Timber Species & Grades

Most solid timber flooring comes in three different grades and all species, whereas the variety of grades & species is more limited in engineered flooring.

Select grade timber flooringSelect Grade

Contains features of a limited number and size. The features may include gum veins, past borer activity, and small knots. The effect in a floor is that features are observable but they do not dominate the overall appearance.

Medium Feature / Standard Grade

Standard Grade timber flooringThe number, type, and size of features present is greater than for Select Grade and the effect on the character of the floor is in many instances much more dominant. Gum veins that are present may extend across the face of the board, greater natural discolouration is also present. Knots and past borer activity can also be more pronounced. Such features add to the character of the floor. It should, however, be noted that the features present and resulting character is very much dependent on the species chosen.

High Feature Grade

Rustic Grade FlooringBoards with a high degree of feature are permitted in this grade and this can add a lot of character to the floor creating a more rustic look. The number and size of features included are greater than for Medium Feature / Standard Grade but again the choice of species will have an overriding influence on the character present.

Janka Rating Hardness Category

Hardness is just one criteria and many of the other criteria are often more important. Moderately hard and above are well suited to domestic floors.

Janka rating = Hardness category
< 5.5 = Soft
5.5 to 7 = Moderately hard
7 to 10 = Hard
> 10 = Very hard

The following Australian species fall into these categories:

Red Ironbark = Very hard
Messmate = moderately hard
Tasmanian Oak = moderately hard
Victorian Ash = moderately hard
Yellow Stringybark = hard
Blackbutt = very hard
Brush Box = hard
Grey Ironbark = very hard
Rose Gum = hard
Spotted Gum = very hard
Sydney Blue Gum = hard
Tallowwood = hard
Jarrah = hard
Karri = hard
Cypress pine = moderately hard
Bamboo (an imported grass species) = moderately hard to very hard (strand-woven).

Australian Beech

Australian Beech is a beautiful combination of highland timbers, carefully selected to create a unique colour that ranges from pale brown and golden hues to a light cream with a slightly pink tint. These tonal variations found in Australian Beech are one of its sought-after features.

Janka Dry Hardness: 7.5 kN


Blackbutt is a commonly grown hardwood that has attractive colouring from cream to pale brown, sometimes with a slight tinge of pink. Its grain is usually straight and texture its medium and even.

Janka Dry Hardness (kn) = 9.1


Brushbox has long been sought after for its unique properties and aesthetic qualities. It has a fine and even texture with a beautiful, rich colour. It can vary from pale pinkish grey to rich reddish brown.

Janka Dry Hardness: 9.5 kN

Flooded (Rose) Gum

Flooded (Rose) Gum is highly prized for its unique, subtle rose tones that vary from pale pink to soft reds and red browns. Flooded Gum is ideal for luxurious domestic applications that require a rich but gentle aesthetic. It has a straight grain, an even texture and the occasional, natural scribble pattern.

Janka Dry Hardness: 7.5 kN

Forest Reds

Forest Reds is a blend of medium to large hardwoods harvested from the coastal regions. Timber colour ranging from pale pinks to deep rich reds, which when blended in flooring, give a particularly warm, luxurious appearance.

Janka Dry Hardness: 9.1 kN

Grey Ironbark

Ironbark produces a stunning array of timber hues from pale brown to dark chocolate brown as well as dark red. The grain is usually interlocked, with a moderately coarse texture.

Janka Dry Hardness: 14 kN

Red Ironbark

Red Ironbark is extremely hard. Its colour varies from pale to rich reds as well as browns. The grain is usually interlocked, with a moderately coarse texture.

Janka Dry Hardness: 13 kN


Jarrah is one of the few commercial species from Western Australia. Jarrah is renowned world-wide for its density, resistance to insect attack and beautiful rich red colour which deepens over time into a soft burgundy. Jarrah’s beautiful colouring and exceptional hardness are a perfect combination for commercial and residential flooring.

Janka Dry Hardness: 8.5 kN


Karri is a lively red with overtones from pale pink to rich reddish brown. Karri’s high density and hardwearing qualities make it highly sought after by architects.

Janka Dry Hardness: 9 kN


Messmate is a well-known hardwood species that has been used in a variety of applications for decades. It varies in colour from pale browns through to light yellows with subtle hints of peach. It is a species that is rich in detail with an even texture and beautiful growth rings.

Janka Dry Hardness: 7.1 kN

New England Oak

New England Oak embodies the subtle, natural visual aesthetic of this classic Australian landscape. New England Oak tone varies from soft yellows and pinks to pinkish browns. The texture is medium and even, with a variable grain and prominent growth rings.

Janka Dry Hardness: 6.0 kN

Red Mahogany

Red Mahogany is an extremely dense hardwood species, with stunning pale to deep, dark red colouring. Its density and rare colouring have made it a prestigious timber species that is highly sought after. It is a species that lends itself well to good, consistent grading for a uniform look. Red Mahogany represents a good alternative to Jarrah which has become more difficult to source.

Janka Dry Hardness: 12 kN

Spotted Gum

The word “spotted” refers to the soft mottled colour caused by weathering of the outer tree as it sheds elliptical strips of bark. This colour varies from pale grey browns and soft creams to a rich chocolate brown. A very tough timber, its frequent wavy grain can produce an attractive and highly valued fiddleback effect.

Janka Dry Hardness: 11 kN


Stringybark is a blend of eucalyptus varieties native to various areas of New South Wales. The texture of Stringybark is moderately fine and even with a straight grain. It is a light coloured blend ranging from pale yellow through to golden hues and light browns.

Janka Dry Hardness: 8 kN

Sydney Blue Gum

Sydney Blue Gum is a well-known timber found on the east coast of Australia. It has a straight grain that is sometimes interlocked. Its distinctive colour varies from soft pinks to dark pinks and red browns.

Janka Hardness: 9.0 kN


It is an exceptionally durable hardwood species with unique colour and grain structure. It is predominately yellowish brown with a tinge of olive green and beautiful growth rings.

Janka Dry Hardness: 8.6 kN

Tasmanian Oak

Tasmanian Oak is a combination of three Eucalypt species commonly found in Tasmania. Together they produce a blend of beautiful colouring from pale cream to pink and reddish-brown. Tasmanian Oak logs are quarter sawn to produce an extremely straight and even grain.

Janka Dry Hardness: 5.5 kN

Grey Gum

Grey Gum is a similar colour to that of Red Ironbark. It is red brown colour with paler sapwood.

Janka Dry Hardness: 14.0 kN


Turpentine is a similar colour to that of Brushbox. It is a mid brown colour with pink tones.

Janka Dry Hardness: 12.0 kN

Grey Box

Grey Box is a similar colour to that of Grey Ironbark. It is a mid brown colour with paler tones.

Janka Dry Hardness: 15.0 kN

Silvertop Stringybark

Silvertop Stringybark is a honey coloured timber with pinkish tones. Often Blackbutt is chosen over this species due to its consistency.

Janka Dry Hardness: 8.8 kN

New England Blackbutt

New England Blackbutt is very similar to Coastal blackbutt but has a higher variation throughout with the occasion darker brown board in it.  It is straw to pale brown in colour.

Janka Dry Hardness: 9.5 kN

Northern Beech Species (also known as Satin Ash)

Northern Beech is similar in colour to New England Blackbutt and Australian Beech

Janka Dry Hardness: 8.0 kN


Kwila flooring is imported from Asia or PNG. It is a brownish red colour and is widely used as stairs and external decking.  Also internal timber flooring.  It is a very stable material

Janka Dry Hardness: 9.5 kN


Merbau flooring is imported from Asia or PNG. It is a brownish red colour and is widely used as stairs and external decking.  Also internal timber flooring.  It is a very stable material

Janka Dry Hardness: 9.5 kN

Oak (American or European)

Oak flooring comes in board widths from 80mm right through to 240mm wide boards and in engineered boards up to 320mm . It is a honey coloured timber with rich, characteristic grain and vein feature.  Oak is the most popular species on the market for staining and liming

Janka Dry Hardness: 7.5 kN

Australian Chestnut

Australian Chestnut is a mixture of 3 southern eucalyptus varieties.  It is a light honey coloured timber through to pale brown. It tends to have less colour variation than Australian Beech and New England Blackbutt.  It is also a good, cheaper alternative to Coastal Blackbutt.

Janka Dry Hardness: 8.0 kN

New Guinea Teak

New Guinea Teak is a unique light honey colour with grey tones.  Aavailable in both internal flooring and external decking.

Janka Dry Hardness: 9.0 kN

Hurford Roasted

Hurford Roasted is a high temperature thermally modified hardwood that uses a custom designed heating program to alter the woods molecular structure. This has many benefits that include locking in the colour, increasing the durability and limiting movement to a fraction of normal kiln dried flooring

Hurford Roasted is available in two distinctive tones:

  • Peat: a natural dark earth hue.
  • Cayenne: an intimate reddish bronze palette.

Janka Dry Hardness: 10.0 kN

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