Last Updated Oct 12, 2017 · Written by Craig Gibson
We all love the natural beauty of hardwood timber flooring, but sometimes shy away from it because we are afraid it costs too much.
How much does hardwood timber flooring really cost? Here's what you need to know.
Learn more: Why choose hardwood timber floorboards?
Is a hardwood timber floor right for you? Like any product you have to weigh up the pros and cons and decide if it is right for your home. On the plus side you can’t beat the warmth and character of hardwood timber flooring underfoot, and if cared for they will give many years of service. On the down side some, though not all, hardwood timbers are expensive - more than laminate or vinyl. And you do need to sand and polish them periodically to keep them happy.
There are a number of different ways timber flooring can be laid, including:
Hardwood timber floors are ranked by a hardness rating, called Janka. This industry standard grades a timber species according to its resilience. Harder timber has a higher rating, with species like ironbark rated at 14 (extremely dense and hard), all the way to blackbutt (midrange at 9) and Tasmanian oak at 5 (relatively softer).
Some of the more popular hardwood timbers you will come across include Jarra,Ironwood,
Blackbutt, Tasmanian Oak, Merbau, Grey Ironbark, Kauri, Spotted Gum and Bamboo. These come in a range of colours from reds (Jarrah) to browns (ironwood) to light tones (bamboo). Choose a species based on how much traffic you expect it to receive, as well as a colour which fits the theme of your home.
Find a Local Timber Floorer now
When you get quotes for hardwood timber flooring, you are likely to get one by the square metre or for the whole job.
In either case, the cost will vary depending on the type of timber you choose. Generally speaking, there are three grades of structural timber available, with the cheapest having the most natural variation (knots etc) and the most expensive having the least. As a rule, imported species cost more. Fortunately, we have many types of native hardwoods in Australia to choose from, but these can vary dramatically in price too.
The cost of hardwood timber floorboards varies according to the species and grade of timber chosen. Expect to pay:
In terms of the species you choose, standard grade overlay Jarrah, for example can cost approximately 20-25 percent more than a more readily available timber like Blackbutt or Tasmanian Oak.
For individual species, expect to pay:
Note that these prices are indicative only, and will vary depending on where you live, how much preparation is involved and the complexity of the job. You will also need to ask if sealing/oiling is included in the price.
When it comes time to hiring an installer, take time to make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask then include:
Are you licensed or qualified?
At the very least, they should hold public liability insurance that protects you in case of an accident or mishap. If you hire an uninsured tradie, you always run the risk of being held liable if an injury or accident occurs.
#hiptip: It's always best to get 3 quotes so you can make a fair comparison
When you get quotes for timber flooring, consider the costs, but also consider the experience and reputation of the installer. A polished hardwood floor is only as good as it looks when finished and also needs to look as good in a year as it looks when it is laid. Laying timber floors requires techniques that allow the timber to contract and expand without buckling or creating large gaps between the floorboards. The floor has to be smoothly sanded and polished. These things require skill.