Solid timber flooring is usually 12mm (overlay) or 19mm thick with varying widths
from a 65mm wide board to 180mm wide. Solid timber is available in tongue &
groove (long run) or parquet block.
Tongue & Groove flooring is installed as long boards over concrete or timber
subfloors and over joists. The width of a T&G floor will vary depending upon
the desired effect and the thickness of the timber. 12mm flooring timber is most
stable in 65mm wide or at most 85mm wide boards, but 19mm flooring can be layed
in boards of up to 180mm wide. Depending on the profile, between 1/3 to 1/4 of the
thicknes of the timber is safely available for resanding but taken to its limit
it could be up to 1/2. Therefore, a 19mm T&G floor may have 6mm safely available
but can be taken back by up to 8mm, although the strength of the floor will be seriously
compromised at this level.
Depending upon the type of installation and the size and floor area, Solid timber
floors can take from 3 days to a week or more to install and finish. A typical 30m2
floor will have the surface prepared on day 1, the flooring installed on day 2,
the floor sanded and 1 coat applied on day 3, and 2 futher coats applied in days
4 and 5. On day 6 the floor can be safely walked on in socks but heavy furniture
should not be placed until at least day 7 as the polyurethane takes 5-7 days to
During the installation process there'll be noise and dust and during the sanding
process there'll be more noise and dust. It's a fairly long and sometimes messy
process but results in a solid, beautiful, durable and repairable floor for many
years to come.
Solid timber floors are the 'long term' option, usually preferred for:
- Long term family homes
- Heavy Traffic areas (eg: shopping centres, sports floors, hallways)
- Home more prone to damage (eg: beach houses & those with young families)
- new, quality and architecturally designed homes
When a solid timber floor has become discoloured over the years due to UV light
or it's been scratched, dented or worn, through heavy traffic it can be sanded or
disced and recoated. This process may use up anything from zero to 2mm of the timber
depending on the depth of the damage being repaired. The average NZ timber floor
has a disc and coat every 5-8 years when only the poly is sanded off (no timber)
and a sand & coat when the poly and a layer of timber is sanded over every 10-15
years, depending upon the coat and dirt on the surface of the floor.
Polyurethaned solid timber floors are maintained by regular sweeping, vacuuming
and cleaning with a polyurethane floor cleaner such as 'Duracoat'. Dry
mopping is best, using a spray bottle containing diluted cleaner and wiping over
with a dry mop. Over-wetting during cleaning can damage the polyurethane coating
and eventually the timber underneath. It's important to avoid moisture being on
the floor for any length of time, ie: puddles, damp clothing or pot plants with
ceramic bases which leak.