Terms to Learn When Buying Timber Floors for Your Home

27 February 2017
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog


Timber floors are a great choice in any home; they come in a wide range of colour tones, and long slats make a room look bigger, while thicker slats have a more grand appearance. Whatever your choice, when you are ready to buy timber floors for your home, note a few terms to learn so you know everything about the buying process and the timber floors themselves.


To acclimate means to get accustomed to something, and you actually need to acclimate your timber slats before they are installed. This refers to setting them out on the floor of the space and letting them sit for several days or even a week. This allows the timber to absorb the humidity in the room and, if necessary, expand and shrink during this short drying cycle. In turn, this will keep the boards from going through this cycle once they're installed and they won't be as likely to warp or pull away from the wall. Your manufacturer or installer can tell you what's needed to acclimate the timber for your home's flooring.

Janka scale

When buying timber floors, you may want an especially dense hardwood for areas with lots of traffic or a room with extra humidity. Hardwood species are rated according to what is called the Janka scale; the higher the Janka rating, the denser the hardwood. The most dense woods, such as ebony, walnut, and teak, may be more expensive, but this density will mean fewer scratches on the surface and less risk of the wood absorbing moisture and then expanding and shrinking over time.

However, you should note that very dense hardwoods are difficult to cut without heavy-duty commercial saws. Many homeowners keep extra slats of wood on hand for when one gets damaged and needs replacing, but you might need to have an actual carpenter or installer cut a slat to fit if you should choose a very dense variety of wood.

Prefinished and unfinished

Prefinished hardwood will have layers of aluminium oxide added, to protect the wood and the paint or stain that has been added over the wood's surface. Unfinished is just that—bare wood that will need some type of coating once it's installed. You might choose unfinished wood if you want to paint the timber floor a particular colour that is not available from the manufacturer; otherwise, it's often good to opt for prefinished wood, even if it's more expensive than unfinished.