New Zealand Home & Building, October-November 1985
Anyone who wishes to install a timber floor today can use treated clean heart rimu, clean heart tawa or matai if they want to stay with local timbers. Radiata pine is considered too soft for permanent flooring.
Many imported hardwoods such as taun, kwila and yaka also make highly suitable flooring timbers. They are also often easier to obtain.
The laying of strip flooring is still a laborious business, but new underfloor insulation techniques and the superior methods of drying timber mean that some of the old difficulties like unsightly gaps are now avoidable. Wooden floors are durable and have a certain spring to them which is 'forgiving' to the human frame. Modern transparent finishes and cleaning materials have not only greatly reduced the work of maintaining a timber floor, they have also reduced the possibility of damage by scratching and pitting.
Our climate is particularly suitable for this type of flooring Timber looks cool in the summer and is a good insulator in the winter. We would undoubtedly see a lot more exposed timber flooring if it were not for the expense involved.