Wood and moisture don’t mix well, meaning that until very recently timber floors in kitchens and utility rooms have been a no-go for most. Hard floors are the smart choice for easy cleaning in these hard-working rooms, but the traditional option of tiling can be cold and unforgiving and simply doesn’t have the charm and character of a solid wood floor.
Thankfully, developments in production methods, the use of new sustainable hardwoods and bamboos and advances in the materials used for sealing mean our carpet and flooring stores in Melbourne can now offer a range of timber floors for any room in your home.
Timber Floating Floor
A timber floating floor is installed like a floating jigsaw puzzle over your existing subfloor. It can even be installed over an existing level tile floor. A layer of insulation keeps ground dampness and chill away, while the timber boards are typically clicked into place.
The most popular timber options for kitchens and bathrooms are naturally water-resistant hardwoods which have been engineered to form planks made up of numerous bonded layers. The resulting engineered planks are not only simple to install but tough, durable and resistant to splitting and warping.
Alternatively, a more sustainable timber option is a bamboo floor. One of nature’s fastest-growing plants, bamboo can be sustainably harvested and, as a grass rather than a tree, it is naturally less prone to water damage than traditional timbers. Bamboo planks are generally made up of thin strips of the plant fibres, bound together using specialist adhesives. It looks beautiful and natural but is incredibly hardwearing.
Vinyl Timber Flooring
For the ultimate in water-resistant flooring, vinyl timber floors now offer incredibly realistic timber-look finishes and textures with the peace of mind and affordability of vinyl. Vinyl timber floors are made from planks or tiles that are created using layers of MDF, topped with a realistic photographic layer and sealed with a hard-wearing varnish.
Top manufacturers such as Karndean and Amtico have been working hard to develop vinyl timber floors that not only look almost indistinguishable from real timber flooring but also offer you far more choice in terms of colours, patterns and prints than is possible using real timber. Better still, vinyl timber flooring is much more affordable than timber, and the cushioned insulation and layered construction make the surface feel more comfortable underfoot.
Kitchen floors take a lot of abuse, so you need to think carefully about whether solid timber flooring will stand up to wear and tear in areas of heavy use. In particular, consider areas around sinks and entryways. Timber floors will need refinishing over time and softwood flooring is more prone to dents and scratches than good-quality vinyl. However, unlike vinyl, it can be sanded and refinished time and again. Vinyl will likely need to be replaced, however the best quality vinyl timber floors will resist water, wear and scratches for a decade or more.