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I am refurbishing a mezzanine of a warehouse to turn into a yoga studio. It is a 90sqm space with a suspended concrete floor on steels beams. It currently has carpet tiles and I am looking into putting a floating timber floor. Which timber would you recommend for this space?

Woodsolutions Answer +

One of the lighter-coloured timbers would probably be best, such as Victorian ash. Darker woods tend to show every speck of dust. You could consider installing your floating floor as a 'sprung' floor, more details here showing the various kinds of sprung floors: Sprung floors are popular where active movement takes place, such as yoga, gymnastics etc.

Sprung floor

I am looking for a building specification for Darwin Stringybark which we are using as an external rainscreen. The timber will be milled in the northern territory locally to the project using a lucus mill.

Woodsolutions Answer +

We weren't sure if the rainscreen includes structural components or is just decorative. If structural, the timber will need to be stress graded. This can be done by reference to Australian Standard 2082, Timber - Hardwood - Visually stress-graded for structural purposes. Darwin stringybark is not listed in AS 2082 but a CSIRO reference in our library places it in Strength Group S1. In the unseasoned condition S1 species generate the stress grades F14, F17, F22 and F27, depending on quality. If it is purely an appearance application be aware that shrinkage can be up to 5% of cross-section as the timber dries from green to 12% moisture content. You may want to air-dry the timber before use to avoid this. 

Darwin stringybark

We are looking at building a number of timber buildings (holiday cabins) on a 10 acre site overlooking the ocean. We are looking at the use of timber such as Russian pine. Is this suitable for long term durability?

Woodsolutions Answer +

We assume you are considering Russian pine for external cladding. Salt-laden moist air can be a problem if absorbed by uncoated softwoods. Salt crystals form in the wood and cause the outer fibres to become stringy when the salt crystallises and expands - a similar process to spalling in brickwork and concrete. However, it can be prevented by sealing the timber with paint and other coatings. We would be more concerned about the timber's resistance to wood rot if it is exposed to rain. Russian pine aka 'Baltic pine' is not a durable timber under full weather exposure. A more reliable choice for exterior cladding would be one of the durable hardwood species.

Russian pine
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