Exploring the Various Types of Timber Flooring: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in a home, nothing quite compares to the charm and elegance of timber flooring. From the rich hues of Spotted Gum to the classic appeal of American White Oak, timber flooring offers a wealth of possibilities to suit any style and taste. But with so many options available, how do you decide which type of timber flooring is right for your project? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the world of types of timber floors, comparing the various types, their benefits, and the factors you need to consider to make an informed decision.

Short Summary

  • It is important to choose the right type of flooring for desired visual appeal, longevity and upkeep.
  • Timber flooring offers a range of options in terms of durability, sustainability and aesthetic appeal.
  • Consider factors such as budget, moisture resistance and installation/maintenance requirements when selecting timber flooring for your project.

The Importance Of Choosing The Right Type Of Flooring

The flooring you choose for your property has a significant impact on its visual appeal, longevity, and upkeep. With options ranging from solid hardwood flooring to engineered wood flooring, it’s essential to select the most suitable option that aligns with your preferences, requirements, and budget.

But with so many wood flooring options available, how do you know which one is the best fit for your needs? For you to make the right decision, it’s crucial to understand the differences between hardwood timber flooring and its alternatives, as well as the unique characteristics of each wood floor.

Overview Of Timber Flooring

Timber flooring is a popular choice among homeowners, not only for its natural beauty but also for its durability and sustainability. This type of flooring can be broadly classified into two categories: solid timber flooring and engineered timber flooring. Solid timber floors are made from a single piece of hardwood, offering unparalleled performance and timeless aesthetic appeal. On the other hand, engineered timber boards consist of a thin veneer of real timber on top of layers of plywood, providing a more affordable and environmentally friendly alternative without compromising on appearance and durability.

With numerous wood species to choose from, such as:

There’s a timber floor to suit every taste and style. In addition to solid timber and engineered timber flooring, there are also other options like bamboo flooring, laminate flooring, and parquet flooring. Each type of flooring has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making it essential to understand its unique characteristics and suitability before making a decision.

Coach House Timbers also supply a premium line of F17 Hardwood Timber in many different species and styles. If you’re looking for structural strength for your timber, get in touch with us, and we can assist in this process.

Solid Timber Flooring Options

Solid timber flooring is a classic and elegant choice for those looking to bring warmth and character to their homes. Available in various wood species, each with its unique set of characteristics, solid timber flooring provides a stunning foundation for any interior design style.

In the following sections, we’ll explore some of the most popular solid timber flooring options to help you find the perfect match for your property.

Spotted Gum

Spotted gum is an Australian hardwood species known for its unique mottled appearance and exceptional durability. This tall, straight-trunked tree features a distinctive weathering pattern on its outer bark layers, giving it a truly one-of-a-kind look. With a rich array of colours ranging from pale beige to deep chocolate brown, Spotted Gum hardwood timber flooring is a stunning choice for those seeking a statement-making wood floor that can withstand the test of time.

Some key features of Spotted Gum hardwood timber flooring include:

  • Exceptional durability
  • Unique mottled appearance
  • Ranges in colours from chocolate brown to red flame with distinctive yellow sapwood
  • Suitable for high-traffic areas
  • Its durability and unique look make it a great choice for high-traffic areas, as it can stand up to heavy use and still maintain its beauty.


Another popular Australian hardwood, Blackbutt, is known for its unique features.

  • Yellow heartwood giving golden hues
  • Fast growth rate
  • Moderately coarse but even texture
  • Interlocking grain that provides both visual interest and durability

This hardwood timber flooring option offers a beautiful and durable choice for your home, being a popular alternative to bamboo floors. Blackbutt’s light colour also makes it an excellent candidate for staining and refinishing, allowing homeowners to customise its appearance to suit their specific design preferences.


Known for its incredible strength and durability, Ironbark timber flooring is a wise choice for high-traffic areas in both residential and commercial properties. Ironbark is a dense and resilient hardwood species available in both red and grey varieties. Its rich colour palette, ranging from deep reds to rich browns, adds a touch of sophistication and warmth to any space,  whilst offering extreme density and stability as its inherent nature. 

American White Oak

American White Oak Timber Flooring

American White Oak is a versatile hardwood species with the following characteristics:

  • Straight grain
  • Light natural beige tones
  • Deeply figured, giving distinctive grain pattern for which it is famous
  • Suitable for a variety of staining and finishing options
  • Medium-density hardwood
  • Derived from the Quercus alba tree
  • Features a uniform texture that can be easily customised to match any interior design style.

With its adaptability and timeless appeal, American White Oak timber flooring is an excellent choice for those seeking a classic yet customisable wood floor.

Victorian Ash

Victorian Ash, native to Australia, is a light-coloured hardwood species distinctive for its vertical grain cut.. its straight grain and even texture make Victorian Ash timber flooring provide an airy ambience.

This hardwood species is beautiful and versatile, making it an ideal option for those looking to incorporate the natural beauty of timber flooring into their homes.

Engineered Timber Flooring

Engineered timber flooring is an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking the aesthetic appeal of solid timber flooring without the price tag or installation process. Engineered timber boards consist of a thin layer of real timber veneer laid over layers of plywood, providing a more affordable and sustainable alternative to solid timber flooring. The result is a floor that looks and feels like solid timber but with added benefits such as increased stability and resistance to moisture.

This type of flooring is particularly well-suited for apartments, as it combines the advantages of genuine timber floors with the adaptability of a floating floorboard design. Engineered timber flooring is available in a wide range of wood species, including European Oak, Spotted Gum, and Blackbutt, ensuring that there’s a perfect match for every taste and style.

With its cost-effectiveness and ease of installation, engineered timber flooring is an excellent option for those looking to enjoy the beauty of real timber without the hassle.

If Engineered timber flooring is something that interests you, head over to Coach House Timbers partner Genesis Oak for all your Engineered timber needs.

Timber Flooring Options

With so many timber flooring options available, making a decision can be challenging. To help you make an informed choice, we’ll compare different timber flooring options, including their pros and cons, in the following sections.

By understanding the unique characteristics and suitability of each type of flooring, you’ll be better equipped to find the perfect match for your project.

Solid Timber Flooring

As a traditional option made from solid wood, solid timber flooring is renowned for its natural beauty and durability. With a wide range of natural wood species to choose from, solid wood flooring offers endless possibilities to suit any design style.

However, this type of flooring can be more expensive than its alternatives and may require more extensive subfloor preparation and professional installation. Although solid timber flooring is a beautiful and timeless choice, it’s essential to consider factors such as budget and installation requirements before making a decision.

Solid Timber Overlay Flooring

Thinner overlay timber flooring is a more compact version of solid timber flooring, suitable for properties with limited subfloor space or height restrictions. This type of flooring is designed to be affixed directly onto:

  • concrete
  • existing timber
  • plywood
  • particleboard flooring

It provides a stylish and functional solution for your flooring needs.

While it offers many of the same benefits as solid timber flooring, such as natural beauty and durability, Solid Timber Overlay Flooring may be a more cost-effective and practical option for certain properties.

Floating Timber Floors

Floating Timber Floors are an easy-to-install option that can be laid over existing flooring, offering the appearance of solid timber without the need for extensive subfloor preparation. This type of flooring features a click system, allowing the planks to be laid without nails or glue, providing a stable and durable flooring option with the aesthetic appeal of real timber.

Floating Timber Floors are a popular choice for those seeking a hassle-free installation process and the ability to replace individual boards easily if needed. However, they may not offer the same level of natural beauty and durability as solid timber flooring.

Laminated Flooring

Laminated Flooring is a cost-effective alternative to timber flooring, made from synthetic materials that mimic the appearance of real wood. This type of flooring consists of a photographic image laminated onto several layers of wood composite material, offering a durable and wear-resistant surface.

While laminated flooring may not provide the same natural aesthetic as timber flooring, it is a suitable choice for those on a tight budget or seeking a low-maintenance flooring option. While Coach House Timbers doesn’t do laminate flooring, plenty of providers do.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Timber Flooring

When choosing timber flooring, it’s essential to consider various factors that can influence your decision. In the following sections, we’ll discuss some of these crucial factors, including:

  • The type of property
  • Budget
  • Moisture resistance
  • Installation and maintenance requirements

By taking these factors into account, you’ll be better equipped to find the perfect timber flooring option for your property.

Type of Property

The type of property, whether residential or commercial, plays a crucial role in determining the most suitable timber flooring option. For residential properties, options such as solid timber, solid timber overlay, floating timber floors, and laminated flooring may be ideal. In contrast, commercial properties may benefit more from laminate, vinyl or hybrid floors due to their increased durability and ability to withstand high foot traffic.

By considering the specific needs of your property, you can make a more informed decision on the right flooring material.


Budget is an important factor to consider, as different timber flooring options come with varying price points. Solid timber flooring, for example, can be more expensive than engineered timber flooring or laminate flooring. It’s essential to set a budget before you begin exploring your options, as this will help you narrow down your choices and find the best flooring option within your financial constraints.

Keep in mind that the long-term value and durability of your chosen flooring material should also be considered when establishing your budget.

Moisture Resistance

Moisture resistance is essential for areas prone to water exposure, such as kitchens and bathrooms, requiring specific flooring types. Engineered timber flooring, for example, is generally more resistant to moisture than solid timber flooring, making it a better option for these spaces.

Laminate floors also offer increased moisture resistance, making them suitable for areas with potential water exposure. When choosing timber flooring, it’s important to consider the moisture resistance of each option and how it will perform in your specific environment.

Installation and Maintenance

Coach House Timbers exclusively focuses on the supply of premium timber to medium and large-scale projects. While we don’t do the installation, we can supply and help in the design and decision process around hardwood timber floors.

Installation and maintenance requirements vary between timber flooring options, with some being easier to install and maintain than others. For example, solid timber floors require glueing and nailing to the subfloor, while floating floors (engineered, laminate, hybrid) are comparatively simpler to install.

Additionally, some flooring materials may require more regular upkeep to maintain their optimal appearance. By considering the installation and maintenance requirements of each timber flooring option, you can make a more informed decision about which option best suits your needs and lifestyle.

Customisation and Finishing Options

Timber flooring offers a wealth of customisation and finishing options, allowing you to create a unique and personalised look for your property. In the following sections, we’ll explore some of the most popular customisation options, including staining, colouring, and surface finishes.

By understanding the various customisation possibilities, you’ll be better equipped to create a truly one-of-a-kind timber flooring design that perfectly complements your interior style.

Staining and Colouring

Staining and colouring options allow you to customise the appearance of your timber flooring to match your desired aesthetic. Available in a wide range of colours and finishes, stains and dyes can be applied to the wood surface to create a unique and personalised look.

Whether you prefer a rich, dark hue or a light, natural tone, staining and colouring your timber flooring can help you achieve the perfect look for your property.

Surface Finishes

Surface finishes, such as oil, wax, or polyurethane, protect your timber flooring and enhance its durability and appearance. These finishes can be applied to the wood surface to create a smooth, even texture and provide a protective barrier against wear and tear.

By selecting the right surface finish for your timber flooring, you can ensure its longevity and maintain its beautiful appearance for years to come.


In conclusion, timber flooring is a versatile and timeless choice for any property, offering a wide range of options to suit every taste and budget. By considering factors such as the type of property, budget, moisture resistance, and installation and maintenance requirements, you can make an informed decision about the perfect timber flooring option for your home. With its natural beauty, durability, and countless customisation possibilities, timber flooring is an investment that will continue to enhance your living space for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is F17 Hardwood?

“F17” refers to a strength grade for hardwood, especially in Australia. This classification indicates that the timber meets specific structural requirements, making it suitable for uses that demand high strength and durability. In this system, F17 is stronger than F14. The grading considers factors like species, defects, and knots. In Australia, standards such as AS 2082 define these gradings.

What are the three types of timber floors?

Timber flooring is a popular choice due to its durability, natural beauty, and versatility. Three types of timber flooring are solid timber, engineered timber, and bamboo flooring.

Bamboo flooring is made from the Moso bamboo species, originating in Asia, and each type has its benefits and drawbacks.

What are the Australian timber flooring options?

When it comes to the most popular timber flooring options in Australia, Australian hardwood, European Oak, American Oak, Spotted Gum, and Blackbutt are the top choices. These timber species offer a variety of colours, grains, and durability that can suit many design styles and preferences.

What are the main differences between solid timber flooring and engineered timber flooring?

Solid timber flooring is made from a single piece of hardwood, while engineered timber flooring has multiple layers of plywood with a thin layer of real timber veneer on top. As such, engineered timber flooring is usually more affordable and moisture-resistant than solid timber flooring.

Which timber flooring option is the most budget-friendly?

Laminated flooring is the most budget-friendly option, as it is made from synthetic materials which replicate the look of real wood.

It is also easy to install and maintain, making it a great choice for those who want a low-cost flooring solution.

What is the best timber flooring option for areas prone to water exposure?

For areas prone to water exposure, engineered timber flooring and laminate flooring are the best options due to their increased moisture resistance.