Don’t be misled – timber floors will still be used in wet areas as they have for hundreds of years.

Although there have been changes to the Building Code with regards to internal moisture, with ramifications for timber flooring and Council consents, in fact Swinard Wooden Floors’ installation methods and products have met these new requirements for some time. We have been working with our suppliers and governing body (ATFA) to determine how to best manage the legislative and installation methods. The legislation is found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – Hīkina Whakatutuki website, under Acceptable Solutions and Verification Methods for NZ Building Code Clause E3 Internal Moisture.

Under the new legislation clients are required, from the conceptual stage, to choose from either our range of solid timber, engineered timber, laminate or hybrid flooring. If these are to be used in wet areas and/or within 1.5 metres of a kitchen, bathroom, w.c., laundry fixture or any plumbed appliance, strict installation methods must be followed and consented. If clients change their flooring in one of these areas, their consent will require an amendment. An amendment will also be required if the flooring type is no longer available.

All types of timber flooring (as listed above) fall under the heading “Alternative Acceptable Solution” and must be impervious and easily cleaned. That is what the extra documentation required will need to prove.

We will ensure that our installation method creates a waterproof seal between planks in areas within 1.5 metres of an outlet and seal around the edges where required. The use of these products just needs to include supplementary documentation, which we can provide. The E3 documentation the Council may require includes:

  • Confirmation that the method that we will use to install your chosen flooring into the stated wet areas meets the E3 requirements
  • A letter from the supplier stating the successful historic use of this product in wet areas
  • Testing may or may not be asked for. Our suppliers can provide us with testing documents to prove suitability

Swinard Wooden Floors are here to support you to work through the new consent process – our staff are fully aware of the implications of this new legislation and able to help. While this may seem problematic at first, we feel sure it will ease, once all parties are familiar with the process and it becomes the norm.