Armoured and gorgeous
By Lesley Apps
Although it is a famous American franchise, several Gloria Jean's Coffee Houses in Brisbane feature something 'Clarence Valley' in their interiors.
In fact you will be standing on it next time you chug down a cappuccino.
The trademark timber flooring in those stores was created and supplied by local Grafton mill, Big River Timbers.
The internationally acclaimed 'Armourfloor' is a world class, cutting edge product developed by the family business right here in the Clarence Valley.
The idea was spawned much like many great ideas ? by a bunch of people sitting around a table.
"Previously most of our products were structural products for the construction industry. After an opportunity was seen through an inquiry we saw there was an opening in the market for a unique decorative product like Armourfloor. It's the first purely decorative product we have created," chief financial officer Jim Bindon said.
Big River Timbers is the only plywood mill in the world that peels eucalyptus hardwood, giving it the opportunity to produce beautiful timber floors with the stability and durability of a laminated engineered product.
Naturally this groundbreaking mix of nature and technology has attracted the attention of many ? from large corporations to the 'mums and dads' market.
You can find BRT's Armourfloor in selected Colorado clothing stores, Subaru dealerships, racecourses, exclusive city apartments, resorts, restaurants and clubs around the country and the list is set to grow once word of this product gets out.
BRT employees around 70 staff in the company's operations in the capital cities with many of these focusing on managing the demand for their increasingly popular timber flooring.
"Architects and homeowners are becoming extremely interested in Armourfloor, particularly because of its environmental benefits.
"Because we use layers of hardwood veneer, only the top veneer needs to be hand selected for its purity of appearance. This quality timber can therefore stretch further than traditional solid timber flooring.
"We can create beautiful timber boards of lengths up to 2400mm and any width, and still be environmentally responsible by sourcing from sustainable regrowth and plantation timbers.
"It is very difficult to produce such wide floorboards for traditional solid hardwood flooring, because trees of that size just aren't available anymore."