Select; this has the least amount of natural feature. In select grade you can get a small amount of natural features like gum vein and pin holes. Remember even select grade can sometimes have a small amount of natural feature.
Standard; the natural features are limited meaning the gum veins are small to medium in length; there are some small natural pin holes and small tight knots and swirls throughout the boards. This is a very popular grade as it has just the right amount of natural features to satisfy most people’s taste if they are after a natural looking floor at a great price.
Feature: This is what we call the “Timber Lovers Grade”. If you enjoy the look of all the natural features like gum veins and gum pockets, small knots, slight surface checking and other natural features in your timber floor then this is for you. The machining is the same as select grade and it is still as structural as select grade. You will have to do some filling with feature grade to get a smooth finish on your floors.
Prestige: is a mix of select and standard grades usually this grade is used in wider boards and at times in other sizes. Generally it’s the entire select grade from the run and the better boards from the standard grade.
Rustic: is when they usually have a prestige grade involved, so it generally the lower half of the standard grade boards and the feature grade boards mixed together.
Rustic Industrial: a new grade we have introduced to the market that is a mix of standard/feature/cover and homestead grades. We only supply this as a T&G Flooring profile and if used as a structural floor the layer must carefully select out the better boards and dock out any excessive splits, checking, large knots etc. This grade is for those who want a floor with high features and also a low budget cost floor covering.
Homestead: another new grade we have introduced that basically is a select grade looking board with sticker marks on the face of the boards.. While some of the stick marks will sand out or fade away when coated there are some that remain noticeable and as they are caused by human interference they do not pass as a feature under Australian Standards. This grade is sold around the same price as feature grade. Please call office for more details and sample pictures of floors that have been laid and polished to show finished results.
Cover/Utility; better known as auction grade. Not recommended for a polish finish. The grade consists of large gum veins, termite galleries, knot holes, excess surface checking and miss machining. It requires the installer to take a lot of care when selecting the boards and generally a lot more waste is required to get a reasonable looking polished floor.
When selecting the board size you need to assess the job site to determine the best option for the particular job. For instance if you have a modern home with large glass panels or Panoramic doors opening inside to the outside you should avoid wide cover boards as they are prone to cupping and more likely to expand and contract with atmospheric changes when installed in certain applications.
For solid flooring there are many different widths and thicknesses designed for all types of applications so it is best to talk to our experienced sales team members to determine the best choice for your application.
With so many types of finishes available these days it is best to get some advice from the installer of your floor or give our sales team a call to discuss the best option for your application.
Polyurethane – Solvent Based; this particular type of coating provides the highest durability, film build up and also the highest gloss levels. It also has the strongest solvent smells and also has the highest toxicity levels when being applied. One problem that can occur when using this product type is edge bonding where the coatings bonds the boards together, this can cause severe splitting on the boards surface.
Polyurethane – Water Based; the most common coating these days that also has the widest range of products that fall under this category. Water based coatings are the healthier option not only for the home owner but also the contractor as there are no strong solvent smells. Also edge bonding is less a problem with water base decreasing the chance of face splits with excess movement in the floor. Water based products will also give you a more natural looking finish with some products now available like Loba Invisible that looks and feels like there is nothing on the floor. With all this comes a slightly higher price tag but not enough to blow the budget.
Penetrating Oils and Waxes; are waxes and natural oil blends, usually a choice when you’re after a coating with very low Volatility and some of these products meet the Green building council of Australia’s guidelines for the VOC emissions. This coating provides a very natural look but can require a higher level of maintenance.
Oil Based Finishes – Curing Oils; some types include “Tung or Linseed” they are designed to dissolve in mineral turpentine or white spirits and also contain some added chemicals for the curing of the product. This is a low budget coating that doesn’t last as long as other coatings and also has a few problems over time with darkening of the timber with age and yellowing of the boards especially under covering like rugs etc.
Oil Modified Urethanes; are a spirit based waterborne coating with an oil and small amount of urethane in them. They can vary quite a bit from different brands and product ranges with the same brand to contain more or less urethane portions and by having different levels of urethane it can make the product more durable and flexible to help achieve different results. Oli modified urethanes also have some issues with yellowing with age but are a popular choice as they have a middle of the range price tag and still have reasonable amount of durability and good edge bond resistance.