Tips for Laying Hardwood Timber Flooring Over Concrete Slab

How To Prep Concrete Slab For Hardwood Flooring

Changing the floor of your home seems like an exciting idea. Not only will it give the house a new look, but it can also complement the home’s overall interior. Hardwood flooring is a good option for a lot of homes. Hardwood timber flooring is guaranteed durable and is low maintenance. However, without any knowledge of its installation, it can easily be a nightmare for you.

Installing hardwood flooring on top of a concrete slab shouldn’t be a complicated process. It can be done by contractors, or even yourself, as long as you have the right tools and a bit of knowledge on its installation. Many Newcastle home owners have taken on the projects themselves, and whilst we always recommend using professional timber flooring installers to complete the project, we have put together some tips for DIY projects.

Image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/dustyjackman/

image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/dustyjackman/

Here are some of our tips for preparing concrete before laying your hardwood timber floor:

Prepping the floor

If you are using an old floor, and it has previous paint, you’ll have no other option but to remove it. By eliminating the paint, it ensures that the adhesive is going to stick to your concrete. For this particular part of the job, you will need the right tools that can take the paint out.

Pay close attention to the moisture of concrete

If you are dealing with hardwood floor, keep in mind that it can expand once moisture gets involved. This is the reason why you don’t want it constantly exposed to wetness. You have to keep in mind that new concrete is filled with moisture.

It takes around a month before moisture testing could even begin if it is new concrete. If you decided to work in your home, it is important that you don’t hurry the installation of hardwood floor on new concrete. You can hasten the process of decreasing the moisture in new concrete by proper ventilation and drying.

Preventive moisture control

One measure that you can do to prevent moisture from getting to your hardwood floor is by installing a polyethylene sheet over the concrete. This step prevents migration of moisture that comes from the concrete into your floor.

Consider the height

If you are going to compare installing solid timber flooring on concrete slab relative to a wood subfloor, the former is more complicated. It is imperative that you make use of underlayment which can increase the height of the floor by around 40mm. It is important that the additional height won’t be a problem on your cabinet and your doors.

If the 40mm extra height for your floor is a bit too much for the door and cabinets, consider scrapping the idea of using hardwood floor. Instead, stick with a laminated wood floor instead. This option will most likely just give your floor an additional 20mm. This option is also easier to install, not to mention, cheaper.

Our team at Freedom Flooring can help you manage the tasks in preparing for a hardwood flooring over concrete. Click here to view our full service details.

Floor Sanding Pre Installed Engineered Timber Floor Boards

Floor Sanding Pre-Installed Engineered Timber Boards

We get enquires about floor sanding timber boards that are of the engineered type.

These are typically the type that can be purchased in packs and laid in position on existing flooring. Commonly called floating floorboards.

Most people are looking to have their engineered floors sanded and re-finished to save costs on installing new boards.

So what is Engineered Timber Flooring?

engineered floor sandingEngineered timber flooring is made from layers of plywood glued together to form the core of the product, and then a layer of hardwood veneer is affixed to the top surface. The multiple layers of plywood and top layer of hardwood give the overall product its full thickness.

The only thing that needs to be determined whether or not these types of floor boards can be sanded and re-finished is the thickness of the top layer of hardwood.

There are many different products in many various thicknesses.

The minimum thickness of the top hardwood layer we look for is 3mm.

Our floor sanding process typically removes 1mm of the top surface, and we allow for any areas that may show un-evenness.

One of our recent projects consisted of engineered wood floors and our customer had requested us to consider floor sanding & refinishing them.

On previous conversations with other timber floor installers, the homeowners were advised against sanding engineered flooring.

When we visited the property, we could determine the floor boards were in good condition and there was approx.. 4mm of hardwood as the top wear layer. This meant we could give the top surface a light sand & refinish.

This particular floor didn’t really have bad gauges in the floor, more small scratches and marks from general wear & tear in 2 or 3 high use areas of the two living rooms that we restored.

Where the trouble is with some Engineered timber floors is that the top hardwood wear layer may only be 1 or 2mm in thickness, either as original from the manufacturer, or from previous sanding & re-finishing, and the indents and gauges are literally scratched through to the plywood core of the flooring product.

Unfortunately in this case, this is when trying to sand & refinishing an Engineered wood floor can be problematic, because if you sand through the top hardwood layer to the plywood core then the floor would be ruined, leaving the floor in disrepair. At that stage the floorboard would need replacing, which may require the entire area to be replaced.

So can Engineered timber flooring be sanded?

Yes an Engineered Hardwood Timber Flooring can indeed be sanded and Re-Finished…

…But the contractor or homeowner doing the project must be completely sure that the top hardwood layer of the board is thick enough to be able to take a full sand and seal.

To be absolutely sure, ensure there is a minimum of 3mm.

If your thinking of having your engineered floor bards sanded & refinished or perhaps you have solid timber floor boards and you require them to be brought back to their original beauty, then make sure to contact our floor sanding Newcastle team for a full inspection and consultation on the best process for your project.

 

Australian Hardwood Flooring Types – Species, Board Colour & Characteristics.

Choosing A Hardwood Timber Species For Your Next Flooring Project

High quality timber flooring options to suit every home owner and designers imagination.

 

australian beechAustralian Beech

Renowned for its high strength & versatility of application & functions, Australian Beech is a fascinating combination of highland timbers. Unique colours ranging from pale brown and golden hues to a beautiful light cream with slight pink tint throughout.

These unique colour variations make the Australian Beech a highly sought after timber product.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: range 780-900 kg/m3
Janka Hardness: 7.5kN

 

blackbutt timber flooringBlackbutt

The very common Blackbutt timber flooring showcases a grain that is usually straight encompassing an even texture of medium grade.

Colours are very attractive ranging from cream to pale brown.

Physical properties

Dry Density: 900 Kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 9.1 kN

 

brushbox timberBrushbox

With a fine and even texture, the very sought after Brushbox species has unique properties and aesthetic qualities whilst being rich in colour. Variations range from pale pink / grey to rich red / brown.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 900 kg/m3
Janka Dry hardness: 9.5kN

 

flooded gumFlooded (Rose) Gum

Ideal for luxurious residential applications featuring rich but gentle aesthetics. Flooded Gum is a highly sought after hardwood flooring species due to its unique & subtle colour tone ranging from pale pink to soft reds and red /brown

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 750 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 7.5kN

 

forest reds timber flooringForest Reds

Presenting a warm & luxurious feel when blended throughout large scale flooring, Forest Reds are harvested from coastal regions from medium to large hardwood plantations. Timber colour ranging from pale pink to deep rich reds provides a beautiful rich appearance in any flooring application.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 900 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 9.1kN

 

ironbarkGrey Ironbark

This striking timber flooring species produces a stunning array of timber hues from pale brown to dark chocolate brown and even to dark red.
Typically the grain is interlocked, and is presented with a moderately coarse texture.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 1090 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 14kN

 

red ironbarkRed Ironbark

A moderately coarse texture and interlocked grain gives the Red Ironbark a high quality luxurious feel. This extremely hard timber has colour variations from pale to rich reds and even browns.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 1090 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 13kN

 

jarrah timber floor boardsJarrah

This very popular hardwood timber flooring is one of the few commercial species from Western Australia. Jarrah is renowned for its beautiful rich red colour. Over time this will deepen into a soft burgundy.
Ideal for both residential & commercial application due to its density and exceptional hardness.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 820 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 8.5kN

 

karri flooringKarri

A very popular hard wearing flooring option and highly sought after by high end architects. Karri presents itself as a rich red timber with overtones of pale pink to red / brown.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 900 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 9kN

 

messmate timber flooringMessmate

This species of hardwood timber flooring is rich in detail with a even texture and stunning growth rings. A perfect flooring option to contrast against white furnishings, with its colours ranging from pale browns through to light yellows with perhaps some subtle hints of peach.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 780 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 7.1kN

 

new england oakNew England Oak (Manna Gum)

Showcasing an even medium texture with a variable grain and prominent growth rings, the New England Oak tone varies from soft yellows and pinks to pinkish browns.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 750 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 6.0 kN

 

red mahoganyRed Mahogany

Another very popular hardwood species of timber flooring is the beautiful Red Mahogany. An extremely dense and rare colouring with stunning pale to deep dark red textures make this a highly sought after and prestigious timber species.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 950 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 12 kN

 

swan river redsRiver Reds

Perhaps one of Australia least popular hardwood from the Eucalyptus Grandis from Northern NSW. An alternative hardwood timber flooring product that has colour variations from pink to pale red / brown.

Physical Properties

Janka Dry Hardness: 7.3 kN

 

spotted gumSpotted Gum

One of Australia’s premium hardwoods, the Spotted gum has a striking appearance with a high degree of strength and natural durability. Although used in heavy engineering applications, the Spotted Gum is highly valued by architects and home designers for its wavy grain that produces an attractive fiddle back figure.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 950 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 11 kN

 

stringybark flooringStingybark

A striking light coloured blend ranging from pale yellow through to golden hues and light browns allows home designers to feature this stunning timber species in applications with light open spaces. The texture is moderately fine and even with a relatively straight grain.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 750 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 8 kN

 

sydney blue gumSydney Blue Gum

Used as a General construction timber throughout NSW, cladding fencing and even boat building, the Sydney Blue Gum is becoming widely used for luxurious timber flooring.

With a straight grain and moderately coarse texture this hardwood species is popular for decorative applications due to its distinctive colours which vary from soft pinks to dark pinks and red /browns.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 850 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 9 kN

 

tallowwood timber flooringTallowwood

The very prestigious timber that is highly sought after by high end designers and architects. Tallowwood is exceptionally durable with a unique colour and grain texture. Stunning growth rings are accentuated by the predominately yellow / brown textures with a tinge of olive green.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 990 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 8.6 kN

 

tasmanian oakTasmanian oak

An often preferred hardwood timber product for a wide range of applications.
Tasmanian Oak produces an excellent finish when prepared by highly qualified timber installers. The hardwood boards are produced with an extremely straight
And even grain due to the process of quarter sawing the logs.
A combination of three Eucalypt species commonly found in Tasmania, together they form a blend of striking colours from pale cream to pink and reddish brown.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 620 – 780 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 5.5 kN

 

turpentine timber floor boardsTurpentine

A highly durable hardwood timber flooring species varying in colours from pale to dark red / brown through to deep chocolate brown. A course straight grain but even texture makes the Turpentine an excellent timber for dance floors.

Physical Properties

Dry Density: 930 kg/m3
Janka Dry Hardness: 12 kN

 

The information pertaining to this range of hardwood timber flooring products and images was obtained from the Boral website.

For more information on these Australian hardwood timber flooring types, please contact us.