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Variation in Timber

Variation in Timber

Timber is an amazingly diverse natural product, and is always in demand as a surface material for this very reason. An individual species of timber can have an enormous range of colour and feature, not only between trees in the same forest, but also in boards sawn from the same tree. For this reason it is nearly impossible to demonstrate the variances of a species in a single sample.

As a customer, you need to recognise and understand that when purchasing a particular species of timber, colour and grain variation will most definitely occur. That is the reason that most customers are drawn to the romance of a timber floor in the first place. Australian species timbers in particular are renowned for their depth of variation in both colour and grain. Please consider the following when choosing your timber flooring:

Size of sample:small samples will give only a tiny reference to the colour and grain variation of an individual species. Always try and look at multiple samples and if possible, display floors of the species you are interested in. Remember even in these instances, your floor will be unique in its own colour, grain and textural appearance, just like you. Being feature grade in appearance, the timber will have all types of inclusions such as knots, pin holes, insect trails, gum veins and even holes that have been filled during the manufacturing process. Like snowflakes, no two pieces will ever be the same. See the images below of two spotted gum floors, laid in the same room for the purpose of demonstrating the difference between even the same species of timber.


Age of sample:All timbers change colour to a certain degree over time. If you are looking at an older sample, chances are it has matured in colour and become darker. Timber flooring straight from the pack will always be lighter in appearance and will give a better indication of what your floor will look like initially. Be aware that as soon as the timber is exposed to UV light, it will start to mature and change colour (oxidise), typically becoming a deeper, more even tone, and that this process will continue for many months after installation, depending on the conditions. See the two images below as a demonstration of this colour change. Note that where the rugs have been placed the timber has not been exposed to UV light and consequently has not started to oxidise, remaining the original installed colour. Moving the rugs will eventually lead to the floor evening out, but this will typically take just as long (or even longer) as the rug has been placed for.



136mm Spotted Gum                  136mm Blackbutt