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The Timber Floor Centre - Quality Flooring Since 1996!

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FLOORBOARDS BOWING AND CROWNING

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 3:06:34 PM Australia/Melbourne

One of the biggest allures of engineered wood flooring is its resistance to damage from water and moisture, something that absolutely destroys the lifespan of a solid hardwood floor. Many homeowners can install engineered wood flooring in moisture rich spots like their kitchens, basements, or even bathrooms with sound peace of mind that it will not buckle or separate under most conditions. Therefore when an engineered wood floor does starts bowing, it can be a harrowing experience especially after a manufacturer gave their word that this exact thing would not happen. It’s important to look at the causes of engineered wood floors bowing to determine where the responsibility lies. Flooring Hasn’t Acclimated Engineered wood flooring can be stored a number of ways from in a heated sales floor to a moist warehouse to a cold delivery truck. Any and all of these storage conditions affect the equilibrium of the planks where they are either gaining or losing moisture. If the flooring goes straight from storage right to installation in your home, they are going to bow and buckle as they expand and contract to the conditions inside your home. Instead what is recommended on every type of wood flooring installation is to first let the boards acclimate to the temperature and humidity of the room where they are being installed. Acclimation involves leaving the wood flooring in the packaging that it was delivered in and letting it adjust to the room conditions for up to 5 days or more. The conditions inside your home should be 60° to 80° F with a relative humidity of 30-50%. This will give the engineered wood flooring boards a moisture content of 6-9% which is optimal conditions. Moisture content meter readings should be documented by the installer to check if the flooring is bowing because it was installed without acclimating. Lack of Expansion Gaps Around Edges / Floor “Locked In” Even when boards are allowed time to acclimate before installing, they will still expand and contract based on changes in the humidity as seasons and HVAC use change. There is an easy solve to prevent planks from bowing as the environment changes, which is leaving expansion gaps around the edges so that the flooring has room to expand into. When the size of the floor swells to bigger than the size of the room, the exterior walls aren’t going to give way – the middle of the flooring is going to bow. Another thing that can happen even with expansion gaps is the floors getting ‘locked in’ somewhere. This has happened with anything from a speaker wire preventing the expansion and contraction of the planks or a heavy piece of furniture keeping the floor in place. A floor only has to move about 3/8” as the humidity changes but when that is restricted problems can occur. No Vapor Barrier Installed / Subfloor High in Moisture Content Although engineered wood flooring is more dimensionally stable than traditional hardwood, it’s important to remember that it still isn’t tile. Even with engineered pieces the installation is still only as reliable as the subfloor underneath, especially on concrete slabs. Even if a slab feels dry, it should be given at least 30-60 days to curate before installing any type of engineered flooring on top. The concrete should achieve anywhere between a 35-50% relative humidity (depending on manufacturer guidelines) which should be tested and documented before the install. In addition an overlapped vapor barrier or some sort of floor underlayment should also be installed to create a buffer between the wood and the concrete. Despite it’s thickness, moisture seeps through the concrete and needs to avoid exposure to the wood flooring or buckling and bowing will occur. Excessive Moisture Exposure Somewhere When an engineered wood floor is installed over a concrete slap it’s understood that some moisture will be present so proper steps are taken to avoid damage. There are other areas of the home where moisture comes unexpected and can cause the floor to swell and buckle. This usually results from some sort of accident or leak, typically like a pipe that is exposing the floor to water on a regular basis in a bathroom or kitchen. There are other potential problem areas though, most commonly such as areas around a fireplace or flooring near a window that could be allowing water in during storms. Flooring Not Installed Another thing to note is that sometimes flooring is bowed or cupped slightly when taken out of the packaging. While this may seem like a manufacturing defect, many times the floor is designed to work as an entire system with other planks and thus will lie straight once snapped together with corresponding pieces. Installers may sometimes need to glue or weigh down the outside strips but otherwise the bowing should alleviate itself once installed. Sometimes the floor bowing problem caused by manufacturing defects and there is always that chance. Some flooring factory do not working on proper test on moisture/temperature control before gluing and pressing. The bowing flooring will have problem when doing lacquer coating finish, T&G profile and Installation. Diagnosis of crowning Has previously cupped flooring been sanded flat? Has the surface been exposed to water before finishing? Are there any sources of heat likely to cause drying? Was the moisture content of the flooring suitable for the conditions? On site diagnosis Drill two small holes through the flooring and using a moisture metre take readings from the sub-floor in order to ascertain whether there is excess moisture. Also take readings from a cross section of the flooring to see if there is a moisture content greater than expected. Solutions Where flooring has become crowned due to the sanding flat of cupped floor that has then dried out, sanding this flat again can provide the solution. Ensure that the bonding to the sub-floor, whether by flooring adhesive or secret nailing is still secure and consistent. Vertical movement and or creaking may be an indication of flawed sub-floor bonding. Loose boards can usually be fixed by drilling, face nailing then plugging or filling. Alternatively, if the flooring has been installed on a timber based, load bearing sub-floor that can be accessed from below such as, from a basement. Drill a pilot hole through the timber sub-floor and into the wood flooring itself and screw into the two layers to tighten down the flooring.
Comments | Posted By Akila Amarathunga

What are floor fire ratings?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2:28:55 PM Australia/Melbourne

Floors: ASTM E648 – This is the standard test method for critical radiant flux of floor-covering systems using a radiant heat energy source. The critical radiant flux of the flooring is determined by igniting it to see how far the flame spreads prior to self-extinguishing. The higher the number, the better the fire resistance. A Class 1 fire rating requires the number to be greater than 0.45 W/cm2. ASTM E662 – This is the standard test method for specific optical density of smoke generated by solid materials. The optical density is determined by the smoke generated when a sample is ignited. The lower the number, the better the fire resistance. Class 1 requires less than 450 Ds but can vary by local requirements for certain areas (means of egress, etc.) BENEFITS OF FIRE-RESISTANT FLOORS AND WALLS Fire-resistant flooring and wall systems reduce the spread of flames and smoke in the event of a fire-related incident within a facility. Benefit highlights include: Reducing the spread of flames and smoke throughout a facility or area Providing greater protection of people and property during a fire-related accident/incident Gaining peace of mind/security against careless actions (e.g. the discarding of lit cigarettes) RECOMMENDED INDUSTRIES Nearly all industries benefit from the installation of fire-resistant flooring. In fact, most facilities require it. Recommended industries include: Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology – research facilities, vivariums, laboratories Healthcare – hospitals, operating rooms, corridors Education – cafeterias, locker rooms, hallways, labs Office Buildings/Building Management – lobbies, corporate cafeterias, parking garages General Commercial – public spaces, entertainment venues, concourses An example of a certified fire rating could be https://www.goldenfield.com.au/certificates/ Many of our products have exceptional fire ratings. Ask one of our floor depot sales team member now!
Comments | Posted By Akila Amarathunga

What are floor slip ratings?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2:28:29 PM Australia/Melbourne

Floor slip resistance testing is the science of measuring the coefficient of friction (or resistance to slip accidents) of flooring surfaces, either in a laboratory (before or after installation) or on floors in situ. Slip resistance testing (or floor friction testing) is usually desired by the building’s owner or manager when there has been a report of a slip and fall accident, when there has been a report of a near accident, or (preferably) before the flooring is installed on the property. Flooring is tested using a tribometer (floor slip resistance tester) to discover if there is a high propensity for slip and fall accidents on it, either dry and/or (most often) when wet with water or lubricated with other contaminants such as kitchen grease, hydraulic oil, etc. There have been numerous floor slip resistance testing tribometers and lab devices produced around the world to measure both the static (stationary) and dynamic (in motion) coefficient of friction, but presently there are only a few that have been proven to be reliable for obtaining useful safety results and that have current official test methods. To assess a floor’s slip resistance, a reliable, thoroughly researched (in interlaboratory studies) floor friction test method must be used, and then a minimum safety criterion (0.43, 0.60, 36, etc.) is needed to apply to the results. If the floor is likely to be lubricated with water or grease in use, it needs to be anti-slip under these expected conditions. Floor slip resistance testing can be carried out dry, wet with water, or lubricated with oils and other contaminants. Dry slip resistance is not an indicator of wet slip resistance — in fact the two often vary inversely — so reliable wet slip resistance testing is often needed as well as reliable dry testing. The R ratings These R / ABC ratings relate to the very expensive and non portable DIN Standard* floor RAMP test (though the portable Floor Pendulum Test does allow testing to determine equivalent ratings) the ‘R’ relates to the ‘R’ in Ramp Test. The floor type to be tested is fixed to a ramp and oil (For Shod Feet). The ramp is then raised and the test subject walks backwards and forwards wearing boots slips on the floor (the tester is attached to a safety harness to prevent slip injury). The computerised readout then determines the R ratings based on the angle of slip.
Comments | Posted By Akila Amarathunga

What are the different types of grades for flooring?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2:28:01 PM Australia/Melbourne

Prime Grade Also known as Select or AB grade is the highest of the three grades of flooring and would usually have the following characteristics: Slight colour variation between the boards and more uniform look except for timbers where variation in colour adds to its beauty and is the main feature of the wood. The grain is straighter than in other grades and sometimes the boards have very few, infrequent small knots unless these are specific to the beauty of the timber. Prime grade wooden floors are the most expensive due to the limited supply in the raw material. Natural Grade Also known Character or ABC grade is the middle timber grade and shows more character than prime grade but less than the rustic grade. Timber can display more infrequent knots, more variations in colour and texture, some mineral streaking and grain pattern. Again, interpretation of the grain will vary from species to species and for example you can expect much wider natural colour variation in natural graded Elm (from white to dark brown) while in the natural oak flooring there is a less obvious variation – from cream to dark brown. In natural grade wood flooring you can expect knots of up to 30mm in diameter, flashes of colour, burrs and other character marks. Boards can display few small black knots and delicate machinery defects that can be sanded down very easily. During the kiln drying process knots crack slightly. After initial sanding they are filled with a mixture of sawdust and resin before sealing. Rustic Grade Also known also as Millrun or ABCD contains vibrant colourful patterns, unlimited knots of varying sizes and unlimited colour variation. Floor can display heavy grain markings, figuring and mineral staining. In rustic grade flooring black knots and surface cracks as well as occasional machining defects can be seen. This flooring offers great value for money, as the majority of the raw material will contain this type of grade, without compromising on the quality, wear and stability of the floor. If you have a further questions regarding wood flooring grades or you are looking for an advice about the best wood flooring for your home feel free to contact the floor depot sales team.
Comments | Posted By Akila Amarathunga

Difference between Laminate and Engineered Hardwood

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 1:49:48 PM Australia/Melbourne

Difference between Laminate and Engineered Hardwood Wooden floors are becoming more popular in households and it is essential to choose the right type for your home. There are many similar benefits such as durability, versatility and family friendly and unique benefits from choosing Laminate or Engineered hardwood. There are lots of different options to suit your budget and your family’s needs. With so much choices I have compiled an easy guide to finding the perfect type for your family. LAMINATE FLOORING If you love the colour of timber floorboards but have limited budget or renovating your house as an investment property then laminate floorboards are the perfect choice. New laminate flooring has several layers including a durable HDF board and a design layer. This is the layer that gives laminate flooring its realistic wooden finish. With modern technology we can use high-resolution photos of real wood to be printed and finished with melamine resin. The result is a very realistic and accurate flooring depicting natural timber and an extra bonus easy to install click-and-lock system. Laminate flooring also boasts a closed surface structure making it impossible for dust to accumulate within the flooring in addition to being cost effective and easy to install. So it’s good for all people and especially those with allergies. The layered flooring is so durable that the warranties for these flooring are typically 25 years. It is recommended to check the slip rating when selecting your laminate flooring if using it in high traffic areas such as entrance hallways. ENGINEERED HARDWOOD FLOORING If you want the real timber then engineered hardwood is the perfect choice for any household or office. They offer the natural glow, warmth and look that you can only achieve with real timber floorboards. The difference between engineered hardwood and solid wood floors is that engineered hardwood are constructed using three layers of raw materials to guarantee stability and to eradicate any contracting forces. The floorboards are made up of a solid timber layer (usually Oak, Blackbutt or Spotted gum in Australia), a core layer of HDF and a backing layer of pine veneer. The hardwood layer can be sanded back and updated with a wax, stain or even a coat of paint whereas with laminate you can’t. Engineered floorboards can be more cost effective than solid timber because you can install them yourself if they come included with any click system such as 5G click. They are also easy to maintain, keep clean and will hold up to everyday wear as long as it is finished with several coats of protective varnish.
Comments | Posted By Akila Amarathunga

What is the difference between lacquered and oiled finishes on wooden floors?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 1:49:01 PM Australia/Melbourne

Oiled or lacquered? Both oil and lacquer finished floors have their advantages. Really all you should consider is the look you want, after all, you will see it and live on it every day. Lacquered finishes Reduce scratches on your lacquered or oiled floor by using quality floor protectors to your appliances and removing shoes. Lacquered floors need little maintenance, it is vacuum friendly and you can simply clean it with a mop. Matte Lacquered floors have the same smooth feel as varnished/standard lacquered floors Lacquered floors have a smooth feel with a gloss look. ✗ Lacquered floors scratch easier than oiled floors and are very visible ✗ Scratches cannot be fixed easily as with oiled floors. But newer versions of lacquered floors are tougher to scratch because they are made with stronger materials with advanced techniques Oiled finishes The most common difference between a Natural Oiled floor and UV Oiled is that the UV Oiled floor is dried first using UV lights. This type of method speeds up the drying process and also means the floor does not need a coat of oil when installed. A Natural Oiled floor has to be treated with a coat of oil when installed. Similar to the Lacquered floors, you cannot apply another coat of oil to a UV Oiled floor because it will not cooperate or add another layer. Oiled floors can offer an equally protective layer when compared to lacquered and mat lacquered floors. Oil finishes provide protection from both sides unlike lacquer finishes which will only provide protection from the surface. The oil penetrates deeply into the wood providing a long-term protective layer that will protect the floor thus scratches will tend to be less visible on oiled floors. However natural oiled floors do require more maintenance, its highly recommended to add another coat of oil once installed. It also recommended to oil once a year depending on the condition of the floor. The process of reapplying oil ensures that scratches will be less visible and most importantly will strengthen and enrich the wood, giving it a finer look.
Comments | Posted By Akila Amarathunga

Christmas Break

Friday, December 8, 2017 1:14:16 PM Australia/Melbourne

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Comments | Posted By Akila Amarathunga

2017 CHRISTMAS GREAT SALE

Monday, December 5, 2016 11:03:07 AM Australia/Melbourne

Great News

the Timber Floor Centre is having a fantastic 2017 CHRISTMAS GREAT SALE, Offers absolutely unique flooring that is both historical and beautiful ranges of Engineered Hardwood Floating Flooring, Bamboo Flooring and Laminate Flooring to all our valued Customers.

xmas

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20 YEARS' ANNIVERSARY AND CHRISTMAS SALE

Monday, December 5, 2016 11:03:07 AM Australia/Melbourne

Great News

the Timber Floor Centre is having a fantastic 20th ANNIVERSARY and CHRISTMAS SALE, Offers absolutely unique flooring that is both historical and beautiful ranges of Engineered Hardwood Floating Flooring, Bamboo Flooring and Laminate Flooring to all our valued Customers.

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20th Anniversary - Timber Floor Centre

Thursday, May 19, 2016 12:36:03 PM Australia/Melbourne

The Timber Floor Centre is to celebrate 20th anniversary, offering wide range of Timber Flooring products with extensive styles for you to choose from. We are long established timber flooring company that offers a number of flooring collections, which has been providing to retail and Commercial Projects with good reputation and high satisfaction. Custom made flooring solutions are also available.

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