Solid Wood Floors Durban

Solid wood floors Durban

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This client had existing saligna wooden floors which were suspended, or sprung, and she wanted to extend the floor to the other half of the room which was concrete with a linoleum covering. The total area was about 12 square metres. A small job in size but we needed to be careful to get it flush and level with the existing floor.

Saligna makes very nice floors in that it is relatively inexpensive as it is grown locally in South Africa. Saligna come from gum trees. It is a hardwood and relatively hard and dense so is moderately durable. It is not of course as good as teak or some of the other hardwoods, but it is cost-effective and does the job well. The sapwood is a pale yellow in colour, fairly well-defined from the light rose-brown heartwood. The grain is usually interlocked, occasionally straight and the texture is rather coarse. The wood weighs between 700-800 Kg / m³ when dried. It takes nails and screws reasonably well. So overall it makes a good flooring timber when taking into account cost and durability.

It is always a good idea to let the floor boards acclimatise on site in the area they will be installed, for about 2 weeks. Timber “moves” (expands and contracts) a bit in different climates and one wants all the movement to occur before installing the boards so as to limit any gaps that might open up after installation. This is particularly the case with saligna as it tends to “move” a bit more than other timbers. Saligna also prefers to be installed on a suspended system, as opposed to being stuck down to the concrete substrate, as it can then still move during its lifetime without cracking.

Solid wood floors Durban

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We installed 30mm batons, also in Saligna, to the floor using hiltis and then attached our floor boards to these using oval nails. One should always use the same wood as the batons, or one of similar density, so that they can “move” at the same rate. A nail gun with brad nails isn’t the best way to secure them as the brad nails aren’t ribbed and can pull out in the future. There are pneumatic nail guns available that take ribbed nails which make the job a lot quicker and easier.

The trick in doing these floors, as it is with decks, is to make sure that the top of your batons are flat and level. If your substrate is flat and level and can’t move, the boards will go down nicely and the floor will give you many years of warmth and enjoyment.

These were tongue and groove boards so each board’s tongue slips into the other boards groove to give a seamless finish. The nails are hammered in at a 45 degree angle through the tongue so they are concealed.

Solid wood floors Durban

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When these boards are machined the tongue and groove are machine slightly off center so that the boards can be sanded during their lifetime a few more times than if they were machined dead center. A board can only be sanded a number of times until the thickness between the top of the board and the tongue becomes so small that they start breaking off. This is particularly the case with saligna as it is not as hard as teak for instance and when it is sanded the sander removes slightly more wood than it would on a teak floor.

Solid wood floors Durban

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We sanded the floor flat, installed some skirtings to match and then sealed it using a Woodoc Floor sealer.

For a free no obligation quote on solid wood floors, laminates and floor sanding and sealing please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact us form below.

Solid Wood Flooring Installer Durban

 

Solid wood floors Durban

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Solid wood flooring in Durban, and for that matter throughout the world, has risen again in popularity over the last few years. Many years ago solid wood floors were quite popular and in the 1970’s these were replaced with carpets. Many old houses are no finding top quality solid wood floors beneath their carpets and renovating them by pulling up the carpets and sanding and sealing them. Solid wood floors add an air of class to any house and of course add tremendous value.

There are various different types of wood that one can use, all of which vary in price, durability, hardness etc. I’ll list a few of the most popular in order of cost with the most expensive at the top. This list is by no means exhaustive but will give you an idea of what you can choose from. I won’t list current prices as these can change from time to time. For a costing please contact me below or through the contact us page.

  • Teak
  • Kiaat
  • American White Oak
  • Ash
  • Beech
  • Maple
  • Cypruss
  • Oregon
Solid wood floors Durban

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Being solid wood floors they can be sanded many times, unlike laminates which can only be sanded a few times if at all. They are of course more expensive so one needs to carefully budget to ensure that the right choice will be made.

They can be installed in two methods. One is to glue them down to the substrate, normally the concrete floor using a suitable good quality adhesive. The other is to suspend then on batons about 30mm off the floor. Each method has its own pro and cons and at times one can only use the one method. For instance if the finished surface needs to be raised 50mm or so then a suspended or sprung floor will be required. If the reverse is true then they will need to be glued down. Also if the substrate is not completely flat, then it is better to suspend the boards. Gluing boards to a substrate that is not 100% flat it asking for trouble as the boards will eventually lift and the floor will need to be re-done.

Boards are normally purchased from a manufacturer and can either come straight-edged or with a tongue and groove on them. Normally those that are glued down come with a straight edge and those that will be suspended will come with a tongue and groove so that a nail can be inserted at a 45 degree angle to secure the board through the tongue so as not to be visible from the top.

Solid wood floors Durban

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Once the floor is down the gaps need to be filled and then sanded to get all boards flat to each other. Sanding will proceed until a smooth finish is obtained and then it will be sealed using a good quality polyurethane. Nowadays there are many water based polyurethane sealers which behave in a similar fashion to the old tried and tested two pack sealers which contain an activator to harden them. Normally three coats are put down with a light sand between coats to ensure a smooth finish. After the first coat, especially with water based sealers, the fibres in the wood will be raised and need to be sanded off before the second coat is applied. This is sometimes not necessary between coats 2 and 3 unless there is dust in the air that settles on the surface before it dries. The best test is to feel the surface between coats to establish if a light sand is required.

For a free no obligation quote, please call us on 082 496 5444 or use the contact form below.