Timber is found in buildings in every nook and corner of Australia. The country is blessed with dozens of indigenous species of wood. Many of the timber is suitable for construction. What is tricky is choosing the right one for your house. Not all wood is the same and best for every purpose.
Read more to find out about choosing the Australian Timber for a building.
How is Wood Graded
The food is first milled or sawn to flat and square before using for construction. In Australia, timbers are graded based on their suitability for different applications. The milled or sawn food are classified using the following gradings.
- A visual inspection checks for visible and visual defects like long cracks or checking, visible knots and others.
- Using a machine, the next level of grading is done to measure the stress level of the timber. This is to measure the ability of timber to withstand stress and is not a standard procedure followed everywhere.
- Mechanical stress grading is the third way to check the elasticity of timber. A timber with good elasticity can handle stress better. It is used for softwoods and hardwood suitable for domestic timber construction.
Timbers are further classified based on how they are fit for specific purposes. It is separated into various classes, with each one suitable for distinct construction. Class One timbers are best for ground contact, and Class Four should only be used above ground level. These classes also have durability rates with Class One being the highest above 25 years and Class 4 the least. A few examples of the types are
- Class One: Tallowwood, Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, Forest Red Gum, Ironbark
- Class Two: Bluegum, Karri, Jarrah
- Class Three: stringybark, Mountain ash,
- Class Four: Oregon (Douglas Fir)
Using Australian Timber for Building
Though Australian timber could be used for structural components, it is rarely employed for structural frames in the country. Treated Structural pine is the most used for framings and easier to work with. Australian timber comes in beautiful colours and thus mostly used for exterior and interior elements including flooring, decking and furniture.
Here is a list of the popular timbers and their uses.
BlackButt – This is a Class One timber with colours ranging from blonde to honey brown. New South Wales and southern Queensland has a lot of New England Blackbutt trees and are primarily used for general construction. .A related species is also found in Western Australia and is used for general construction, flooring and panelling.
Mountain Ash – Commonly called the Tasmanian Oak or Victorian Ask, this timber is used for interior flooring and timber framing. The blonde timber is also an attractive option for doors and drawer front. It gowns in Tasmania and Victor and is the tallest species of timber in Australia.
Blue Gum – Comes in a variety of species including Forest Red Gum, Southern Blue Gum and Sydney Blue Gum, There are also variations in the colours with the first being red, second pale and the third a slightly darker shade respectively. All three are used for flooring and furniture.
Brushbox – Brushbox comes in many colours from greyish pink to dark brown. Sapwood grows in the rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales and is used as a flooring material.
Jarrah – Jarrah is one of the most demanded Australian timber. It is highly durable and has a beautiful range of colours from rich red to brown. If not treated, the tone could turn greyish that adds another layer of beauty. It is used for decking and a wide range of interior elements like flooring, handrails, furniture and even in joinery.
Karri – Karri was the most extensively used structural timber before treated pine took over. The colours range from pale pink to reddish brown. This coniferous softwood is mainly found in Queensland and is now used for furniture, woodturning and joinery.
Ironbark – Ironbark is a Class One timber and one of the best available for underground use. It is extremely dense and is not always utilised for house works for flooring and decking. The wood is most commonly used for railway sleeper, bridge construction etc. that require rot resistant and dense wood.
Spotted Gum – This name is used for four different timber species that comes in colours from green-tinged honey to brown with stunning purple streaks, The Class Two timber is used in general construction, flooring and decking. It is highly durable and bushfire resistant.
How to Choose Australian Timber
Like mentioned before, the timber in Australia is not widely used for structures. It is sought after for its appearance and durability. Residential builders Brisbane use these timbers commonly in landscaping elements like flooring, decking and benchtops. The timbers are also prominently used for furniture and interior design.
There are three things to consider while choosing Australian timber for your home design.
- Aesthetics – The timber is admired for its beauty and vibrant colours. The grains and colour combinations are thus the most important part of the Australian timber. Choose something that works well with the new home designs and interior decor.
- Durability – The timber has to have high durability especially if you are using it for outdoor purposes.
- Bushfire rating- in Australi, this is a very valid consideration. Check with the standards to ensure that the timber has a strong bushfire resistance.
When it comes to interior applications, aesthetics are given more priority than the other two. While building a house, you can check with the designer home builders Brisbane to see which timber is best to work with. Certain woodworkers many prefer specific types of timber for the furniture and other elements.
Every timber would need occasional maintenance. Even if it is treated, it is just like having to polish furniture. When it comes to outdoor spaces, the decks would have to be refurbished, and the interior floorings would require sanding and polishing too. It is with certainty one can say that the Australian timbers are among the best in the world.
Are you looking for ideas to use timber in your new house,? TrustCo can help you to get in touch with the building designers and best builders in Brisbane TrustCo.