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The Timber Floor Centre - Quality Flooring Since 1996!

1. What is the main difference between solid timber flooring, engineered timber flooring and laminate flooring?
   Solid timber (hardwood) flooring is made from one plank and is solid timber all the way through, with no engineering or gluing, whereas engineered timber flooring is made .
2. Can timber flooring be installed anywhere in a house?
   Solid timber (hardwood) flooring is made from one plank and is solid timber all the way through, with no engineering or gluing, whereas engineered Timber flooring can be installed anywhere in a house except for bathrooms, laundry rooms or other rooms where water is an issue. Water can cause expansion and contraction of timber floors.Can I install a hardwood floor if I have pets? Yes. Many homeowners with timber floors have pets. But be aware that timber floors are not really built to withstand the wear and tear pets may cause. Pets with claws can scratch the floor. If they urinate on the floor, the chemicals in the urine can permanently discolor the floor. To remove the damage caused by pets, the floor must be sanded and refinished.
3. Are timber floors hypoallergenic and healthy?
   Timber floors do not collect dust and allergens and are far healthier for your indoor environment than carpeting.
4. Which installation method is best?
   The best installation method depends on the type of subfloor you have. Installation options include glue down and secret nail down and floating. Floating involves attaching the floor planks to an underlay, rather than removing it and attaching it to the actual subfloor.
5. Can I install timber floor myself?
   Some laminate, engineered and bamboo flooring click together without glue and easy installation method is suitable for DIY customers. Solid timber floors may need extra care, so we recommend professional installation. Other factors such as the condition of your subfloor may also require a professional installation.
6. How much flooring do I need?
   To figure out how much flooring you need to buy, you just need to know the area of the floor you want to cover and then add at least 5% extra for wastages use.
7. What accessories will I need if I install myself?
   For most installations, an underlay with a moisture barrier is recommended. This will provide a softer underfoot feel and keep moisture from seeping up from the subfloor concrete. You also need matching trims and moldings.
8. Do solid timber or bamboo floors need expansion joints?
   Yes. All flooring continually expands and contract with the different seasons. If no allowances are made for this movement, the results can be catastrophic.
9. Can I refinish my floor if it gets damaged?
   Solid timber floors can be restored to their original beauty many times by sanding and refinishing. Engineered timbers have only a thin veneer which can be sanded one or two times. Laminate timber floor cannot be sanded and refinished.
10. Do I need to remove my skirting boards before I lay the floor?
   Not necessary unless you wish not to have quad around skirting board, because We can provide a neat quad or beading to run around the edge of the flooring.
11. I have a concrete subfloor; can I cover with solid timber?
   Certainly, the best way to install 15 to 22 mm thick T&G solid timber floor on concrete is to anchor down a 12mm ply base on which the floorboards are secret nailed.
12. What type of underlay should I chose?
   We carry different quality underlay to suit. For instance, normal grade can be used for houses and acoustic – which comes in specific ratings – for apartment units.
13. Do I need to leave an expansion gap when I am installing timber or bamboo flooring?
   Yes. Timber / bamboo is a natural product, movement is expected over time and should be accounted for. We recommend leaving an 8-12mm space between the end of the surface and the wall. This will allow the wood to swell without affecting the floor structure and structure of the building.
14. Will my subfloor need preparation?
   This will depend on the condition of the subfloor, as Australian building standard is a deviation of no more than 3mm below two high points in a slab within 3 meter length.
15. Will my subfloor need preparation?
   Minimise the accumulation of dust, grit and sand by vacuuming or sweeping the floor regularly. Doing this will prevent the floor from receiving scratches, and it will help maintain its finish. Another good habit to get into is to clean spills and spots up immediately using a damp cloth or mop. Avoid using solvent based or abrasive cleaners on timber and bamboo flooring, and also try not to walk on the surface with spike or stiletto heels.
16. Are there any other care tips to retain my floor’s quality?
   We always suggest using rugs and mats in entrance ways as this helps to trap the dirt and stops it spreading around your home. Minimise the sunlight directly hitting the surface by installing curtains or blinds over your windows. Support any furniture or heavy appliances that will be sitting on the floor for long periods of time with wide-bearing, non-staining glides or castors, and if you have pets keep their nails trimmed.
17. Would the use of air conditioning and heating affect my beautiful timber / bamboo floor?
   It depends on how they are used. Always bear in mind that maintaining a reasonably stable indoor temperature and humidity range is very important to the timber and bamboo flooring. Don’t use air conditioning and heating excessively as both would reduce the indoor humidity significantly, dry out the timber / bamboo floor and cause excessive movement of the subject flooring. It is a good habit to open doors and windows regularly to allow for fresh air coming into the room with timber / bamboo flooring maintaining a reasonable humidity level.
18. Does it cost any more for staircases?
   Yes it does. It depends on the type of structure and design your staircase is, whether the steps are standard, extra wide or long, open ended, kite steps, curved or tread steps. Also the type of timber you require and whether you want straight edged or bull nosing on your steps, theses all need to be taken into account.
19. IS ALL BAMBOO FLOORING ALIKE?
   No. Although it may all look the same, quality from different manufacturers and suppliers will differ greatly. The quality of the finished product is highly dependent on the quality of the raw materials used in the manufacture of the flooring and also the manufacturing process itself.
20. Does it cost any more for staircases?
   Yes it does. It depends on the type of structure and design your staircase is, whether the steps are standard, extra wide or long, open ended, kite steps, curved or tread steps. Also the type of timber you require and whether you want straight edged or bull nosing on your steps, theses all need to be taken into account.
21. Are there different grades of bamboo flooring?
   Bamboo floorboards like everything else; you do get what you pay for. Although the floorboards may look similar in some cases, they may not be of the same quality.
22. Does a bamboo floor scratch?
   A bamboo floor is very hard and resistant, in comparison to a timber floor. Bamboo flooring is 70% harder than wood flooring, but note that all surfaces scratch if scratched by a harder material.
23. Do high heels indent a Timber or Bamboo floor?
   An indent depends on many factors. Even steel can be dented. It all depends on the pressure exerted at that moment.
24. Can bamboo be refinished?
   Yes. Most bamboo can be sanded and recoated up to 3-4 times depending on the wear and tear over time.
25. Can I use bamboo flooring in a bathroom?
   Although bamboo flooring is much more moisture resistant than other types of hardwood and laminate flooring the possibility of moisture ingress compromising the integrity of the boards or the bond to the substrate is too high in a bathroom environment for it to be used safely. Bamboo flooring is certainly suitable for a kitchen environment which is only subject to incidental spills and splashes.
26. What is a laminate flooring AC rating?
   AC hardness ratings are a standardized measure adopted by The Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF) . The AC measure rates abrasion resistance, impact resistance, resistance to staining and cigarette burns, and thickness swelling along edges. If a laminate flooring cannot meet the requirements for each of these ratings, approval for a given AC rating will be denied. All laminate flooring distributed by BuildDirect has a minimum punishment class of 23 for residential use (heavy) and 31 for commercial use (moderate), or an AC3 rating. AC ratings 4 and 5 are equally suitable for residential use as AC3 but somewhat more suitable for high traffic commercial applications. AC ratings below 3 are recommended for low traffic residential use only. Here is a more detailed guide: AC1 is suitable for lighter, more infrequent traffic, e.g. a bedroom. AC2 is suitable for general residential use in living rooms and dining rooms. AC3 can be applied to more varied locations, such as small offices and other light commercial location. AC4 can be installed in higher traffic commercial areas such as boutiques, busier offices, and restaurant. AC5 is more durable still and can withstand the traffic of heavier commercial areas such as department stores and public buildings.
27. What are the advantages of laminate flooring over those of solid hardwood flooring?
   One obvious advantage is that of price; laminate flooring is typically half the cost of traditional hardwood flooring. Sometimes the savings are even greater, depending on the types of flooring in question. Laminate flooring is generally designed to be scratch-resistant and fade resistant, two areas where solid hardwood flooring is known to be more vulnerable.
28. What is HDF and what is it made of?
   High density fiberboard, HDF, is basically a high-density, moisture-resistant fiber panel. It is made of wood residues (sawdust, shavings and wood chips) from wood processing factories. This ligneous material is ground into a pulp to which a melamine-urea-formaldehyde resin is added. This pulp is then dried and pressed into panels.
29. Can I sanding and polishing Laminate flooring?
   You must never wax or polish a laminate floor.