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What Is Solid Timber Flooring?

A solid timber floor is a traditional style hardwood floor which is a solid piece of wood all the way through. This style was more common in older houses all around Australia as the Sub floor now it can be glued and nailed direct to concrete.

Solid timber floor typically comes as a raw product (appose to pre-finished) meaning after the boards are laid the installer will also need to sand and seal the whole area. Solid timber flooring looks amazing, ages well and can be re-sanded and sealed numerous times which makes it a great long-term option.

Solid timber flooring will expand in humid conditions and contract in dryer periods. For a manufacturer there is a true art in making the perfect solid timber floorboard. To minimize the expansion and contraction after installation the wood must be kiln dried and aged to achieve a perfect moisture level in the wood.

True masters of flooring manufacturing will always use a process called acclimatization to age and balance the timber to reduce movement once installed.

If the wood is dried too much, or too fast, it will become brittle and lose its aesthetic appeal. On the other hand, if there is too much moisture in the board it will expand and contract. The problem with board expansion is it forces the boards to push against each other causing them to rise or cup. When boards contract they can shrink leaving large gaps in your floor.

Even after this rigorous process of treating the wood you will still need to acclimatise the floorboards to the environment where they have been laid. This process is known as E.M.C (Equilibrium Moisture Content). When installing solid timber flooring in your home you should leave the floorboards after they are installed for a minimum of 2 weeks to further adapt to the relative humidity of your location.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Premium look and feel
  • Very smooth surface with no joining edges
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Less susceptible to termites
  • Ages gracefully
  • Very warm feel for your home
  • Can be sanded and sealed multiple times
  • Can last a long time

Cons

  • Coating isn’t as hard as pre-finished
  • Less sustainable to the log resource
  • Takes up to 4 weeks to install, sand & seal
  • Repair and replacement may require a full sand and seal
  • Typically nailed to the ground
  • Not suitable for pre-finished

What Is Engineered Timber Flooring?

An engineered timber floor is a multi-layered floor composed of a timber veneer or lamination surface layer sitting on a cheaper substrate of ply, pine or rubber wood.

The top layer of timber is generally thin (3mm – 4mm), making it easier to age and condition the wood, drastically reducing the expansion and contraction. Without having to worry as much about the humidity issues the manufacturer can create a pre-finished floorboard which doesn’t require any sanding or polishing after installation. With an engineered floor you can have the wood delivered, laid and it’s finished.

But how long will my engineered floor last?

This will depend a lot on how the floor is installed. A lot of companies will float an engineered floor on an underlay which means they stick the boards together but there’s nothing holding the floor to the ground. This is an easy way to install a floor, but it restricts you from sanding and re-sealing the floor in the future. You can’t sand and re-seal a floating floor. Engineered Timber Flooring can also be glued done which makes it a more solid sounding floor and in most cases enables it to be re-sanded & re-sealed.

Engineered timber flooring does have some design benefits. It’s hard to find a solid timber floorboard that’s any wider than 130mm, purely because the wider and thicker the board is the harder it is to keep it from expanding. With an engineered timber floor, you can create much wider planks exposing more of the wood’s natural textures. Wider boards will give your home an open plan look and makes it feel more spacious.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can be cheaper than solid timber
  • Quick and cleaner installation process
  • Doesn’t need to acclimatise before installation
  • More stylistic variations available

Cons

  • Doesn’t age gracefully
  • Not as durable
  • Cheaper wood underneath isn’t as strong as hardwood
  • Can’t sand and polish if it’s a floating floor
  • Maybe more susceptible to termites and white ants
  • Sounds cheap and hollow to walk on if installed as a floating floor

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Unit 2/24 Burler Drive Vasse WA 6280

Phone: (08) 9754 2038

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