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Timber floor

Timber floors are generally easy to maintain and can last for many years when cared for properly and in line with manufacturer recommendations.

There is a wide variety of flooring types in circulation and it is important to consider your material’s variable characteristics when any flooring work (new or remedial) is being undertaken.

A crucial factor in ensuring the longevity of your timber flooring is to understand the environment above and below the floor in your home. For example, in many cases the span of sub-floor joists and bearers can be too great for the size or type of flooring material being used, issues can arise when borer infestation has weakened the

sub-floor framing; while a hot and dry environment above the floor, can also impact your floors performance and lead to defects.

Squeaky floors

Timber flooring will be subject to natural contraction and expansion over the seasons and when heat sources are used within the home. The effect of this natural thermal movement can often result in squeaky boards and gaps between flooring (amongst other issues). Squeaking is due to minute thermal shrinkage of the timber flooring around the fixing (normally nailed), the timber then moves marginally on the nail causing the floor to squeak.

For more information, visit:
BRANZ – Timber floorboards, particleboard or plywood squeaking(external link)

Springy flooring

Moisture and wood do not mix well. The structural integrity of flooring can be compromised without any warning signs. Springy boards can be due to water damage where timbers have become damp, dried or shrunk over time.

Moisture damage can be from a variety of sources (i.e. external water ingress, a high moisture content in poorly ventilated subfloors, absence of a ground moisture barrier or from leaking appliances and plumbing).

For more information, visit:
BRANZ – Timber floorboards, particleboard or plywood squeaking(external link)

Cupping & peaking of floorboards

Cupping and peaking can also become evident due to moisture related issues, but can also be due to extreme heat or a very dry environment above the floor. It is essential humidity and moisture control are managed to avoid such issues. Laminate click board type flooring will often suffer from cupping/peaking when there has not been an adequate expansion gap left around the perimeter of the room.

For more information, visit:
BRANZ – Timber floorboards cupping(external link)

Gaps in tongue and groove flooring

As well as natural thermal movement as discussed earlier, larger than expected gaps between floorboards can be due to excessive sanding over the life of the flooring. This can be especially evident in tongue and groove type floorboards.

For more information, visit:
BRANZ – Timber floorboards joints opening(external link)