11 Species header

All timber species have individual qualities which lend themselves to different applications.  Durability, stability, and colour are imperative considerations in both indoor and outdoor environments, so selecting the most suitable species for your project is as important as the design itself.

There is a list of timber species as long as your arm so we’ve provided our top picks and specialties below along with explanations of class, durability and hardness ratings. Click here for a print friendly download.

If you have a query about any other timber species not listed please contact us to discuss its suitability and availability.

class ratings

Class ratings are important to note prior to falling in love with the colour of a species, particularly for external and inground applications.  Some clients are heartbroken when they realise that the good looking blonde they had in mind for their deck is not the best suited timber.

Below is information obtained from the Timber Building in Australia website about class and durability ratings.

  Class

Description

      Probable in-ground life
expectancy (years)

           Probable above-ground life
expectancy (years)

1 Timbers of the highest natural durability Greater than 25 Greater than 40
2 Timbers of high natural durability 15 to 25 15 to 40
3 Timbers of only moderate durability 5 to 15 7 to 15
4 Timbers of low durability 0 to 5 0 to 7

 

hardness rating

The hardness rating of timber species is measured by the Janka test.  This is a standard test that measures the resistance of the timber to indentation.  The results relate to a hardness capacity of the material and are expressed in kilo-newtons(kN); the higher the rating, the harder the timber.  This information is useful to consider where the timber may be subject to potential damage from repetitive impacts, for example, dance floors.

 

species

 

American White Oak
Pale yellow-brown to mid brown, sometimes with a pink tinge. Texture is coarse. The grain is usually straight. Large rays.

Brownbarrell
Pale brown. Texture medium and even. Grain often interlocked. Gum veins common. Similar appearance to Messmate.

Blackbutt
Pale brown, sometimes with a slight pinkish tinge. Texture medium and even. Grain usually straight and gum veins are common.

Mountain Ash
Pale pink or pale straw. Texture rather coarse. Grain straight. Gum veins common.

Tasmanian Oak
Pale brown. Texture moderately coarse but even. Grain sometimes interlocked. Gum veins common. ‘Pencil streak’ stains sometimes present.

Yellow Stringybark
Yellowish brown with a pink tinge. Texture medium and even. Grain often interlocked.

Messmate
Pale brown. Texture moderately coarse but even. Grain sometimes interlocked. Gum veins common. ‘Pencil streak’ stains sometimes present.

Tallowwood
Yellowish brown with a tinge of olive green. Texture moderately coarse but even. Grain often interlocked. No gum veins. Pin-hole borer marks often present.

Silvertop Ash
Pale brown, sometimes pinkish. Texture medium. Grain often interlocked. Gum veins, pin-hole borer discoluration and ‘pencil streak’ are common.

Brush Box
Colour varies from a pinkish grey to a rich reddish brown. Texture fine and even. Grain usually interlocked to varying degrees.

Oregon
Yellow-brown to pale reddish brown. Grain generally straight. Coarse texture.

Grey Ironbark
Colour varies considerably from pale brown to dark chocolate brown and also dark red. Texture moderately coarse and even. Grain is usually interlocked.

Sydney Blue Gum
Dark pink to red-brown. Texture moderately coarse and even. Grain straight or slightly interlocked. Gum veins common.

Karri
Paler pink to reddish brown. Grain often interlocked.

Spotted Gum
Pale to dark brown or chocolate. Texture moderately coarse. Grain variable; the frequent presence of wavy grain produces an attractive fiddleback figure. Slightly greasy in nature. Gum veins common.

Jarrah
Dark red. Texture relatively coarse but even. Grain slightly interlocked sometimes producing a fiddleback figure.

Red Ironbark
Dark red. Texture medium and even. Grain interlocked.

Red Mahogany
Dark red. Texture medium and even. Grain slightly interlocked.

Forest Red Gum
Red. Texture moderately coarse and even. Grain often interlocked.