Popular Timber Options
Jarrah is an extremely strong hardwood that grows predominantly in the southwest corner of Western Australia. It's heartwood is dark red though often has brown undertones, while it's sapwood is pale yellow. It has been used as a construction timber for many years and has a long history of use in timber flooring. Modern finishes look particularly good on Jarrah especially as we now have finishes that maintain the red colour. It is an extremely dense timber but at the same time is relatively easy to work with as long as you use extremely sharp sandpaper or sharp tools. It is especially important to use the correct sandpaper when finishing Jarrah as often; using low-quality sandpaper can leave dark swirl marks in the finish. It is extremely good for timber flooring given that the timber coats well with a variety of floor finishes. Beware however of finishes that yellow markedly in-service as this will tend to give the Jarrah an orange colour over time. It is good to establish from the outset the effect that the floor finish will have on the Jarrah. In general Jarrah should be adhered using extremely high quality adhesive; we recommend SIKA T. 55. The allowance of using an adhesive like T. 55 will take up the movement in the timber. Jarrah is prone to movement in use and the correct adhesive can help the floor maintain its correct appearance. This is often little understood by new entrants into the timber flooring industry. The best Jarrah floors are often made from timber that is 12 mm thick through to 19 mm thick. Jarrah may be directly stuck to concrete or can be installed on top of plywood and structafloor. It is generally better to seal a concrete slab where Jarrah is to be installed.
Karri is an extremely good hardwood, native to Western Australia. This hardwood is pale pink to red to reddish-brown. Somewhat similar to Jarrah the timber will always finish to a much more predominantly red colour. Where sapwood is included this is generally more of a whitish colour. As with Jarrah, Karri will take a wide range of timber floor finishes very well. Be aware of the need to know whether the finish will yellow with age. The yellow finish will make the Karri look orange in time. A waterborne polyurethane such as traffic is a good choice. Because Karri is a very fibrous timber it is necessary to sand the material carefully. It will require extra sanding. A little extra work however can result in a very good floor. Once again, similar to Jarrah, Karri is prone to movement in service and we recommend SIKA T. 55 as the appropriate adhesive to hold it in place. Karri may be installed directly to concrete or on plywood or on structafloor. Karri is an extremely good serviceable timber that's looks very modern and light. They are many floors that have been installed using 12 mm Karri and that are extremely good. This is an excellent floor choice if you want a floor that looks similar to Jarrah but is lighter and emphasizes the colour red. Always seal concrete when this timber is installed. Contact VCS Products for recommendations on well-trained floor sanders.
Bamboo is a grass. Most of the Bamboo that we see in Australia comes from China. Bamboo has been used for years in furniture. In more recent years it has been used to manufacture flooring that arrives in Australia in a pre-finished form. This is a very attractive, durable and modern looking timber floor. Similar in density to Tasmanian Oak, it is perfectly suited to many flooring applications. Indeed, because it is made in single planks that are easily installed directly to concrete using SIKA T. 55 or SIKA T. 53, this is a quick and easy installation with no sanding activity required following. As a remarkably easy resource to renew, Bamboo is the way of the future given that hardwoods in Australia often need over 90 years to mature to a point suitable for flooring. Important features to look for are some evidence of quality control in manufacture; this can usually be determined from the distributor or by talking with the installer's who quickly learn the quality of the material. There are a wide variety of Bamboo products coming onto the market in Australia and it is encouraging to see that these are of a very high quality.
Blackbutt is supplied from two locations, firstly from the southwest of Western Australia and secondly, from the eastern states including New South Wales and Queensland. Blackbutt is a nice timber to work with. The Western Australian variety has a more prominent grain and is slightly softer than the eastern states variety. It is generally a busier timber to look at with a pale yellow and brown texture. Occasional dark flecks are common. The eastern states variety often shows less grain and picks up slightly salmon colours. Blackbutt sands well and is often installed using SIKA T. 55 directly onto concrete or on to plywood. Always seal the concrete slab when installing timber. The sanding process is important as the timber usually needs to be burnished before coating. Care should be taken not to miss any sanding grits during the sanding process, and be aware that rotary marks are often difficult to see. Use a good quality consistent abrasive. Care should be taken with the choice of finish. Most solvent based finishes adhere well to Blackbutt. Waterborne finishes are also often used on Blackbutt however it is extremely important not to work too far ahead of the main application area when coating the edges. New applicators can often be caught out in this area. VCS Products can recommend qualified floor sanders that can get the best out of this timber.
This is a very attractive timber from Tasmania. The hardwood is a definite brown colour with golden honey tones. Occasionally redy streaks are also seen. On occasion the timber can appear very light though generally the brown is deep in colour. The timber is very nice to work with and is relatively hard. Unfortunately, the trees do not grow particularly large however such is the interest in this timber that much of it is used in furniture, in decorative manners and occasionally in timber flooring. A lot of timber is turned into parquetry and more recently that have been some good quantities of strip flooring. It is a particularly difficult timber to sand. It is prone to bruising and even finishing with a very fine grit is not always enough to remove the bruised area. The timber itself is particularly attractive though the lack of supply makes it a costlier resource. When finished well, the timber has natural warmth and a depth that is very eye-catching. VCS Products can recommend skilled floor sanders who achieve good results with this timber. As always use very good adhesive to install the floor, we recommend SIKA T. 55. Sandpaper should be of a consistent quality, in order to achieve minimal sanding marks. Expect to spend considerably greater time sanding this floor in order to achieve a good result. The timber will accept all types of floor coating though generally oils darken it too much and rob it of life.
Marri is found particularly in the southwest of Western Australia. It is a lightish timber, but with a great range of colours. These range from brown, through to light brown, fawn and white. Marri is a hardwood and when the timber is cut it results in a great range of grain. It is similar in strength to Jarrah. It is a very popular construction timber and makes an excellent floor. The tree is found in among the Jarrah and Karri forests. VCS Products recommended installing the floor using SIKA T. 55. As always you should seal the slab when installing timber flooring. This adhesive will help to accommodate the movement that naturally occurs in the timber. Marri will take a wide variety of timber floor finishes including the most durable. It changes colour remarkably depending on the choice of finish. Be aware that there are different types of Marri and that if you choose a Marri floor you need to know exactly what you're purchasing. Qualified stockists can help you make the correct choice. VCS Products can recommend qualified floor sanders who know how to sand Marri correctly. It is a particularly attractive and sought-after timber.
A Western Australian timber very much prized for its reach grain and burnt orange colouring. Often used in the manufacture of ornamental furniture, ornaments and clocks. When used in timber flooring it produces a unique mixed grain look that emphasizes the orange undertones. The grain features are sometimes called tiger’s eye. This is because the grain runs in usual growth rings and rays. The effect on the floor when this timber issues correctly a stunning. Because it is in short supply it is often used to make features and border patterns. Lengths are generally quite short but due to the mixed grain this is not a problem. In fact the timber can be cut to relatively narrow pieces and still produce an excellent floor. This is one of the most economical ways of purchasing Sheoak. The timber may be coated in a wide variety of finishes including traffic as well as solvent based finishes. It is especially important to seal the timber well for the best result. When finishing in waterborne coatings the timber will show brown undertones. Reddish brown undertones are a natural part of the overall colour of Sheoak and therefore waterborne finishes provide the most natural appearance. It is important to sand this timber carefully and VCS Products can recommend qualified floor sanders. It is best to install timber with a very high quality adhesive such as SIKA T. 55. This adhesive has given extremely good results. As with all installations of timber on concrete is always important to seal the slab.