Wood is a classic choice when it comes to flooring and decking materials. Manufacturers typically use different kinds of timber for making these materials. However, timber flooring will usually comprise two categories of woods i.e. softwood and hardwood. The former typically comes from coniferous species such as pine, cedar and fir. These trees grow very quickly. In addition, the wood is lightweight and has a coarser grain. But, it is worth mentioning that softwoods are not as strong as hardwoods. This makes them inferior to hardwood for various purposes. In many cases, builders across the world use softwoods for making the framework of houses. Alternatively, they use softwoods for making lining boards and cladding. In contrast, hardwoods are heavy, robust and stable. This makes them ideal for making flooring materials, decking materials, timber furniture and piers.
If you were to visit the showroom of a timber flooring supplier in Wollondilly or elsewhere, you would inevitably come across a diverse selection of timber floors. Many people simply purchase new floors without bothering to enquire about the flooring material. In many cases, these individuals do not know which species of timber the flooring comprises. Certain varieties of timber offer better value for money than others. Thus, knowing the species of timber the flooring material features could be useful. Some of the most common species of timber used for making flooring and decking material comprise:
- Eucalyptus: This is one of the most common species of timber in Australia. However, it is worth highlighting that this species comprises an assortment of sub-species. Each sub-species possesses different characteristics. In particular, the colour and grain patterns in each sub-species will vary. The price ranges of this species of timber varies from inexpensive to moderately expensive. Tasmanian Oak (cream), blackbutt (pale brown), Jarrah (red) and spotted gum (mid-brown) are the most common timber types in this species.
- Cedar: This pinkish-red timber is soft. It has straight grains too. But, it can resist rotting in moist environments. This property makes it ideal for using in outdoor furniture, deck handrails, window frames and wall cladding. It is relatively inexpensive.
- Fir (or Oregon or Douglas Fir): Flooring suppliers in Australia usually import this reddish-brown wood from North America. Like cedar, this variety of timber is soft and straight-grained. Significantly, fir possesses a high strength-to-weight ratio i.e. low weight, moderate strength. Moderately inexpensive, fir makes good rafter material.
- Pine: Pine comes in numerous varieties. But, Cypress, Radiata and Hoop are the most common pines found in Australia. Radiata pine is a cheap house-framing timber. But, it requires chemical treatment. Only then, will it be able to resist decay and termite infestation. Cypress pines offer good anti-termite properties. This has made it immensely popular in the flooring industry. Similarly, flooring manufacturers use Hoop pine for making plywood. In terms of cost, pine is quite inexpensive.
- Maple: Maple comes in two varieties – hard and soft. Hard (or Rock) Maple is extremely hard. This pale-coloured timber comes into use for making gymnasium flooring material. Many flooring suppliers in Picton and other places offer flooring materials featuring hard maple. In contrast, soft maple is lightweight. It is useful for making boxes and pallets.
- Oak: When it comes to furniture, oak is one of the most sought-after woods. Oak wood comes in red and white varieties. Many people prefer white oak to American red oak. This is primarily because the former is more attractive and can resist moisture better than the latter. These traits make white oak suitable for making outdoor furniture.
- Miscellaneous: Other kinds of timber flooring might comprise ash, beech, birch, mahogany, teak and walnut. Ash is a white or pale brown coloured wood. It has a straight grain, which makes it a decent substitute for white oak. Beech is pale white to brown in colour. It has a bland grain. Thus, furniture made from beech will invariably require painting. Birch is a hard timber used for making furniture and plywood. Yellow and white birch are among the most economical hardwoods available the world over.