by Richard Catlin
How much does timber flooring cost and how do I know if I’m getting good value?
When it comes to the price of timber flooring, it can be difficult to see the trees for the forest (excuse the pun). The internet has revolutionised the way we check pricing to see if a product is being offered competitively, but unfortunately there remains some businesses that will only provide half the information or worse still, misleading information when it comes to what they are offering (or excluding) for their “very special price”.
If it’s too good to be true…
In recent years we have seen solid timber flooring offered for $119 m2 “fully installed” and in some cases even $109 m2! The old saying “if it’s too good to be true” certainly applies here. The reality is to achieve this price, the quality has to be compromised somewhere. In our experience, there are generally a number of corners that are cut to get down to a price level like this. These likely include;
Providing timber that is narrower, has shorter lengths or a lower grade than the customer expects
Using less skilled installers and sanders who don’t understand what is required to install and sand a timber floor correctly
Using inadequate installation products or cutting back on the volume of installation products used
We have seen floors where less than half the correct amount of adhesive was used allowing the floor to move and cup
We have seen floors that have insufficient coatings on them which look great for the first year or two, but will need recoating much sooner than a floor with sufficient coating used in the first instance.
Getting all the facts before you buy
When deciding to purchase a timber floor, it is important to get all the information about what you are purchasing, so there are no surprises and you know what to expect.
Here are some questions to ask to make sure there are no surprises;
Is this a real timber floor, or a reproduction of a timber floor? (some people call laminate or vinyl plank floors “timber floors” and there are big differences between the prices of these products and solid timber)
What is the timber width, grade and expected timber lengths of the flooring?
Who are the installers? What are their qualifications? Are they accredited members of the ATFA? (Australasian Timber Flooring Association)
What method will be used to install the floor? Is it plank on ply, direct stick, or a floating floor?
Which coating system is to be used and how many coats will be applied?
How long has the business been operating?
Does the sales person answer questions honestly and with good detail? There have been instances where companies have ceased trading only to open up with new trading names. If a business has very little history, there may be an alarming reason.
Purchasing a timber floor for your home is an investment. A good timber floor will increase the value of your home, where as a poor-quality floor can devalue your home. For that reason, you want to be clear on the floor you purchase.
The finer details matter
In reality, it’s difficult to pin point a cost to supply and install a timber floor without understanding the preferences of a customer and assessing the home to understand exactly what will be required. Therefore, any price offered “fully installed” should be considered an estimate until a qualified trades person has assessed the area for installation and provided a written proposal.
As a guide though, here’s some indicative “fully installed” pricing on what you might expect to pay in the different timber flooring categories;
Solid timber flooring – from $130 m2 to $250 m2 (Commonly around $180 to $190m2)
based on direct stick installation
Engineered timber flooring
Based on floating installation from $105 m2 to $150 m2 (commonly around $110 to $130 m2)
Based on direct stick installation from $130 m2 to $200 m2 (commonly around $140 to $160 m2
Vinyl Plank / Rigid Plank timber flooring – from $60 m2 to $90 m2 (commonly around $70-$80m2)
Laminate timber flooring – from $60 m2 to $90 m2 (commonly around $60-$80m2)
Take advantage of promotions
From time to time businesses will have sales offering genuine savings. The main thing to consider is; are they explaining why the product is cheaper so you know exactly what you are buying?
At Bosch Timber Floors, we certainly offer special pricing on timber and other flooring products for a variety of reasons. There are some great opportunities to get a stunning floor at a reduced cost if you look hard enough.
Talk to one of our experienced team and we will be happy to find out what it is you are looking for and how we can find the right product at the right price for you.
Cutting corners to save money?
Don’t risk it
The image below shows a timber board that had lifted off a floor because the installer, who was not accredited, cut a corner and only added a small bead of adhesive on each board.
Correct installation requires the board to be installed on a full bed of trowelled adhesive.
This image shows the result of a timber floor obviously sanded by a novice with no understanding how sanding machines work.
The waves left in this floor are so bad it would most likely require the whole floor to be removed to fix the issue.