It can be a tough job deciding what flooring to go with and where to start. With many different types of floorboard and with varying costs it is important to do your research, think about what kind of timber you want and at the best possible price. Here we have a look at some of the options available to help get you going.
What are the different types of floorboards?
There are many choices these days when it comes to floorboards and the types of material they are made from. Wood is still a very popular choice but laminate, vinyl and many other alternatives exist and can often be a bit of a money saver. While there are lots of options for flooring, here are some of the key types of floorboards you can choose from.
- Hardwood – Hardwood floors are a classic for a reason. They look classy and luxurious yet warm and comforting and once finished are shiny and moisture resistant as well. They can come in several types of wood and varying degrees of hardness so you can check and see what would best suit you and your home.
- Bamboo – While still a hardwood, bamboo is worth singling out as an eco-friendly choice. It grows and matures quickly making it easier to keep growing more than with most trees and is well worth considering.
- Laminate – Made of a top finished layer over plywood or other compressed layers to mimic a wooden floor, laminate is a great option to reduce costs and can even look like the real thing in some cases.
- Engineered wood – In between real hardwood and laminate, this combines a real top layer of hardwood or similar on layers of plywood to leave you with a floor that looks even more like pure hardwood, though it cannot be sanded down and treated as many times as high-quality timber can.
- Vinyl – Classically pictured in tile form, luxury and high-quality vinyl planks today can look much like wooden ones, but it is true that the cheaper stuff looks less real so it is worth the extra cost.
- Reclaimed timber flooring – Made, as the name suggests, from reclaimed timber from houses, barns or other places this flooring is rising in popularity in recent times.
Though there are many options for different types of floorboards, you still can’t really beat high quality timber floorboards for looks, durability and longevity.
What timber are floorboards made from?
Floorboards can be made from lots of different types of wood, varying in hardness, colour and cost. They come either unfinished, where you sand and treat them once in situ or prefinished where they are already treated in the factory. Which you go for is up to you and can depend again on how much you want to spend, what you what your final floor to look like and your own preferences. Here are a few common timbers for floorboards.
- Hardwood – Made from slow-growing trees and producing a truly beautiful and timeless floor, hardwoods include classic oak, cherry and walnut though there are several others as well. You can get a variety of colours and shades, especially with various treatments to suit any home. Though more pricey this wood justifies it and the Janka hardness scale can help you to decide which of these quality timbers would best suit your needs.
- Bamboo – Again while this is a hardwood it is worth placing in its own category because it does not come from a slow-growing tree. With a similar hardness to oak and with a light colour that can be darkened with treatments bamboo gives you a lovely floor while also being sustainable. Taking only a few years to mature and be replanted as opposed to the twenty years it can take other hardwoods bamboo deserves to be separate.
- Engineered wood – As stated above this type of flooring is made of different types of wood pressed together. The top layer is made of genuine hardwood giving it the right look while the lower layers are made from ply or similar reducing the cost while still preventing warping and other flaws.
Whichever type of timber you go for, make sure you use a trusted supplier or company and that you have done your research to match the wood you want and the price you want with what you need.
How much do timber floorboards cost in Australia?
The amount of money you spend on your timber floorboards can vary dramatically based on the species and grade of wood you choose, whether it is unfinished or prefinished and if you go for solid hardwood or one of the alternatives available. Remember that options like engineered wood can be cheaper, but cannot take as much wear and sanding and so on as the solid choice. It is worth thinking about the long term when selecting your floorboards and where you get them from. Quality is key.
For hardwood floorboards, the rough cost is between $60 and $120 per square meter, though it can be even more or less depending as stated on the type of wood and its quality. For low-quality timber with lots of imperfections, you could spend $50 per square meter and $150 or more for high quality and very few imperfections, so you can see there is a great variance. Imported wood tends to cost more but Australia has plenty of fantastic species to choose from at home again with a range of prices from less for more readily available woods like oak to more for the rarer types.
There is so much to consider when selecting the kind of floorboards for you from timber to quality and colour, so it is important to do your research, decide what best suits your preferences and your pocket, and most of all make sure you use a trusted and reliable company to give you exactly the flooring that you want.