What you should ask yourself before buying a timber Floor Issues with timber floors
WANT A TIMBER FLOOR – DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST:
It is important that as a buyer of Timber floors, you research what floors you are going to purchase, you need to understand the issues of a natural product and what you’re expectations are. You need to think long term and research before you buy on what your floors will look like & what to expect in ten / twenty years’ time.
Timber Floors are an amazing asset to any home, they are beautiful, natural & have their own character & personality, but as a natural product, one needs to be aware that they cannot be perfect, especially over time as they change due to age, environmental & climatic conditions.
TIMBER VARIATION IN COLOUR: if you are concerned about variation, then research what timbers species have the least variation, also understand that your floors will oxidise and darken over time.
LOOKING FOR A PERFECT FLOOR: That’s not going to happen, Timber is a natural product it is a living product and is subject to all the environmental conditions, it will expand, it will shrink, it can cup, you may get the odd squeak, it will fade in direct sunlight.
DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF FLOOR YOU ARE GOING TO GO WITH: SOLID VERSUS ENGINEERED
SOLID TIMBER: solid are not as diametrical stable when compared to an engineered floor, you will get a lot more movement, you will get greater gaps with changes in weather.
ENGINEERED FLOORS: are far more forgiving and more stable, with very little movement and fewer gaps showing during weather changes.
HARDNESS: SOLID VERSUS ENGINEERED: both the same as they are both real hardwood timbers
NOT SURE ABOUT HARDNESS: talk to a Timber Expert before selecting your timber
DENTS: both Solid & Engineered perform the same, however different species have different hardness factors, you need to research these, if this is your concern.
SCRATCHES: both will scratch the same, however the Engineered has a harder coating as they are prosed in a factory, the coatings used are mostly Ceramic Aluminium Oxide which normally would carry a twenty five year warranty
MAINTENANCE: both are natural products & have to be maintained & cleaned the same way, today the recognised cleaning method for Timber floors is the Mist spray Method and then wipe with a Micro Fibre Mop.
SURFACE FINISHES: you can get a Satin or a Natural Finish, this is a personal choice, the Natural Finish does show less marks on the floor.
FADING: do your homework, your floors Solid or Engineered will fade in direct Sunlight, research on how to protect from Fading.
METHODS OF INSTALLATIONS: there are many methods, the two most popular are GLUE-DOWN, this method is slightly more expensive but has many benefits over a Floating Method. FLOATING, again this is cheaper and may suit your budget, do your research first, you are spending a lot of Money do it right the first time.
WIDTHS OF TIMBERS: there are many widths available, today even the narrow boards are a lot wider than what they used to be 20 years ago, Wider boards look less busy in larger areas, again this is a personal choice.
FIXING SYSTEMS: Tongue & Groove is The preferred Type for PROFFESIONALS, this system over click we believe is far superior, Each join is Glued using a D3 PVA Adhesive, the adhesive creates a water resistant seal, stops floors from squeaking when walked on, feels better to walk on. The Click system can squeak & you can expect more movement underfoot as the boards are not glued at the joints.
GRADING OF TIMBERS: check before you buy, always look at a big area, it is crazy to make such a large decision and investment from two or three boards, all species are different some have more knots, wilder grain, you must see the floor in a larger area before making a final decision.
PETS: floors coated with Ceramic Aluminium Oxide are pretty durable, in most case these are pretty Pet Resistance, however if you have a soft species of timber, such as Hevea or even Tassi Oak, these species can be easily dented, particularly with younger larger dogs, more so when they are younger and tend to run on the floor, they will grip-in to the floor& can scratch & even dent the floors.