Whether you’re dealing with a small stain or a whole carpet refresh, knowing how to clean your wool carpet will ensure that it remains a treasured part of your home for years to come.
A champion in the carpeting world, wool is famed for its softness, strength, and natural resilience. Its fibres have a natural crimp, which gives wool carpets that luxurious, springy feel underfoot – it’s like walking on a cloud with every step. Moreover, wool’s natural properties make it inherently stain-resistant and capable of bouncing back after compression. Its fibres can also help regulate humidity, absorbing moisture when the air is damp and releasing it when it’s dry, making it comfortable in any season.
However, wool’s fibres can absorb a lot of water, which makes them susceptible to shrinking and mould if they’re not dried correctly. They can also be sensitive to heat and harsh chemicals, so while they’re forgiving of spills, wool carpets can be unforgiving if treated with the wrong cleaning agents or methods.
That’s why special cleaning methods are not just recommended but necessary for wool carpets. Traditional cleaning methods that work on synthetic carpets can damage wool’s delicate fibres and strip away its natural oils, leaving your carpet lacklustre and brittle. Gentle, pH-appropriate solutions and cool water are the keys to cleaning wool without causing damage.
Maintaining the luxurious feel and longevity of your wool carpet hinges on how you wash it. Here’s a guide that walks you through both dry and wet cleaning methods.
Drying: Allow the carpet to air-dry completely before walking on it or replacing furniture. This may take several hours or even a full day, depending on ventilation and humidity.
Navigating the care of wool carpets can be simple with a quick reference guide. Here’s a concise list of best practices to ensure the longevity and beauty of your wool carpeting.
Ignore Manufacturer’s Care Instructions: Always follow the guidelines provided by your carpet’s manufacturer for specific care advice.
Tackling stains on wool carpets requires finesse and a good understanding of the type of stain you’re dealing with. It’s good to know how to identify stains and some effective DIY solutions.
These include food, wine, coffee, and pet accidents. They are often coloured and might even have an odour. Immediate attention is crucial to prevent setting and odour absorption.
Grease, lipstick, or ink falls into this category. They tend to adhere to wool fibres and require a solvent-based remover.
Think of artificial colouring from drinks or industrially produced items. They can be tricky as they might alter the carpet’s colour if not addressed promptly.
Vinegar Solution: A mixture of white vinegar and water can help in lifting the stain. The mild acidity helps to break down synthetic dyes.
From vacuuming wisely to responding promptly to spills, and from safe washing techniques to the judicious use of stain removers, every step helps preserve the natural beauty and resilience of wool.
For those moments when you need a helping hand or when your wool carpet requires deeper cleaning, remember that Ashmore Carpets is here for you. With our knowledge, experience, and specialised services, we ensure that your wool carpets retain their elegance and durability.
Whether you’re seeking advice on the best wool-safe products or need professional cleaning services that understand the intricacies of wool fibres, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact Ashmore Carpets today, and let us care for your carpets with the same dedication and expertise we’ve provided the Gold Coast community for over 40 years.
Your house is more than just a place to drop your stuff off and charge your phone. Your home is a reflection of what you value and who you are. Carpets can also be an excellent investment for your home. If you plan on staying there for at least five years, it might be worth investing in some high quality carpeting for your home. Many people choose carpet because it is durable, stain resistant and easy to clean. It is also incredibly hard wearing and very comfortable underfoot. Plus, it will make your house feel more welcoming.
Carpets are the perfect way to transform your home. Whether you’re looking for a fresh new look or some extra comfort at Ashmore Carpets, we have plenty of options from brands you trust, like Hycraft, Tuftmaster, Signature and many more. They provide comfort and warmth, as well as style and colour. At Ashmore Carpets, we have a vast range of carpets available for you to choose from. Whether you want a plain, neutral carpet for the bedroom or something more vibrant for the living room, we have it all. In recent years, carpet has become one of Australia’s most popular flooring options, and for good reason. Carpet offers a number of advantages over other flooring types, including:
Carpets are resilient and can withstand heavy foot traffic, even from pets and children. They also have natural insulating properties that make them comfortable to walk on no matter what time of year it is or how cold it gets outside.
In addition to being durable and resilient, carpets are affordable compared to other types of flooring like timber or stone. Carpet is an ideal option for people who want new flooring without breaking the bank to get it.
Carpets are made from natural fibres like wool or cotton, which makes them 100% biodegradable when they eventually need replacing after years of use (which won’t be anytime soon!).
It’s less noisy
Carpet helps insulate and makes home interiors quieter because they absorb sound waves instead of reflecting them back at high volumes as hardwood floors do. This means that if someone is talking loudly in the living room while everyone else is watching television in another room, they’ll be able to hear each other clearly without having to raise their voice unnecessarily loud!
Why wait? If you are in the market for new carpets, whatever you are looking for, Ashmore Carpets has just what you need! There are many options for various floor types, and we understand this can be overwhelming. That’s why at Ashmore Carpets, we aim to help you choose the perfect solution that meets your specific needs while providing you with quality service. Ashmore Carpets offers a wide range of carpets for every need. Our experienced team will be able to help you select a beautiful carpet that suits your taste and budget perfectly. Come say hello and browse our selection today!
Timeless and elegant, timber flooring is renowned for its natural beauty and warm aesthetic. Being a natural product, it is also prone to wear over time, so it’s important to protect your floor from stains and scratches. That’s where timber floor oil comes in.
The best timber floor oil finishes enhance the wood’s natural beauty, while giving you peace of mind that your floor is protected from day-to-day scuffs and spills. To help you choose the right finish for your floorboards, we’ve pulled together a list of the best timber floor oil finishes in Australia.
Generally speaking, there are four main types of timber floor oil finishes. Each varies in composition, durability, water resistance, style and environmental impact, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the full range of options before settling on one brand.
The main types of timber floor oil finishes are:
Once you’ve settled on the type of floor oil finish you want, it’s time to choose a quality brand. Here are some of the best timber floor oil finishes on the market.
Sikkens has been making floor oil since 1973, and has two excellent consumer-grade products for interior flooring:
Intergrain’s UltraFloor SlipResistant water-based coating is a great option if you’re looking for a clear, satin finish. It has significantly lower levels of VOCs than solvent-based options and is easy to clean with water.
Bona is a Swedish company, renowned for its non-toxic water-based floor finishes. They have a wide range of finishes, to suit different wood types. Their Bona Prime Classic is a great option if you’re after a hard-wearing polyurethane coating that flexes with the wood and doesn’t yellow with age.
If you’re after a hard wax oil, it’s hard to go past Osmo’s Polyx-Oil. Its combination of plant-based oils and waxes delivers a non-toxic, glossy to matte finish that is resistant to dirt, abrasion and moisture.
Affordable, durable, and easy to clean, laminate flooring is a popular choice in both residential and commercial buildings. However, as one of the harder flooring options available, laminate flooring is prone to carrying slightly more noise than softer flooring alternatives like vinyl or carpet.
There’s nothing quite like a lovely hardwood floor. Durable yet elegant, they’re a wonderful feature piece that can last for decades. One of the most popular is a spotted gum floor, a choice that offers all the toughness of an Aussie hardwood with beautiful and unique characteristics which ensure that no one else will have a floor quite like yours.
If you’ve been swept away by the beauty of a spotted gum floor and are considering one for your home, we’ve put together this handy guide, breaking down just about everything you’ll need to know.
But first, what exactly is spotted gum?
Spotted gum trees (Corymbia maculata) consist of four native Australian species that grow along the east coast from Victoria to Queensland. They get their name from the spots on the tree that become visible as the outer bark layers peel away, as well as from the mottled bark itself.
The timber provided by spotted gum comes in a huge range of rich shades and grain styles. The heartwood is warmer, in shades of light brown to a deep red-brown, while the sapwood leans towards paler shades of white and brown. This means that you’ll have no shortage of choice when it comes to a spotted wood floor, whatever your aesthetic. And as a natural product, no two floors will ever be the same, guaranteeing a truly unique finish.
Hardwood floors are usually split into one of four grades – select, standard, Australiana, and natural (also known as feature grade). Keep an eye on these grades as you search for your perfect timbers, as they give an indication of the number of natural features, like gum veins, grains, and insect trails, that are showcased on the wood. If you’re looking for clean, sleek, and modern, try a select-grade spotted gum. For more of a talking point, you’ll want to seek out those natural/feature-graded timbers.
One of the main draws of spotted gum floors, other than their beauty, is their durability. One of the hardest of the Australian hardwood trees, they make for incredibly robust flooring. To make the most of their resilience, make sure to plan for the boards to be properly treated and varnished, whether by yourself or by a professional – your floors will thank you in 50 years when they’re still going strong!
The Janka Hardness Scale is an industry-based test used to determine the hardness of timber floors. The test measures the floor’s resistance to pressure, by trying to embed a ball bearing into the surface. The tester will then note how much force it took to do this, and the higher the number, the harder the wood. In Australia, this is measured in kilonewtons (kN), with anything above 8.0kN ranking as particularly strong – spotted gum floors come in at an impressive 11kN.
This means they’re durable, resistant, and less prone to dents. Perfect if you expect there to be a lot of foot traffic, such as kids or pets running around. If you’re looking for something even tougher, bamboo flooring clocked in at a huge 14.7kN – you can find out more about this alternative with our pros and cons guide to bamboo flooring.
Spotted gum floors are also termite, Lyctus Borer, and fire resistant – so much so that they’re approved for use in bushfire-prone areas! In fact, it’s hardy enough to manage most extreme climates but, as with any solid timber flooring, you’ll need to look into the appropriate vapour barriers and underlays to protect your floors if you live in particularly rainy or humid areas. You’ll also need to be mindful of this if you’re planning to install in spaces such as bathrooms or basements.
If you’re environmentally conscious, a spotted wood floor is a great option. It’s harvested from both commercial plantations and native forests within Australia. Merbau, another commonly used hardwood, is sometimes brought in from overseas, making its carbon footprint much larger and putting it more at risk of being part of illegal forest clearings. Spotted gum, as a local resource, has less such issues.
The longevity of a spotted gum floor also means it ticks a few more sustainability boxes. When properly cared for, it can last for decades, reducing the need to chop down, transport, treat, and install a whole new floor for quite some time.
To make the most of that durability and longevity, you’ll need to take good care of your floors. Happily, because the spotted gum is such a reliant tree, this shouldn’t be too taxing!
Regular sweeping and mopping should do the trick, and you should stay away from any abrasive products. And be sure to clean up any spills or pet accidents right away.
You can enjoy your spotted wood floors for years, though as the wood ages, you might want to consider sanding down and refinishing the planks, just to freshen things up a little.
Sustainability, durability, and aesthetics are all well and good, but most of us will likely have one big question on our minds – how much will it cost?
While you’ll have to consider all the usual factors – amount of product needed, the grade you’re looking for, installation and labour costs, etc. – the general rule is that, as a solid timber product, you can expect to pay much more than you would do for a synthetic or engineered style that offers a similar look.
That being said, some may look upon a solid hardwood floor as an investment. Not only will it likely not need replacing for the entire time you’re in your home, but it can potentially add resale value should you choose to move.
If the cost of a solid timber floor is getting you hot under the collar, turning to engineered spotted wood floors, or even vinyl and laminate alternatives may be an option. These can help you capture that wonderful look and feel without spending quite so much. You might also find them to be a little more pleasant to walk across, with the help of underlays to manage cushioning and sound absorption.
Engineered wood flooring combines a thin layer of hardwood, such as spotted gum, with a substrate of plywood. This gives the aesthetic of the original hardwood, though it won’t last quite as long – expect around 25 years from a well-cared-for engineered floor. That said, it’s a great option if managing moisture in the home is going to be an issue, as it will warp less than solid timber.
If you’d like to know more, check out our breakdown of the pros and cons of both solid timber flooring and engineered flooring.
It’s a similar story with vinyl and laminate flooring, though these only mimic the look of spotted gum – they contain none of the actual hardwood itself. However, advances in technology have come a long way since the introduction of laminate back in the 1970s, and the range of colours and styles available in these flooring types can do a fine job of capturing the unique beauty of a spotted gum floor. Their resilience isn’t on the level of solid wood or even engineered flooring, but in terms of price, they’re a tough one to beat.
It’s also worth noting that both these types of flooring are possible to install yourself, cutting costs on labour as well as materials. Comparatively, solid timber floors are best left to the experts.
If you’re looking for a unique slice of Australiana in your home, it’s hard to go past a spotted gum floor. Ticking all the boxes when it comes to look, durability, and minimal upkeep, they’re a bold and beautiful choice.
Reach out to the experts for a chat and quote and see if you can bring a little bit of Aussie luxury into your living room.
Hybrid flooring is a quality type of flooring that is stylish, waterproof, and extremely affordable. But as people become more and more health-conscious, we’re starting to ask important questions about the products we fill our homes with. And one of those questions is whether hybrid flooring is toxic, or whether it’s safe.
Before we get into the answer, we need to cover some basics about hybrid flooring. This type of flooring is usually a mixture of laminate and vinyl, which are blended together to create a rigid, waterproof, and scratch-resistant material. This is the top layer of the flooring. The bottom layer of the flooring is an underlay that is made of foam and rubber, which provides it with cushioning and soundproofing, and this is where the possibility of toxicity comes in.
The foam and rubber elements of the underlay can contain compounds like formaldehyde, ethanol, and acetone, which are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They are called “volatile” because they have a high vapour pressure at room temperature, which means that their chemicals can evaporate and be released into the air—something called off-gassing (or out-gassing). These chemicals can affect your health when breathed in for long periods of time. They can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat, lead to breathing difficulties, nausea, and even damage the central nervous system. Some VOCs can cause cancer too. These can be found in both common types of hybrid flooring—stone plastic composite (SPC) and wood plastic composite (WPC)—because both have the underlay attached to them.
So hybrid flooring can be toxic, but manufacturers should also try their best to create products that have low VOC emissions, and include a VOC rating in their specifications. The ideal VOC rating is E0, which has the lowest emissions by Australian standards. E1 is also considered to be acceptable by these standards. But these ratings often aren’t included on sellers’ websites, so to be extra safe, you should consider asking.
If you’ve already installed hybrid flooring and you’re worried about the quality of the air in your home, you can find an air testing company to measure VOC levels. They will tend to use a professional tool called a photoionization detector (PID), which approximates the total level of VOCs in the air. They might also use flame ionization detectors (FIDs) or metal oxide semiconductor sensors (MOSs) to measure VOC levels.
There has also been some recent concern over the silica content of hybrid flooring, which can cause a lung condition called silicosis. The silica may be released if the hybrid flooring needs to be cut during installation, and can be reduced through the process of wet cutting instead. Regardless of how the cutting occurs, it’s important for the newly-floored area to be thoroughly cleaned after it has been installed. Companies who import and sell hybrid flooring should take measures to ensure that it doesn’t exceed 0.1mg/m3 of silica, and again, this information almost certainly won’t be included on their websites, so it may be worth asking.
Whether you’ve spilt red wine on the carpet, or you’re looking to undertake a deep end-of-lease clean, it’s important to choose the right carpet cleaning method for the job. In this guide to carpet dry cleaning vs steam cleaning, we cover the differences between the two methods, their pros and cons, and the best use cases for each of them. We also include a few carpet care tips to help you get the most out of either method.
Put simply, the main difference between carpet dry cleaning and steam cleaning is the amount of water used in each method. As the name suggests, dry cleaning uses either no, or very little moisture to remove stains and freshen the carpet. Instead, dry cleaning involves applying chemicals to the carpet—either in powder or liquid form—to break down dirt and other particles attached to the carpet’s fibres. These cleaning agents are often brushed into the carpet before being removed along with dirt and other sediment that’s loosened from the carpet after the cleaning agents have had a chance to work on the stains.
Carpet steam cleaning uses steam
By comparison, steam cleaning—otherwise known as wet carpet cleaning—uses hot water to extract dirt from the carpet. Steam cleaning methods work by applying hot water to the carpet with a pressurised wand to dissolve and dislodge dirt from the carpet’s fibres. This debris is then extracted along with the water. To help the water penetrate the carpet effectively, stains are often pre-treated to break the carpet’s surface tension. However, unlike carpet shampoo methods, steam cleaning doesn’t tend to use heavy cleaning agents.
One of the main reasons people choose carpet dry cleaning over steam cleaning is the faster drying time. Because little to no water is used to dry clean the carpet, it’s an ideal method for high-use areas—such as hallways, entrance ways, workplace foyers, office spaces and hotel bedrooms—where it’s not practical to keep people off the carpet for an extended period of time. Dry cleaning is also a good method to use for regular carpet cleans because it’s a quick way to pick up dirt and debris and deodorise smells.
Generally speaking, steam cleaning offers a significantly deeper clean than dry cleaning. This makes it the ideal option for particularly dirty carpet that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. It also makes it a good option for carpet with long fibre lengths. Because the steam penetrates the carpet more deeply than a dry clean can, steam cleaning effectively dislodges dirt and debris such as pet hair, which can become entangled in the longer fibres.
Steam cleaning is also great if you want to do a deep clean of a heavily trafficked area. Many people shy away from using steam cleaning methods for high-use areas because of the longer drying time associated with this method. However, these carpets are often the ones most in need of a deep rejuvenating clean because the high volume of foot traffic compacts dirt in the carpet.
Finally, steam cleaning is an ideal method to use if you have allergies, because it doesn’t rely on the same cleaning products as many other carpet cleaning methods.
Dry cleaning is a great method for routine carpet maintenance and is particularly good for heavily trafficked areas where you need a quick clean. Some of the advantages of carpet dry cleaning include:
Despite these benefits, there are a few downsides to carpet dry cleaning. These include:
Generally speaking, steam cleaning offers a significantly deeper clean than dry cleaning. However, this needs to be balanced against the longer drying time associated with cleaning the carpet with a water-based method.
Some of the benefits of carpet steam cleaning include:
Some of the cons of carpet steam cleaning include:
Whether you choose to dry clean or steam clean your carpet, the end results can be significantly improved by following a few simple carpet care tips. In particular, it’s a good idea to:
Combined with a professional carpet cleaning once a year, following these simple steps will help keep your carpet in good condition no matter which side of the carpet dry cleaning vs. steam cleaning debate you land on.
As building technology improves, we’re all becoming better at recognising harmful materials. But that doesn’t mean they’re eliminated entirely. Even now, building and home improvement specialists are learning of new potentially toxic materials and substances that have found their way into common flooring and household products.
That’s why it’s important to know what materials form your flooring, and how to avoid potentially toxic flooring options. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding artificial flooring products, but with advances in technology, certain engineered flooring products are some of the least toxic options available.
Here are a few safe bets if you want the best non toxic flooring in Australia.
Hardwood flooring is completely non-toxic, which makes it 100% safe
Solid hardwood flooring is made from individual planks of wood milled directly from trees, which makes it one of the safest and least toxic flooring options you can buy. Toxicity tends to come from chemicals that are used in the manufacturing process, as well as chemicals that are a natural part of the material. So because wooden planks are milled directly from trees, it’s the “cleanest” type of flooring out there. You’ll pay a pretty price for solid hardwood flooring though, and it’s a little more work to maintain.
Polished concrete is also completely non-toxic, making it one of the safest types of flooring
Polished concrete is usually associated with large stores like Bunnings or IKEA, but it can look beautiful in a home. Like hardwood, it’s also completely non-toxic with a zero VOC rating, so is a great option if you’re happy with a more modern and “industrial” look.
Some types of laminate flooring can be safe and non-toxic, but you’ll need to research
Is there such a thing as non-toxic laminate flooring? Yes! Laminate flooring is artificially constructed from products such as melamine, resin, and fibre board, manufactured with chemicals. Fortunately, chemical technology has improved significantly, resulting in a non-toxic form of laminate flooring. Toxins are rarely noticeable by smell or appearance though, so recognising non-toxic laminate flooring can be tricky. Picking non-toxic laminate flooring requires research, and some expert help.
Asking a few questions before you settle on a variety of laminate flooring can help you to determine whether it’s completely non-toxic. Ask about where it came from, and ask about its composition. You should also look into the manufacturer’s track record when it comes to chemical safety. It is also helpful that you opt for chemical-free installation methods, such as floating floors, to keep your flooring as non-toxic as possible.
Bamboo flooring is similar to laminate—it can be safe, but you’ll need to look at each product individually
Non toxic bamboo flooring is a lot like laminate flooring, in the sense that it requires adhesives to bind its fibres and turn it into an appropriate flooring material. And just like laminate, the resins or adhesives that are used will determine whether it’s non toxic or not. Luckily, bamboo flooring is among the more modern flooring options on the market, dedicated to being an ecologically friendly choice (for the most part). That means fewer chemicals, and a lower carbon footprint during the manufacturing process. Generally, if it’s safe for the environment then there’s a high chance it’s non toxic, and that’s the case in most bamboo flooring products. Again, research is important, but you can usually be confident that bamboo flooring is a safe and non toxic flooring option.
Vinyl is not generally a good choice for toxicity
The chemical process of leaching is what creates toxic flooring products. When chemicals leach into the flooring material during the manufacturing process, they can cause issues later in the material’s life. Vinyl is more resistant to leaching during manufacture than a lot of other flooring products, however, it can contain a high number of toxic chemicals that can “gas off” after being installed. This may be especially harmful for children1. But not all vinyl flooring is the same, and you can find some low toxic types on the market. So if you’re considering vinyl flooring, be absolutely sure to buy a product that has a proven low VOC.
Vinyl flooring also comes in a wide range of hybrid configurations, which means that you can select options based on their appearance and their suitability for your home.
Non-toxic carpets are one of the best flooring options for those who are sensitive to chemical products in building materials. You can select carpets that are hypoallergenic, or ones that rely more heavily on natural fibres than synthetic ones. The carpet manufacturing process also varies, which means you have the option of carpets that rely on fewer harsh chemicals during the production stage. The same applies for installation, too, given the various installation options available to you. The availability of carpet adhesives means that you won’t be stuck for options and you can shop around until you find one that suits your need for low toxicity.
If you’re looking to install some non-toxic gym flooring in your home, there’s a single option that is best: rubber. This material gives you the foot grip you need to do your workouts safely and is also easy to clean with vacuum cleaners and mops.
Not all rubber is equal though. You’ll need to look for a variety that has a low VOC (volatile organic compound) rating such as vulcanised rubber, virgin rubber, rubber without any added PVC, or rubber mixed with cork. This is especially important for gym flooring because many workouts require you to lay down and get extremely close to the material, which can give off toxic gases. Provided you buy rubber flooring with a low VOC, you’ll be in good stead.
Is rubber flooring toxic?
Is rubber flooring toxic? As mentioned above, certain types of rubber flooring can be toxic, releasing gases like xylene, hydroxytoluene, ethylbenzene, toluene, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde. This is especially true of recycled rubber, so you’ll need to pay attention to the VOC content if considering rubber flooring. The lower VOC content, the less toxic the flooring.
Is hybrid flooring toxic?
Hybrid flooring is usually a mixture of either thin wooden planks or laminate, and a vinyl base. The wood or laminate isn’t usually toxic, but the plastic vinyl that forms the base may be. As usual, the best way to tell whether a particular hybrid flooring is toxic is to look at its VOC rating, as well as the emission class (M1 is good).
Non-toxic flooring Australia—summary
As you can see, there’s lots of non (or low) toxic flooring options in Australia. The safest are hardwood and polished concrete, but you can also find low toxic flooring in bamboo, carpet, and even plastic vinyl. You just need to check the VOC rating before you buy. Good luck!
George Citroner, 2019, Lung Damage From Household Cleaning Products, Healthline
There’s nothing quite like a beautiful wooden floor. But without proper installation and maintenance, that gorgeous finish won’t last!
To help you out, we’ve put together a handy list of some common timber floor defects, and how you can avoid them.
Scratched timber floor. Image from The Spruce
You might think of wood and timber as sturdy and resilient, but you still need to take good care of any timber floors in your home. Prevention is, after all, better than cure!
Some of the most common signs of wear and tear are scratches, scuff marks, and dents, usually from furniture. You can avoid this by placing protective pads under your furniture’s feet and by practising care when moving pieces around the home. You can also protect your floors with timber oil — check out our favourite timber oil finishes here.
Your pets can also damage wooden floors. Sharp claws can scratch surfaces, and any toilet accidents can cause permanent stains. Clean up as soon as you spot them to avoid long-lasting damage.
Another common defect in timber floors is fading and discolouration. This happens when spots of wood oxidise under strong sunlight and become darker than in more shaded or covered areas. Try moving furniture around to even out fading, or keep curtains and blinds drawn during the brightest times of the day.
Timber flooring cupping (rising). Image from BuildDirect
Crowning and cupping are generally the result of poor-quality installation, with planks rising when they come into contact with moisture. Crowning refers to the centre of the boards rising, while cupping refers to the edges.
Wood absorbs moisture and can warp and move, so it’s important to make sure both the materials and the conditions they’re going to work under are a good fit. Research what wood will work best in your home and be sure to take the local weather into consideration.
You’ll also need to make sure the space is prepared properly before installation. You might want to consider bringing a professional in to do the job, as they’ll be able to advise you on the right materials and make sure everything is put in place correctly.
A buckling timber floor, usually caused by moisture. Image from Discount Flooring Depot
As with crowning and cupping, buckling is the result of too much moisture being absorbed by your timber floors, though on a much larger scale. When the floor buckles, planks lift right off the floor, and it’s usually the result of flooding or a leak.
To avoid buckling, check regularly for leaks, clean up spills quickly, and keep a close eye on any dehumidifiers or air conditioners you run in your space.
Timber floor gapping. Image from The Spruce
Gapping is also caused by moisture in the planks, but this time it’s due to lack of it!
Gapping occurs when moisture leaves the wood, causing shrinkage and creating gaps between planks. Floorboards installed during particularly wet or humid conditions will shrink as the water evaporates during drier periods. Some gapping is to be expected as seasons change, but it’s important to minimise the impact.
To do this, research your wood choices thoroughly and install the right planks at the right time of year. And be sure to maintain as stable an environment as possible, so your floors don’t go through extremes.
While these are just a few of the common defects we see in timber floors, you shouldn’t let any of them put you off! Do your research and reach out to professionals, and you can have a long-lasting, beautiful wooden floor to be proud of!
If you love the natural look of timber flooring, but aren’t too keen on the expense, you might be thinking about installing engineered timber flooring instead. But in the battle of solid timber flooring vs engineered flooring, there’s wins and losses on both sides.
In this article, we explain the two types of flooring and compare their most relevant attributes in a handy table, so that you can make the best choice for your home.
Solid timber flooring in an apartment
Solid timber flooring is made from timber logs that have been milled and dressed to create floorboards. This means they are a solid piece of wood the entire way through, which is why they’re a more expensive flooring option. They are extremely robust and durable, lasting for 50 years or longer if properly looked after.
Their natural look makes them a popular choice for homes, particularly older Australian homes, with timber types including Australian beech, jarrah, blackbutt, cypress pine, rose gum, and spotted gum.
Solid timber flooring is usually purchased as a raw product, so needs to be sanded and treated after being installed. This is one of its biggest advantages—you can sand and refinish the flooring multiple times to achieve different looks.
A selection of engineering wood flooring
Engineered wood flooring is made up of a thin layer of hardwood bonded to a substrate of plywood. This gives it the natural appearance of solid wooden flooring, but not the same level of durability (although it’s still durable when compared to flooring types like laminate).
Engineered hardwood flooring is much cheaper than solid timber flooring, which has made it popular in recent years. It’s also much less susceptible to warping when compared to solid flooring, so can also be installed in any grade/level of the home where moisture levels may be higher, or where there’s a higher chance of flooding.
This type of flooring should last about 25 years.
7. Water Resistance
9. High Foot Traffic Areas
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