Timber floors – common construction faults according to the Victorian Building Authority

Australian timber floors are durable, have excellent acoustic properties, and are fire-resistant. Species such as the Jarrah, Victorian Ash, Australian Cypress, and Blackbutt are cherished for their workability, colour, and texture. With regular cleaning, they can provide the best utility for a long time. Experts at the Australian Timber Flooring Association recommend that floors be sanded by flooring services in melbourne at least once every 10-15 years.

However, if they haven’t been installed according to the Australian Standards AS 1684 Residential Timber Framed Construction installation instructions, you may encounter the following problems:

Gaps in solid timber flooring:

 You may observe gaps in solid timber flooring as early as within six months to a year. It indicates faulty construction, primarily if gaps as big as 2mm are found in areas not exposed to temperature extremities.

However, ensure that the distortions are not a result of mismanagement on your behalf. For instance, exposing a freshly laid floor to heating equipment for long durations may develop gaps and cracks.

Swollen joints in all types of wooden flooring:

Swollen joints in wooden floors – be it timber or engineered wood- result from bad construction and material. A swollen joint is said to be defective if you can detect it through ordinary carpets and rugs.

Timber flooring with a defective tongue-and-groove joint result in movement in the boards or subfloor. In extreme cases, they can dislodge.

Additionally, you may notice cupping in the planks –it is when each plank sags and the edges are higher than its centre. Cupping of 1 mm per 100 mm can be attributed to defective construction.

 Nail popping in wooden flooring:

If you can feel a nail through your carpet or noticeably raised from the boards, you have a problem with nail popping. Your floor constructor must rectify the mistake if you observe this problem within two years of construction.

Squeaking and Bouncing: According to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), if your floor squeaks each time someone walks by, it could be due to inaccurate flooring. Consult your flooring company if you observe noticeable squeaking within 24 months of handover.

The same holds for springy floors. If you feel a bounce in any area, the underlying supports are compromised, and your constructor must rectify the issue if it occurs within two years of construction.

Floor levelling:

If you observe a slope on the floor that’s 4mm in any 2m long stretch, then you may have an issue with the floor’s levelling. Aggravated cases can cause a difference of up to 10 mm between the two ends of a room.

If the problem occurs within two years of construction, there is a high chance that your builder is at fault. However, it is normal for wooden flooring to form a gentle slope beyond two years. You may have to repair or replace your subfloor.  

Splitting of boards:

If you observe boards splitting in your timber deck within a year of construction, you should consult your flooring service provider about faulty construction. A flooring expert considers the moisture content of the wood, atmospheric conditions that it will be deployed in, and its subsequent expansion or contraction while building. When he fails to do so, it results in splitting and other deformities.

In Conclusion  

Construction in Victoria has gotten 63.6% more expensive than in 2004-05. Building townhouses especially is nearly 87% more costly. Given the high construction costs, you must expect excellent services from the builders. The Victorian Building Authority holds flooring services in melbourne liable to rectify incorrect installation. However, as the flooring company is not responsible for any lapses of maintenance on your side, do consult an expert to help you with the proper upkeep of your stylish wooden floor.  

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