Timber and tile flooring buying guide

Choosing flooring is an important part of home building or renovation.
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  • Updated:8 Nov 2004

01.What are your options?

Timber flooring

In brief

  • Timber and tiles are popular non-allergenic flooring options, but think about the use of the floor when deciding.
  • If you’re concerned about the logging of old-growth forests, choose a product certified as originating from sustainably managed plantations, or use recycled timber. See our 2010 sustainable flooring buying guide.
  • Floating timber floors are popular — what exactly are they?

When you’re building or renovating, elegant flooring that’s also practical can add substantial value to your home, in addition to looking and feeling great.

Because flooring has a major influence on the feel and mood of a room, it’s important to make the right choice.

You’ve also got to consider how much traffic it’ll get and factor in maintenance and durability, as well as appearance, comfort and cost.

To help guide you through the choices, we’ve surveyed what’s available in timber and tile flooring. We haven’t included carpet because the range of options is so large that it’s an article in itself.

Please note: this information was current as of November 2004 but is still a useful guide to today's market. .

Living areas

  • In rooms where family and friends gather, the aim is usually to combine good looks with practicality.
  • Timber or carpet tend to be the main options.

Kitchens and bathrooms

  • Kitchen floors, in particular, need to be both spill- and busy-proof — generally, hard flooring like tile, stone and timber is a good choice.
  • For bathrooms, though, tiles need to be non-slip and timber properly waterproofed.
  • Some softer floorings, such as cork, vinyl or even rubber, can work in these areas too. See Other options, for more on these.


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