28 August 2010

Wood floors, Australian style

Reader Elisabeth (who's from Melbourne) and I had a small sidebar conversation in the comments after yesterday's post about wood floors.

Wood floors tend to be pretty regional and I asked her what were popular woods in Australia. She responded that she thought Spotted Gum's the most popular wood floor in architect-designed homes. I was intrigued by her description and I'd never heard of Spotted Gum. So I dug around and learned a thing or two.

What's called Spotted Gum is actually Corymbia maculata, a kind of eucalyptus that grows in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

It makes a beautiful floor.

Thanks Elisabeth!

What other regional hardwoods are lurking out there I wonder.


  1. Spotted Gum is popular because it's a nice straight tree and can be grown up most of the east coast of Australia (where most of us live). Brushbox is also common.

    Another interesting Australian hardwood is tallowwood, which is so resinous that you don't need to polish it. It's popular for decking because of its water resistance.

  2. I came across another one called black butt when I was looking for images of spotted gum floors. I find this stuff to be fascinating. I need to go on an Australian inspection tour.

  3. We just had a deck done - made out of 'Yellow stringybark' - hmmm maybe I should've asked for tallow wood....

    There are some good common names for trees in Aus - mostly describing the bark of the tree (the Black Butt (Eucalyptus pilularis) has darker bark at the base of the tree, ghostly white bark higher up). We also have several eucalypts that are commonly called Woolly Butts, because they have rough, fibrous bark at the base and smooth bark higher up).
    (BTW the spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) was split out from eucalyptus into its own genera relatively recently (1995 I think) - so it is not strictly a eucalypt - but unless you're into Linnean taxonomy it probably doesn't matter - looks like, smells like, feels like a eucalypt to most of us!)
    Yeah - come and visit Australia!

  4. I love hearing Latin names, thanks for the heads up. Are you a biologist?

  5. Linguistics and Horticulture - bedtime reading is Stern's Botanical Latin.

  6. You sound like me with insects and birds. I've never met a biology text I couldn't get lost in.

  7. It is a gorgeous floor! -Brenda-

  8. Have you ever seen a birch floor in person Brenda?

  9. Re Birch flooring. Yes I have Paul as one of my friends has it. I would describe it as 'busy' but it looks wonderful in her home that has a large open concept, vaulted ceilings and lots of windows. Personally it is not my taste and I feel that one has to be careful as to where it is applied. -Brenda-

  10. Birch has an iridescence to it I find interesting but I've never seen a whole floor done in it.


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