What is a Janka Rating?
A janka rating is a measure of how hard a timber is. The scale goes from 1 to 15. Most timber floors with a Janka hardness of 7 and above are suitable for timber flooring, however the harder the timber the more resistant it is to denting. Bosch Timber Floors can advise you on which timbers have higher janka ratings.
How do I know which Timber floor is the best for my home?
Several factors should be taken into account when deciding on the best timber floor for your home, important things to consider include;
• the look you want to achieve, and the products that you like the look of
• the functionality of the floor for the space you wish to install it in
• the environment of the space you wish to install it in
• the amount of money you have to invest in your timber floor
Bosch Timber Floors consultants are happy to work with you to help you work out which floor will best match your circumstances.
What are the different methods for installing Timber Floors?
There are several different methods for installing timber floors. Some timber floors should be installed by only one type of method, where as with other timber products have different options of installation. Here is a summary of installation methods;
• Floating Floor – this method involves installing the timber floor product over a foam or rubber underlay. It is a very quick and cost effective method for floor installation however floors installed by this method can be louder to walk on which may be distracting for some people. Timber floor styles suitable for this method of installation are laminate floors, bamboo floors (solid or engineered) and engineered timber floors
• Direct Stick – this method involves adhering the timber floor directly to a concrete or particle board floor. In this process it is expected that a vapour barrier will be applied to a concrete subfloor prior to the installation of the timber. This method provides a very solid timber floor that is quiet underfoot. Timber floor styles suitable for this method of installation are, solid timber floors, engineered timber floors and engineered bamboo floors. Solid bamboo floors are generally not suitable for installation by the direct stick method.
• Plank on Ply – this method involves adhering plywood to the concrete subfloor and then nailing and adhering the timber floor to the plywood. This method provides a more stable timber floor that is less prone to expansion and contraction as well as an overall flatter finished floor appearance. The plank on ply method of installation adds approximately $35 m2 in cost over a direct stick installation. Timber floor styles suitable for this method of installation are, solid timber floors, engineered timber floors and engineered bamboo floors.
• Installation over Battens–this method is where solid timber is nailed and adhered onto battens that may sit on a concrete subfloor or over joists. It is a very traditional form of installation that is more common in heritage style homes and gives the floor a deep sound under foot. Floors installed in this method are generally a little softer under foot. Timber installed in this fashion must have a minimum thickness of 19mm to be structurally suitable to install over a batten system.
• Vinyl Plank Floors – Vinyl plank floors are generally installed slightly differently to other timber floor systems. In a two-step process, the first part of the installation involves the installer preparing the subfloor by applying a feather coat screed over the floor. This evens out any imperfections in the subfloor to provide a flatter surface to install the vinyl plank floor on. A contact adhesive is then troweled over the floor with the vinyl planks laid over the adhesive. More recently a range of vinyl plank floors have been released with click together systems. This product is installed in a floating floor fashion but generally does not require an underlay.
Are there different types of blackbutt timber flooring? What are they?
Yes, there are several species of timber that are commonly referred to as blackbutt. This can be confusing as blackbutt is one of the most popular timbers used for flooring. In essence there are three recognised timbers that can referred to as blackbutt
• Coastal Blackbutt (NSW) – is the mostly widely recognised blackbutt timber and what most people are thinking of when they refer to a blackbutt timber floor. It is generally lighter over all compared to the other blackbutt timbers and has a very good janka rating (hardness) of 9.1
• New England Blackbutt (NSW) – has slightly darker brown tones than coastal blackbutt giving an overall appearance of a floor with slightly richer tones. This timber is not as well-known as a timber floor product and is often mistaken for coastal blackbutt. It is a very well suited to timber flooring with its excellent janka rating of 9.5.
• WA Blackbutt (WA) – is a highly regarded timber that has a special niche in Western Australia. WA Blackbutt can be hard to source and for this reason is often priced higher than the NSW blackbutt species. It’s colour tones are generally more in line with the New England Blackbutt however, in recent years with regrowth logs now being milled as opposed to old growth logs, the presentation of this timber has become noticeably lighter. The janka rating of this timber is a respectable 6.9.
Any supplier using the blackbutt reference outside of these three species is most likely using the name as a marketing ploy to try and link the timber they are selling to the popularity of these genuine blackbutt timbers
Is there a difference between NSW and Qld Spotted Gum?
Yes, there is a noticeable difference in appearance between spotted gum timbers that are sourced from northern growing areas to the southern growing areas. Spotted Gum is sourced from the northern parts of Victoria all the way through New South Wales and into Southern Queensland. The timber commonly referred to a Queensland Spotted Gum has a much greater proportion of darker timbers, whilst the New South Wales timber has an overall lighter appearance. It is very important when selecting a spotted gum timber floor that you see a good representative sample of the timber before it is installed so that you are sure that the product is in line with your expectations.
How do you make sure you have a suitable acoustic barrier under your timber floor is you are installing your floor in an apartment?
Under the Building code of Australia (BCA) there is a requirement for all floors in residential apartments, to ensure that the flooring products they install do not transmit excessive noise to apartments below them. Officially the transmitted noise level must be less than 62 decibels when measured from the apartment below. In reality, for comfortable living, builders often look to achieve a transmitted rating of around 55 decibels or less to enable comfortable living conditions for all residents.
To achieve a reduced transmission of noise to the apartments below it is common to install a rubber or cork underlay under a timber floor which provides a barrier against the transmission of noise. There is a wide range of acoustic barrier options including acoustic rated adhesives that can be considered for apartment installations. There is no single system that is right for all purposes. Other factors such as the thickness of the concrete slab and the type of ceiling system between the floors impact the result meaning that on some occasions a less expensive acoustic option can be used to still achieve an acceptable reduction of transmitted noise.
Bosch Timber Floors has extensive experience with acoustic systems for timber floors and are well placed to provide advice if you are planning to install a timber floor in an apartment.
Why should we choose Bosch timber floors as the place to purchase our timber floor?
Bosch timber floors is a local business that has been operating for 28 years, we have been successful for so long because:
- We provide great service, over 70% of our business is referred or repeat customers.
- We offer extensive knowledge to help customers choose the best timber floor for their needs
- We provide quality timber sourced directly from Australian Timber mills.
- We use only quality tradesmen to install your timber floor.
We understand all the intricacies of timber floors because we specialise in them. Our knowledge in this area allows you to feel confident you are getting the best possible product and the best value for money.
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