Timber Flooring

We have a good selection of premium engineered timber flooring for all homes.

Engineered with a pre-finished top layer of real timber that is bonded to a plantation timber or plywood base, this timber flooring is usually installed as a floating floor over an acoustic underlay but can also be glued to the subfloor.

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More on Timber Flooring

Engineered timber flooring offers the homeowner an economical, fast, and no-mess option for a real timber floor with low environmental impact.

And click-lock or traditional tongue & groove planks are quick and easy to install.

What is Engineered Timber flooring?

Engineered timber flooring is a manufactured plank with a layer of a pre-finished timber veneer atop a stable base material.

The planks are joined via a click-lock system or conventional tongue & groove joints.

They vary in thickness, from 8mm to 32mm. Generally, the thicker the plank, the thicker the timber layer.

Engineered timber flooring requires a foam underlay to absorb minor irregularities in the subfloor and eliminate unwanted contact sound.

Does size matter?

The thicker the plank, the more solid it sounds and feels underfoot.

Top veneer layers range from 0.5mm to 6mm.

Veneers below 2mm generally cannot be mechanically sanded but can be recoated when required.

Thicker veneers can be sanded and recoated, provided it’s done with great care.

How is engineered timber flooring laid?

They are commonly installed over a thin foam underlay as a “floating” floor.

In a “floating” floor, engineered timber planks are installed over a thin foam underlay. Self-locking planks click together without the need for adhesive, while tongue & groove planks adhere via a thin bead of glue.

In cases where moisture may rise from the subfloor, an impervious plastic membrane is required.

The flooring’s locked “raft” will expand and contract and needs a 5 -20mm expansion gap around all walls and fittings (as per supplier instructions).

Mid-floor expansion joints are required at doorways and across the width of large areas. Cutting is done by a handsaw or power saw.

Is there an advantage to click-floor laying?

The click-lock system is quicker to install and easier for DIYers.

Professional installers may charge slightly more for tongue & groove as it requires gluing and takes more time.

Different manufacturers have different joining systems such as Premium’s Uniclic® Multifit system.

How do click lock and tongue & groove differ once laid?

Basically, they feel the same underfoot. But tongue & groove planks, since they are glued, lock more solidly together and there is less joint movement.

Click-lock planks exhibit minor movement in the joints and may provoke slight squeaks underfoot, especially if the subfloor is undulating.

Why glue down your floor

There are pros and cons to a complete stick down. Installation cost is higher. But a glued-down floor will sound less hollow underfoot, and joint-squeak is virtually eliminated.

They can also be sanded back more easily, though expansion gaps are still required.

How are expansion gaps and joints covered?

Fitting skirting, quads, or matching scotia trims once the flooring is complete, usually takes care of perimeter expansion gaps.

If skirting thickness is not enough, the plasterboard may be cut away to allow further expansion.

Expansion joints require a metal “H” or “T” trim fastened to the subfloor to allow movement on both sides.

How flat must the floor be before starting?

Engineered timber flooring is quite rigid and requires a flat floor. A maximum of 3mm undulation over 1.5m is a good guide.

Ramping is possible if extremely gradual or when separated with an expansion joint and trim.

The flatter the floor, the more consistent the sound – and less flex.

High points and hollows should be fixed as they create stress points that can lead to joint dislocation.

What subfloors can be laid over?

Almost any type of domestic subfloor can support engineered timber flooring.

Ensure the subfloor is smooth, dry, and flat, and use a straight edge to correct undulations greater than 3mm over 2m.

Edges and lipping commonly found in tiled or particle-board floors may require grinding or sanding.

Securely glued vinyl sheets, vinyl planks, or cork floorboards can also be installed if floated.

Gluing engineered timber flooring to an intermediate layer may result in your product warranty being voided.

Let Integra Directs’ experienced experts alleviate any concerns.

Integra Direct can guide DIYers with information and products for a professional finish.

What patterns and styles does engineered timber come in?

Most Australians purchase either Australian timbers or one of the many classic oaks from around the world.

Smooth surfaces are easier to wipe clean, but they may be slippery and show marks more so than oak with a natural grain texture.

Oak, such as herringbone, ages gracefully and requires less maintenance than smoother finished floors.

Rustic and strong naturally featured timbers add a classic charm to your home, or you may prefer the perfection of A and B graded floors that exhibit few natural features.

Why are there shorter planks in the packs?

Most packs contain “nested” planks, meaning a few ½, ¾ or ¼ length planks. Check with the sales team so there are no surprises.

Manufacturers reduce wastage by using as much of the plank as they can during manufacture. The shortest ends are used as row-starters or in wardrobes. Larger “under-length” planks are used in smaller or less important areas, but they should be mixed with full-length planks for a natural finish.

How water-proof is engineered timber?

This depends on the construction method, material, and coating system.

Highly water-resistant plywood bases and Havea (Indonesian plantation timber) tolerate exposure to water.

The latest technologies combine water-proof hybrid cores with real wood veneers and a high-grade cork acoustic backing.

One such product is Omniflor, with a polyurethane wrap protecting the wood from moisture.

What causes cupping and bowing in floorboards?

Keeping temperatures and humidity levels under control is important to engineered timber floors.

Moisture under the boards or surface moisture can cause planks to bow upwards.

Ambient dryness may also cause your flooring surface to dry and contract which provokes bowing.

Note that serious buckling is usually caused by other factors, such as insufficient expansion allowance or water damage.

What does maintenance involve?

It usually involves sweeping, vacuuming, and damp mopping. Avoid scratching with grit or sharp objects.

Use entry mats and leave shoes at the front door if possible, as embedded stones and sharp heels can indent timber.

Conditioners like Bona’s Wood Floor Cleaner are great for spot cleaning and rejuvenation of light scratches.

If the surface coating is scratched or worn through, it may be time to sand and recoat.

Hand sand the surface layer before applying a new coating. Note that sanding the surface coating off will revert to the base timber, and the original colour and texture may be lost.

Staining is an option that should be trialed on a spare plank or an inconspicuous part of the floor.

Mechanical sanding is only recommended if the timber layer is at least 4mm thick and the floor is glued down.

What are the advantages of engineered timber flooring?

Installation without adhesive allows these products to be installed over subfloors where stick-down would either fail or require expensive preparation.

Flat tile floors can be directly laid over with minimal preparation.

Solid timber has a quality look with no pattern repeat. It’s warm to walk or lie on, making it great for kid areas.

Engineered hardwood is easy to install – no specialist tools or professional experience required.

What are the disadvantages of hardwood timber?

Floating laminate flooring and hybrids must have joints supported underneath and can lose integrity if constantly flexing, making subfloor requirements higher than loose lay vinyl flooring or floorboards that are glued.

Vertical movement and creaking sounds from joint movement due to foot traffic or thermal contraction may occur.

To allow normal expansion and contraction, your floor cannot be anchored down by heavy items like pianos, slate pool tables, etc.

Depending on the level of water-resistance, pet accidents, leaks or spillages can cause swelling, buckling, or peaking. This means that wet mopping is not an option. Replacing a damaged plank is tricky and may stand out.

Generally, the maintenance and care level is higher than other flooring products.

Talk to Integra Direct to determine if engineered hardwood is suitable for your home.

In what areas can it be installed?

As no wood floor is truly waterproof, they are not commonly installed in areas such as WCs or laundries. They are more suited to bedrooms, lounges and dining rooms.

Consider new products such as Omniflor which has a water-proof base with a polyurethane envelope protecting its timber veneer. Omniflor can withstand moisture extremely well and is used throughout the home.

How long will it last?

Real timbers need more effort than synthetics to keep their amazing appearance. The better the care, the longer they last.

Ultimately, abrasive wear, excessive exposure to moisture, and change of colour will affect appearance. Window coverings or awnings, sanding, and recoating can alleviate some of these issues.

They can last well over 25 years, but it comes down to the environment and buyer expectations.

What if I damage my new floor?

Dragging heavy furniture without protective pads may cause surface marks and scratches. If rejuvenation with Bona’s conditioner is not enough, sanding, re-staining, and recoating may do the trick.

Optionally, planks can be removed and new planks fastened into place. This is tricky, but you can count on Integra Direct for a service call by one of our professionals.

How much should I pay for engineered timber?

Generally, price is a good indicator of quality.

Expect to pay a little more for thicker timber layers, heavier coatings, or click-lock technology.

Textured and stained surfaces and smaller parquetry planks used for herringbone are dear.

Oaks are more common and thus cheaper than Australian timbers.

From the Australian selection, the ‘Blackbutt’ and ‘Spotted Gum’ are priced below the harder-to-source Jarrahs and Sydney Bluegums.

Generally, 12mm Aussies and Oaks start around $60 – $70/sqm, Omniflor in the low $70s then there is a wide range from the mid $70s up past $100.