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Choosing Timber Floors as Residential or Commercial Flooring Options

Timber floors, as residential or commercial flooring options, have always held sway amongst many home and establishment owners because of their timeless and classic appeal. They are not only beautiful, but they are also extremely durable and can last for a very long time if taken cared of properly. When it comes to timber floors, there are certainly many options available for residential and commercial property owners to choose from. However, before committing to having one installed, be sure to familiarize yourself first with the different factors and considerations that must be taken in the choosing and purchasing of timber floors.

Wood Grade

One of the common terms you’d hear when talking about timber flooring is the ‘grade.’ This term actually refers to the characteristics of the timber which includes the following:

·         Type of grain

·         Colour variations

·         Quantity of the knots

·         Size of the knots

These characteristics influence the overall look of the timber floor. For instance, a timber grade with large knots and several cracks here and there will likely be most suitable for those who are looking for a charming yet rustic appeal, while those who are looking for more formal and elegant commercial floors might want a clean, straight grained timber flooring option.

Hardness of the Wood

Another consideration is the ‘hardness’ of the wood or timber to be used in the floors. With regards to this consideration, timber flooring options are generally categorized into two: hardwood floors and softwood floors.

‘Softwood’ is considered to be easier to work with in general, mainly because it has lower density levels compared to hardwood, and they are also cheaper options and perfect for homeowners or property owners who are working on a strict budget. Softwood includes pine wood, cedar wood, spruce, and fir.

On the other hand, ‘hardwood’ are much denser and (as the name implies) much harder than the above mentioned types of wood. Some examples of hardwood flooring options include oak, mahogany and teak. Needless to say, these types of flooring options are much more expensive than softwood and are thus more suitable as options for commercial flooring in Sydney rather than in residences with smaller budgets.

 

Wood Style

Like commercial vinyl flooring, timber floors also come in different styles and trends, albeit in a much limited option compared to vinyl. In general, there are three styles and designs of timber floors.

·         Strips – These timber flooring options which are linear in design and comes in different widths of 1½”, 2¼”, and 3¼”. These are great options because they can help make a room look more spacious and larger.

·         Planks – These are pretty similar to strips in the sense that they are linear in design, but they come in wider widths, usually anywhere between 3” to 8”. There are wider options available, but there are concerns that the wider the plank, the more issues with moisture they tend to have.

·         Parquet – Parquet provides a geometric appeal and come in sizes of 5/16” and ¾” and can either be glued down or nailed.

There are also options where you can have timber floors to have a straight, flat surface in the joints or you can have grooves or micro bevels in them instead.

Surface Finish

When it comes to timber floors, you have two main options to choose from: Unfinished wood floors and pre-finished wood flooring.

Unfinished wood floors (as the name implies) are manufactured without any finishes. They can be solid wooden floors or engineered floors, but nonetheless, the finish is only applied on the site where they are installed. One negative thing about using these types of timber floors is that the installation can be really dusty due to the necessary sanding and finishing, tasks that typically take about a week to complete (depending on the amount of wood to be sanded and finished). On a side note, the dustiness can be minimised by using a dust containment system. After applying the finish (which can be oil or water based), the floor must be left untouched in order to give the finish enough time to cure. Items like floor covering in Brisbane might be necessary as well.

On the other hand, you can opt for pre-finished wood floors and comes for acrylic impregnated, engineered or solid wood types. These are actually the trend nowadays where hardwood floors are concerned. One reason why they are so popular is because of their nice and durable finish which is applied during the manufacturing process. Another reason is that they are easier and quicker to apply since no sanding and finishing is required, and may cost less given that lesser work is needed in the installation. The cost, still though would depend on the flooring contractor you choose to work with.

Budget

Timber flooring is one of the more expensive types of flooring options in the market (often costing way more than most vinyl flooring inSydney) which is why when choosing or buying a timber floor, you should always have and set a specific budget. For property owners on a budget though, there are some good timber flooring options which are affordable but still of good quality and beautiful at the same time. On this note, you should be careful when buying timber floors because there are unscrupulous individuals who will try to sell substandard timber floors. Before committing and putting any money down, be sure to compare prices, and if the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Type of Wood

Timber floors come in a variety of types as well. There are three main types of timber floors that homeowners and establishment owners can choose from.

Acrylic Impregnated Wood Floors – Because this type of wood flooring option is a super hard and very durable materials, this type of wood flooring option is most recommended for commercial establishments and other spaces where there is heavy foot traffic like common public areas. However, they can also be used in certain areas of the home like the kitchen. Here, the timber floor is injected with a special type of acrylic, and this process gives the timber floor more durability and strength.

Engineered Wood Floors – Engineered wood floors are those made of several layers of wood which are glued together. There are certain factors though that must be taken in order to ensure the durability of the resulting product, like the amount of pressure applied in the pressing process, the type of adhesive used, and the lay outing of the wood (where the wood grains are made to run in different directions in order to provide them with better stability). These types of wood floors are usually used in household areas where moisture is a constant concern, like the basement, kitchen, and powder rooms.

Solid Wood Floors – These types of wood floors are made from a single piece of solid wood unlike engineered wood floors. There are many options available when it comes to solid wood floors – from oak to maple to pine and many others. You can even have solid wood floors imported from other parts of the world (as is the case with exotic wood floors). To further make your solid wood floor appear more personal and customised, you can choose the type of color, stains, and finishes that the contractor will apply after installation.

Because of the toughness of timber floors, especially acrylic impregnated floors, they aren’t really suitable options for aged care flooring in Brisbane and other areas.

Care and Cleaning

If you are opting for wooden floors, be sure that you are aware of the different ways to clean and maintain them so that they don’t lose their appeal. Timber floors are considered to be very beautiful flooring options, and expensive at that, too, so you’ll need to take the time and effort necessary to keep them at such state. There are many products sold in the market today that can help you maintain your wood floor’s sheen and shine. You should apply wax and buff the floor at least once a week in order to keep it shiny, but for most of the time, a simply sweeping over it or going over it with a vacuum with ‘bare floor’ option should be enough. Be careful also to avoid walking one wooden floors with shoes that have gravel stuck underneath it since this will surely leave unsightly scratches on your beautiful timber floors. In this sense, they can be more challenging to maintain when compared to vinyl flooring in Brisbane, or vinyl flooring in general.

Moisture and Acclimation

Moisture can have an impact on timber floors, which is why you’ll need to take into consideration the average moisture in your home or commercial establishment. For instance, if your home has a relatively high moisture content, it can cause the timber floor to expand. Alternatively, if you live in a place that is pretty much dry for most of the time, then you will notice your timber floors shrink. There are standards and guidelines which can help you determine the right type of timber for your Sydney flooring for your property with regards to moisture, but it would be better to consult a flooring contractor who knows your area and its climate best.

Are You Looking for Quality Timber Floors?

Timber is an excellent flooring option, but in order to enjoy the benefits that such floor type brings, you’ll need to take all of the above mentioned factors into consideration when choosing and buying timber flooring. By doing so, you can be sure that you are getting the kind of timber flooring that you want and suits your property best. If you are looking for top of the line timber for commercialflooring in Brisbane and its surrounds, or for all your other flooring needs for your residential or commercial property, you can get in touch with us at 02 9899 6688 or at 07 3352 4888 or through our contact page. We’d be more than happy to assist you with all of your flooring needs.

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