A Life of Balance
Hi yogi's! My name is Alexa Gittleson. In 2012 I discovered my passion for yoga and have since become a certified teacher. Yoga has changed my life in such a positive way. Flash forward to the present, and here I am wanting to share my knowledge and love of yoga with you! The foundation of my teaching combines the physical postures with an inner emotional and unique path tailored to your personal journey and goals. By integrating body, breath, and movement, I strive to promote healthy lifestyles and at the same time, you will create a happier version of yourself in all aspects possible! Your newfound journey will influence those around you, and without even realizing, you hold the power to make the world a better place, just by starting with yourself.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
"Alexa is, without a doubt, one of the most thoughtful, innovate, kind and mindful yoga instructors in the industry. Alexa’s approach to yoga combines mental awareness with challenging flows customized for beginners and seasoned yogis. When her classes are over, I always feel centered, strong, calm and happy. Alexa’s wit, precision and knowledge of yoga, yoga poses and body movement sets her apart from other yoga instructors and makes her classes and private sessions truly special."
— Dee Herman
Frequently Asked Questions
Floating Floor or Glue Down
Please note: We recommend all floating floors to have a locking joint system - Flooring with T&G joints should not be floated. Please ensure your flooring is specified compatible with floating by the manufacturer before commencing installation.
For all flooring installations we would like to recommend that you get a professional and reputable floor-layer to perform the installation.
Professional floor layers have the tools and expertise and will be able to lay more efficiently than yourself or any builder and prevent any wastage from mistakes. Using a professional installer will save you time and provide an end result that is of utmost quality. Be sure to contact us if you would like to know what installers we recommend in your area - we would be more than happy to help.
We wish you the best of luck with your timber flooring installation!
What is 'Smoked' flooring
Deciding What Direction to Lay Timber Flooring
Your eye is naturally drawn down the length of flooring planks so you can use them to lead to a feature that you want to show off! Flooring can be laid strategically so that it draws the eye in the direction of a focal point. For example in a house with floor-to-ceiling windows and a stunning outlook you might choose to lay the flooring so that it leads your eye towards the view. You could also use flooring to lead your eye to a feature wall, a piece of art and so much more!
You may also like to consider how the flooring will meet with outdoor surfaces such as decking and whether you want it all to run in the same direction or to change between the indoor/outdoor spaces.
Herringbone & Chevron: Herringbone & chevron flooring planks are usually laid on 45 degree angles so that the two angles together point down the longest lengths of the room. To create interest or make an eyecatching statement, you can lay herringbone so the the planks are straight against the walls - this will visually create more of a squares effect rather than an arrows effect.
Scenario 1 - An open-plan area where the room splits off on an angle. We suggest to have the planks mitered so that they meet at a point where the angle of the room changes. You could also have a plank border installed between the two angles if you wish to define between the areas (see photos for an example).
Scenario 2 - Rooms off hallways or adjoining rooms. Here we suggest installing a plank border across the doorframe to help define and separate the spaces (see photos for example).
Herringbone & Chevron: Where at all possible it is recommended to keep herringbone flooring running in the same direction as any direction change will make things look busy. For smaller or adjoining spaces you may like to switch from Herringbone to a matching plank to avoid the space looking too busy.
Herringbone & Chevron: In long or narrow spaces we recommend to lay chevron or herringbone planks at 45 degree angles so that the two angles together point down the longest lengths of the room.
Herringbone & Chevron: If you come across a corner with herringbone or chevron flooring we recommend continuing the flooring in the same direction - any change is going to disrupt the pattern and create a negative visual distraction - not to mention make the flooring look busier than it already is.
Herringbone & Chevron
We suggest laying the planks at 45 degree angles to longest length of the majority of the area, or laying them at 45 degree angles to the direction that people will mostly be walking.
Herringbone & Chevron: We don't recommend installing herringbone or chevron on stairs unless you want to drive your installer crazy!
Solid Timber vs Engineered: What Should I Choose
Engineered Floor wear layers vary in thickness between brands. Wear layer thickness directly affects the number of future resands your floor will be able to take - The thicker your wear layer, the more resands. The general rule of thumb is to allow 1mm per resand, plus 1mm or so for a buffer zone. A 6mm wear layer (closest equivalent to a solid timber floor) should take between 4-5 resands, while a 3mm wear layer should take 1-2 resands, and so on. Note that products with thicker wear layers also tend to be more expensive, so if you have a smaller budget you may choose a thinner wear layer.
The greatest benefit of Engineered Timber Flooring is is increased resistance to higher and lower moisture levels than solid wood flooring, which means it is much less susceptible to shrinkage, warping or cupping. This makes it perfect for New Zealand's humid climate conditions!
Just like solid timber flooring, most engineered timber floors can be direct glued down over dry concrete slabs or a wooden subfloor. *Disclaimer: Please check with the manufacturer to ensure what installation methods are suitable for your flooring.
If the floor is installed as you would a solid floor, it will also feel just the same as a Solid Timber Floor to walk on. Once installed, the base layer is hidden underneath the floor and nobody will know that it is not a solid timber floor. It will add the same resale value to your home.
Just like Solid Timber flooring, Engineered flooring is available in a number of different widths, lengths and thicknesses. It is also available pre-finished, eliminating the need for sanding and finishing on site and meaning your floor is ready to use much quicker!
Most engineered flooring uses approximately one third of the amount of solid hardwood resource compared to solid timber flooring. Therefore engineered flooring is helping to conserve our precious hardwood resources!
Engineered flooring is now very comparable in price to solid timber flooring of equivalent thickness. Thickness directly affects the price of engineered flooring and it is also available in thinner options for those with a smaller budget.
7. Faster to Install
Engineered flooring is almost always machined to a higher standard that solid timber flooring, with joint profiles for the most part being highly consistent. The boards are usually pretty straight too, and the tongue and grooves tend to maintain their size well due to being engineered so they do not swell with moisture. Therefore engineered boards usually fit together very smoothly. On the other hand, solid timber is often difficult to install due lower tolerances in the machining which leads to variances in joints profiles. Also boards can take up moisture, causing the joints to swell and/or causing bowing or cupping to the whole length of the board. This is not always the case but when it does happen it can make the floor very difficult to install.
8. Less Wastage
With any engineered flooring, you should be able to use every piece of flooring that you buy as it has been strictly graded and should have no structural defects or characteristics outside of the grade that you ordered. However with solid timber flooring, there is always a percentage of product that is not usable, due to cracks or loose knots, or other structural defects.
As with most products on the marketplace, there are some good brands and some really bad brands. Generally you get what you pay for - so if an engineered floor is unusually cheap, it is probably poor quality. Try to buy from a reputable store that has been in the industry for a reasonable amount of time and has a wealth of knowledge on the product, rather than a cheap importer who is here today, gone tomorrow and can't help you with product information.
If you are looking at a number of different products, ensure you are taking into account the plank thickness and width, and wear layer - thinner, narrower planks will usually be cheaper but that is because they take less resources to make, they are not necessarily a bargain. Remember not to judge solely on price, but to compare the quality also. Check the makeup of the core - a 6-12 layer cross-directional ply will be more stable than a 3-layer product.
Check that the product has a warranty. Often this will tell you a lot about the quality of the product - Poor quality products usually have shorter (or nonexistant) warranties, while good quality products should have a longer warranty.
For Pre-finished Engineered Floors:
Check that the floor will not need further finishing after installation. Some suppliers cheat customers into thinking their flooring is pre-finished when it is really only partially finished and will require a final finishing coat after installation. This means the supplier is able to give you a cheaper price but in the long run it may end up more expensive (and time-consuming) than a fully-finished floor.
Generally the thicker the product (and wear layer), the more expensive it will be. If you're on a tight budget a thinner flooring option will be a more affordable option. If your budget is unlimited, the world is your oyster - you could get the thickest flooring available, in the widest plank and with the biggest wear layer, giving you more resands.
In some situations you there may be a height requirement you need to meet - it is wise to always check with your builder on this. For example, if you are overlaying the flooring on an existing surface and need to minimise thickness you may require a thinner product like a 15mm option. On the other hand, if laying over joists, you will need a thicker option such as 21mm to ensure ultimate stability.
We usually recommend timber flooring to be installed using the direct-stick method, as it gives a firmer feel underfoot and eliminates any hollow noise. Most flooring can be direct-stuck regardless of joint system (tongue & groove or locking joint), although please check with the manufacturer. However, in some places installers prefer to float flooring over an underlay - in which case your flooring will need a locking joint system.
From here it all comes down to personal preference - what colours are available, whether you like the idea of a solid-equivalent thickness of floor, what plank width you prefer, etc etc!
Good luck on choosing your new Engineered Timber Flooring!
What is the best Coating for my Timber Floor
So, what is the best option for you?
From our experience, Aussie typically live a very relaxed lifestyle and are not fastidious about taking shoes off indoors - a common practice in Europe. Also many do not have the time to maintain and care for an Oil floor the way it should be cared for, which can lead to the Oiled floor drying out and cracking.
Lacquered floors tend to suit the majority of the population in Australia as they are extremely hardwearing, easy to clean and do not require maintenance coats. These days they are available in very matte finishes, similar to the look of an oiled wood floor.
In saying that, if you are prepared for the expense and the care and maintenance required of an Oiled floor or UV Oiled floor, there is no doubt you the look of these floors is stunning and the most natural looking surface you can get.
We hope that after reading this you will have gained some valuable knowledge that assists you in making a wise choice on your flooring. After all it is a choice you will have to live with!
Narrow or Wide Planks - What Is Best For My Space
Large rooms or open-plan areas: A wide plank will best enhance the space, helping it to appear less cluttered and larger than it really is. If using a parquet pattern, a wide format option (190x600mm) would be recommended, otherwise a smaller pattern may make the room appear too busy.
Vast rooms or areas: An extreme-wide plank will give the ultimate feeling of grandeur.
Understanding Colour & Grain Variation
The good news is, an experienced installer will be able to distribute these lighter or darker boards throughout your laying space so that they are less prominent and add to the character look of your floor. We believe colour variation is part of the natural beauty of timber and helps to set a real timber floor apart from imitation wood floors. If you have concerns about colour variation you could ask your installer to leave aside any significantly different-colored boards. However do take into account this will leave you with less boards for your project. A good tip is to use them in a less frequented area such as in a cupboard or wardrobe or under a fridge.
Why Are Most of our Timber Floors Made From Oak
Readily Available: Oak is a readily available species and is grown in many countries. In terms of conservation, Oak is a species of least concern.
Affordable: Due to its being readily available, Oak is one of the more affordable hardwood flooring timbers available on the market
Highly Adaptable: Above all other woods Oak takes very well to staining and colouring, and because of this a vast array of colour options can be acheived. It is available in shades from limed white to natural colour to very dark, and most colours in between.
Attractive: Oak has a very attractive grain pattern which is ideal for flooring. It is available in prime grades which are clean and mostly knot-free, or rustic or feature grades which have a higher percentage of knots and other interesting characteristics.
Improves with Age: Like a good red wine, Oak improves with age. Even after a couple of years the natural Oak colour will obtain a richer appearance. Regular care and maintenance combined with simple damage prevention methods will assist in preserving the integrity and longevity of your floor.
Creative Ways to Lay Chevron Timber Flooring
Did you know Chevron timber flooring can be used to make a number of different patterns? Why not try some of these for your next project! Click the images below for more...
Can I install timber flooring over the underfoot heating
European Oak vs American Oak
Not all Oaks are the same. To the untrained eye European and American Oak may appear very similar but both of these species have distinct characteristics that set them apart from each other, such as natural colour, tone variation, plank length, and distinctive grain patterns.
Species and origin:
European Oak (Quercus Robur) is native to Europe. It is a temperate wood that grows taller than the average American oak species and is often used for specialty longer length planks. American Oak (Quercus Alba) is predominantly found in the eastern parts of North America and tend to grow shorter and thicker. Both species are know as 'White' Oaks and are durable and strong, with a longstanding reputation of longevity.
European Oak is darker with a naturally rich golden honey hue, while American Oak is lighter and more yellow in colour with the occasional pinkish hue.
European Oak has a more even colour tone from board to board than American Oak which can show greater contrasts between lighter and darker shades especially in the grain pattern.
European Oak tends to have a more wavy and interesting grain pattern, while American Oak tends to have a large and predominantly straight grain pattern.
European Oak has a higher tannin content and less sapwood which enables it to absorb stains much more more consistently than American Oak. As well as this it reacts very well when subjected to reactive stains, fuming and aging processes.
At Forte all the vast majority of our timber flooring is made using European or French Oak due to its beautiful colour, exquisite grain pattern and the versatility of finishing processes it allows.
Ask me anything! I look forward to flowing with you.