Interior of house is FINISHED!!!

Well finally after 5 years the interior of the house is complete. The last things that needed doing were the bathroom (see earlier posts) and the kitchen floor.

Originally we were going to continue our bamboo floor right through the kitchen but after a year of use in the studio we have found that although the bamboo itself does not scratch or dent, the polyurethane finish scratches and shows up white. We have found a product that can be used to disguise the scratches. It is called Tibet Almond Stick and it works really well. Available from My Tool Store.com approx $10.00

As our back door is the one we use constantly and we have gravel outside the likelihood of scratches was very high. Also we were worried about possible water egress around the kitchen sink area as time went on. So the search for sustainable and hardwearing floor coverings started.

Some of the coverings we looked at were:

  • Rubber (natural rubber covering made in France) www.dalsouple.com.au very expensive and needs installer. Floor must be level. Around $180 per sq m plus install
  • Marmoleum. All natural ingredients but again needs experienced installer. Floor must be absolutely level
  • Plywood. FSC accredited, needs sealer. Can install ourselves. Floor does not need to be so level
  • Cork. Recyled available. Good colour range. GECA certified. http://www.comcork.com.au/ needs to be glued
  • Sheet Vinyl. Needs installing. Plasticisers to make flexible not so very environmentally friendly
  • Vinyl Planking. Loose laid. DIY install. Floor can be a little uneven. Used in commercial applications. Fully recyclable. Lots of work being done by industry to make more evironmentally friendly. Around $90 sq m

In the end we chose a product  by Gerflor. Made in Europe Creation Clic is a vinyl plank product. It is loose laid over the existing floor and click into each other with a vertical groove arrangement. All that is needed for installation is a craft knife, white mallet, tape and straight edge. You can easily install it yourself.

I laid 9mm plywood over our existing floor to bring it up to level with the bamboo in the studio. this evened  out the slight heigh difference between the plywood in the extension and the hardwood floor in the kitchen which was not in  the best condition with gaps between planks.

Over the plywood we laid the Gerfloor. We chose a colour called Portobello which is a bleached, denim looking  plank, All the range are wood grained planks. Each plank is 1000mm long and 176mm wide and 6mm thick.

After laying the planks we fitted ramps down to the hardwood floor at the entrance to the sitting room and the hallway. Also made trims to go along the kitchen bench kickboard from scrap  plywood finished with the Haymes paint rust finish and added the skirting boards. Job finished and the house finished………………apart from loads of minor jobs that is.

Now onto the garden, single garage and cladding the western side of the house!!!

Creation clic showing connection groove

Creation clic showing connection groove

laying floor 1

laying floor 1

contrast between bamboo and vinyl

contrast between bamboo and vinyl

finished job with edge strip along kitchen bench

finished job with edge strip along kitchen bench

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Bamboo floors

Sometime last year I started researching floor coverings for the studio and kitchen. There were numerous possibilities but slowly I narrowed them down.

Vinyl was removed from the list quickly as it is highly energy intensive to produce, uses lots of chemical and off gases for a long time. To get an idea of flooring and the healthy alternatives check out this link http://www.healthyflooring.org/alternatives.html

Marmoleum was high on the list but needed to be glued down.

Rubber sounded good but only one company makes natural rubber floors and it is in France so rubber has to be shipped from Malaysia to France and then to Australia. Synthetic rubbers are made from oil so that was not on the list.

Carpet did not even get on the list.

In the end we made a list of questions and applied them to all the products.

The questions we asked were.

  • Was the product made from sustainable materials?
  • How far did it have to travel?
  • Was it easily recyclable?
  • Did it need another product to fix it. IE glue, nails
  • Did it out gas?
  • Could it be laid by me or did it need professional skills
  • Was it available in Tasmania

In the end it appeared that a floating bamboo floor would tick nearly all the boxes. The clincher was a visit to GECA website (Good Environmental Choice Australia) and finding a couple of bamboo flooring companies that were GECA certified. This included the levels of glues and binders used as well as the sustainable harvesting and planting of the bamboo. It gives some peace of mind. The only downside was that it was made in China so the travel was long. However all other flooring alternative apart from a cork/rubber composite came from overseas.

The cork flooring is made by Comcork from recycled corks collected by Guides Australia and rubber. It was very high on the list but needed glueing down which made recycling it very unlikely.

The Bamboo flooring we chose was Arc Bamboo in a natural colour. It is a strand woven bamboo flooring product 15mm thick that clicks together on all 4 sides using Uniclic technology. It can be resanded if necessary and came pre finished. It is one of the few bamboo flooring products that is GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) specified. This means that the bamboo has to come from sustainable sources and the glues used are very low emission. Always good to check on the GECA website for products.

It has been down for three months now and is performing well. It is easy to keep clean with an ENJO microfibre mop and sweeping. The aluminium oxide finish easy a little easy to scratch if not careful, but so is polyurethane.

Photos below show the whole story.

Before we started. Ecoply flooring.

Starting the floor laying process

Nearly Finished. Showing foam underlay

The finished floor

Finished !! One days work

We bought it on special and saved 20% from Carpet Court in Invermay. Very friendly and came and measured up, gave us a quote and let us keep it at their warehouse until we needed it.

I picked it up just before Xmas. There were five planks in a pack and 59 packs. the van knew it had a load on board, especially as we had discovered that it was only running on 2.5 cylinders.

Van loaded

A dream to lay. It floats literally over a 3mm foam underlay. The profile “Uniclic” edges ensures that it all fits together very easily. You have to leave a 12mm gap around the edges for expansion and contraction. this was hidden under the skirting.