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How to: DIY Flooring Installation

(Missed out on how to choose timber for your house flooring? Click here to read our last article about it.)

So you’ve now chosen a type of timber for your floor. The next step is putting the planks down there. Either you can hire contractors to do the work for you, or you can do it yourself. DIY methods would not only save money, but it’s also a nifty project to do on the side, especially amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

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If you’ve decided to go the DIY route, read on for a few things you need to know.

1. Acclimate your flooring

If you have just bought the timber, it isn’t a good idea to stick them onto the floor right away. If it is solid wood, you first need to let it adapt to the environment of the room.

To acclimate the wood, here is some advice our team: Put them inside the room and leave them for several days with the boxes opened and slightly raised above the ground. This way, the moisture content of the timber would adjust to that of the room. In turn, the floor would not shift too much due to humidity changes.

Engineered wood, on the other hand, does not require any acclimation. However, it is advisable that it should still be done regardless.

2. Find out the proper way to install the flooring

Not all types of wood can be installed in the same way. For solid timber, you need to install a wooden ‘subfloor’ first, to which the planks are hammered or stapled. But for engineered wood, you can just glue it or even mount it as a ‘floating floor’ without any adhesives. 

As a general rule, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. That way, you would know the proper installation methods for your chosen flooring.

3. Prepare the room

If the room is new and has not had any flooring yet, first check the subfloor. Make sure it’s dry, clean, and flat. When installing over existing flooring, ensure that doors can still open and close freely. Also, check that appliances and worktops remain level.

The next step is measuring the room. It is recommended to add 5% to the figures as a cutting allowance. Apply chalk lines too as guides for balancing the room. If you will nail the flooring, then mark the positions of the floor joists as well.

4. Install the timber

Before installation, read the manufacturer’s instructions first. Watching a few installation tutorials also helps a lot. We advise caution when using nails or glue. These kinds of hardwood installation take time, precision, and know-how. To make the most out of your investment, be extra careful when installing the planks.

Before laying down the flooring, you may need to roll out some underlayment first. Then, position the planks parallel to the longest wall of the room. Additionally, you may use spacers to give a little allowance in case the wood expands later on.

Also, different bundles of planks may vary slightly in colour. Some may be darker, while others are lighter. Thus, mixing and matching wood from different bundles can help you achieve a consistent colour scheme. 

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5. Apply the finishing touches

The last few planks may need some modifications. For instance, you may have to trim them lengthwise so that they can fit those smaller gaps beside a wall. After every plank is secured, the final steps are to remove the spacers and add some coving.

These finishing stages are crucial, so you also have to do them carefully. If done well, your floor installation will look as if it was done by a professional.

Do you have a construction project we can help with?

Catering to architects, interior designers, developers, builders, renovators, and DIYers with an extensive range of products and heavily discounted items.

Let us quote you on your next project and see how competitive we are. Contact us at 9546 5622 / 9546 4334 or get a quote here.

How to Choose Timber for Flooring Options

When you’re remodelling your home or building a new one, one of the big things to consider is flooring. Specifically, what flooring material should you use? A lot of people would choose tiles or carpet, but some would always attest to the elegance of hardwood floors. 

If you’re a hardwood kind of person, the first step is to choose the right type of timber for your flooring. These are not just planks or thinly cut pieces of wood. Instead, timber comprises an entire product line in itself: they come in different widths, thicknesses, and lengths. Also, not all planks are 100% solid wood; so-called ‘engineered timber’ exists too, which is composed of different kinds of wood layered together.

Solid Wood or Engineered Wood?

Back in the old days, solid timber was the only option. Flooring made from solid wood came in thick planks, and they are fashioned from a single piece of wood. Today, solid wood is still readily available, but you now have an alternative called engineered wood.

In engineered wood, the timber is thinner and is bonded on top of layers of pinewood, plywood or rubberwood. Because there is less timber per plank, engineered wood tends to be cheaper than solid timber. So it’s perfect for homeowners wanting to save on flooring costs.

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Additionally, engineered wood has an extra advantage. Wood has a tendency to expand when the weather is humid and contract when it’s dry. If your flooring is solid timber, expect your floor to shift ever so slightly as the seasons change. And if the floorboards have been there for long enough, you may begin to notice unsightly gaps on your floor. With engineered wood, however, the lower layers prevent shifting when the timber expands or contracts.

Plank Width

Traditional hardwood floor segments were about 51 to 76 mm (2 to 3 inches) wide, and most planks still have these measurements. Modern wood flooring does come in more extensive sections, though – as much as 178 mm (7 inches).

You may want to choose wider planks for aesthetic reasons. Although more expensive, these larger segments produce a sense of luxury, and your floor will feel more spacious. Broad planks are also better for large parts of the house like the living room. 

Prefinished or not?

Some timber floorings come prefinished, meaning that they are already stained and varnished once you buy them. This is a good idea since you know what to expect outright. It will be easier to do colour coordination and styling if you know exactly how the wood looks from the beginning.

If you would like a bit more control over the finishing, you may want to choose raw wood instead. The finishing will be done after installing the flooring, so you would have lots of room to customise the look.

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If you pick raw wood, also consider what kind of finish you’d like to use. There are two main categories of finish: oil-based and polyurethane. Oil-based would make for a natural look, but it penetrates the wood and does not form a protective topcoat, unlike polyurethane. The latter protects the wood better from stains and wear. Oil finishes take less effort to touch up, though, in case of scratches. As for polyurethane, any damage to the topcoat may require rebuffing and recoating. This sort of maintenance is harder and more expensive.

Wood Type

Different types of wood have different patterns, colours, and strengths. One thing to consider is resistance to decay and termite damage, which is as valuable in flooring as it is in other furniture. For this purpose, cypress pine works quite well. Its termite resistance made it a widely used material for flooring in Australia. Beech pine also is suitable for floorboards, although more expensive.

There is a wider selection of timber you can pick for your floor. But whatever wood you choose, make sure it can withstand heavy loads and won’t easily crack under pressure. Thus, your flooring will last much, much longer.

Do you have a construction project we can help with?


Catering to architects, interior designers, developers, builders, renovators, and DIYers with an extensive range of products and heavily discounted items. 

Let us quote you on your next project and see how competitive we are. Contact us at 9546 5622 / 9546 4334 or get a quote here