The only kind of wooden flooring that can compete with engineered hardwood flooring in attractiveness and resilience is hardwood flooring made from Australian timber. Celebrated both for their natural beauty and for their strength and durability, Australian timbers know few rivals when it comes to engineered hardwood for the home.
Among the many species of Australian timber used for hardwood flooring, Blackbutt stands out as offering a more consistent colour than its counterparts. Additionally, thanks to the blackbutt tree’s easy regeneration and quick growth, which makes it readily available and in substantial quantity, blackbutt flooring can be a more accessible high-quality hardwood option for homeowners on a budget.
An Elegant Staple of Australian Culture
The blackbutt tree (known scientifically as Eucalyptus pilularis) grows mainly in Eastern Australia in the coastal forests of New South Wales and Southern Queensland County. It produces crescent-shaped leaves that are a popular food source for koalas.
Blackbutt flooring can be seen in some of the finest homes and buildings across Australia. The Great Hall of the Parliament House in Canberra – a venue designed for receptions, dinners with dignitaries, and major national events – features parquetry ornamented with blackbutt and ebony inlays.
What are some of the benefits of blackbutt flooring?
Blackbutt is a high-density timber, which means that it is quite resistant to insect infestation (especially to termites). Its high density also makes it more fireproof than other timbers. In fact, the timber is so fire-resistant that while bushfires burn through plants, dried grass, and leaf litter, they tend to leave the Eucalyptus pilularis standing. Only the base of the tree (or butt) turns black, hence the nickname blackbutt.
Blackbutt ranks high on the Janka Hardness Scale, coming in at an impressive 9.1 kN. This means that the timber is resilient and durable, making it a great option for hardwood flooring. It will resist hard impacts and the wear and tear of everyday use, with minimum maintenance required.
Thanks to its relative consistency in colour, its unassuming elegance, and its natural beauty, blackbutt hardwood flooring can complement a wide variety of interior decorating styles.
What colour is blackbutt timber?
The colour of the timber will vary slightly, depending in large part on which part of the tree it is cut from. When the timber is cut from the centre of the tree – called heartwood or duramen – the wood tends to be darker or warmer in colour. Timber cut from the outer portion of the tree – called sapwood – tends to be lighter in colour and is often streaked with veins of sap build-up, called gum veins.
Typically, blackbutt is known for its light brownish-yellow tint. The colour of blackbutt can range from a pale sandy brown to a golden honey yellow, while some of the heartwood can have a tinge of pink to it.
What rooms are best suited for blackbutt flooring?
Blackbutt is a versatile type of hardwood timber. Thanks to its durability, blackbutt hardwood is a good flooring option for rooms that experience high foot traffic, such as kitchens. And because it is known for its density, resistance to insect infestations and rot, and its relatively high resistance to fire, it is also a popular choice for decks and outdoor uses – especially in areas prone to bushfires.
Its light colour makes it a versatile hardwood flooring option that can complement a wide variety of decors. The softness and beauty of blackbutt are especially well-highlighted in rooms that receive plenty of natural light.
How long does blackbutt flooring last?
In addition to the Janka Hardness Scale – on which blackbutt ranks quite highly – timber durability is also expressed in categories ranging from Class 4 (the least durable) to Class 1 (the most durable). Blackbutt is a Class 1 timber, which means it is expected to last at least 50 years when installed above ground and at least 25 years when installed in-ground.
Thanks to its density and durability, blackbutt hardwood flooring can last for generations with the proper care. The lightness of its colour also means that even in rooms exposed to natural light, you don’t need to worry about dulling or an unsightly loss of colour over time.
In the event that the flooring suffers damage – due to a severe impact or to heavy furniture or appliances being dragged across the room leaving a trail of scuff marks in their wake – blackbutt hardwood flooring can be sanded, polished, or finished many times over. This means that with a little care and attention, your blackbutt hardwood flooring should stay beautiful and last for decades upon decades.
What kind of maintenance does blackbutt flooring require?
Blackbutt hardwood flooring is easy to keep clean. Using a vacuum that has padded wheels and comes equipped with hardwood-friendly brushes will eliminate or minimise the risk of leaving scratches or scuff marks. You can use a well-wrung mop for dirt and spills, but for more stubborn stains it is recommended that you use a cleaning product with a neutral pH balance.
The best cleaning products for hardwood timber flooring contain a pH balance that ranges from pH7 to pH12. This range of pH balance means the cleaning product is alkaline rather than acidic. Acidic cleaning products (products that have a pH balance inferior to pH7) are corrosive and can damage hardwood flooring with consistent use.
Australian engineered timber is renowned for its durability, resistance to damage (be it from insect infestation, water, or fire), and for its elegance and natural beauty.
For your home and flooring needs, you have several options of engineered timber to choose from, each with its distinct qualities and characteristics.
Contact us today if you wish to enquire about blackbutt flooring or get a quote for your next project. Alternatively, come visit our showroom in Helensvale, Queensland where you can peruse our extensive floor displays and full-size planks of different types of timber, and you can talk with one of our experts about your options.