QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: What is my best option; am l better off buying a 14mm (Overlay) or 19mm (Traditional) hardwood floor?
A. It is obviously personal preference and each job has different requirement; a 14mm floor board in our (Overlay Range) can be sanded the same amount of time as a 19mm floorboard it comes in a shorter random spread which is easier to manage on the job site and has been designed to go over a flat solid surface which is classified as a non-structural floor and in most cases is a better option than 19mm due to less core moisture in the product, therefore a more stable option. On the other hand, a 19mm floor board (Traditional Range) has been designed to go over floor joist which is classified as a structural floor. A 19mm floor board has the same ware layer as a 14mm floor board; it also has a longer average length spread however dependent on your circumstances the choice is yours.
Q: There are so many species of different hardwood floors. How do I know which one is right for my home?
A. It really comes down to the look you want to achieve and what you want to spend. Stains and finishing techniques can also alter the appearance of any timber floor. Inherent qualities such as the grade of timber, grain density of the timber species, and coating you choose should all be taken into consideration to see what fits your lifestyle and expectations. Contact a Victorian Designer Floors representative.
Q: What is the Janka hardness rating scale?
A. The Janka scale provides a consistent numerical reference of hardness for various species of timber. The higher the number, the harder the timber.
Q: Are hardwood timber floors a good choice for a bathroom or laundry?
A. Timber flooring can be installed virtually anywhere in the home, bathroom and laundries though are predominantly exposed to higher levels of humidity with showers, washing machines and dryers being utilized on a frequent basis. Water spills, overflows and humidity can greatly affect the floor causing cupping, movement and possible delimitation of coating pending what coating has been applied. We can only advise of these possible symptoms and it is then your choice to install into these areas, we will not warrant these areas due to above factors.
Q: Should I have environmental concerns about using hardwood flooring products in my home?
A. Hardwood timber floors are one of the wisest environmental choices you can make. Not only will they very likely outlast you, they are made from nature's most remarkable renewable resource. Despite the millions and millions of trees that have been harvested, there are more trees growing today than we had in 1920. Suppliers we utilise have a chain of custody (COC) certification ensuring product is milled from sustainable growth forest.
Q: What is the difference between your prefinished and unfinished flooring?
A. There is more options available to you for an unfinished raw timber floor, in most cases there are 3 different grades, 3 different sizes and a much larger range of timber species available and not to dismiss the fact that you have many different options of coating available to choose from. Opposed to a prefinished floor is much simpler the product is essentially what you see is what you get. 1 grade, 1 finish, 1 size board, the option is yours.
Q: Do I need to acclimatize my hardwood floor?
A. In order to have the floor acclimatize to the environment that the floor is going to rest in has a lot of contributing factors. Most people will tell you that it is recommended you acclimatize your timber for anything up to 4 weeks however this is not the case for most areas around metropolitan Sydney or NSW.
Factors that need to be considered are:
(1) Who manufactured the timber this has a lot to do with the satiability and moisture content of the floor.
(2) Which area do you live in also has an effect on how the timber floor will perform whether you live by the sea side, outer country side or metropolitan Melbourne.
(3) Is it new homes you are building or an existing home you are renovation or extending? This will determine if the product needs to be acclimatised or not. In a new home you are not acclimatizing to its normal environment so contact us for the right advice.
Q: What is the moisture content of our hardwood floors?
A. Our hardwood floors range is kiln dried to a moisture content of 9 to 14 percent. Hardwood timber floors will naturally expand and contract with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. However, hardwood floors perform best when they are within a temperature/humidity range of 9 to 12 percent in Melbourne and can varies around different states of Australia. At this range, expansion and contraction can be reduced to its minimum. Refer to FAQ question; How do I acclimatize my hardwood floor?
Q: Can I expect my floor to have colour variations?
A. Yes. Hardwood flooring is a natural product. Therefore, you should expect there will be natural colour variations in each individual species. Although lower grades of flooring will have a larger number of character blemishes, you can expect colour variations in all grades.
Q: How does moisture affect my hardwood flooring?
A. Excessive moisture can lead to numerous changes to your floor, such as cupping, bucking or cracking. Therefore ensure that the house is water/weather tight which means Front and back doors are fitted, windows are in and plaster board has been hung the above suggestions are a must prior to any flooring installation taking place.
Q: Do I need a moisture barrier if it is an old, new or suspended slab?
A. Yes, we recommend using an epoxy barrier when directly gluing timber to concrete or plastic 200um moisture barrier when installing flooring over 12mm plywood base, regardless of whether the slab is old, new or suspended when fitting a new timber floor we recommend one form of moisture barrier in every concrete slab application. The moisture barrier prevents rising moisture from impacting the overall look and performance of your new timber floor it is essentially your warranty on the job.
Q: What are some potential moisture problems I should look out for?
A. Cupping and crowning are caused when water is trapped between the timber floor and the subfloor. When this imbalance in moisture occurs, it is essential that the boards dry evenly; if not, cupping or crowning can appear.
Q: Where can I install hardwood flooring?
A. Hardwood flooring is an extremely durable flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home that is above ground. There are several locations that are not recommended for hardwood flooring. Because hardwood flooring is a natural flooring product and it is not recommended that it be installed in wet area locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause your hardwood flooring to warp, swell or crack.
Please note that certain species of hardwood are softer than others. You should consider using these harder species for high traffic areas. Refer to the Janka Hardness rating for an indication of the species hardness.
Q: What is your minimum job size order?
A. There is no minimum job size Victorian Designer Floors will accommodate for any job size, big or small we are here to service your requirements.
Q: Do l need to protect my new floor once it has been fitted in my new house?
A. YES. Whether the house has been completed and you are living in it or building works are still in progress your newly fitted timber floor needs to be protected from Australia's harsh climate. Your hardwood timber floors expansion and contract as a natural and periodic process. The degree of movement depends on the surrounding changes in temperatures and changes are more often during long periods of either dry or wet conditions. Full length floor to ceiling windows, large glass areas and skylights that radiate direct sunlight can create sunroom environments with high temperatures and low moisture conditions causing hardwood flooring to shrink. So the use of some form of window covering is a good idea to protect your hardwood floor. Also different types of air conditioning and heating systems can dramatically reduce or increase the general moisture content within a home. We need to be made aware of what type of systems is to be used in the home so that we can advise you of the necessary precaution you need to take.
CLEANING MAINTAINANCE TIMBER FLOOR
Q: What is the best way to clean my hardwood floor?
A. The best way to maintain your floor is to sweep dust mop and/or vacuum the floors regularly. Hardwood timber floors also clean easily with an OSMO mop or similar type dry mop. You should avoid excessive moisture. Never use a steam mop putting excessive moisture can lead to numerous changes to your floor, such as cupping, buckling or cracking or delimitation of coating. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not use water to clean your floors. Slightly damp mop may be used to mop up a spill. For maintenance instructions go to our services tab and scroll down to Floor Care or call us on 1300 558 903 our customer service representative will be happy to help you with suggestions.
Q: Can I use any floor cleaner?
A. No, whether it is a prefinished or a floor that has been finished onsite we always recommend use manufacturer-recommended cleaners that we have in stock.
Q: What is the best way to protect my timber floors from scratches?
A. Install felt pads under every moveable item that is on the floor. This includes chairs, tables, couches, coffee tables etc. It is dragging of items over a floor that is most common for marking/scratching to occur. It does not matter what type of coating is used a floor will always scratch. Preventative measures are the best cures.
Q: The floor beneath my rug is lighter than the exposed floor, what can I do?
A. It is normal for hardwood timber floors that are exposed to sunlight to darken over a period of time. To eliminate the obvious tone differences, it is best to rotate rugs and furniture so that the flooring gets an equal amount of sun exposure. Any differences in light exposure will eventually fade away.
- Solid hardwood offers a variety of grain patterns, natural colour variations, and the beauty of a natural material.
- Hardwood floors are easy to clean.
- Hardwood floors are ideal for allergy sufferers as they do not promote dust or harbor dust mites.
- Hardwood flooring is longest-lasting. Although there is a limited workmanship warranty your hardwood floor, many hardwood floors last for decades maintained correctly.
Q: How do I handle stubborn stains?
A. For stubborn stains, apply the manufacturer's recommended cleaner to a soft cloth and lightly rub area. Repeat if necessary. Do not use any other cleaners as this may impact the overall appearance of the floor. Contact Victorian Designer Floors for further assistance in this matter.
Q: How do I get my hardwood floor to look like it did when it was new?
A. There are products that can be applied to different surface finished floors that will renew the floor back close to its original appearance pending on wear and scotching. Use only manufacturer recommended products. If the floor has been coated with a hard wax finish it can be buffed/burnished to revive without the need of a complete re-sand. Polyurethane and water based coatings will more than likely have to be completely re-sanded back to raw timber and recoated to achieve the desired result. For the right advice talk to one of our representative
ENGINEERED VS SOLID HARDWOOD
Q: Can solid or engineered flooring be installed over radiant heat?
A. It is not recommended that our solid hardwood flooring be installed over radiant heating however engineered flooring can be installed over radiant heat. The specifics of the installation are dictated by the type of radiant heating system you're using. For the right advice talk to one of our representative's.
Q: What is the difference between floating, gluing, nailing/stapling a floor?
A. Engineered floors are typically installed by floating (interlocking the boards together), or by gluing the floor down to the subfloor using a MS Polymer adhesive, which will allow the floor to move naturally. Solid flooring is typically nailed or stapled through the tongue and straight into the subfloor below. Call us, for more information to determine the best installation method for your project.
Q: Should I use unfinished or prefinished hardwood?
A. Both choices have their advantages. If you are trying to match to an existing hardwood floor, you may want to go with an unfinished floor so it can be stained to match. However, this will mean finishing will be done onsite, resulting in more noise, dust and delays in using the room. HM WALK Prefinished floors, on the other hand, are already finished with 13 coats of an aluminium oxide finish. This means you will get the convenience of not having to shut down the room while you finish the floor onsite. If you still may have any questions on any of our product range? Send us an email.