Changes to E3/AS1 Acceptable Solutions – Timber in Kitchens

How to meet the E3 requirements to use timber flooring in kitchens

Changes to E3/AS1 Acceptable Solutions - Timber in Kitchens

This blog was updated on the 4th of July 2023

Timber Flooring in wet areas – including kitchens, laundries, powder rooms and toilet rooms

This article covers the changes made to the E3/AS1 (Internal Moisture) acceptable solutions in New Zealand regarding the use of timber in kitchens. Highlighting that the previous guidelines allowed the use of timber in kitchens as long as it met certain requirements, but the updated guidelines have now introduced stricter regulations.

The new regulations require a greater level of protection against moisture in areas where timber is used, particularly in kitchens. These changes are aimed at preventing moisture-related issues such as rot and decay, which can affect the durability and longevity of timber, and were made so the Acceptable Solution (E3/AS1) better aligns with the requirements of the Building Code which states in Section E3.3.3 Floor surfaces of any space containing sanitary fixtures or sanitary appliances must be impervious and easily cleaned”.

To comply with the updated guidelines, we suggest various solutions, such as using UV Oiled & lacquered timber, ensuring proper sealing and detailing, and implementing appropriate vapour barrier systems. It emphasizes the importance of following the new regulations to ensure the longevity and performance of timber in kitchen environments.

Our documentation is to inform you about the changes to the E3/AS1 acceptable solutions in relation to timber use in kitchens, emphasizing the need for increased moisture protection and providing recommendations on how to comply with the updated guidelines.

Kitchens are now included as areas that have sanitary fixtures and floor finishes falling outside those covered in the Amendment 7, and will require an Alternative Solution to satisfy the Building Consents Authority (BCA).

Can timber still be used in Kitchens, Laundries and Powder rooms?

Yes, absolutely timber flooring can still be used in residential kitchens, laundries, toilet rooms and powder rooms, though it now needs to be submitted as an Alternative Solution, not an Acceptable Solution.
This is a simple process and we are here to support architects and designers with the correct supporting documentation to assist in getting timber floors consented in kitchen areas. This covers all of our wood flooring products.
The changes do not stipulate what the type of wood flooring should be, or the type of wood finish (e.g. lacquer or oil) that is required, but this information would be required as part of making a submission for its use as an Alternative Solution.
This same process can be used when specifying timber flooring in laundries, toilet rooms, powder rooms and bathrooms.


Even though we have had previous success in wood flooring used in bathrooms – both in lacquer and oil finishes, it is not industry best practice and we don’t recommend it to our customers out of an abundance of caution. It always pays to check the manufacturers warranty whether it covers the use in bathrooms. If it doesn’t, we would recommend against it as you may have voided the warranty if there is any product failure due to moisture and humidity.

Achieving an E3 Alternative Solution for Timber Flooring in Kitchens and other areas where there is sanitary fixtures and appliances

The NZBC is a performance-based Building Code and evidence compliance is critical. Our guidance document is to show evidence our Timber Flooring complies with the performance requirements set in the Building Code as an alternative solution. And provides evidence of compliance with the following NZ Building Code clauses

  1. B2 Durability
  2. C3 Critical Radiant Flux
  3. D1 Slip Resistance
  4. E3 Internal Moisture
    Easily Cleaned
  5. F2 Hazardous Materials
Download NZ Building Code Compliance Guidance Document for E3 Alternative Solution

Our 'VidaSpace NZ Building Code Compliance for Timber Flooring Guidance' Document provides comprehensive information on meeting building code compliance for timber flooring in New Zealand. It serves as a guide to assist architects, designers, builders, and other industry professionals in understanding the regulations and ensuring compliance. Outlining the NZ Building Code requirements, relevant clauses and standards, and explaining the importance of structural integrity, durability, and safety. It also delves into various aspects, such as moisture control, subfloor preparation, flooring system selection, installation techniques, and finishing, the significance of moisture management and maintenance and ongoing care for timber flooring.

Our team are more than happy to discuss your project and provide any additional supporting evidence you require to make using a timber floor as an Acceptable Solution as hassle free as possible for you.

Contact our team

Download Building Code Compliance Guide for Timber Flooring

Next Article

← Back to News + Advice

Elevate your interior with VidaSpace. Contact us and one of our team of trained interior designers will be able to guide you through the process.