Timber Flooring

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.