Timber Flooring! It’s been a staple in interior design and architecture for centuries and it’s easy to see why! Timber flooring can lift a space in both property and aesthetic value, and it brings such an amazing texture into any space, with endless colour opportunities and layout options!
Timber flooring makes a beautiful addition to any space, however it’s important to know what to look for when shopping and to understand who you’re buying from and what to expect when it arrives! Timber flooring is generally expensive, so it’s important to have all the facts before giving out your hard-earned money! Below are a few key points to help you make your flooring purchase.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING TIMBER FLOORS
It’s important to know what to look for in a product and to know the right questions to ask! Always ask what grade the timber is – timber is graded alphabetically, which refers to the amount of knots, cracks and imperfections that are present. The higher the grade, the fewer knots and other imperfections present, which can eliminate a greater need for wastage, however if it’s knots you want a lower grade is my recommendation, just be aware that you may need to pay for a higher percentage of wastage.
Another important question to ask is to check how sustainable the boards are. Can the company tell you which country/region the boards have come from? There is illegal logging still occurring in some parts of the world. China and Russia are heavy offenders for this sort of behaviour, with a study in 2013, estimating that 80% of Russian hardwood exports are actually illegal, and a lot of this percentage is imported by China who then go on to make furniture and sell the products all over the world…so it’s not just your flooring that you should be concerned about! What you should have, is a guarantee that the flooring you buy is collected from an ethically controlled forest and that it complies with Australian Standards.
COLOUR AND MATERIAL
Colourways will be subject to different suppliers, however it is good to know that custom colours are available – for instance Porter’s Paints supply an Unfinished board which can then be painted in their Wood Wash – which is customisable to any colour you wish! Hot pink floors anyone?!
Be sure to check that the boards have UV protection and see what tests have been done to ensure you are getting the best product! All flooring must comply with the Australian CSIRO – for slip and fire resistance.
INSTALLATION AND CARE
Installation will depend on each floor, however the most popular (and the easiest) is the tongue and groove which just click in to each other and require either glue or nails or both. Making sure your existing floor is level is the most important part – all I’ll say is be sure you have a confident installer, and always ask for reviews and recommendations!
Cleaning timber flooring is easy, vacuum with a floor-brush attachment to prevent scratches or mop with a damp cloth – nothing too water heavy as you don’t want to water log your floors!! If life happens and stains appear – talk to a specialist or checkout the world wide web, I find Youtube is a great source as you can really see that the information works and that it isn’t a gag! If I could, I would also urge you to use sustainable products.
TIPS AND TRICKS
I suggest to ALWAYS get a sample to take home and look at within your space…in fact, depending on the size of the sample, I would suggest getting a few samples so that you can get a better idea of the colour variations in the timber, as it is a natural product.
As discussed above, ensure you have all the correct information about sourcing, slip and fire rating, and ask how the boards are tested.
Don’t pay for your measure and quote – whether this is provided by a supplier or installer the measure really should be free!