Blackbutt wooden flooring
We are just finishing off our residential building project at Northmead in Sydney’s Northwest. The client’s have chosen beautiful Blackbutt Hardwood flooring throughout the extension and renovation. Blackbutt, along with Sydney Blue Gum, is one of my favourite flooring choices. It looks great and is extremely hard wearing. The colour remains true for many many years and the structural rigidity of the floor is excellent. All hardwood floors (and I mean ALL) will expand and contract depending on the climatic conditions, mainly humidity. As the timber contracts in drier conditions you will see little gaps between the boards. A small amount of ‘wriggle room’ is required to ensure the floor does not expand in higher humidity conditions and bow, cup or, worse still, apply significant pressure to walls. Expansion joints are used in larger floor areas to make sure the floor has room to expand without causing issues, and a small 10mm gap is left at the edges. The cupping mentioned above, where the edges of the board rise up, is more prevalent in wider boards.
The flooring in this photo has been laid over a concrete slab. We install plastic sheeting to prevent moisture rising from the slab, followed by ply board. We use what are called Splitz Anchors (big nails with an offset) to fix the ply to the slab. We use lots of them to ensure a nice firm feel and no squeaking or movement in the finished floor. We then lay the hardwood over the ply using specialised polyurethane glue and concealed fixings to hold the wide boards down and in place.
The end result is a beautiful natural floor which will look and feel magnificent for years to come.