Caring for Your Timber Floors

Caring for Your Timber Floors

Timber floors add an element of richness and warmth to your home.  They are extremely durable and if they are well cared for they can last you for decades.  Caring for your timber floors isn’t much more work than caring for any other type of flooring.  So let’s look at how you can keep them clean and looking fabulous for years to come.

Sweep or Vacuum Regularly

You want to remove the debris from your floor on a regular basis to keep it from scratching your floor.  So you want to sweep or vacuum fairly frequently.  You also need to be careful of the type of vacuum that you use, choose one with a floor-brush attachment so that it doesn’t scratch the floor.  If you live alone you can probably get away with doing this once a week, if you have pets and children then you may be sweeping every day.

Mopping the Floor

Sweeping or vacuuming will get rid of surface dust and debris but not spills or the grime that comes with time.  From time to time you’re going to need to mop the floors with some type of liquid cleaner.  There are products you can pick up at a home improvement store that are designed just for timber floors, follow the directions on the bottle to get your floors clean.  These products can get pretty pricey and some will leave a buildup on your floor, you can clean your floors with a pH neutral detergent in some water.

How to Mop

When cleaning timber floors you can’t just dunk a mop in some water and slap it onto your floors, you will damage the floor.  You want to clean the floor with a damp sponge or mop making sure it has been well wrong out.  You want a damp mop, not a wet one.  Use a mild cleaner and don’t make the cleaning solution too strong or you can take off the finish.  After you have mopped with a cleaner, you want to rinse the floor with another damp mop.  If there is excess water on the floor then wipe with a dry towel so water doesn’t damage the floor.

Caring for timber floors isn’t hard but despite your best efforts, your floors will still get scratched.  With timber, it may need to be sanded down and refinished every couple of years.  Sanding and refinishing can restore the floor’s lustre and help protect them going forward.

What To Choose Between Solid Wood Flooring And Laminate?

Many homeowners find it challenging to choose between solid wood flooring and laminate when seeking to buy new flooring. There are advantages and drawbacks to each of these options, so it’s easy to understand why making the right choice can be so hard. This article will help you better understand each of these two types of flooring to make an informed choice.

Solid wood flooring has been the choice of stylish and wealthy people for many years now. Its timeless beauty, style, natural tones, and honest look make timber flooring a perfect choice for a wide array of interior styles, from a farmhouse and traditional to contemporary and minimalist.

Many homeowners and interior decorators consider laminate flooring as a reliable alternative to wood flooring. Thanks to modern processing techniques and advantages technologies, laminate floors boast a natural appearance and a wide range of styles and colors to choose from. The best of all is that it costs way less than hardwood floors.

Price

Laminate flooring can be significantly cheaper than wood floors. This fact alone can heavily influence your choice.

Solid Wood

Solid wood comes from real trees, and its price may vary with several factors:

– Whether the trees are exotic or common where you live
– The grade of wood
– The tree size (narrower planks may come from younger trees while wide ones require the harvesting of very old trees, being, therefore, less frequent and also more expensive)
– The wood thickness (thicker planks will last longer than thinner ones)

Regardless of all the above-mentioned factors, solid wood floors are more expensive to purchase and to install than laminate.

Laminate

Laminate flooring boards feature a photo image of a wood plank sandwiched between high-density support and a protective coating.

Both the manufacturing process and the materials are cheaper, hence the lower market price of laminate. Furthermore, thanks to the easy fitting systems, its installation costs are also significantly reduced.

Durability

The traffic intensity is something you should take into account when you shop around for new flooring. The expected traffic load will determine the type of flooring to buy.

Solid Wood Flooring

Solid wood is quite resistant to scratches. Nevertheless, dragging heavy furniture items or dropping sharp items on wood floors may scratch it. Even sharp stones on the soles of your shoes may scratch hardwood floors. Also, heavy traffic will inevitably generate wear and tear that will alter the beauty of these floors. You can prevent some of these from occurring. You can apply pads on the legs of heavy furniture items before dragging them. You can buy a useful doormat to catch all stones on your soles. You can also sweep these floors at regular intervals to prevent tiny bits of debris from scratching them.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is more durable than wood floors. While it doesn’t get scratched that easily, we’d still recommend using foam pads whenever you have to move heavy furniture items around. The bottom layers of laminate flooring are designed to prevent the warping and the bending of the planks under the effect of moisture. However, once they start to show signs of wear and tear, these planks are impossible to restore by sanding. While your wood floors can be refinished whenever needed, laminate will require replacement.

As wood is sensitive to water, many families with toddlers or young children choose laminate. If you have small kids, but you love hardwood floors, you have to brace yourself for cleaning and drying any spills as soon as they occur in order to protect your wood floors.

Look

Solid wood looks merely amazing! There’s no way you can argue with that. The rich colors, the exquisite details, and the natural fibers can add beauty to interior style and decor. Also, this type of floor will add to the market value of your property.

Laminate, however, despite its tremendous popularity and its fairly beautiful look, can’t equal the charm of solid wood floors.

The adaptability of solid wood allows you to refinish it whenever necessary. Depending on the traffic intensity, solid wood flooring may require sanding every ten years or so. During this refinishing process, you may choose another stain color, if so you wish. This is a great advantage when going for a complete makeover of your interior space.

As hardwood is a natural material, it can slightly change color over time, mainly due to sunlight. However, this isn’t a negative thing, as wood can age very beautifully, adding even more character to your home. The laminate features UV protection coating, so its color doesn’t fade over time.

When it comes to looking, wood flooring is a better choice than laminate. Even though more durable, laminate can’t be as beautiful as wood, regardless of its quality. Furthermore, if you choose a cheaper laminate, it will have an artificial look right off the bat.

Location

Hardwood is sensitive to moisture and heat. This means it isn’t suitable for kitchens and bathrooms. Also, spillages can be a huge problem, as they need immediate attention. On the contrary, laminate can be an excellent choice for your kitchen, as it isn’t that sensitive to spills and heat. However, you may want to think twice before choosing laminate for your bathroom – you have to ensure you pick a moisture-resistant product. If you’re keen on having a wood-like floor in your bathroom, we would recommend you to choose wood-style LVT.

Repair

Whatever your type of flooring, sooner or later, you’ll have to consider some reconditioning or repair. Minor accidents and normal wear and tear will alter the look of your flooring.

Solid wood is relatively easy to repair by sanding and refinishing it. This is usually required only once every ten years. However, keep in mind that stained timber will lose its color due to sanding. You can also only sand a floor a limited number of times, depending on the thickness of the wood planks.

Laminate is easy to repair. You can repair laminate boards that snap together by replacing the damaged board. However, you may not be able to find a replacement to match the color and the texture of the original boards. When this happens, the only solution is the complete replacement of your floor.

Which Type Of Flooring Should You Choose?

Even though many people consider laminate as more durable than real wood, we have to consider the excellent longevity of wood. Also, a bit of caution can prevent excessive wear and tear. Regular cleaning and protective foam pads on the furniture legs are two of these precautions that can help you protect your solid wood floor.

When comparing solid wood flooring and laminate, the real question is whether you are willing to give up the exquisite beauty and elegance of wood flooring in favor of the much lower price and higher scratch resistance of laminate.

Try to be realistic when you assess your specific situation. If you have toddlers and pets running around all day long, you should probably choose laminate. If you are almost positive you’ll need to replace your floor again, you should pick the cheapest option. If, on the contrary, you want to add value to your home and to curb its appeal, solid wood is the way to go!

Characteristics of Timber Flooring

Characteristics of Timber Flooring

Timber flooring is a great option for your home but before you whip out the credit card and start ordering your new floor you should be familiar with the characteristics of timber flooring.  Your flooring in an investment and should be treated as such.  Here are the characteristics of timber and some things you need to consider before buying new floors.

Hardness

Not all hardwoods are the same, some being far more durable than others.  The hardness will determine how well it handles impact, develops indentations and scratches.  Choose oak or hickory if durability is your biggest concern.

Grade

When it comes to timber, it is graded by the number of markings that are in the wood.  That can include everything from knots to the veins in the wood.  There are 4 different grades in timber flooring they are the following:

  • Select: This type of flooring has little or no markings
  • Medium: This grade has a medium amount of markings
  • High Feature: If you want lots of markings on your floor then choose this
  • Parquet Clear: Parquet has no markings

Bear in mind that every manufacturer will have its own standards for grading timber.

Top or Secret Nail

When the flooring is installed there are two ways that they can do it.  The first is top nail and that is where they secure boards by hammering a nail right through the top.  The other option is secret nail, the nails are put through the side and you can see them on the surface of the floor.

Color

The type of wood that you use will give your floor its color.  For instance, cherry wood has a rich red color, mahogany is dark, pine tends to be lighter and oak is somewhere in between.  Each species of wood has its own distinct color and it will change as your floor ages and with exposure to sunlight.  You can change the color of your floor with stain but that almost defeats the purpose of having a timber floor.

How Does it Feel

How will the wood feel under your feet?  That can depend on whether there is a sub-floor or not.  Will the wood squeak because of loose joints during the winter?  Will you choose a smooth floor or one with a more realistic texture?

Choosing timber is just the first step, next you have to figure out the characteristics of the flooring you want in your home.  Hopefully this guide will help you pick the perfect flooring for your home.

Choosing the Right Type of Timber for Your Floors

Choosing the Right Type of Timber for Your Floors

You’d think that once you decided to install timber floors that you were done with flooring, oh no, you still have to decisions to make in regards to your flooring.  Deciding on timber is a great choice, it is a beautiful material and add tremendous value to your home.  Here are some other factors to look into once you have chosen timber.

Choosing the Grade

The grade of timber will decide the smoothness of your floors.  Standard grade timber gives you a very natural-looking appearance to the boards on your floor.  If you want something more stylistic then choose character grades instead.  Here is a look at the different grades to help you choose.

What Color Do You Want

The color of your floor makes a huge difference, will it match the furniture and the other fixtures in the house.  Do you want a dark stain or something lighter?  Dark stains make your rooms look smaller.  Choose the ones that work with your overall design scheme.

What Finish Works Best

In addition to the color, you will also need to pick the right finish.  Do you want something really shiny, then choose a satin finish.  If you want something a bit more natural-looking then opt for a semi-gloss finish for your floors.

Choose the Right Wood for Your Climate

You need to also consider the properties of the wood you are considering; wood is affected a great deal by the weather.  If you have kids and pets then you want something durable and hard.  If you live in a really humid area then you want something that can withstand the humidity.  You want to select the right flooring for your area of the country and the lifestyle you lead.

Pick the Size of Your Boards

Boards are measured by length, width, and thickness and you need to select the one that works in your home.  You also need to consider installation at the same time, smaller or narrower boards take longer to install and they will cost more.  If you have a smaller home then wider boards can make it look like you have even less space.  Talking to your flooring contractor and he can help you choose the right size for your home.

The flooring is an important part of your home, the right flooring can make your home look warm and inviting or cold and indifferent.  Wood floors with some great area rugs can make your home look fabulous, but it starts with picking the right flooring.

Choosing Timber for Your New Floors

Choosing Timber for Your New Floors

When you renovate your home one of the choices that you have to make is the type of flooring that you’re going to put in.  One option is timber flooring, it is a great option and offers you a ton of advantages.  Choosing timber for your new floors is a great option and let’s go over why you should do it.

Advantages of Timber Floors

Timber flooring not only looks good but it adds a tremendous amount of value to your home.  That being said you want something that goes with the overall design scheme of your home.  If you’re trying to achieve a rustic look then timber works perfectly.  It also works well with open concept design and gives your home a warm and natural feeling.  It is warmer and more comfortable than marble or tile and it will last far longer than laminate flooring.

Installing Timber Floors

Timber floors are harder to install than laminate or carpet so you will need an installation team to put in your floors.  It requires special equipment to align the boards properly, and trying to do it yourself can damage the timber.

Choosing the Type of Timber

There are different types of wood that you can choose but oak is by far the most popular.  Oak is versatile and works with nearly every type of interior design.  Oak produces some beautiful boards and you can stain them nearly any color.  If you are considering selling then oak is highly sought after and makes a great choice.

Maintenance

Yes, timber flooring does require more maintenance than other types of flooring but the value makes it worth it.  Your house value will increase so you can look at timber floors as an investment rather than an expense.  Realistically the maintenance isn’t all that much but it is something to consider before you buy the flooring.

Wood flooring makes a beautiful addition to your home and if you are considering selling then it will increase your asking price, buyers always want great wood floors.  It works with nearly every interior design scheme and it makes your home feel warm and inviting.  Genuine timber floors are rugged and durable, so children and pets can have the run of your home without worry.  They do require some maintenance but with the right care you will only have to sand and refinish the floors once or twice in your lifetime.  Choosing timber for your new floors will make your home look spectacular.

Humanitarian Timber

A guide to timber as a construction material in humanitarian relief

About the book

In most emergency and reconstruction projects timber and bamboo are used as construction materials. However, mistakes are often made when specifying or using timber, leading to delays in response, costing extra money to put right and putting people’s safety at risk.

“Timber as a construction material in humanitarian emergencies” is a response to the need for guidance in complicated local and global contexts.

The project was completed in 2009 and was supported by IFRC, OCHA and CARE International. The book is the result of inputs from over 100 international peer review attendees and dozens of individual contributors.

Given the diversity of local building practices and cultures, this book is not intended to be a definitive how-to building guide for using timber as a construction material. Instead it highlights key issues to be considered by teams of program, technical and logistical staff when making decisions in construction projects involving timber or bamboo. It also provides some basic construction and specification information for times when expert help is hard to find.