Written by Jake Brady

Timber or Concrete Flooring – What You Need To Know

When choosing a floor for your home, understanding the pros and cons of different flooring materials will help you make informed building choices, and create a beautiful home environment.

Whether you’re designing a custom home or improving your present abode, Smartbuild South Coast knows the important role flooring plays to merge aesthetic vision and practical concerns, as well as how it will affect your budget.

As popular custom home builders in the Illawarra region, we’ve worked with both timber and concrete with stunning results. Our specialist team can help pinpoint the perfect flooring for your upcoming project.


Timber floors have long been loved for their versatility and charm. The many woods, grains and replica woods on the market cater to both vintage-inspired architecture and contemporary home designs, complementing a range of interior trends.

From matte finish to high shine, pale glowing shades to rich warm colours, a perfect timber choice exists to suit every budget and preferred aesthetic. Timber flooring is often favoured for its smooth texture, and while still considered a firm feel, it provides a more subtle give than concrete.

There are many interpretations of so-called “wooden flooring” which span hardwoods, softwoods, laminates, vinyl, bamboo, and engineered timber. When selecting surfacing, it’s important to factor in future maintenance needs like re-polishing, and protective treatments.

Timber can eventually mark, depending on the amount of wear and tear as well as the choice of material. Wooden flooring can be at risk of cracking in summer heat as the years progress, especially if maintenance is neglected.

Dependant on your flooring choice, boards will need treating over time for continued protection. Even though wooden boards may call for more care, Australian custom home builders love the allure of timber flooring.

For those wanting hardwood or softwood floors, prices may be higher than expected in the near future due to supply shortages around certain materials. The Smartbuild team will ensure your home includes stunning flooring choices that respect your budget.


Concrete is known for its strength, and concrete floors are popular with those wanting flooring that can handle significant wear and tear across the years and providing quality flooring for decades. Concrete is also less noisy to walk on compared with timber flooring, and boasts a modern, even futuristic aesthetic.

Concrete can be polished or unpolished, with different grinding and sealing finishes suiting varying budgets. Some people prefer concrete with a reflective gloss while others love matte. You can even stain or select colour treated concrete.

While concrete can feel hard, and be slippery if moist, it has come a long way in terms of sophistication. When deciding on a style, ask whether sealing or non-slip requires reapplication over time. Your flooring budget should take note of future costs.

If concrete is unpolished, a potential downside is moisture damage, risk of mould, and discolouration. Polished concrete is protected, and therefore popular in areas where water and food stuffs are more common, such as the kitchen, laundry, dining, and bathroom areas.

Another reason home builders opt for concrete flooring is the sustainability of concrete as a construction material. Sometimes preferred in bushfire regions for its fire resistant properties, concrete flooring comes in a wide array of textures, patterns and price points.

Some home builders love the coolness of concrete in Australian summers, but for others the surface is too chilly, although concrete flooring is in fact known for its thermal mass. Whatever you choose, investigate floor heating options if winter cold concerns you.

In summary

Choosing the flooring that’s right for your build is an important decision. Take the time to determine your vision, including what you need as well as what you want, so that you can build you dream home and have it become the place where you love to live.

Do you have questions?

Whether building or renovating, every project is about your vision meeting the needs of your lifestyle. A Smartbuild South Coast consult gives informed feedback, and can offer insight into how well certain flooring materials will suit your build.