When it comes to building a home, it’s only natural to want the best for your new sanctuary. The value of a well-designed space has been emphasised throughout the years to contribute to the enjoyment and relaxation that homeowners feel as they settle in their home. And if you’re the type to veer towards natural materials, it’s most likely a given that you’re thinking of adding timber elements into your design to incorporate the beauty of the Australian outdoors into your interiors.
So you might be wondering, what’s the best Australian timber species to use in your home? What do you need to consider when deciding on your timber, and what’s the most popular choice available today? Below, we list some amazing Australian timbers that have worked beautifully in flooring and furniture for the home, and their unique traits to help you decide on the best timber for your needs.
Known for its relatively quick growth cycle and versatility, Blackbutt has been used not only for solid timber flooring but in applications of engineered wood, parquetry, and decking.
Characterised by a pale brown to cream tone, and a beautiful cathedral grain pattern within its moderately coarse yet even texture, it’s been a fan favourite of builders and interior designers due to its interlocking yet generally straight grain.
With its Janka hardness rating of 6.3 and a dry density of 900 kg/m³, it’s a hardy timber to use for flooring because of its natural characteristics.
One of Australia’s native evergreen species, this timber is actually highly resistant to pests, disease, and drought. If you’re looking for a timber species that is naturally resistant to termites, this might be for you.
With a fine, even texture, and tones from reddish-brown to pale pink, Brushbox’s versatility and lack of gum veins make it a popular choice for builders and designers alike. With a naturally unblemished grain, a 9.5 Janka hardness rating, and a dry density of 900 kg/m³, it’s a great building material that boasts resistance to pests and therefore has been used more and more in construction and design.
Grey Ironbark timber has an exceedingly tough and hard exterior, though it needs to be kiln-dried in order to maximise the wood’s hardiness. It’s important to note that while Grey Ironbark is renowned for its impressively high Janka rating of 14, and a high dry density of 1090kg/m³, it can be sometimes difficult to work with to create engineered flooring products. In general, this timber works well for solid timber flooring especially in high-traffic areas, decking, and even parquetry.
From honey tones, dark reds, and dark chocolate shades, there’s a lot of variation within this timber’s colouration that makes it a standout for builders. Plus, with its natural resistance to lyctid borers and termites, it’s a practical choice for home applications, too.
A rare timber species producing the most beautiful rich red tones, Jarrah’s a great addition to any room for some class and warmth. Often seen in cabinetry and panelling applications, this timber is durable and hard-wearing enough to be used in flooring as well as for outdoor furniture, decking, and parquetry.
However, it’s natural characteristics make it so that it’s nearly impossible to work with if it’s dried out and hardened. With a density of 820kg/m³ and a Janka hardness of 8.5, as well as a natural insect resistance, it’s no wonder that there’s now a demand for reclaimed Jarrah hardwood from old, dilapidated houses in order to repurpose it and recycle for new homes.
Spotted gum has beautifully warm brown wood tones that range from pale to chocolate which has been shown to be highly versatile for most home applications. With a uniquely wavy grain that shows pronounced fiddle-back effects, it’s been used for solid timber flooring, engineered wood, parquetry, and decking.
With a Janka hardness rating of 11, and a dry density of 950kg/m³, it’s no wonder more and more homeowners are veering towards spotted gum flooring for its stylish and hard-to-replicate look, with the bonus of excellent termite resistance, too.
With a straight and even grain that produces charming blonde woods that go from reddish-brown to pale cream, Tasmanian oak is easy to work with and has been used in parquetry and interior flooring.
While less durable than other Australian timber species at a 5.5 Janka hardness rating, as well as a light density of 650kg/m³, a lot of homeowners gravitate towards Tasmanian oak flooring for its unique blends of tones and its beautiful texture.
So What’s The Best Timber Species?
In truth, there’s no one perfect timber that does it all. The best timber is the one that fits your needs as a homeowner, so you need to make a list of what you’re looking for.
Are you after pale tones in the wood, or deep, unique shades? Perhaps you’re wanting to ensure that your timber lasts for the years to come, in which case you need to be looking at the Janka hardness rating scale, and how the timber has been used in construction historically. Or maybe you’re wanting the look of wooden flooring, but still want to keep to a budget so that you can design your home in the way that you like.
Deciding on the best timber species isn’t just a stylistic choice. As you can see, there’s a wide range of timber available for a wide variety of home applications. There are variance and versatility between each species, and it’s up to you to figure out which timber suits your requirements so that you make the right investment for your home.