29 Apr Timber Flooring Cost Guide – Sydney 2023
Everybody loves the unparalleled beauty of authentic timber wood flooring in their homes, but how much do they actually cost? Timber flooring comes in many forms and each has their own pricing structures which can make things very confusing.
That’s why we’ve written this complete timber flooring cost guide just for you. We’ve broken down the prices of purchasing, installing and maintaining the different real timber flooring options available to you!
If you are looking for a quick and free quote, you can always send us a message by our Contact Form!
Types of Timber Flooring
First things first, timber flooring comes in many forms. It is important to understand the distinction between solid timber, engineered timber, pre-finished timber, raw timber, hardwood and oak. Sound like a mouthful? Don’t worry, we break it all down below:
Solid Timber Floors vs Engineered Timber Floors
The main two types of real timber flooring options available are solid timber, and engineered timber. The difference is in their construction and installation methods where solid timber flooring is more complicated, whilst engineered flooring are floating timber floors, which are easier to install.
Cost of Solid Timber Per Square Metre
Solid timber flooring is made directly of real wood which is usually a hardwood or oak. These wooden planks are cut from trees and either raw or already pre-finished (sanded and polished) in a factory. The installation of solid timber is a little more complicated as they must be directly attached to the subfloor, which requires nails and glue. Solid timber material tends to range between $75 – $130 for every square metre depending on the species and thickness/width of each plank.
Cost of Engineered Timber Per Square Metre
Engineered timber flooring is constructed from a thin veneer of real timber fused to a plywood or composite base. Engineered floors are also floating floors, which means they use a click-lock system to piece the floors together like a jigsaw puzzle without the need of nails or glue. Engineered ranges are also slightly more affordable as they use less natural timber material, however the thicker the veneer, the more expensive. These can be anywhere between $65 – $110 per square metre for supply only.
You can learn more about the difference between engineered and solid timber here!
Pre-finished Timber vs Raw Timber
When it comes to choosing a solid or engineered timbers, you can decide between either a pre-finished or raw timber. The costs of purchasing pre-finished and raw timber are very similar when looking at the same species. However, raw timber can cost $40 – $60 more during installation as they require sanding, polishing and sometimes staining, which goes on top of the laying cost. Both of these are structural timber floors. Structural timber flooring means they must be directly attached to the subfloor.
These already have the surfaces sanded down and polished in the factory which means that that you can move into your home immediately after installing them. Pre-finished timber is much simpler to install but only offers colours from a preset palette of natural timber species. Luckily, there are many to choose from whether it’s an Australian hardwoods or European oak range.
Straight from the timber yard without any further preparation. Raw timber flooring is much more complicated to install but offer a lot more customisation of looks to suit virtually any interior design. The process includes:
- Acclimatisation – First, raw solid timber requires a 2 to 3 weeks acclimatisation period to match the moisture content of the environment in which they will be installed. Make sure to not skip this step as it minimises the amount of expansion or shrinkage.
- Installation – Next, the raw solid timber will be installed through the same direct-stick method as pre-finished options. Raw engineered floors will be installed as a floating floor over the existing concrete or wooden subfloor, where the forces of gravity and friction hold them in place.
- Sand & Polishing – Finally, the raw solid or engineered timber will be sanded down and stained a certain colour if desired, before coated in multiple layers of lacquer for protection. This turns the planks of raw wood into a gorgeous masterpiece.
Hardwood Flooring vs European Oak Flooring
When it comes to matching your design, there are two main categories of timber flooring species to choose from – hardwood flooring or oak wood.
- Solid Hardwood Flooring – Hardwoods are native to Australia or neighbouring island countries and exude a stronger ochre or rustic decor. Hardwood timber holds true to its name as it is a little more hard and also costs a little more includes Blackbutt, Spotted Gum and Jarrah to name a few. They hold slightly higher prices than European oak ranges – hardwood timber floors can cost anywhere between $75 – $130 per square metre for supply only in NSW.
- Solid European Oak – Oak wood flooring is sourced from Europe and America, where their aesthetics are more elegant but slightly softer and less durable. Cost of timber flooring from the oaks tends to be a little more affordable, having a cost per square metre between $70 – $120.
|Hardwood (Spotted Gum)||European Oak (Parquetry)|
Timber Floor Grades – Select, Better, Standard
A common misconception is that higher grades constitute higher quality, which is completely untrue. The hardwood flooring grading system simply describes the level of features and variety in pattern on the floor boards. Hence, hardwood timber grading is used to classify the aesthetics rather the functionality, although it does affect the cost per square metre.
These have minimal defects or blemishes. Select grade timber showcases the most consistent complexion and is hence also the most expensive, approximately 50% more expensive than better grade floor options.
Fairly even complexion with a few knots, stronger grains and a more diverse aesthetic, better grade timber is one step down from the seamless select grade. These can be typically found at $60 – $80 per square metre in solid timber floor ranges.
A rustic aesthetic which is less suited for residential areas but more so for taverns and bars, standard grade has many features and defects. These are the most affordable and can be found for as low as $40 – $60 per square metre!
Note that the grade of timber is only applicable for hardwood timber floorboards rather than oak. Oak floor ranges follow a different grading system known as A/B/C/D/E/F where ‘A’ has the least defects and ‘F’ is the most rustic.
|Rustic Grade||Better Grade||Select Grade|
Cost of Installing Timber Flooring
The cost of timber flooring installations depend on which type of timber floor you intend to or have already purchased. This can be broken down into individual components – direct stick installations, floating floor installations, sanding, polishing and staining.
Cost of Direct-Stick Installation
Out of the two timber flooring installation methods and is only applicable for solid timber or engineered flooring which is thicker than 20mm. Direct-stick is the more expensive and time consuming method. To reiterate what we’ve discussed above, this requires nails and glue to ‘directly stick’ the solid timber floorboards onto the subfloor.
- Direct-Stick – The typical cost of installing solid timber and thicker engineered timbers in Sydney & NSW are typically charged at $40 – $60 per square metre and can vary depending on difficulty.
- Plywood Base – If your existing subfloor is made of concrete, you will need to install a 12 – 15mm plywood base to facilitate a platform for nailing the floorboards. This can cost an additional $20 – $40 per square metre for supply and installation onto the subfloor, depending on the thickness.
Cost of Floating Floor Installation
Floating floors are considerably easier and hence cheaper to install. Engineered timber flooring options under 20mm thick fall under this category. Installing an engineered floating floor typically cost between $30 – $40 per square metre in Sydney and NSW.
Cost of Sanding and Polishing + Staining (Optional)
The beauty of natural timber flooring is that they can be refinished by sanding and polishing the surface for a brand new look. This involves using a sanding machine to wear away around one millimetre of timber material before coating multiple layers of polyurethane (PU) lacquer.
Oil Based Refinish
This is a tiny bit cheaper but has a drawback. That is, the refinished area will smell for up to a week after which makes it difficult to move in immediately. You can expect to pay around $40 per square metre for oil based sand and polish services.
Water Based Refinish
Slightly more expensive than the oil based alternative, a water based refinish allows the beautiful look much less of a chemical smell. You can even move in within the very next day! You can expect to pay around $40 – $50 per square metre for water based sand and polish services.
Staining is an option for new raw timber floors, or during any refinishing job to add a layer of customisation. This process uses a fluid which penetrates and the timber substrate and changes the colour of the grains to your liking. You will need to pay an additional $20 – $25 per square metre on top of the sanding cost for the products and service.