Tips When Choosing A Timber Floor

  • Size: Typically most hardwood flooring is available in either 80/85x19mm, 130x19mm boards. Some boards can be obtained in thinner, wider or narrower sizes.
  • Moisture content of timber: Timber flooring should be supplied between 9 and 14% moisture content. For most locations in Adelaide it is recommended that the moisture content of timber should be between 10 to 12%. Under certain circumstances timber may need to be acclimatized to site conditions.
  • Grades: Most timber species are available in two grades. The grade of timber relates to the appearance of the natural characteristics of the wood, such as gum vein, insect holes, surface checks and other natural marks. It should be noted that as timber is a natural product even boards of the same species will differ in color and markings.
  • Australians Grade: Particularly popular due to its rich appearance accentuated by more gum veins, spirals, shakes and marks left by forest insects. Australians grade timber ensures no two pieces are the same providing more natural look and feel to the floor.
  • Select Grade: Generally clearer of markings than Australians grade, however, some gum vein, surface checks etc will still be evident. This grading is more suited to customers who require a more contemporary look.
  • Natural Grade: For those who want a very rugged look to their floor, natural grade timber will provide all the natural markings but may also include some production faults such as holes, very large gum veins, miss milling etc. Natural Grade is not available in all timbers.
  • Color Variations: Wood is a natural product, dependent on soil, climate, local environment and other natural occurrences for its color and character. Color variations should be expected and a part of the natural beauty of timber floors. The final color or extremes of color are often undiscernible until after the timber has been sanded and polished.
  • Color Changes: Timber will change its color when exposed to natural light. You might find areas that are receiving more light will be darker or lighter than other areas.
  • Movement: As timber flooring is a Hygroscopic product (variable moisture content) it will move as it adapts to changes of humidity in its local atmosphere. In times of low humidity your boards will expel moisture and shrink, this may cause gaps to appear in the floor, however in times of high humidity the floor will expand and gaps may close. Floorcraft allows for the natural movement of floors and will install your according to location and natural moisture levels.
  • Cupping: Cupping can be described as a “dish-like” effect resulting when the top of the boards become drier than the bottom of the boards. When timber loses moisture it shrinks and when it pickups moisture it expands. Possible causes are:
    1. Dampness under the floor causing the bottom of the boards to pick up moisture faster than it can be expelled.
    2. An onset of very dry weather (low humidity), air conditioners or heaters drying out the timber from the top or sunlight through a window which may also dry out the top of the boards.
    3. The wider the board the more exaggerated the cupping can appear. It is a good idea to run the timber towards the main light source to minimize the visual effect of cupping.
    4. Note: Do not automatically sand a floor flat to remove cupping. Preferably address the cause but if it cannot be fixed then wait for 12 -18 months and see if the cupping dissipates. If not then you may possibly sand the floor flat. If you sand too early and the cause is later resolved you may experience reverse cupping.
  • Creaking: Most timber floors will make a creaking noise from time to time. It will usually happen after extreme weather changes or if a floor has not been walked on for some time. A new floor will make a creaking sound until it has “settled”. If the floor consistently creaks in a particular area it may need some attention.
  • Finishing: Floorcraft use and recommend the use of oil based seals, conversion varnishes and some water based products. We do not recommend the use of polyurethane or other products that may cause edge bonding. As timber flooring continues to move throughout its life due to changes in atmospheric conditions, we advise the use of products that allow the boards to move independently of one and other. Oil based seals, conversion varnish and some water based seals will allow free movement of the boards whereas polyurethane often bonds the edges of the boards together which may result in 4 or 5 boards being glued tightly together and excessive gaps appearing on either side of those boards.