Timber flooring has become popular as an ecofriendly option in Australia. There are different varieties of wooden flooring available in the market in different price ranges and quality.
Types of timber flooring in Australia
When you start looking for wooden flooring, these are the common options that you will find in the market.
Solid hardwood flooring
As the name suggests, a hardwood floor is made of planks that are cut out directly from a tree. Each piece of wood on a hardwood floor would be made from solid lumber. This natural flooring option comes in a wide variety of finishes including oiled and lacquered wood. If you want to stain and finish the wood according to your personal taste, opt for the unfinished wood option which can be finished later.
It is better to choose a hardwood timber flooring species in person because the look and feel of hardwood may vary even if it has the same name. Bear in mind that not all Australian hardwoods are really hard. If the tree is young, even if it comes from a hardwood species, it may not make for great flooring. The hardness of the timber is indicated by its Janka rating. The higher the rating, the harder the timber. Ironbark and Spotted Gum are in the top tier with a Janka rating of 14 and 11. Blackbutt falls in the middle with 9.1, and Tassie Oak with 5.5 is in the next level. But these are all hardwood.
These are some of the common hardwood options that are available in Australia:
Blackbutt – straight grain and pale brown in colour
Blue gum – red brown with either straight or somewhat interlocked grain
Brush box – interlocked grain and reddish brown
Grey gum – interlocked grain with a rich red colour
Forest red – interlocked grain and red in colour
Red ironbark – interlocked grain with a dark red colour
Turpentine – interlocked grain with reddish brown colour
Jarrah – interlocked grain with a dark red tinge
Western Australian Karri – interlocked grain with reddish brown colour
Spotted gum – variable grain with dark brown colour
Southern blue gum – interlocked grain with a pale brown colour
When you buy hardwood floors, do not buy by just looking at the brochure or samples. You will need to personally check the planks because even if the timber comes from a certain species, it may not always be exactly the same in terms of grain, colour, milling, maturity, and quality.
Engineered or composite wood flooring
Engineered wood is also 100% wood except that instead of a single solid piece of wood, it will contain thin layers of solid wood glued and pressed together to form a thick plank. Composite wood flooring has a significant advantage of being more affordable than a solid hardwood floor, but from the surface it looks exactly the same. The structural stability of a composite floor is also a huge advantage if you’re looking for affordable wood flooring options that will last you a long time.
A composite wood floor can be finished with a top layer of your choice. So you get exactly the same look and feel as a solid hardwood floor, but at a lesser cost.
Laminated wooden flooring
Laminated wood floors are not actual wood, but medium density fibre boards or MDF which are made from sawdust and a bonding agent, glued together under intense pressure and dried mechanically. A laminated wooden floor is the most economical option that is available in the wooden flooring market.
No matter what your specific requirements and budget are, you will definitely find a suitable wooden floor option in the market. No matter which option you choose, you’re guaranteed to derive significant joy from the newly laid wood floor in your house.