A house starring Tasmanian oak has won three ATFA awards, including Overall Winner Floor of the Year.

The Australasian Timber Flooring Association (ATFA) Awards for excellence were held in late August and Tasmanian Timber finished the night with three awards including Overall Winner Floor of the Year. ATFA is the peak association for the timber flooring industry including flooring installers, sanders and finishers, manufacturers, suppliers and retailers, and the awards are highly contested.

Showcased in the magnificent Lewisham Pod house, 40 minutes drive from Hobart, the winning floors are built from Tasmanian oak Hydrowood, which is a product with a remarkable story.

Hydrowood timbers are a range of high-quality, often rare species cut from the flooded forest beneath Lake Pieman using a specialist underwater harvester mounted on a barge. The trees are being rescued in quantity and sold through specialist suppliers for bespoke uses including furniture, floorings and artisinal woodwork. The Tasmanian oak product comes in a range of lush honey-like colours, from straw to reddish-brown.

As a reclaimed timber, the Hydrowood flooring is strong and exceptionally stable, but these qualities are also true of Tasmanian oak as a whole. While hardness is often used as the key benchmark for flooring through the JANKA rating, stability is often overlooked.

“Tasmanian oak has the most incredible torsion. It’s ability to stay straight is unmatched,” says Tasmanian Timber ambassador and designer-maker Jon Goulder. “I have never come across another timber that has the stability Tasmanian oak possesses.”

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The Lewisham pod house was commissioned by Tasmanian writer Alice Hansen to show off as much locally sourced product as possible while embracing its natural seaside environment. Hansen knew the team behind Hydrowood and has even visited the lake where the timber is harvested, describing the company as an “epic feel-good story”.

JAWS architects worked with interior designers Bury, Kirkland & Ferry and specialist local furniture makers including Simon Ancher Studio and Alan Livermore to create the finished product. The judges were as impressed as the client with the finished results.

The awards came as welcome news after a year that has seen the Tasmanian timber industry face challenges including record fires.

“There has been some concern in the marketplace that Tasmanian oak volumes may have dropped since the Tasmanian bushfires earlier in the year, but that’s not the case,” says Tasmanian Timber Chairman Shawn Britton.

“Tasmanian oak is available in the same quantities as pre-fire levels and will continue to be. Those wanting to specify a Tasmanian oak floor are encouraged to do so.”

The flooring is widely available in a variety of widths and products, including engineered flooring, solid and overlay, from distributors across the country. Tasmanian oak flooring is available in two aesthetic grades, Prime and Classic, with varying levels of feature.

Tasmanian oak is also available as scantlings, panelling, veneers and glulam. The Tasmanian Timber program’s promotion comes as part of the state’s bid to raise the profile of its quality, sustainable forest products.

“Tasmanian oak is beautiful, durable and incredibly stable, which makes it an ideal flooring timber,” says Britton. “It’s exciting to see it recognised at the highest level as a flooring timber.”

For more information, contact the Tasmanian Timber Expert Helpline on 1300 041 766 or visit www.tasmaniantimber.com.au.