release it.
- Low humidity caused by very dry weather, heaters, or air conditioners drying out the top of the timber. The floorboards may also dry out from sunlight through a window.
- The wider the floorboard is, the more noticeable the cupping might appear. To reduce the visual effect of cupping, it’s recommended to run the timber towards the main source of light.
Important: If cupping appears, do not sand a floor flat. Try to first address the causes listed above. If it is unable to be fixed, then by waiting between 12 and 18 months, the cupping may disappear on its own. If it still hasn’t after this time, then sanding the floor flat may be a solution. If you sand the floor too soon, the cupping may then fix itself. This would lead to reverse cupping.
It’s common for most timber flooring to make a creaking sound every so often. Usually, it occurs after extreme weather changes. It’s also likely to happen if the floor hasn’t been walked on for a long time.
A new floor also will make a creaking sound until it is set. Have you noticed the floor is always creaking in a certain area? Then it may need a timber flooring Sydney specialist to look at it.
Timber flooring will continue to move throughout its life based on atmospheric conditions. Because of it, you should only use products which let the boards move independently of each other.
It’s recommended not to use polyurethane or any other solutions which may cause bonding of the edges. Instead, you should use oil-based seals, water-based products, and conversion varnishes. They allow free movement of timber floorboards. Whereas polyurethane will bond edges of floorboards together. This could lead to 4 or 5 boards being glued together. If this happens, it will cause large gaps appearing on each side of the glued together boards.
What Timber Flooring Sydney Should You Choose?
When you select timber floorboards, there are two things to consider. How durable the floorboards are, and also the aesthetic finish of them. It’s important to select your flooring option carefully. Doing so makes sure that you choose floorboards which are timeless, long-lasting, and visually appealing.
Durability is the most important factor. Australian hardwoods such as spotted gum, blackout, and jarrah are very resilient. They can withstand daily wear-and-tear in high traffic areas. Australian hardwoods are also less likely to dent compared to other floorboards.
The method of installation is as important as the durability of the wood. It may be more affordable to glue timber boards directly onto concrete. But it offers less durability. Instead, you should use interlocking tongues and grooves which are supported on lengths of parallel timber. Not only does it offer better ventilation. It also makes the floor more stable due to air being beneath and above the flooring.
For the floor’s appearance, grain, width, and colour all alter a room’s appearance. The visual pattern and grain of wood depending on its origin, as well as the cutting method used.
Some timber has fine grains which look almost featureless. Whereas others have strong texture. It comes down to personal preference for the tone you prefer. Choosing site-finished timber floors instead of pre-finished ones will give you more control over the colour and stain. They also look more authentic.
For the width of the floorboards, it comes down to your budget and your aesthetic preference. Wider floorboards are most popular, due to them making a space look larger. However, narrower floorboards are cheaper and easier to source.
For expert advice on timber flooring, and a no-obligation measure and quote, contact Capitol Carpets today on (02) 6188 7452, or contact us.