Tips To Build A Durable Timber Floor

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Timber Floor

A timber floor is commonly constructed both indoors and outdoors, serving as a fundamental element of a building. However, it is crucial to understand that the wood utilized in building these floors can vary significantly, highlighting the importance of knowing the differences.

While both should be able to handle factors such as traffic, builders must construct the outdoor timber floor to resist additional elements such as insects and sunlight.

An indoor floor is built with timber flooring while an outdoor floor is built with timber decking. In this blog we will discuss the difference between an indoor timber floor and an outdoor timber floor.

What is the difference between wood timber decking and timber flooring?

In South-Africa, people mainly use the same species of wood to cut timber decking for outdoors and timber flooring for indoors. However, it is important that you do not interchange these products as it can lead to disastrous consequences.

Timber flooring for your indoor floor

Timber Floor indoors

Wood flooring is exclusively for indoor use. The flooring has a tongue cut on one side and a groove on the other side. The planks slide into each other, leaving no gaps between the planks. You need to PROPERLY dry the flooring before installation to avoid the tongue and grooves swelling and not fitting into each other due to the CCA Tanalith pressure treatment. Flooring planks need to be very dry before installation because if it shrinks after installation the grooves will pull apart causing your floors to warp, cup, and destruct. This will result in you having to redo your whole floor.

Once installed it needs to be properly sealed. Flooring planks can be cut from any type of timber on request. However, the most common timber used in South Africa is Pine and Eucalyptus (Gum Trees). It is up to you whether you prefer hardwood or softwood for your flooring.

At Sabie Poles, our standard flooring range includes Treated and untreated pine, in
the following sizes:

22mm x 102mm
32mm x 102mm

Decking vs Flooring

Timber decking for your outdoor floor

Timber deck

In South Africa, workers generally cut wood decking planks from either Eucalyptus or Pine. Wood Decking planks do not have the tongue cut on one side and the groove on the other side. A Decking plank has rounded edges on the top to ensure that water easily runs off the sides. Decking should also have two grooves cut on the bottom to relieve tension on the plank and to stop it from cupping.

Decking planks are all spaced 6mm apart to ensure that dust, water, and grime fall through and don’t accumulate on the plank. At Sabie poles, we treat our deck (pine) to a specific CCA Tanalith classification class (H3 – External above ground). Once the planks have been installed, they need to be sealed. Additionally, decking planks come in a non-slip texture which is ideal for exterior, stair, or walkway areas.

At Sabie Poles, our decking range currently includes the following:

Saligna (Not Treated) wood decking
● Non-slip and plain (smooth) textured
Sizes: 22mm x 90mm

Pine (Treated CCA H3) wood decking
● Non-slip and plain (smooth) textured
Sizes:22mm x 106mm
32mm x 106mm

On special request, we can cut flooring and decking for you from any type of wood
you choose.

Why should you seal your timber floor?

We treat wood flooring and decking boards with CCA during the inspection and grading process to ensure their longevity. However, there are many reasons why you should seal your wooden flooring and decking including:

  • Protects your timber from insect attacks and wood decay.
  • Add water-resistant elements (Wax, Oil, etc.)
  • Nourishes the timber
  • Increases the wear resistance of the wooden flooring or decking
  • UV Resistant (For sun damage, especially for decking)
  • Seals in any chemicals that may be harmful to your or your family (In the case of CCA Tanalith Treated indoor flooring)
  • Extends the life of your flooring and decking.

We insist you use a high-quality sealer to ensure that your deck or floor lasts as long as it possibly can. We highly recommend the Ultra Deck and Khuni sealer from TimberLife. TimberLife is one of the most versatile deck sealers on the market in South Africa.

Timber Sealer

Ultradeck for wood decking

UltraDeck is a Timberlife solvent-borne sealer that penetrates the wood and builds to a protective, semi-gloss finish with good wear resistance. It is particularly suitable for use on exterior timbers such as wooden decks and walkways. UltraDeck contains a unique blend of high-quality resins, drying oils, water repellent wax components and UV resistant transparent iron oxide pigments.

A formulated solvent carrier system dissolves the ingredients of Ultradeck to deeply penetrate, nourish, and stabilize the wood. This also ensures protection against water ingress and UV degradation caused by sunlight exposure. UltraDeck dries to an aesthetic finish that enhances the natural color and beauty of the wood. It is available in the following shades of brown:

Khuni Sealer

This contractor formulated a well-known wood stabilizing oil that deeply penetrates, nourishes, and stabilizes the wood. Furthermore, it is;

  • an oil/wax-based penetrating sealer that protects raw (uncoated) wood
  • protected against water ingress, surface degradation, and contamination.
  • High-quality blend of drying oils and water repellent wax components.
  • Deeply penetrates, stabilizes and nourishes the wood.
  • Acts as a transit stabilizer, and protective sealer that prevents excessive
  • checking and splitting of pre-manufactured timbers during building
  • construction.

For more tips and tricks to seal your timber deck, you can check out our previous
blogs: Sealing your Wooden Deck.

Feel free to visit our Facebook page and pop us a message if you have any questions regarding our current timber decking and flooring ranges.

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