Renovating and giving thought to what’s the best option when it comes to floor coverings? In her article this month BERNADETTE JANSON, Director of The School of Renovating discusses adding value to property with timber flooring and explains the various options available.

Timber is the most popular floor finish. If you are planning to install a new timber floor the choice of products is endless.

In this article I will attempt to make sense of the options.

Solid Timber Flooring

If you have existing timber floors, you have hit the jackpot. Sanding and sealing will set you back about $30/m2 and they look beautiful.

These days we tend to go for a low sheen, almost matte finish to show off the timber’s natural qualities.

If the timber is in poor condition with damage and or patches, Japan black covers a multitude of sins.

The only negative with solid timber floors is they are expensive if they are laid new and the sanding and sealing process is a messy business requiring them to be free of traffic for a minimum of 3 days.

Floating Floors

Floating floors are a timber veneer on a plywood or MDF substrate.

The big advantage is that they come pre-finished so there is no sanding and sealing required at installation.

They are generally laid over acoustic insulation.

When selecting a floating floor the best advice I can give you is to go for a wide board (it’s more luxurious). 

Also select a product that is configured in long board.  The short boards and panel configurations tend to look fake.

Floating floors generally come in two types, Engineered and Laminate.

Laminate Flooring is the cheaper option as the timber veneer because it is not timber in the true sense of the word. The wood grain is a photographic print but the manufacturers are so clever these days, it is almost impossible to tell the difference. A laminate is a good choice for a low budget renovation. Make sure you choose the right board configuration and a minimum thickness of 12mm.  

Engineered Flooring is a far superior and more expensive product as it has a veneer of 3-4mm of timber. This means that the product can be refinished down the track when it begins to wear. Of course you get a limited number of times you can refinish. I stopped installing solid floors when I realised that almost no-one could tell the difference between solid and engineered flooring.

Vinyl Timber Planks deserve a mention, especially for investment properties. They too look remarkably like real timber.  Generally, they are on par with laminate cost-wise but the big advantage is that if a plank gets scratched as a fridge gets dragged across the floor, it is easy to pull up that plank and replace it. The thing you need to be careful of is that they can be prone to fading if exposed to direct sunlight.  

Wrapping Up

As you can see, it doesn’t matter what your budget is, there is a timber floor option for every application.

You can download our Timber Flooring Checklist here

Bernadette Janson is a serial renovator and the founder of the School Of Renovating. She is also a renovation mentor, published author and host of the popular podcast She Renovates.


Safe to say she lives and breathes renovating! She successfully harnessed her passion for creating beautiful homes to replace her nursing income. It has enabled her stay at home to raise her children, fund family holidays and weddings, give her young adult children a start in their property journey and fund her retirement.


Bernadette helps passionate renovators and property lovers to profit from their passion and replace their income either now or on retirement.

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Home Renovation Timber Flooring – There’s Options For All Budgets