Australian timbers species suitable for flooring

The species or species mix chosen for a floor will generally be determined by the required look of the floor, hardness requirements, availability and price. The sapwood of many hardwoods is much lighter than adjacent heartwood. If a species with lyctid susceptible sapwood is selected, any sapwood present in the boards must be preservative treated. Treatment with CCA will usually impart a green colour to the sapwood.

The character of the floor is influenced by the species characteristics and by the timber grade. A recent trend toward natural feature such as gum vein and knots has resulted in many manufacturers offering their own grades rather than just those contained in Australian Standards.

Hardness gives an indication of a species’ resistance to indentation and, to some extent, abrasion. Floors that may be subject to high traffic volumes or high point loads such as those due to stiletto heels may require specification of harder species. Soft timber species can be expected to indent under these conditions.

Floor finishes do not improve indentation resistance of a floor, but may affect abrasion resistance.

References: TRADAC Technical Data Sheet 11

 

Species

Colour

Hardness

HARDWOODS – Grades: Select, Standard and High Feature (available from some producers) Australian Standard AS 2796 – Timber – Hardwood – Sawn and Milled Products

Spotted gum

Brown, dark brown, light sapwood

Very Hard

Brushbox

Mid brown even colour

Hard

Blackbutt

Pale straw to light brown

Hard

Tallowood

Pale straw to light brown

Hard

Ironbark

Dark brown or dark red

Very Hard

Rose Gum

Pink to red

Hard

Sydney Blue Gum

Pink to pink brown

Hard

Mixed Qld. Species

A mix of the above or selected reds/whites

Moderately/Very Hard

Jarrah

Dark red brown

Hard

Tasmanian Oak/Victorian Ash

Pale straw to light brown, pink

Moderately Hard

CYPRESS – Grades: No.1 and No.2

Australian Standard AS 1810 – Timber – Seasoned Cypress – Milled Products

Cypress

Pale straw sapwood, dark brown heartwood

Moderately Hard

SOFTWOODS – Grade: Standard grade (other manufacturers grades are available for hoop pine) Aust. Standard AS 1782 – Flooring milled from Australian grown conifers (softwoods) excluding radiata pine & cypress pine

Aust. Standard AS 1492 – Flooring milled from radiata pine

Hoop pine

White to straw

Soft

Pinus Species

Straw

Soft-firm