Timber boards or timber-look products are effortlessly stylish and the options are endless. Each configuration, style and size lends itself to a different look and feel and should be just as much a consideration as the type of timber or stain. The width size can impact the illusion of size of a room, while different configurations or patterns of timber can change the feel and ambiance of the interior. Certainly trends and current interior fashions play a large role in dictating what many consumers select, however there are many options to consider.
SOLID TIMBER BOARDS
Solid timber boards are the thickest of the solid floor family and are generally the most expensive of all the options. To install solid timber boards is not only costlier, it is also more time consuming. The process of installing the boards can take up to a month, from acclimatising the boards, installing, sanding and polishing. There are many beautiful options to chose from and Australia is blessed to have many local varieties of timber which are more than suitable for our homes. Timber boards do take time to maintain and have a level of up-keep which other options may not be burdened by, such as denting and scratching. In saying this, the thicker style board allows for some sanding back and re-furbishing if required. Our beautiful older homes in Australia are testament to this!
ENGINEERED (FLOATING) BOARDS
Floating boards are generally constructed using a timber veneer, which is bound to a timber substrate board. Given the thickness of the timber element is much finer than that of solid timber boards, floating flooring is considered to be more sustainable as much less timber is required to achieve a similar look and feel. Floating boards are popular in many applications, such as new homes (more cost effective than solid boards), units and apartments (for acoustic reasons) and family homes (low maintenance and hard-wearing). These boards are available in many different stains, sizes and looks, meaning there is definitely going to be an option for most properties. They are also quick to install with much of the preparation done within a factory prior to coming to site. They are pre-coated, meaning easy and prompt installation on the day.
Timber look laminate has come a long way and there are currently many great looking, quality brands and options available. The actual “look” of the new laminates is fantastic, with realistic timber grains, knots and stains replicated onto the product making for a convincing replica. This is generally constructed from fibreboard with a photo applied to the surface. These boards are clicked into place on site. Laminate flooring comes with many benefits and features, such as a low maintenance and hygienic surface to maintain. It is also easy to install, with the preparation of the surface being less stringent than that of timber or floating boards.
Bamboo is warm and sophisticated in appearance, has many similar properties as hardwood floors and is considered from an environmental viewpoint to be superior to other materials. Bamboo floors are very durable; in fact, they can be considered more durable than their hardwood friends. This point alone makes the material a worthy option for a family home or spaces of high use. In saying this, bamboo is a natural material and is not immune to general wear and tear or ill-treatment. Bamboo grows at a very rapid rate to be at complete maturity in only three to five years. Given this is a lot quicker than hardwood timber flooring materials, bamboo has made a name for itself as being the ‘green’ flooring option. When bamboo is cut, the roots also remain in the ground, allowing for quick re-growth.
For those looking for an eco-friendly option, cork is a great choice. Cork floors provide a number of great benefits;
not only are they renewable and stripped from the bark of a tree by hand, they are also versatile enough to be used in a range of spaces with ease. It is also warm and quiet underfoot, easy to clean and durable.