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Timber Species

American White Oak

Quercus spp.

American White Oak has become a popular choice for Australians looking for that unique look not present in any of our native species. American White Oak is a medium sized hardwood of Central North America its heartwood is pale yellow-brown and sometimes with a pink tinge.

Heartwood class 4 durability above ground, not termite resistant and Janka hardness of 6.0.

American Oak Premium Grade

 

 

Australian Chestnut

mixed Eucalyptus obliqua, sieberi and fastigata.

Australian Chestnut Flooring is characterized by subtle colour variations from a Light straw colour to light to medium browns. Durable Eucalypts are blended to provide a sophisticated, natural beauty to any interior. The blend of species are found in the East Gippsland forests of Victoria.

Heartwood class 3 durability above ground, not termite resistant and Janka hardness of 8.1

Baltic Pine

Picea abies

Medium sizes softwood imported from northern Europe. The sapwood is white to pale yellow with a straight grain and has small tight knots in its appearance. Baltic Pine was used extensively in Australia in the early 1900’s and those floors are now showing a considerable amount of Anobium borer holes in the sapwood today. A very soft choice for timber flooring and usually only sold for making repairs or to match existing floors.

Heartwood class 4 durability above ground, not termite resistant and Janka hardness of 2.0

Blackbutt (Coastal)

Eucalyptus Pilularis

Blackbutt is one of the most common species of hardwood commercially available from the coastal forests of NSW. It grows in the coastal forests of NSW from Bega on the south coast up to Maryborough in Queensland. The timber has a colour ranging from a golden yellow through to pale browns and also light Blonde boards. The colour range is subtle and is excellent where the colour requirement is light and neutral. The sapwood is distinctly lighter than the heartwood.

Heartwood class 1 durability above ground, Termite Resistant and Janka hardness of  9.1

Blackbutt (New England)

Eucalyptus Campanulata

New England Blackbutt is sourced from the coastal ranges and tablelands of northern NSW and southern Queensland. The material is very similar in appearance and properties to Blackbutt (E. pilularis). The colour ranges from pale browns to straw blondes, with gum veins being a common feature. The grain is usually quite straight. New England Blackbutt is similar to Coastal Blackbutt but usually has a little more colour variation and more natural features are common.

Heartwood class 2 durability above ground, Termite Resistant and Janka hardness of  9.5

Blue Gum

Eucalyptus Saligna

Sydney Blue Gum is a tall tree, found along the New South Wales coastline extending from Batemans Bay in the south to southern Queensland. The timber is usually straight grained with a small percentage showing some interlocking grain. The texture is moderately coarse. The heartwood colour ranges from dark pink to reddish brown. The sapwood is typically distinctly paler in colour.

Heartwood class 2 durability above ground, not termite resistant and Janka hardness of  9.0

  • Blue Gum (Simial) – Eucalyptus Saligna

Brushbox

Lophostemon Confertus

Brush Box is a large hardwood which grows from the central coast of New South Wales up to Bowen in Queensland. The tree tends to be found on the edge of rainforests, suited to the moist forest conditions and transition zones between hardwood and rainforest. The heartwood ranges from rich reddish browns through lighter browns and to pinkish greys. The texture is fine and even with the grain usually showing the characteristic interlocking. This is an attractive feature, particularly in exposed/polished situations such as flooring. The timber is free of gum vein.

Heartwood class 3 above ground, Termite resistant and Janka hardness of 9.5

Cypress Pine

Callitris Glaucophylla

It is extremely hardy, surviving poor soil conditions and low rainfall. The heartwood is durable with an excellent termite resistance that has made the material very versatile and widely utilized.   The heartwood can range in colour from dark chocolate through to pale fawns. The sapwood is a pale yellow. Cypress is easily distinguishable with its feature of black or dark coloured knots contrasting with the heartwood and sapwood. It also has a distinctive smell which is quite noticeable when the timber is freshly installed or sanded.

Heartwood Class 1 Durability above ground, Termite Resistant and Janka Hardness of 6.5

Grey Box 

Eucalyptus microcarpa

A medium sized hardwood of the central and northern areas of NSW. Heartwood pale brown with a lighter coloured sapwood. Grey Box is very similar to Ironbark in its properties but has a more consistent colour and appearance.   Grain is interlocked with a fine texture and very few gum veins are found in Grey Box.

Heartwood Class 1 Durability above ground, Termite Resistant and Janka Hardness of 15

Grey Gum

Eucalyptus propinqua

A large hardwood found around the Hawkesbury River area in NSW and up into the Maryborough region of QLD.  Heartwood is Red with the sapwood lighter and has very similar properties and texture to Ironbark.  Grey Gum is resistant to termites and is a class 1 durability hardwood.  Grain is usually interlocked.

Heartwood Class 1 Durability above ground, Termite Resistant and Janka Hardness of 14

Grey Ironbark

Eucalyptus propiculata

The most common commercial species is Eucalyptus Paniculata. The heartwood of Grey Ironbark ranges from light grey or light brown with a red tinge at times occurring. Sapwood is slightly lighter in colour. Grey Ironbark may have various regional variations such as the ‘Black ironbark’s’ around Port Macquarie, which have similar light colours with black narrow to broad streaks running through the timber. Texture is moderately coarse and even with an interlocking grain.

Heartwood Class 1 Durability above ground, Termite Resistant and Janka Hardness of 14

Jarrah

Eucalyptus Marginata

Jarrah is a large sized hardwood found only in the south west of Western Australia. The heartwood varies from rich reds to deep browns, with sapwood being a clearly distinguished pale yellow. The texture is course and generally straight grained although some interlocked grain may feature and at times you will find the fiddleback figure.

Heartwood Class 2 Durability above ground, Termite Resistant and Janka Hardness of 8.5

Kauri Pine (Damar Minyak)

Agathis dammara

Kauri Pine was originally sourced from New Zealand and Fiji when introduced into the Australian flooring market going back 30-100+ years ago. Due to the scarcity of the Kauri Pines in both these countries it is now sourced from India and has a very close resemblance to the other islands it was originally from. It is a large softwood of South East Asia extending from Malaysia through to Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. It has a reasonable consistent tan colour when new that darkens with age.

Heartwood Class 4 Durability above ground, Not Termite Resistant and Janka Hardness of 2.7

Red Gum (Forest)

Eucalyptus tereticornis

A large Hardwood found from the districts of Warragul in Victoria and as far north as Cairns QLD. Heartwood is Red with lighter sapwood. Grain is interlocking with a coarse and even texture.

Heartwood class 1 above ground, Termite resistant and Janka hardness of 14

Red Ironbark

Eucalyptus sideroxylon

The most common Red ironbark’s are Mugger Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon), narrow-leaved Red Ironbark (E.creba) & broad-leaved Red Ironbark (E.fibrosa). Mugga Ironbark extends from VIC through NSW into southern QLD. Narrow-leaved Red Ironbark is found in the coastal, tablelands and western plains of central to northern NSW and just west of the Great Dividing Range. Broad-leaved Red Ironbark has a distribution from the south coast of NSW to central coastal QLD. The heartwood colour is deep red. Sapwood is a very distinctive pale yellow in colour. Texture is medium and even. Due to the different cross species and areas Red Ironbark is found always check colour of timber is what you re after.

Heartwood class 1 above ground, Termite resistant and Janka hardness 14

Rose Gum (Flooded Gum)

Eucalyptus Grandis

Flooded Gum (also known by the trade name of Rose Gum) is a large hardwood that grows in the moist soils along the east coast of Australia ranging from around Bulahdelah in New South Wales up to northern Queensland. The heartwood is a pink to pale red-brown with the sapwood not clearly distinguishable. The grain is straight and the texture is moderately course and even. The timber often features the work of the scribbly borer. This insect leaves a small trail mark in a weaving or ‘scribbling’ pattern on the timber.

Heartwood Class 2 Durability above ground, Not Termite Resistant and Janka Hardness of 7.5

Silvertop Stringybark

Eucalyptus laevopinea

A large hardwood found in the northern NSW tablelands, Silvertop Stringybark has a pale brown tone with a straight grain and medium texture.

It is relatively free of gum veins and has a close resemblance to the popular Blackbutt.

Reasonable low Shrinkage rate of just 5 per cent radial it is a stable hardwood very well suited for Timber Flooring, building framing and structural Plywood.

Heartwood class 3 above ground, not Termite resistant and Janka hardness of 9.24

Snowy River Gum

Eucalyptus Nitens Maiden

Snowy River Gum (East Gippsland Shining Gum) grows in the high altitude country on both sides of the NSW and Victorian boarder. It has a light blonde colour with slight straw brown tones to occasionally include a slight pinkish tinge. It has a very distinct grain with beautiful swirls in the back sawn boards A very affordable choice in flooring for a natural look and also an ideal choice for a floor that’s going to be stained.

Heartwood class 3 above ground, not Termite resistant and Janka hardness of 7.5

Southern Beech (Brownbarrel)

Eucalyptus Fastigata

A large hardwood found on the north eastern corner of Victoria and into the south Coast of NSW. Heartwood pale brown with a lighter sapwood appearance and at times a slight pinkish tinge.  A great choice when looking for a true blonde timber without the Golden honey coloured appearance.

Heartwood class 3 above ground, not Termite resistant and Janka hardness of 6.4

Spotted Gum NSW

corymbia maculate Hook

NSW Spotted Gum is lighter than QLD Spotted Gum The heartwood colour range is quite broad from very pale browns through to dark browns; overall it is described as having light tan browns, greyish tones to a light to medium Brown appearance. Some samples may have a slightly orange tint in the lighter variations. The sapwood is distinctly paler. The grain is often interlocked and generally features some ‘fiddleback’ figure. This wavy type grain may be quite distinctive. Colours vary depending on the areas its grown in.

Heartwood Class 1 Durability above ground, Termite Resistant and Janka Hardness of 11

Spotted Gum QLD

corymbia maculate Hook

QLD Spotted Gum is darker than NSW Spotted Gum the heartwood colour range is quite broad from a light tannish brown to dark browns and at times a deep Reddish Tinge Overall one of the darkest brown species found in Australia. The sapwood is distinctly paler. The grain is often interlocked and generally features some ‘fiddleback’ figure. This wavy type grain may be quite distinctive. Colours vary depending on the areas it’s grown in.

Heartwood Class 1 Durability above ground, Termite Resistant and Janka Hardness of 11

Tallowwood

Eucalyptus microcorys

A large hardwood found on the northern NSW coastal ranges moving up to Maryborough QLD. The heartwood is a yellowish brown with a hint of olive green.  Tallowwood is free of gum veins but Pin- hole borers are found at times. It is also well known for its resistance to surface checking.

Heartwood class 1 above ground, Termite resistant and Janka hardness of 8.6

Tasmanian Oak

mixture of Tasmanian native species.

Tasmanian Oak can be used in all forms of construction as scantlings, panelling and flooring, and can be glue-laminated to cover long spans. Veneers, plywood and engineered products are also available. It is also a popular furniture timber, and eucalypt fibre is sought after for reconstituted board and production of high quality paper. As the tallest flowering plant in the world, E. regnans grow up to 100m. E. delegatensis and E. obliqua do not reach these heights, reaching about 70m with the tallest trees achieving 90m.As a floor product Tasmanian Oak is all quarter sawn to give it a straight even grain and is a light blonde colour worth soft straw brown tones and at times a light pinkish tinge.

Heartwood class 3-4 above ground, Not Termite resistant and Janka hardness of 5.5

Turpentine

Syncarpia glomulifera

A large hardwood grown in the rich soils of the high rainfall areas between Sydney and Cairns.  Its known as one of the most difficult timbers to burn in Australia. Heartwood Reddish Brown and has a close resemblance to red tones found in Brushbox. It has quite a unique pattern in it grain and appearance.

Heartwood class 1 above ground, Termite resistant and Janka hardness of 12

W.A Karri

Eucalyptus Diversicolor

Karri is known as the giant tree of Western Australia, with examples in excess of 50 meters in height. It has quite rapid growth, and can attain enormous dimensions. It is found in the higher rainfall areas in the south west of Western Australia, favoring light loamy soils of good depth. The heartwood varies from rich reddish browns through to pale pinks with the sapwood being a clearly distinguishable light yellow. The texture is course and considerable interlocked grain may be a feature.

Heartwood class 2 above ground, not Termite resistant and Janka hardness of  9.0

Wormy Chestnut

mixed Eucalyptus obliqua, sieberi and fastigata.

No two pieces of Australian Wormy Chestnut are ever the same.  Deep in the forests of southern eastern Australia, the trees are affected by wildfires, years of drought, attack by insects, the occasional flood and winds so strong that the trees stunt their growth to cope with the environment. It is from these trees that Australian Wormy Chestnut is born with each piece showing nature’s signature. Deep red gum veins formed by fire, ambrosia beetle marks, pin holes and squiggly worm marks are all reflected in Australian Wormy Chestnut. A suitable coating can be applied to enhance the grain and protect the floor, making it easier to maintain. An Australian Wormy Chestnut Floor requires minimal maintenance and is the perfect choice for busy lifestyles. Overall Wormy Chestnut is a blonde colour with the gentle blend of a straw brown to medium brown tones.

Heartwood class 3 above ground, not Termite resistant and Janka hardness of 8.1

 

Timber Selection

 

Grades

 Select; this has the least amount of natural feature. In select grade you can get a small amount of natural features like gum vein and pin holes. Remember even select grade can sometimes have a small amount of natural feature.

Standard; the natural features are limited meaning the gum veins are small to medium in length; there are some small natural pin holes and small tight knots and swirls throughout the boards. This is a very popular grade as it has just the right amount of natural features to satisfy most people’s taste if they are after a natural looking floor at a great price.

Feature: This is what we call the “Timber Lovers Grade”. If you enjoy the look of all the natural features like gum veins and gum pockets, small knots, slight surface checking and other natural features in your timber floor then this is for you. The machining is the same as select grade and it is still as structural as select grade. You will have to do some filling with feature grade to get a smooth finish on your floors.

Prestige: is a mix of select and standard grades usually this grade is used in wider boards and at times in other sizes. Generally it’s the entire select grade from the run and the better boards from the standard grade.

Rustic: is when they usually have a prestige grade involved, so it generally the lower half of the standard grade boards and the feature grade boards mixed together.

Rustic Industrial: a new grade we have introduced to the market that is a mix of standard/feature/cover and homestead grades. We only supply this as a T&G Flooring profile and if used as a structural floor the layer must carefully select out the better boards and dock out any excessive splits, checking, large knots etc. This grade is for those who want a floor with high features and also a low budget cost floor covering.

Homestead: another new grade we have introduced that basically is a select grade looking board with sticker marks on the face of the boards.. While some of the stick marks will sand out or fade away when coated there are some that remain noticeable and as they are caused by human interference they do not pass as a feature under Australian Standards. This grade is sold around the same price as feature grade. Please call office for more details and sample pictures of floors that have been laid and polished to show finished results.

Cover/Utility; better known as auction grade. Not recommended for a polish finish. The grade consists of large gum veins, termite galleries, knot holes, excess surface checking and miss machining. It requires the installer to take a lot of care when selecting the boards and generally a lot more waste is required to get a reasonable looking polished floor.

 

Blackbutt Rustic Industrial Grade
Blackbutt Rustic Industrial Grade 

Homestead Grade Spotted Gum
Homestead Grade Spotted Gum

Spotted Gum Feature Grade
Spotted Gum Feature Grade

Spotted Gum Select Grade
Spotted Gum Feature Grade

Spotted Gum Standard Grade
Spotted Gum Standard Grade

Board Size

When selecting the board size you need to assess the job site to determine the best option for the particular job. For instance if you have a modern home with large glass panels or Panoramic doors opening inside to the outside you should avoid wide cover boards as they are prone to cupping and more likely to expand and contract with atmospheric changes when installed in certain applications. 

For solid flooring there are many different widths and thicknesses designed for all types of applications so it is best to talk to our experienced sales team members to determine the best choice for your application.

 

Finishes

With so many types of finishes available these days it is best to get some advice from the installer of your floor or give our sales team a call to discuss the best option for your application.

Polyurethane – Solvent Based; this particular type of coating provides the highest durability, film build up and also the highest gloss levels. It also has the strongest solvent smells and also has the highest toxicity levels when being applied. One problem that can occur when using this product type is edge bonding where the coatings bonds the boards together, this can cause severe splitting on the boards surface.

Polyurethane – Water Based; the most common coating these days that also has the widest range of products that fall under this category. Water based coatings are the healthier option not only for the home owner but also the contractor as there are no strong solvent smells. Also edge bonding is less a problem with water base decreasing the chance of face splits with excess movement in the floor.  Water based products will also give you a more natural looking finish with some products now available like Loba Invisible that looks and feels like there is nothing on the floor.  With all this comes a slightly higher price tag but not enough to blow the budget.

Penetrating Oils and Waxes; are waxes and natural oil blends, usually a choice when you’re after a coating with very low Volatility and some of these products meet the Green building council of Australia’s guidelines for the VOC emissions. This coating provides a very natural look but can require a higher level of maintenance.

Oil Based Finishes – Curing Oils; some types include “Tung or Linseed” they are designed to dissolve in mineral turpentine or white spirits and also contain some added chemicals for the curing of the product. This is a low budget coating that doesn’t last as long as other coatings and also has a few problems over time with darkening of the timber with age and yellowing of the boards especially under covering like rugs etc.

Oil Modified Urethanes; are a spirit based waterborne coating with an oil and small amount of urethane in them. They can vary quite a bit from different brands and product ranges with the same brand to contain more or less urethane portions and by having different levels of urethane it can make the product more durable and flexible to help achieve different results. Oli modified urethanes also have some issues with yellowing with age but are a popular choice as they have  a middle of the range price tag and still have  reasonable amount of durability and good edge bond resistance.

 

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