Advantages of Spotted Gum – Australia’s Versatile Specie

When it comes to architectural hardwood timber, Spotted Gum (Eucalyptus Maculata) is a popular choice for its natural beauty but is known for its inherent natural strength and stability. It is native to Australia’s East-Coast, across Southern Queensland, New South Wales and Northeast Victoria, making it an ideal choice for the construction industry – in both internal and external projects.

In this latest blog, we will take a look at the advantages of using this specie in your next project.

What is Spotted Gum, and Where Does it Grow in Australia?

Spotted Gum is a distinctive, high-density specie that grows throughout Australia, particularly in the temperate climate of the East-Coast. With its striking appearance and varied plank colours, Spotted Gum has long been a popular choice for homeowners, architects and landscaping professionals alike. Its unique combination of strength, beauty and durability sets it apart from other species, for example Merbau, which are often used as an alternative to spotted gum. Some key advantages of choosing Spotted Gum include:

  • Natural durability: Spotted Gum is a much denser specie that performs well against temperature and weather fluctuations. As a Durability Class One Above-Ground rated product, this specie is resilient to degrade over time.
  • A higher degree of sustainability: Australian logging practices make spotted gum a more sustainable option, ensuring the conservation and protection of local ecosystems.
  • Enhanced versatility: Spotted Gum timber can be used in external and internal applications. From heavy construction involving beams, outdoor cladding and decking to internal linings, flooring and screening, Spotted Gum is your natural choice!

Overall, anyone looking for an eco-friendly alternative to Merbau would do well to consider Spotted Gum timber for their next project. Whether designing your new backyard oasis or refurbishing your interior timber flooring, this highly versatile and stunning timber will meet all your needs and exceed your expectations!

The Advantages of Using Spotted Gum in Architecture

Spotted Gum is a versatile material increasingly used in construction and architectural projects for its many advantages. Being back-sawn, Spotted Gum has a beautiful wavy grain, which often includes an attractive fiddleback figure. The Queensland variety is best described as predominately chocolate with splashes of red heartwood and grey/yellow sapwood, adding an elegant and sophisticated aesthetic to any decking, panelling, flooring or cladding project. Additionally, this highly desirable specie is extremely durable-easily attaining 15 to 25 years of service after installation. For heavy construction requiring an F17-F27 stress grade rating, this stable specie weighs in at 950-1050 kg/m3 and more than complies with the most demanding specifications.

Additionally, Queensland Spotted Gum is ACQ-H3 treated to ensure that any sapwood is resistant to Lyctus borer attack, making it ideal for decking and any external use, due to its naturally high density after kiln drying. It is also an excellent choice of timber for those living in bushfire prone areas as this specie attains BAL 29 rating and is fire resistant. Overall, there are many benefits to using spotted gum in construction projects, making it the material of choice for discriminating builders and homeowners alike.

Spotted Gum Seating and Stairway
Spotted Gum Architecture – Project Timber supplied by Coach House Timbers

How to Get the Most Out of Your Spotted Gum Timbers

Before answering this question, it is important to consider your desired design outcome.

Do you want the naturally greyed out or oxidised appearance?

Or are you seeking to preserve the natural colour?

All timber goes through a natural oxidation process, releasing tannins in the process. Uninhibited, this reaction may complete in only months, depending upon the aspect and ambient climatic conditions. If the client’s choice is the naturally greyed appearance, we recommend a premium-grade Penetration Oil to be applied to all faces before installation. This slows the damage that can be caused by UV rays’ direct sunlight and the prevalent winds drying the timber too quickly. We also advise adding the oils post-installation every three months. Whilst the desired “greyed-out” look will be slower to attain, yet timber longevity is not compromised.

However, if option two is your expectation and the lasting beauty of the natural feature is to be preserved, we would recommend the timber be pre-sealed on all faces using premium products. Once again, all faces should be coated before installation. After installation, recoat at least twice. A regular 12-18 month maintenance schedule of re-sealing is then recommended. Most sealers will have a pigmented colour, much like wood staining- this is your UV protection and is all part of preserving that natural colour.

Alternatives to Spotted Gum Timber

When considering an alternative specie, research the timber’s commercial availability. This way, you will know ahead of time if you can cover your project needs with the availability of timber feed-stock.

Popular alternatives are Blackbutt and Ironbark, both of which are strong and durable. Be sure to research before committing!

We hope this article is of benefit in making your choice.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about our timbers!

Coach House Timbers – we make your ideas work!