However, there are many different types of timber floors to choose from, and it can become confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Solid, hardwood floors made from new or recycled timber are traditional and remain popular, however floating and engineered floorboards and parquetry are also great options.
Remember to choose a reputable company which offers a reliable warranty, and consider the lifelong design of the house, as well as current trends.
Solid timber floors
This handsome and traditional floor covering is truly timeless, and with proper upkeep, will look great for the lifetime of your home. This type of floor is usually built on bearers and joists, but a concrete slab can be worked around as well. Because moisture can warp the shape of wood, the timber will need to acclimatise at the building site for weeks, to avoid changes in its shape after installation. Exposure to moisture hereafter can also alter the shape of the wood.
There are many things to consider when choosing a type of timber. Softwoods like oak have long been used in flooring, but hardwood is better wearing, especially for high traffic areas. Timber is available on a scale of hardness, where types of wood are rated by numbers. Softwood like oak can also provide a matte finish, which has a more worn aesthetic. The ‘grade’ of the wood refers to the amount of natural characteristics visible in each slab. Rustic look timber has the most amount of knots and veins, while a more classic floorboard has the least.
Colour largely depends on the species of wood used, and generally falls within blonde, red, or brown. Jarrah is red, for example, while Blackbutt surprisingly is a blonde. Recycled timber flooring is a huge trend at the moment due to the popularity of industrial chic style, and the higher demand for wood- causing environmental concerns. Recycled wood can actually cost much more than buying new, but its character and charm are always a worthy investment.
Floating, or engineered floorboards lie on top of a foam sheet and are held in place by each other. They are comprised out of layers of wood, with thinner slabs of the desired timber on top, which makes them cheaper than their solid timber counterparts. They are also more resistant to moisture, and as such can be wider and longer than solid timber without risk of warping. One of the best things about floating timber floors is that they come prefinished, so they can be installed and walked on straight away. Another clear benefit is their insulation, which reduces noise and is as such especially useful in apartments.
Parquet timber floors resemble wooden tiles, pieced together to make a geometric pattern. Typically seen in herringbone, the design can comprise of different species of timber, or form a more uniform appearance. The fact that it is made from small timber offcuts makes it an appealing choice financially and environmentally. Like floating floors, it is prefinished, and it is also assembled when it arrives.
Use our home improvement directory to find a timber flooring specialist in your area.