Know Your Timber

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On this page you will find some of the most common timbers used on timber floors and timber decking in Australia. This technical information will assist you in choosing what type of floor you wish to lay or may also help you identify the type of timber you have already. Please note that the colours may vary to what is on the screen and they are to used as an approximate guide only.


stains001An imported plantation timber mainly used for pergolas and structural framing. It's one of the hardest softwoods and only moderately easy to work with, although it is popular for flooring because of its availability in long lengths. It has a high resin content which can work its way out and crystalise on the surface of the timber. To remove, leave to dry them scrape off.

Cyprus Pine

stains002Cyprus Pine is commonly used for structures, poles, flooring, panelling and decking. It is a hard, heavy and fairly strong timber with a tendency to be slightly brittle. It can be worked to a very high polish and takes most finishes well after de-oiling.

Radiata Pine

stains003A commonly available, easy to work Australian plantation timber used widely for furniture, wall or ceiling lining boards, plywood, particle board and general construction. It is ideal for staining especially when using liming colours. Radiata Pine is susceptible to "bluestain" which is a fungus that can enter the timber just after it is felled and manifest itself as a blue stain on the surface of the timber. Removal is not possible and the only way to cover these stains is by using a dark stain.

Treated Pine

stains004This is normal Radiata Pine that has been pressure-treated to resist decay, termites and fungi. This treatment involves saturating the timber so it is essential to leave treated pine to dry porperly before staining. It is widely used for decks, pergolas and fencing.


stains005Jarrah is heavy and tough with a slight pleasant odour. It is reasonably easy to work with, although care is needed when nailing to avoid splitting. Jarrah can be highly polished and accepts most finishes well. Use on flooring, panelling, joinery and furniture.

Western Red Cedar

stains006An extremely durable although very soft timber commonly used on weather boards, fascias, windows, doors and garden furniture. It is easy to work with and takes readily to stains and coatings. The uncoated surface of this timber will weather (go grey) more dramatically than any other when used outside. To stop the premature failure of this timber surface and aid coating adhersion, Western Red Cedar should be coated upon delivery and prior to installation with one coat of stain.


stains007A tough and durable Australian eucalypt used widely for decking. It gets its name from its greasy/waxy surface that can sometimes cause problems with staining. Leave Tallowwood to weather slightly before staining. When the timber just starts to go grey and loses its greasy feel, wash with deck clean and apply finish.

Merbau (Kwila)

stains008This extremely durable hardwood is resiliant to termites and decay, and is most commonly used for timber decking. A rich-brown timber, it is susceptible to tannin bleed which appears as a redbrown colour as water runs off the timber. The best time to apply finishes is when the timber has started to lose its red colour.

Brush Box

stains009This hard, dense, light-brown timber is resistant to wear and commonly used in NSW and QLD for interior flooring. Its natural waxiness can cause some adhersion problems with some strong solvent floor finishes, but otherwise it is a good timber for staining and coating.

Tasmanian Oak (Victorian Ash)

stains010Tasmanian Oak is commonly used for interior applications such as flooring, kitchen cupboards, wall panelling and some furniture. It has a uniform light beige to light pink colour and readily accepts stains and coatings.

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