Jul 22, 2021
A floating timber floor is a great addition to any home or commercial establishment. Before you ask - no, the timber does not actually float. Levitating wood is not yet a thing in Sydney. A floating timber floor is a pre-finished, engineered timber floor, consisting of several layers of ply with a wear layer or veneer that is laid loose over an existing concrete or timber floor floor.
The reason the timber ‘floats’ is that it is not nailed or glued to the existing floor. The planks of wood are joined together so the entire floor floats over the existing floor with a form of insulation underneath it for stability. This sort of timber flooring will always be made from engineered timber as solid wood is not suitable for this type of overlay installation.
While there are many variables, we can say that floating timber floors being made primarily from engineered wood can range from $75 - $200 per square metre. This does not include installation costs. You can expect to pay around $60-$135 per square metre for the installation in Sydney, depending on the size & specifics of the job.
Floating timber floors: key concepts
There are many terms and definitions in the timber industry, and it can get confusing very quickly. So we need to iron out a few details before proceeding with the article.
First, it is not really possible to make a floating floor out of traditional solid wood. Solid wood is not stable enough to withstand this installation method because it is subject to changes in humidity.
Floating timber floors are always made from a form of engineered wood. These are sometimes referred to as floating floorboards. Making a floating floor out of solid wood would also defeat the purpose, which is affordability and ease of installation.
Engineered flooring is made from various various species of timber fixed with adhesive to a plyu substrate. Engineered flooring is used to provide plank widths that would not be practical in solid timber. While it might sound artificial, it is actually quite organic and environmentally friendly. It is simply wood engineered into a specific size. Engineered flooring can be more stable than solid timber, particularly in its ‘moisture response’ due to the layer of the ply substrate being laminated at 90 degrees to each other.
Floating timber floors are designed either as tongue-and-groove or click system. The click system is more generally recommended and used as there are no adhesives and it’s an easier install. Basically, the floating floorboards click into place effortlessly.
Factors affecting the floating timber flooring cost
There are a few key factors that affect the cost of floating timber flooring. These are:1. Engineered Wood Quality - This can greatly affect the cost depending on what kind of engineered wood you are looking for.
2. Installation - Different professionals will charge you different prices depending on their level of skill, experience, and the complexity of the install itself.
3. Preparation work - The main requirement for a floating timber float is that the subfloor is level. Some work may need to be done to ensure this is the case.
4. Acoustic Requirements - Multi-level apartment blocks will often have a specified acoustic requirement. Steps need to be taken to minimise the transfer of found from upper to lower units. This can require the installation of more costly underlays for the floor to sit on.
5. Location - Depending on where you are located, the costs may be different. For instance, costs in Sydney will be different from the cost in a rural area.
6. Total Surface Area - With a price per square metre, you will pay more for larger spaces.
While you can pay as little as $75 for floating timber floorboards, you’ll probably pay around $100/m2 - $150/m2 for better quality products that last longer and look better. It’s still far cheaper than traditional solid hardwoods.
On average, you can expect to pay between $180 - $230 per square metre for the underlay, supply, and installation of reasonably good quality timber floating timber floors in Sydney.
Cost of timber flooring in Sydney
Let’s look at the costs of timber flooring in Sydney to give you a more exact understanding. We’ve broken it down in the table below. The table denotes the primary costs, which are the timber, installation, and underlay.
Because floating floorboards are fairly easy to install, the costs for installation are comparatively low. The average cost is substantially cheaper than a similar looking solid floor.
Are there additional costs to floating timbers?
The main costs will be for the floating timber boards and the underlay. The underlay is an insulation that goes between the existing floor and the floating floorboards.
The additional costs may include demolition work and preparation work to ensure the floor is level for the floating floorboards. The skirting boards may also have to be purchased and installed. If you get a quote from a flooring company, make sure that the following are itemised, if applicable:
Material cost per square metre
Installation cost per square metre
Cost for any necessary preparation work
Cost for removal of existing floorboards
Cost for removal/replacement of skirting boards
Cost for any finishing or customisations on the floating floorboards
Are floating timber floorboards really worth it?
Absolutely. There is a reason why they are becoming so popular in Sydney. Floating timber floorboards come in a variety of different materials, so there is a lot of choice available. Floating timber floorboards have the look and feel of real wood at a fraction of the cost. And if a plank gets damaged, you can just replace it with a new one!
How long do floating timber floors last?
The main factor here is the amount and type of traffic that the floorboards are subjected to. You also have to factor in the type & quality level of the floorboards. Thankfully, floating timber floorboards can simply be replaced if one gets damaged, which is a massive advantage over hardwood that is nailed or glued down.
You could say that floating timber floors could last a lifetime, but that’s not 100% accurate. You could get 20-30 years out of a premium quality engineered floor. if you look after the floor well, minimise scratch risks and use the correct cleaning products.
What are the material choices for floating timber floorboards?
There are three broad categories when it comes to floating floorboards. These are:
Laminate Flooring - The most cost-effective option, this is the easiest to clean but can be more susceptible to cracks, chipping, swelling and wear.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVF) - Increasing in popularity, LVF or Hybrid flooring is seen as a cost effective and resilient flooring material that can increase home value.
Engineered wood - Provides the look and feel of solid timber at a more cost effective price.
Veneer - Entry Level (up to 2.5mm- cannot be sanded and refinished), lamella (3-4mm- can be sanded and refinished once or twice only), largo lamella (5mm or greater- can be sanded and refinished 3 or 4 times)
Surface - Flat dressed, hand scraped, hardwax oil, smoked, wire-brushed
Bevel - 4V, standard bevel, micro bevel, square dressed
Gloss Level - Extra matt lacquer (5%-10%), gloss lacquer (35%-50%), matt lacquer (10%-20%), satin lacquer (20%-35%), UV cured oil
Locking System - 2G drop lock, 4-sided lock, 5G lock, tongue and groove
Common sizes for timber floorboards are between 1000mm - 2000mm in length with a thickness of between 12mm - 21mm. The width might be between 150mm - 300mm.
Where can I find top quality floating floor boards in Sydney?
If you want to find exquisite timber flooring in Sydney at a great price, then contact Sydney Floor Sanders. We have over 67 years of experience in the flooring industry and know what makes for a long-lasting, high-quality, aesthetically appealing floor.
There’s practically nobody in Sydney that has been working with flooring for as long as we have, and we can tell you anything you wish to know about floating timber floorboards and whether they’re right for you.
Call now for a free quote on 1300 767 909.