The popularity of wood as a material for construction and furniture has risen rapidly over the past decade. Wood is an excellent flooring material – gives value for money and attracts excellent user reviews.
The dimensional stability (DS) of timber is a major feature to consider because it portrays how well the material can maintain its original dimensions when used for its intended purpose. This stability makes it an obvious choice for flooring, especially when a significant amount of load has to be shouldered.
Manufacturers calculate the dimensional change coefficient of the wood to check its shrinkage and swelling characteristics. This is because when the expansion and contraction cycles happen, the wood moves in a tangential, radial and longitudinal movement, affecting the stability.
Low density wood will be light and prone to dents. Common varieties include redwood, cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir. Hard density wood would be heavy and will not dent easily. Examples are beech, Brazilian cherry, walnut, rosewood, etc.
There are softwoods and hardwoods based on their density. It is always better to go for a balance between the two for enhanced stability and durability. After all, your flooring should have excellent strength and withstand dents and moisture to a certain extent.
As you must have observed by now, there is a plethora of options with timber flooring. Durability, grain patterns, colors, pricing – all these play a very important determinant in choosing the timber type. Here are a few scenarios to consider:
Of course, the ultimate choice would be yours, enhanced by the architect’s suggestions and the aestheticism of your room’s interiors. The color of timber will be dependent on design elements of your room like textiles, cabinetry and wall coverings.
The pricing of timber depends of three important factors, described below.
Hardwood flooring comes in different sizes, width, thickness and length. The uniqueness of the product is dependent on the process of manufacture, and this would influence the pricing as well.
If you want to do wider-level flooring, then naturally, the timber must be really thick. It is important to design the timber correctly. If not, the dimensional stability of the wood will be affected drastically. While designing, make sure the width and thickness of each strip is in perfect proportion with each other, to ensure perfection and quality.
Some timber floors require periodic sanding and refinishing, while some do not. And longer, wider strips of wood are comparatively costlier.
Did you know that you can gauge the success of installation even before the flooring is actually done? The width, thickness and length of each strip play an important role in the installation process.
Other factors that affect the price of timber are – availability of timber and the complexity of the job. Factors determining the success of installation are also directly related to the subfloor you choose, the moisture content in the wood and the extension gap.
Nailed and glued installation is another method of wooden flooring, mostly used in tropical countries like India. In this method, wooden reapers are initially nailed onto the cement subfloor. After that, wooden planks are glued down and then nailed to these reapers. The advantage of this type of installation is that, you get the benefit of both nailing and gluing methods.
Another factor governing the price is the type of the timber species itself. For example, in India, teak has been a preferred timber species for construction from time immemorial. Owing to its excellent stability and hardness, it’s very much a popular option for hardwood flooring and hence, one of the most expensive timber species.
Wood is a renewable resource, making it an environment friendly option. It is a dynamic, timeless and elegant flooring material, providing warmth, grace and rugged durability to your home. The fact that it is very easy to maintain adds to its charm.
There are different ways to have beautiful timber flooring installed. You can leave them raw, have them stained or choose the best wood finish that suits your requirements. Timber is most definitely, a versatile and dominant raw material for creating lovely home floors.
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