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Tagged with 'Flooring'

Why Should I Opt for Engineered Floorboards?

On the surface you might find it hard to differentiate between solid wood flooring and engineered floorboards, but in actuality these two products couldn't be more different. Engineered floorboards are cheaper, easier to install, are available in a range of wood types and finishes and most of all look fantastic! Find out more about engineered floorboards below...


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What Are Engineered Floorboards?


Source: www.houzz.com.au
Engineered floorboards are essentially a timber board consisting of multiple layers. The top layer consists of solid wood, which is usually 2 to 6mm thick. Following this the boards may consist of 1 or 2 more layers: potentially plywood, or even a layer of softwood sandwiched between another hardwood layer. This layering system creates high levels of rigidity and structural strength. (Check out this website for more information).

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="745"] Source: flooringassociates.co.uk[/caption]

The overall width of the board is usually 3 to 7mm thick, although higher quality options exist with up to 20mm thickness. Essentially the thicker the board, the longer the wear will be.

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What Wood Should I Opt For?


engineeredfloortimber

Engineered floorboards are available in a big range of timbers, so its highly likely you'll be able to find one suitable for your home. Obviously the type of wood you opt for depends on your preference, and what you think will match your house best. If you're really not sure opt for a engineered flooring specialist who can help you make the right choice.

Overall European Oak Floorboards are suitable for most modern rooms, yet depending upon the finish and tone you choose it can also suit traditional settings.

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What Finish Should I Opt For?


Man installing new laminated wooden floor

Unlike solid flooring engineered floors are available pre-finished. Like solid wood there are various finishes you can choose between. For example, a brushed finish highlights texture and grain of the wood, whilst a distressed finish adds a vintage vibe.

You can also opt for different surface treatments such as:

  • Matte lacquers which give the board a natural look

  • Oiling which can highlight the grain

  • Satin lacquers which add sheen and increase durability


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How Do I Install Engineered Floorboards?


Engineered Flooring

Installing these floorboards are easier than you would think. They can either be installed over a floating floor over a suitable underlay, or installed directly using the 'glue down' method via premium hardwood PVA adhesive. The tongue and groove system built into the boards also assists in installation. Maybe the greatest advantage engineered floorboards provide you with it the fact that as soon as the floor is laid, its immediately ready to walk on.

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Where Should I Avoid Using Engineered Floorboards?


Engineered flooring is great in all rooms of the house but one. The bathroom. Your bathroom is constantly going to be exposed to moisture and water, and sadly wooden flooring just isn't going to withstand the damage.

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How Much Do Engineered Floorboards Cost?



Obviously different specialists offer different prices. Its important to do your research and ask around to ensure you get a fairly priced quote.

Also remember with engineered floorboards you get what you pay for: if they're really cheap they're going to be made of thin layers of wood and hence wont be very durable. Alternatively the more expensive ones are going to be thicker, and higher quality. Try Moku for reasonably priced high quality engineering european oak flooring!

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How Much Wood Should I Order?


Ordering engineered flooring requires specifications which are best decided by a professional. To get the area of the room you wish this flooring for, you need to multiply the length by width which can give you the area in meters square. Make sure you order a little bit extra keeping, but remember to keep wastage in mind.

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What Should I Look for When Choosing an Engineered Flooring Specialist?


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="389"] Source: boligmagasinet.dk[/caption]

A well reputed and experienced specialist in engineered flooring can help you out all aspects of the flooring installation process. To find one go online and search through reviews. Furthermore try asking neighbours and friends to determine the best possible specialist for you.

Traditional Australian Designs - Stylish Tips and Tricks

Through years of geographical isolation, Australia has truly become one of the most unique places on earth. Its landscapes and wildlife are a perfect example that everything in Australia is completely endemic and autochthonous. Still, it is important to mention that Australian civilization did not come out of nowhere and the strong European heritage can be seen in almost every pore of our culture. This also applies to Australian design. However, seeing as one can best learn on example, here are some tips and tricks on how to arrange your home in a traditional Australian design.



Energizing room

Image No. 1Image credit 


The most important thing about any room is for it to beam with energy, but achieving this is never an easy task. Start by painting your walls light blue, or blue-gray. Calm and refreshing neutrality of these colours will make it easy for you to further accessorise (and thus energise) walls with pictures, paintings or ornaments. Some of the best combinations are made when you also try to implement golden yellow, pink or even orange to the mix.

The choice of furniture

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When it comes to traditional Australian design, timber furniture is simply second to none. Reasons behind this are quite obscure. It might have something to do with traditions stemming from the first settlers on the continent in the late 18th century. Be as it may, this only makes your job so much simpler. However, why not take this one step further and use only genuine Australian timber in your furniture. Tasmania's blackwood, blackheart sassafras, celery top pine and huon pine are always in great demand because of their outstanding quality. This claim is only further supported by the fact that even some musical instruments are made from these kinds of timber.

Take care of the floor

Image No. 3Image credit


As for the floor, your options are quite numerous, still as always two most obvious ones are a hardwood floor and tiles. The advantages of hardwood floor are that it is aesthetically completely unparalleled and by installing it you will achieve a truly unique impression. As for tiles, the best thing is that there are so many designs that you can always find something you like out there. Furthermore tiles are quite inexpensive and easy to maintain. However, regardless of which one of these two you chose to go with, your floor can always be enhanced (as well as made more practical) by adding a stylish rug to the mix.

A touch of botany

Image No. 4Image credit


There is nothing that symbolizes Australia more than the great outdoors. Why not honor this bond by decorating your home with some of the autochthonous Australian plants. First, make a choice of a nice vase. Usually the best idea would be to go with a transparent one made from hand-blown glass. Next, add some seed pod branches and watch your room come to life. Apart from this, another great idea would be to add a tiny eucalyptus tree in a vase and create a genuine harmonious oasis out of your living room.

In the end, like anything that is worth in life, transforming your residence into a traditional Australian home is never an easy task. However, where there is a will there is always a way and just by following these few simply stylish tips and tricks you will be well on your way to create a genuine Australian manor.

How to choose flooring for a renovation

Are you considering installing new flooring around your home? There are many choices on the market from laminate, wood, tiles, stone, bamboo and concrete to carpet. You can make a choice on a room-by-room basis or consider a uniform solution across your home. What you choose should take into account the amount of foot traffic - whether you have children or pets and what climate you live in.



 

How to Choose Proper Flooring During a Renovation2If you expect to have a lot of traffic, you should look for something durable. Hardwood, concrete are perfect for this, but if style, comfort is what you are focused on then carpet or tiles might be the way to go. If your home is exposed to flooding, stay away from wood based products as water can easily cause boards to warp and buckle.

Here are some tips to consider when choosing flooring for your home:

Carpet


Carpet is a nice, traditional and comfy choice that has been a favourite for centuries. It certainly keeps you feeling warm and comes in a wide array of colours and materials. The downside is they tend to get worn more easily with lots of traffic and spills can be harder to clean up.

  • Wool is one of the classics, and has a nice fiber density. The only drawback is that that woollen carpets tend to be more expensive and vulnerable to moths.

  • Nylon happens to be another sturdy material that works with similar qualities, but it also has a drawback in the form of static electricity generation due to friction with some objects.

  • Polypropylene is also another excellent solution – it has excellent resistance to water damage, mildew and mould as it was intended for use in outdoor areas.

  • Polyester is also a wonderful, stain-resistant material used in such products, allowing for easier carpet cleaning, but it does have a drawback in the form of potential shedding of fibers.

  • Acrylic carpets are made of synthetic wool that allows for easy carpet cleaning and less static electricity generation due to friction, coming in wide variety of colors.


moku engineered european oak floorboards

Wood


Floorboards are the natural option and again there are a huge variety of options from engineered boards to spotted gum, to recycled boards. Floorboards are sound proof, durable if sealed properly and a renewable material source. Timber flooring retains its heat in cold climates and will keep your home feeling warmer. On the downside, high traffic might lead to the floorboards needing to be sanded and stripped frequently.

  • Hardwood flooring looks great and feels warm under your feet, but moisture will kill this product.

  • Engineered floorboards are cheaper and better for the environment. Highly durable with natural grains that can come in a wide variety of colours. New products on the market today, can allow you to install this type of flooring yourself. They are a perfect option in active homes with high volume of traffic. This product also holds up well against water.

  • Parquetry flooring is a mosaic style design of smaller pieces of timber.


 HANA Engineered Oak Floorboards


Concrete


Polished concrete is certainly one of the most popular flooring options these days. Its a mixture of aggregate, water and cement and polished by hand to give it a shiny finish. There is a huge range of choices now and the aggregate can even include stones, glass and trinkets.

Although a very hard floor to walk on, it can be heated to give comfort and warmth.

Laminate


This is a synthetic flooring material that is designed to imitate wood. Its sold in tile or plank form.

Timber laminate is more economical than solid flooring and these days it is very difficult to tell the difference between the two. It is water resistant, comes in a variety of designs, easy to self-lay and simple to remove and replace.

Tiles


Tiled flooring typically comes in ceramic or porcelain styles and is laid on a concrete slab. Tiles are one of the flooring products that will stay warm in winter and cool in summer due to the thermal massing which occurs when a concrete slab sits directly on the ground.

Other


Cork, bamboo flooring, stone are other options to consider.

  • Cork is probably one of the cheapest options around. It is great for kids as its warm and soft and will protect most glasses and plates from breaking.

  • Bamboo is a sustainable product and cost effective alternative to timber. It expands and contracts with temperature changes, so ideal in areas that are humid. It is also a hard flooring material that won't scuff.

  • Products like sandstone will look amazing, but are very porous.

  • Marble, granite and limestone are more expensive and tend to be slippery unless you get it sandblasted.


So in terms of your home, various flooring options can be used for different rooms.

  • Kitchens tend to be high traffic areas and need to have water-resistant and easy to clean surfaces. Floor cleaning and kitchen cleaning needs to be considered. Since you are standing in your kitchen most of the time, soft flooring is desirable and will stop breakages when cups and plates are dropped.

  • Bathrooms tend to be a place where even the smallest slippery surface can be a very dangerous thing, so you should choose flooring that is both mildew and mould resistant and one that sheds water efficiently. Ceramic tiles are a great traditional choice, but they happen to be a bit harder to clean due to their structure. More recent laminate floors are water resistant so they can also be used in bathrooms if they were designed for that purpose.

  • The dining room is also a location used on a regular basis and should be stain resistant. Laminate, tiles and wooden floors are all a valid solution due to their resistance. You should avoid placing carpets since they are more vulnerable to staining.

  • With Bedrooms seeing less traffic, carpets are a wonderful soft solution but you can still use hardwood or laminate floors underneath for added effect. Keep a balance between aesthetics and practicality and you will be just fine.

Why engineered oak flooring?

Engineered floorboards have advantages over solid floorboards - and they are cheaper and better for the environment.  This article explains the pros and cons of engineered oak flooring and highlights where you can get the best value for money. If you want to know why "engineered" and "oak" are desirable when it comes to timber flooring and if you want that desired wide plank floor that all the architects and interior designers are specifying then read on . . .



moku engineered european oak floorboards

Engineered flooring has been around for about 20 years. The popularity of Engineered European Oak flooring has really grown and it is now the most desirable timber flooring choice. Read on to see why.

European Oak is a superior flooring timber


European Oak, or French Oak as it is also called, is a slow growing extremely hard wood timber - obviously from . . . Europe. It is has been used through the centuries as a superior choice for ship-building, barrel coopering, fine furniture production and . . . flooring! Its strong appeal stems from a few key natural features:

  • A high density (0.75g/cm2) making it very strong and durable,

  • Beautiful tight natural grain variations making it a stunning surface (see below),

  • A naturally high tannin content which makes it highly resistant to insect and fungal attacks, and

  • Despite its density, woodworkers will tell you it is very workable. Unlike some hardwoods it can be accurately drilled and cut, and glued


European Oak has a very desirable natural grain


So why does everyone desire European Oak?  When compared to other hardwoods and American Oak it has a unique grain pattern and variability. This is mostly due to its slower growing cycle, which produces a tighter grain, and due to the way it is cut from the log. With American Oak there are three different types of "cut": Plain sawn, Quarter Sawn and Rift Cut.  Depending on how the log is cut you will get one of these grain patterns.

[caption id="attachment_9596" align="alignnone" width="610"]different floorboard cuts produce different grain Image courtesy of Woodwright, Hardwood Wood Company (woodwright.net)[/caption]

With European Oak, usually cut in France or Germany, the technique involves starting with a “square” from the centre of a log, called a cant, and slicing it. The result is a wider plank, typically 170mm to 250mm wide. The centre has a fantastic plain sawn pattern, flanked by a unique rift and quartered grain pattern, all in the same piece of wood.  Getting all three grain patterns from one piece of wood is what makes it highly desirable for feature timber floors!

Engineered boards are stronger and can be made wider


Why is engineered flooring regarded as superior to solid timber flooring?  It is due to how it is constructed. A solid piece of timber acts as timber can - it takes a long time to acclimatise, and it can warp and change with the temperature, air moisture and environment. That is why solid timber planks are generally narrow - to minimise these issues. Engineered timber boards have an engineered base constructed from gluing multiple layers of plantation plywood in many directions to give it high strength. A thinner surface wear layer of solid oak is then glued to this base - this can typically range from 2mm to 5mm, which is enough to provide decades of wear and to allow for multiple future sandings and re-finishings. The top oak wear layer is generally the same thickness as what is usable in a traditional solid board - so there is no loss in the wearability or lifetime of the board.

[caption id="attachment_9599" align="alignnone" width="980"]The benefits of engineered oak flooring Image cortesy of Flooring Creations (sdflooring creations.com)[/caption]

The engineered base is the key - given its strength and rigidity it does not change shape like solid timber.  So it can therefore be made into wider planks with the oak layer glued to the top. Wide and long planks are sought after by architects and interior designers to provide a stunning look for a large room.

Engineered boards are arguably more tolerant of moisture than solid boards - although timber flooring should of course not be used where moisture is expected to be prevalent.

French Oak is a slow growth hard timber

Good for the environment


As engineered flooring boards are predominantly sustainable plantation plywood they are much friendlier to the planet than solid oak flooring.

Far less slow growth oak is used to achieve the same look and lifetime, and most of the floorboard base is from regenerating plantation forests.


Installation is fast and hassle free


Engineered oak floorboards installation is hassle free. They acclimatise very quickly to the installation environment, and as a "floating floor" so they are quickly installed over any subfloor that is flat and sound. As they are pre-finished they are ready to walk on as soon as the job is finished. We have customers that have laid an entire house in a day as a DIY job! That is a very different scenario to traditional floor boards that require extended acclimatisation, multiple sanding phases after installation, and multiple lacquering.

Stay tuned for my next blog on installing and caring for an engineered oak floating floor.

Summary of the pros and cons


Pros

  • European oak is a beautiful hardwood with superior wear characteristics

  • The European Oak cut method can produce a variety of sought after grain variations in a single plank

  • Engineered boards are stronger and can be made wider, and are more tolerant of moisture.  They can be used as long as the subfloor is flat, and can be used in many places that solid hardwood flooring cannot.

  • Engineered boards use less slow growth hardwood than solid boards so are a far more sustainable product than solid wood floors.

  • Engineered boards are typically cheaper as less hardwood is utilised for the same surface area.

  • Installation is fast and the boards are usually pre-finished to walk on straight away


Cons

  • Most solid wood flooring can be used directly onto battens

  • A solid wood board will usually allow an extra sanding or two over engineered boards before you breach the wear layer and expose the tongue and groove


SHIRO Engineered Oak Floorboard

What to look for when buying engineered oak flooring


Design - look for the colour, finish and plank width that will complete your home. Wide planks with a matte or semi-distressed finish are very popular. There are many colours from limed light colours to deep chocolate with dark grains.

Real oak - ensure it is real European Oak. If the description is just "oak" or the timber type is not specifically specified then it might be an alternative hardwood being marketed as European Oak.

Finish - a pre-finished board will save you a lot of time and hassle. They should come with a scratch resistant surface in the colour and finish (matte/satin/gloss - limed/highlighted/distressed etc) you want. Check the boards are UV protected as this is important in Australian conditions where there is an abundance of sun through windows.

Plank size and thickness - if you are after quality then my view is an overall board thickness of at least 14mm is required. At this point the board feels solid. Also, longer planks are important for a larger space - at least 1.6m long in my view. Some hardware chains sell very cheap engineered boards at only 8mm thick and 1.2m planks! These are not made to last and are cheap because they are made from the shorter off-cuts. 

Wear layer - engineered oak boards should have a wear layer that will accommodate at least two future sands and re-finishes. With normal domestic wear and tear these boards will then last for many decades. Some cheaper boards have only 2mm of wear layer. 3mm or more is sufficient.

Warranty - sellers that are not transparent about their warranty support for the product are probably not as willing to stand behind the quality of their product. Floorboards do require proper installation and observance of care for warranties to be valid - so understand these points. Whilst problems are rare, you want to know you are covered for any manufacturing defects or structural issues that might emerge over time.

Accessories - ensure you can get compatible underlay and matching accessories such as edging (scotia) and stair nosing in the same oak and finish as your floorboards. This will ensure the entire project is seamless.

HANA Engineered Oak Floorboards

Where to buy


The traditional way to buy floorboards is from a local retail showroom - often a reseller linked to a supplier. Engineered floorboards should be less expensive than traditional solid hardwood flooring, but is still a substantial investment.  Buying through a traditional retail sales channel of course attracts traditional retail sales margins (to cover rent, fit-out, salespeople, etc). If you are after quality engineered European Oak flooring then you can be smart and save buy buying from a reputable source online. Renovator Store sells the full Moku™ range of Engineered Oak floorboards online to anywhere in Australia at about 25% less than what you would pay in showrooms for an equivalent product. You can order cheap samples express posted to your door - so you can still "touch and feel" the product! The savings on a typical order can be $2000 to $3000 by avoiding the traditional retail margins that reseller showrooms have to charge! So I advise you to check it out.

MIYU Engineered Oak Floorboards

Nobu European Oak Sample

Riku Oak Floorboard Sample

Getting the RIGHT Area Rug

Area rugs do more than just cover your floors – they offer both comfort and style and can alter the entire appearance of a room. Whether you're looking for a way to define traffic flow, group together pieces of furniture or add visual interest, you can find area rugs to suit your needs. Follow these rules of thumb when buying an area rug for your space.

Planning considerations: Ask yourself what purpose you'd like your area rug to serve. The size should be chosen carefully to ensure it's a good fit with your room size and the placement of furniture. Look for colours and patterns that complement your existing décor and a rug material that performs well based on your room's foot traffic.


Cozy living room


Rug pads: Every area rug should be purchased with a corresponding rug pad (rug gripper). Just like carpet padding, rug pads help extend the life of your rug by keeping it in place while providing extra cushioning and insulation. They also prevent moisture and spills from seeping through the carpet and staining the floor.


Area rug fibers: Area rugs can be made from natural or synthetic fibers, which help to determine softness, colour and resiliency. Choosing either a natural or synthetic fiber depends on the style of the rug you want, how much traffic you expect to have in the area and price point. However if possible invest in a quality wool rug, or a woolen blend.


moku engineered european oak floorboards


Patterns and style: Area rugs are akin to artwork for your floors. They come in an endless array of patterns, styles and shapes, with options to match any décor. Buying an area rug should be based, in part, on gut instinct. Keep an open mind and you'll be sure to find an area rug that's both attractive and purposeful.




How to place a rug? Make sure that the two front legs of each piece of furniture sit on the rug, otherwise the rug will look like it's floating.

modern living room

Be sure to measure a room before making your area rug purchase to avoid a poor fit. Here are some sizing tips:

  • Scatter rugs and mats are typically 2' x 4' and are used in bathrooms and kitchens as well as entryways. Place these rugs in foyers and entryways to help protect floors from dirt and moisture.

  • Runners are long, narrow rugs that are perfect for hallways and areas such as foyers and kitchens where you want to define traffic flow.

  • Use 90cm x 150cm (3' x 5') or 120cm x 180cm (4' x 6') accent rugs to define nooks or other special areas.

  • Mid-size rugs are most commonly found in 150cm x 240cm (5' x 8') or 180cm x 270cm (6' x 9') sizes. These are ideal for general decorating purposes in offices, living rooms and family rooms to provide a stylish accent, group together pieces of furniture, and add comfort and warmth to the floor.

  • Your area rug should be proportionate to your floor space. To cover larger rooms, look for rugs that are 240cm x 330cm (8' x 11'),  270cm x 360cm (9' x 12',) 300cm x 390cm (10' x 13') or bigger. Furniture should lie on top of the area rug, helping to visually define your living space. with a two-foot border of bare floor around the room to help anchor the setting. Measure the room's width and length and then subtract 60cm to 90cm (2' to 3') from each dimension. This is the ideal size to aim for.


How to place a rugwrong placement of rug

To figure out your ideal rug size, measure the room’s width and length, then subtract two to three feet from each dimension. The result is what you should aim for.

 

 

A good rule of thumb when deciding where to put a rug: Make sure at least the front two legs of each piece of furniture in the space sit on the rug. Otherwise it will look like it’s floating.

 

A good rule of thumb when deciding where to put a rug: Make sure at least the fron
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