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.