Flat to the Floor

After having the mega-anchors installed it was time to look at flooring. There were a couple of things to think about. The first was that we would be building the extension in two sections. The dining room which is attached to the house and then the larger studio which is attached to the dining room. The second was that the flooring might be in the weather for some time before we could build the studio.

We knew what floor covering we wanted at the finish. A fantastic product made locally by Resilience Flooring. They use salvaged timber.Northern Territory stringy bark which if they did not use to turn into flooring would just get burnt. Up in the NT they knock it down to replace with plantation timber or dig for bauxite. The other salvaged material which is gorgeous is recycled fence palings made into a plywood backed flooring product. We spoke with them and they reccomended that we lay a plywood floor first and then when the building was done we could lay the timber floor over the top. A little work on the internet and soon found that there were a couple of products available. Boral flooring ply which is Australian Forestry Standard chain of custody or Carter Holt Harvey flooring ply which is Forest Stewardship Council chain of custody. My personal choice was the CHH product as encouraging FSC in Tasmania all helps to get more FSC products available in Tasmania.

 For an explanation on points of difference between the two click here.
So after whilst waiting for the ply to arrive it was time to source the insulation. I decided that since it was under floor and although under cover still outside that wool would probably not be very good. There are many types of insulation that work for under floor including foil, polystyrene and polyester. Polystyrene extrusion is designed for going between timber joists or joists that have vertical surfaces. Out joists are steel “Top Hat” joists and as such are sloped, also we had had them placed at 400mm centres to enable us to lay the 1200 x 2400mm sheets of plywood without too much waste. Foil seemed to be more suited to warmer climes than Tasmania and that left polyester.

A good hunt on the net came up with a product called Autex Greenstuf made specifically for under floors. This uses 80% recycled polyester and has a green policy in its factories. It ticked all the boxes we try and tick. A phone call to them told us hat the had a supplier in Launceston. Good so far. A phone call to the supplier told us that they knew nothing about the product but would get back to us. True to their word they did so. Yes it exists but they could only get it in their next container of Autex that they ordered form the mainland and that could be a month or two as they had only just got an order in. However the builders that use it use the wall batts, they still meet the R1.5 requirement and they had them in stock. Brilliant…………..

……………………so I thought. I worked out what was needed and ordered 9 packs. Duly picked them up, drove them home, put some in and then saw the label. Not Autex but Fletcher. Different manufacturer. I emailed Fletcher as to their recycled content as on the website it does say in tiny print that some recycled product was used but not how much. I am still waiting three months on for a reply.

It appears that suppliers here in Tassie use one or two different suppliers depending on the deal or price at the time. It is a problem that I am now very aware of. My other choice in Tas was in Hobart. I should have double checked and made a trip down if necessary. The floor went down, with the polyester insulation with not so much recycled content. Black plastic was put over the top to protect the floor from the weather.

plywood floor covered in plastic

plywood, joist and polyester sandwich

plywood flooring

We now had a catch 22 situation. We had put the floor down as far as the north wall of the house, (well as close as full sheets of plywood allowed us). Now we had to take the wall down so that we could lay plywood up to the present wooden floor in the house. The wall had to come down any way. The problem being is that is was the wall protecting the house from the weather.  The answer was to build the dining room with a false corrugated iron wall on the north side. Then we could take the wall down from the shelter of indoors…….. That is the next part of the saga.

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