Traditional floorboards

If you want to play things safe the tradition floorboard look will never look out of date. Although floorboards can be installed directly over a cement surface I would definitely recommend having the flooring installed over plywood sub flooring or a batten system to ensure the best results. Floorboards can come in a variety of thicknesses from 10mm to 25mm although 19mm thick x 80mm wide is the most commonly stable size used.


Uncover your concrete staircase and make it a stunning feature in your home by installing beautifully polished timber to the treads and risers. Other materials can also be used to clad a cement staircase so to match the adjoining floors, such as: cork, laminate panels, prefinished floorboards, parquetry, traditional bare floorboards and solid pieces of sculpted timber to clad existing staircase.

Pre-finished floorboards

Engineered pre-finished floorboards have improved a lot since they first came onto the market in the 80’s and are worth serious consideration. One of the great things about pre-finished flooring is that there are no secrets to what the final result will look like, they are affordable to most budgets and there are no delays with acclimatisation, subfloor installations, height issues and sanding and finishing. However, like all products there are differences that should be considered such as the timber used for the veneered base, ease of installation or repairs, quality of surface finish and market feedback concerning problems and warrantees issues.
Pre-finished flooring is available in tongue and grooved panels with one, two or three rows of flooring glued onto them in various widths. Personally I would recommend a single plank style that comes from a Brisbane based manufacturer. The flooring pieces from Brisbane come in various lengths with a veneered base that is not made of a soft pine species, so it is more stable and they look terrific.

This style of flooring can be safely installed directly to a moisture proofed cement surface or timber sub flooring without the use of nails using a special expanding glue adhesive to take up most of the tiny dips in the concrete so the floor sounds fairly solid to walk on. Another method that is quicker and less expensive is to glue the tongue and grooves together with a PVA adhesive and “float” the timber flooring over a 2mm foam underlay to cushion the impact when being walked on. The “floating” method relies on the weight of the timber product to keep in place.

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is a printed artist’s impression of what a timber floor may look like. This style of flooring will give you the feel of having the “Rolls Royce” of flooring at a fraction of the price… but beware… YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!
Personally if I was choosing a laminated timber floor product I would ensure it had a “raised grain effect” and have only one or two rows of timber printed on each panel so to make the floor look as realistic as possible.
Like with any engineered product there are differences that should be considered such as the timber locking system on the ends and edges, ease of installation, quality of surface finish, availability of the product style/pattern in years to come in case repairs are required and market feedback concerning problems and warrantees issues.
The advantages of laminated timber flooring is that there are no secrets to what the final result will look like, they are affordable to almost any budget and there are no delays with acclimatisation, subfloor installations, height issues and sanding and finishing.

Bamboo flooring

Bamboo flooring is made from strips of bamboo stalks grown in Asia. The stalks are striped, glued and squished together into a rock hard resin plank. It’s worth mentioning that bamboo is not timber as it is actually a species of grass, however some of the products do suite some oriental interior designs better than timber. The lighter golden coloured bamboo planks with more stalk joins being more popular with most architects and designers. Bamboo flooring is also unique and looks very beautiful with the right combination of colour schemes.
I first came across bamboo flooring in 2004 when a sales representative came into my Timber Flooring Showroom on the Gold Coast with some samples of the bamboo floorboards claiming it was 100{0d1334a479dca35051837ecbe951c9f34fa3e75208ed2d428bc6f42f453d8251} waterproof and more durable and scratch resistant than any other prefinished floorboard product on the market. Unfortunately this is TOTALLY FALSE.



Boarder designs in a timber floor look awesome and deserve serious consideration when deciding on the floor layout. Boarder designs can a subtle effect if the same species of timber is used, so to blend in with the rest of the floor a bit more. Another subtle effect is to use a narrow 20mm wide inlay strip “pinstripe” cut into the floor once after the installation has taken place. The options for boarder designs for timber and cork flooring are almost endless with some prefabricated products available to cut down on labour time.
With floorboards a one or two plank wide boarder using the same timber as the rest of the floor is my first choice and recommendation.

With parquetry floors the options I would consider really depend on the floor pattern in the middle of the floor body. However, most of the time I think a simple two or three brick bond border or a short soldier border looks best in the same species.
With cork flooring a different shade or style of cork tile cut to 30 percent width looks smart. The other option that looks great for cork is to use a coloured timber species 20mm wide as an inlayed boarder strip “pinstripe” once the cork has been laid.


Inlays can be borders or used as a main feature in the entrance of a home or corporate building. Some inlays are pre fabricated and can look very fancy being cut with lasers to get the intricate patterns perfect.

Block Parquetry

Parquetry makes any homes flooring a talking point and looks very classy. Parquetry can be found in many castles, mansions and manors around Europe. Parquetry flooring comes in boxes containing individual blocks cut to the same size. Block parquetry is normally only available in 14mm and 19mm thicknesses, with the most common dimensions for a piece of block parquetry being 260mm x 65mm x 19mm thick. Sometimes manufactures will market “Mini” and “Jumbo” block parquetry to meet trends and the market demand.
The most common patterns that are installed tend to be “Staggered Brick Bond”, “Double Herringbone” and “Square on Square”. However, there are many more patterns to consider using such as…


• Haddon Hall

• Abbott

• Heritage

• Parallel

• Ashlar

• Random Brick Bond

• Single Herringbone

• Triple Herringbone

• Gothic

• Basket weave

Mosaic Parquetry

Mosaic parquetry was big in the 70’s and early 80’s as a cheaper alternative to the regal looking block and plank parquetry flooring seen in castles and manors around Europe. Mosaic parquetry is only available in a 9mm thick “fingers” in a sheet held together by string or more commonly tape or wax paper these days. Mosaic parquetry used to be available in a variety of patterns but due to its decline in popularity it’s only available in a basic “Square on Square” pattern these days.

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is the perfect choice of flooring for kitchens, meals areas and even bathrooms as it isvery comfortable to stand on while spending hours on your feet cooking, cleaning and entertaining. Cork flooring is also very durable, so that favourite plate or glass will normally survive the impact and even bounce up if dropped leaving the floor undamaged.
If you are considering having kids or already have little ones crawl around the house, then cork flooring is definitely the best flooring option for your family as it soft, reduces noise, breakages and vibration. Cork flooring is also much healthier than carpets and is very durable. Cork is also very easy to clean, is warm in winter and cool in summer.

With everyone trying to be environmentally friendly it’s worthy acknowledging that cork is the only tree that after every harvest it regenerates itself. Cork oak has a protective, thin layer of inner bark that gives it the ability to regenerate, thus it can survive the debarking process.

Trims & skirting boards

Timber and laminated flooring requires expansion joins and expansion gaps that can be covered with timber trims or skirting boards. For laminated flooring and staircases metal trims made of aluminium are normally used, and are available in gold, silver and bronze.

Flooring ramps and trims

Sometimes the new flooring height will not match the existing floor so customised reducer strips can be made out of timber and polished with a floor to ramp down or up to the existing floor level. These timber ramps look great and are a nice carpentry feature. Laminated flooring ramps are normally made of aluminium and coloured gold, silver or bronze. Timber ramps are available but they do not sit as flush to the flooring at the metal ones do.