Floors Direct - Products - Natural Wood Floors

By: Floors Direct  11-11-2011
Keywords: Flooring, Wood, Solid Wood

Engineered flooring is a modern flooring material that imitates traditional hardwood floor boards. This looks exactly like its traditional counterpart but has many advantages over the traditional flooring system.

Today's technology allows manufacturers to produce a wider variety of engineered floors with greater quality of finishes including multiple layers of tough urethane, UV cured finishes and aluminium oxide finishes making this product more durable and longer lasting. Engineered floors can also be sanded 2 to 3 times although depending on the thickness of the top layer, one should take care not to take too much of the top layer off due to the limited thickness of the solid wood layer. A better method to make your floor look like new and make it last longer is to lightly abrade the floor with a polisher and then sealing it again.

It is available in a wide variety of natural timbers such as the traditional red and white oaks, maple and ash and now exotic hardwoods from all over the world are being used. With the wide variety of different timbers available home owners will be able to find an engineered flooring product to suit their individual tastes or to compliment their decorating scheme.

Due to the stability in engineered floors they are more popular in commercial applications which have a high amount of traffic and spillages such as restaurants and public thoroughfares.


  • The ability to use engineered flooring in areas where traditional hardwood cannot be used such as damp areas or places where the floor would be exposed to radiant heat. When exposed to moisture or radiant heat traditional boards warp or cup; the core of the engineered flooring is constructed with the individual ply's laid in opposite directions which ensures the flooring will not enlarge or shrink when exposed to changes in humidity.

  • Most are fully finished (coated), this means that you do not have to sand and coat before use. When you install engineered flooring you can literally move the furniture back in and be using the room again in a matter of hours.

  • Engineered flooring is a floating floor. A floating floor only requires that a moisture barrier, usually a foam underlay is placed on the existing floor and the engineered flooring is laid directly onto it - no sticking down is required. This allows the option that the floor can easily be removed and taken away if you move home etc, and also makes replacement of any damaged boards a relatively easy task.

  • It looks exactly the same and offers the same rich warmth and ambiance to a room as traditional hardwood flooring, but is generally considerably cheaper than the traditional boards.

  • Some are constructed with a thick upper layer or wear layer that can be sanded and refinished in the future to remove wear and renew the flooring.

  • It is available in many different timber species, sizes, styles and grain patterns. There is an engineered flooring solution for every taste and decorating need.


Janka hardness ratings are a measure of the hardness of wood, produced by a variation on the Brinell hardness test.
The test measures the force required to push a steel ball with a diameter of 11.28 millimeters (0.444 inches) into the wood to a depth of half the ball's diameter. The results are stated in various ways in different countries, which can lead to confusion, especially since the name of the actual units employed is often not attached. In the United States, the measurement is in pounds-force.

The most common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine whether a species is suitable for use as flooring. Essentially this measures a wood's density and thus its dent resistance – so the higher the number the less likely a floor is to dent. It’s important to understand that while hardwood floors are tough; when it comes to indentations no floor is impervious to damage. Certain species of wood, are less likely to dent, but when they do, harder species will have shallow dents when compared to average or softer species of wood.

Wood Flooring Species Hardness
Ipe / Brazilian Walnut / Lapacho 3684
Cumaru / Brazilian Teak 3540
Ebony 3220
Brazilian Redwood / Paraju 3190
Angelim Pedra 3040
Bloodwood 2900
Red Mahogany, Turpentine 2697
Spotted Gum 2473
Brazilian Cherry / Jatoba 2350
Mesquite 2345
Santos Mahogany, Bocote, Cabreuva 2200
Pradoo 2170
Brushbox 2135
Karri 2030
Sydney Blue Gum 2023
Bubinga 1980
Cameron 1940
Tallowwood 1933
Merbau 1925
Amendoim 1912
Jarrah 1910
Purpleheart 1860
Goncalo Alves / Tigerwood 1850
Hickory / Pecan, Satinwood 1820
Afzelia / Doussie 1810
Bangkirai 1798
Rosewood 1780
African Padauk 1725
Blackwood 1720
Merbau 1712
Kempas 1710
Locust 1700
Highland Beech 1686
Wenge, Red Pine 1630
Tualang 1624
Zebrawood 1575
True Pine, Timborana 1570
Kambala 1540
Sapele / Sapelli 1510
Curupixa 1490
Sweet Birch 1470
Hard Maple / Sugar Maple 1450
Coffee Bean 1390
Natural Bamboo (represents one species) 1380
Australian Cypress 1375
White Oak 1360
Tasmanian Oak 1350
Ribbon Gum 1349
Ash (White) 1320
American Beech 1300
Red Oak (Northern) 1290
Carribean Heart Pine 1280
Yellow Birch 1260
Movingui 1230
Heart Pine 1225
Carbonized Bamboo (represents one species) 1180
Cocobolo 1136
Brazilian Eucalyptus / Rose Gum 1125
Makore 1100
Boreal 1023
Black Walnut 1010
Teak 1000
Sakura 995
Black Cherry, Imbuia 950
Boire 940
Paper Birch 910
Cedar 900
Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf) 870
Lacewood, Leopardwood
Parana 780
Sycamore 770
Shedua 710
Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly and Shortleaf) 690
Douglas Fir 660
Larch 590
Chestnut 540
Hemlock 500
White Pine 420
Basswood 410
Eastern White Pine 380


Suntups Guarantee on Engineered Wood

Besides un-natural causes like geyser bursts, floors and rising damp all wooden floor failures are caused by humidity. How is this so:-In South Africa in the dry seasons we can go from a low humidity of around 8% which computes to an air moisture of 2% all the way up to a humidity of 90% in the wet season which computes to an air moisture of 30%, so from season to season we can get swings in air moisture from a dry 2% to a wet 30%. This can and does cause havoc with wooden flooring as wood is hygroscopic so it absorbs and releases moisture as the humidity changes. This means that in the dry seasons as it is releasing moisture and drying out each plank is shrinking and getting smaller in the width and of course the opposite is happening in the wet season as each plank absorbs the moisture it is growing wider. In the first scenario one may see gaps appearing between their floor boards as they dry out and the boards get smaller After 21 years in the wooden flooring business Suntups have perfected the trouble free wooden floor in conjunction with the installation system.

“Elastilon” guaranteed not to fail:- We call this system “The best of both worlds” The reason for this is that the entire floor is stuck onto this self adhesive mat which carries a 70 year guarantee on the bond of the flooring to the Elastilon Mat. This entire floor is now one stuck down unit with no glue what so ever in the Tongue & Groove in the flooring HOWEVER the mat is free floating over the screeds and this in conjunction with a tongue & groove fit give 100% unrestricted and natural movement. It is for this reason of using a Suntups Super-Engineered™ in conjunction with the Elastilon mat that we can give you our 5 Year humidity failure guarantee as this floor simply cannot fail. By fail we mean that the floor is irreparable and the only way forward is to replace. Shrinkage (gaps between the boards) in the dry season are common with solid wooden flooring and no installer or association can ever guarantee that this will not happen, with the Suntups system the chance of this is reduced by 70% however should there be any shrinkage we would consider this as normal unless the gaps are really wide. Expansion This is the biggest cause of failure of all wooden flooring. The Suntups system will not fail due to expansion. If the floor expands and closes the expansion gaps or if the installer left to little a gap for expansion then the worst case scenario is that the floor will not get pressured into being bent or cupped out of shape but simply bulge up and to sort this out the fitter would simply re-cut open the expansion gap and the floor will drop flat with zero damage. Due to the stability of the Suntups Super-Engineered™ this would be an extremely rare situation.

Other items in the Suntups Guarantee

  • The moisture content in the flooring to be 8% (+-2)
  • The quality of the machining of the planks
  • The quality of the factory sealers and oils
  • All flooring has been kiln & dried and free of all insects.

Suntups will replace any factory defected floor as long as it is brought to the attention of Suntups at time of installation. Should there be any defect the installation must stop and a Suntups representative must be called out to inspect. Should there be any factory fault Suntups will refund or replace. Should the installer continue installing a noticeably defective floor or incorrect grade without bringing this to the attention of Suntups, he (the fitter) then takes responsibility for the floor.

Situations that fall outside of the guarantee?

  • Blaring sun on the floor can reach temperatures of 70°c. This could cause the melting of the glue bond, shrinkage and fading of your floor.
  • Natural shrinkage
  • Re-cutting back a bulging floor. (if this happens take this as a good omen as if this floor was on another system of installation one could have had an extremely expensive failure) 
  • Any un-natural moisture problems like floods or rising damp 
  • A delaminating floor due to excessive hot sun on the floor or an under floor heating system hotter than 27°c under the floor
  • Scratches
  • No guarantee if the installer does not follow the SAWLFA pre and installation requirements.

This 5 year humidity failure is not valid for any other installation method but Elastilon; your installer will then have to guarantee his method.

  • Suntups will not accept any rejection of the flooring based on colour variation of the species. Wood is a natural product and there will always be a variance of colour.
  • There is no guarantee if failure is caused by the Sauna/Greenhouse effect. This is when the house is unoccupied or prior to occupants moving in and all windows are shut tight with no or open curtains and blaring sun. This causes a hot box and can be a deadly recipe for failure in all wooden flooring.

Keywords: Aluminium Oxide, Floating Floor, Flooring, Solid Wood, Wood

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