Wednesday, January 9, 2008

When To Carpet, When to Tile & When To Use Wooden Flooring

As a sweeping statement Europeans, especially Scandinavians and Germans prefer wood flooring as do most Amercians.

However, one can never guarantee who is going to view your home and given the multi-cultural nature of Australia, and particularly the Sydney market, when it comes to renovating with the ultimate aim of selling your property I would suggest catering for the middle ground and aim for wood flooring on the ground floor, carpeting in the bedrooms and tiled flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms.

When it comes to laying wooden flooring, please ensure that it is actually wood that is used rather than laminate – at a pinch one could use wood veneer but makes sure it’s at least 7mm thick.

Quality does count and so the thicker and wider the wood the better, just make sure it’s not at risk from warping due to overheated or damp conditions and that it is fitted correctly.

It would be a bonus if the floorboards underneath the carpeted areas in the bedrooms were in good condition then it would give the incoming owner the flexibility to strip the carpeting away and restore the floorboards if they so desired.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Simon, Thanks for the good information. I agree that solid wood boards should be used. Wood floors have many advantages, and are great in stand alone homes. If considering using wood flooring in a unit there are pitfalls to consider. The greatest issue is noise transmission especially from units directly above your unit. I am on a body corporate and have had direct experience in the grief, that noise issues can cause between neighbours. From experience in professional acoustics, I would recommend wooden floors in units only for a ground floor (where no one resides below you). Please be aware that the BCA (Building Code of Australia) is updated every year and in 2007 the amount of noise transmission allowable has been restricted / reduced to very strict levels. If you decide that you cant live without wood flooring in firts floor and higher units - check with your body corporate rules, if you need permission to carry out a change from carpet to wood floor. I know of at least one instance where a court order was issued to force a unit owner to remove newly laid floor boards. You can imagine the how overjoyed the owners where to get stuck with this situation.

To minimise noise transmission through a wood floor - the floor is made to float on special rubbber underlay. That is - the edges of the floor hide under the skirting board but do not touch it or the walls. There is usually a 1cm gap or more to allow for wood expansion of the flooring area.

You should also be aware that even if a floating wood floor achieves its BCA noise insulation levels (something of the order of 51 dBA from memory - but please check this) - what happens is that after 12 to 18 months the rubber underlay will compress under the sheer weight of the floor mass and this adversly affects the noise ratings. So if the neighbours in the unit below you start to complain about shoe clomping about a year later - you now have a fair idea why this is so.

Hard floors in units create hard problems - sorry for throwing you a curve ball - but its better to know in advance.