Sustainable and Compliant Oiled Timber Flooring in Whitford

This recently completed a project in Whitford, showcases a rich dark oak flooring, named Pina (after the infamous cocktail) finished with hard wax oil. This case study delves into the technical aspects, sustainability, and compliance features of this installation, which makes it a notable reference for architectural and interior design professionals.  Pina is an option from The Distilled Collection, a range of timber floor options produced in Europe from slow-grown, FSC-certified Lithuanian Oak, finished to the highest standard.  The Distilled Collection carries a number of subtle superiorities such as dense, hard-wearing oak, longer-than-usual board lengths and unique grain patterns.

Product Overview
The selected oak flooring for the Whitford project is treated with hard-wax oil, enhancing the natural beauty and durability of the wood. Hard wax oils penetrate the wood, providing robust protection against wear and moisture, while maintaining the wood’s breathability. This treatment ensures a longer lifespan and easier maintenance compared to traditional finishes.

Benefits of an Oiled Floor
An oiled floor can offer a number of benefits over alternatives, but the main considerations for the client were:

  1. Option to “tint” the colour of the floor through the oil maintenance process.  If a darker hue is desired, a tint can be added to the maintenance oil.
  2. The enhanced natural beauty.  People generally sense the look and feel of naturally oiled timber if given the option.
  3. Improved durability and longevity.  With the correct maintenance, oiled floors are known to last…. well…. centuries, however most alternative require a sanding and refinishing coat to extend the life.
  4. Eco-friendly and safe.  Hard wax oils are derived from plant oils and in this case the oil carries a zero VOC certification.

Read about the differences between oiled and lacquered floors here.

 

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Compliance with E3 Building Standards
Contrary to common belief, oiled floors can comply with the E3 Building Standard, which focuses on interior moisture management and surface finishes. The Whitford project demonstrates that with the correct application and maintenance, oiled timber floors meet these standards effectively, offering an alternative to the more common lacquered finishes. The project used the Parabond Parquet 440 adhesive, which plays a crucial role in compliance by acting as a moisture vapour barrier when used with a suitable primer, even on damp substrates.

Technical Specifications of Parabond Parquet 440 Adhesive
Parabond Parquet 440 is a high-performance adhesive designed for wood floors, providing an excellent bond and flexibility that accommodates natural wood movement. Notable characteristics include:

  1. Composition: Solvent-free, isocyanate-free, and phthalate-free hybrid polymer.
  2. VOC Emissions: Rated EC1plus for very low emissions, ensuring indoor air quality and compliance with stringent environmental standards.
  3. Suitability as a Vapour Barrier: When applied correctly, it acts as an effective moisture barrier, crucial for installations over concrete or where moisture might be a concern.

Sustainability Considerations
Both the engineered oak flooring and the Parabond Parquet 440 adhesive contribute to the project’s sustainability profile:

  1. Engineered Oak Flooring: Features a no-added-formaldehyde construction and an FSC certification, ensuring the wood is sourced from responsibly managed forests.
  2. Parabond Parquet 440 Adhesive: Carries a zero VOC rating and does not contain any carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic substances. It is compliant with GEV-EMICODE EC1 Plus, indicating the lowest possible emission levels.

The Whitford project by Vienna Woods exemplifies how sustainable practices can be seamlessly integrated with technical excellence in modern flooring installations. By using materials like the FSC-certified engineered oak and eco-friendly adhesives such as Parabond Parquet 440, Vienna Woods not only meets regulatory compliance but also addresses the growing demand for environmentally responsible building materials.

 

Images // Jo Currie

What is E3/AS1 and How Does it Impact Your Timber Flooring Project?

When planning a timber flooring project, understanding the building codes and standards, such as E3/AS1, is crucial for ensuring compliance and quality. This article delves into the intricacies of E3/AS1, a part of the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC), and how it applies to your timber flooring project. We’ll explore the importance of compliance with these standards, focusing specifically on the relevance of the ISO4760 test for joint permeability in timber floors.

What is E3/AS1?

E3/AS1 is a section of the NZBC that sets the requirements for building elements to protect against moisture. It is essential for architects, interior designers, architectural builders, and homeowners to understand these requirements to ensure the durability and safety of their flooring installations.

The Importance of Compliance with E3/AS1 in Timber Flooring

Compliance with E3/AS1 is not just a legal requirement but also a matter of quality assurance. Timber flooring, particularly engineered oak, which is a specialty of Vienna Woods, must meet certain standards to ensure it withstands moisture and environmental changes over time. Compliance ensures longevity, safety, and a high standard of living.

The Role of ISO4760 in Timber Flooring

The ISO4760 test is a key component in assessing the quality of timber flooring. This test measures the joint permeability of flooring, which is crucial in determining its resistance to moisture and humidity – a critical factor in New Zealand’s varied climate. High joint permeability can lead to moisture seeping through, causing damage over time. Therefore, understanding the results of this test is crucial in selecting the right flooring material.

How ISO4760 Test Substantiates Compliance for Timber Floors According to E3/AS1

The ISO4760 test results can be used to demonstrate compliance with E3/AS1. By showing that the timber flooring has low joint permeability, it assures that the product is resistant to moisture ingress, aligning with the NZBC’s requirements. This is particularly important in areas prone to dampness or in buildings where moisture control is a critical aspect of the design.

Choosing the Right Timber Flooring Compliant with E3/AS1

At Vienna Woods, we specialize in high-quality engineered oak flooring sourced from Europe, meeting the high standards set by the NZBC. Our products are tested and proven to comply with E3/AS1, ensuring that they are not only aesthetically pleasing but also durable and safe.

 

Understanding E3/AS1 and ensuring compliance through tests like the ISO4760 is essential for any timber flooring project in New Zealand. By choosing Vienna Woods, you are selecting a partner that values quality, compliance, and the longevity of your investment. Our commitment to meeting these standards reflects our dedication to being the first choice in quality timber flooring in New Zealand.

For more information and expert guidance on selecting the right timber flooring for your project, visit Vienna Woods.

 


References

  • New Zealand Building Code (NZBC), E3/AS1
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Guidelines
  • ISO4760 Test Standards

Understanding Tolerances for Timber Flooring in New Zealand

Understanding tolerances in engineered timber flooring is crucial for both quality results and adherence to New Zealand building standards. Tolerances refer to the allowable variations in measurements and alignments during construction and installation processes. These guidelines ensure that while perfection might not always be attainable, the quality and integrity of the construction are maintained.

In New Zealand, the standards for timber flooring tolerances are well-defined. For instance, the NZS 3604:2011, a key standard for timber-framed buildings, outlines specific tolerances relevant to various aspects of construction, including timber quality and framing. This standard ensures that timber used in buildings, including flooring, meets certain criteria for dimensions and alignment to maintain structural integrity and aesthetic quality.

Specifically, for timber flooring, tolerances include allowances for variations in dimensions, straightness, and levelness. These tolerances are critical to ensure that the flooring not only looks good but also performs well over time. For instance, there are set limits for how much a floor can deviate from being level or how straight the timber must be. These limits are measured in millimeters and are based on the length of the timber used.

The Building CodeHub’s “Tolerances tables – Build 184 (2021)” also provides comprehensive information on construction tolerances. It includes details on the permitted variations from given dimensions, the range of variation in maintaining a specified dimension, and variations from location or alignment. Adhering to these tolerances ensures that subsequent trades can achieve quality results and that the final construction meets the desired standards.

These tolerances are not just about the technical aspects of construction; they are also about the end-user experience. Floors that are not level or have significant variations can lead to discomfort and even safety issues. Therefore, understanding and applying these tolerances is not just a matter of regulatory compliance but also about delivering a product that meets the highest standards of quality and comfort.

For more detailed and specific information regarding the tolerances in timber flooring, professionals in the industry often refer to the NZS 3604:2011 standard and resources provided by Building CodeHub and BRANZ.

When it comes to engineered timber flooring in New Zealand, adhering to the set tolerances is key. These guidelines ensure that the flooring is not only aesthetically pleasing but also structurally sound and safe for use. By following these standards, builders and installers can provide quality flooring solutions that stand the test of time.

The role of compliance documentation in ensuring the quality of engineered timber flooring

When shopping for engineered timber flooring, it is important to consider the quality of the product and whether it meets certain standards for performance and safety. One way to determine the quality of engineered timber flooring is by looking for compliance documentation, which is a set of documents that provide evidence that the product meets certain requirements or standards. 

There are several types of compliance documentation that are relevant to engineered timber flooring, including: 

 

  1. Product certification: This type of documentation certifies that the product has been tested and meets certain performance standards, such as strength, stability, and durability. This is typically provided by an independent testing organisation or a professional association. 
  2. Environmental certification: This type of documentation certifies that the product has been made in an environmentally responsible way, such as by using sustainable materials or energy-efficient manufacturing processes. This can be provided by organisations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). 
  3. Health and safety certification: This type of documentation certifies that the product is safe for use in the home and does not contain any harmful substances. This can be provided by organisations such as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) or the European Union’s E1 Emissions Standard. 

By looking for these types of compliance documentation, you can ensure that the engineered timber flooring you are considering is of high quality and meets certain standards for performance, environmental responsibility, and health and safety. This can give you peace of mind and help you make an informed purchase decision. 

To review our compliance documents, you can view these under our downloads section here.