Grab the attention of your guests with the bold, varied looks of Australian Spotted Gum timber flooring.
You will find many brands to choose from as a testament to the popularity of this style. Use the durable, natural flair of Spotted Gum timber to add warmth and charm to your interior spaces.
Our guide to Australian Spotted Gum timber floors includes the answers to all the questions you might have about this iconic native timber species.
We hope that it will help you learn whether Spotted Gum flooring is best for your home.
- Botanical Names – Corymbia maculata (Spotted Gum), Corymbia Citriodora-Citriodora / Corymbia Citriodora-Variegata (Lemon Scented Gum or Blue Spotted Gum), Corymbia Henryi (Large Leaved Spotted Gum).
- Janka Hardness – 11.0 (The Janka Hardness scale is an industry-based test that ranks the strength and durability of a wood species. Essentially, the higher the number, the stronger the flooring. A rating of 8+ is a good indication of hardness and strength.)
- Height – Grows up to 45 metres tall; reports of 90 metres are rare
- Appearance – Mottled bark that is smooth and powdery
- Interesting Fact – Also known as Spotted Iron Gum due to its hardy nature
- Growth Rate – Relatively slow early growth
What Is a Spotted Gum Tree?
The name Spotted Gum refers to four related species of the Corymbia Genus, that grow in the same region of Australia. These species differ in appearance, but each has the same hardy hardwood properties.
A well-known native Australian timber, Spotted Gums are often used as road trees where the branch divisions start quite low. However, when grown as forest trees, they grow tall, straight, and slender to reach the top of the canopy line. They prefer dry, infertile soil conditions. Spotted Gums learned to adapt to the Australian climate and use water more conservatively than other Eucalypt species.
This flowering tree attracts common honeyeater birds wherever they grow. Honeyeaters are a pollinator species and provide many benefits for Spotted Gum trees. Bees also love the flowers of Spotted Gums that appear between May and September.
Where Did It Get Its Name?
The name for Spotted Gum comes from the appearance of indentations or ‘spots’ on the tree that become visible as its outer bark layers fall away. The bark can also take on a distinctive mottled pattern that looks like spots as it sheds. Like many other Eucalypt trees, it is known as a gum tree. This name was given to these trees by early settlers due to the gummy sap that would bleed from the tree when nails were driven into them.
Where Do Spotted Gums Grow?
Spotted Gum timber is harvested along the east coast of Australia, from Victoria through Queensland. The best examples come from New South Wales on the south coast. The sandy soil of this region produces some of the most beautiful Spotted Gum timber in all of Australia.
Sustainability & Harvestation
All forms of timber are much friendlier for the environment compared to synthetic options, like vinyl. Spotted Gum timber is naturally resistant to fire and drought, which has made it a favourite in the Australian forestry industry.
As a native Australian timber species, Spotted Gums can only be harvested from certified forests and strict chain of custody rules must be adhered to at all times. This ensures that these slow-growing trees are not over-harvested and never become endangered.
Spotted Gum grows naturally up and down the east coast of Australia. Commercial plantations also grow well on the south coast. It is harvested from both sources in New South Wales and Queensland.
Softwood or Hardwood?
Spotted Gum is classified as a hardwood. It is one of the hardest of the Australian hardwoods. It would require a significant amount of pressure to indent the surface layer of Spotted Gum timber flooring.
Colouration and Markings
This heartwood of this timber is known for its range of brown and chocolate shades. From light brown to deep red-brown, there are many rich hues and grain styles. The sapwood of Spotted Gum trees is usually white to light brown.
The grain of Spotted Gum timber usually has some fiddleback characteristics and is generally interlocked. Its wavy pattern is an iconic and attractive look, especially when finished with Lacquer or Oil.
Many people are drawn to timber from Spotted Gum trees because of its natural, wild beauty. Spotted Gum styles vary greatly from one colour to another. You can capture a range of colours in just this one Australian timber species.
Considering its robust nature and termite resistance, Spotted Gum timber can be used comfortably in a range of applications. Of course, it is popular for solid timber flooring and engineered flooring. The hardiness makes it easy to maintain and durable for family homes.
Spotted Gum timber is also commonly used for:
- Portal Frames
- Exterior and Interior Stairs
Advantages of Spotted Gum for Flooring
Because Spotted Gum timber is so dense and durable, it is extremely well-suited to a wide range of environments. It is perfect for Australia because it can handle hot and humid climates or dry and cold climates.
Spotted Gum timber also works well with paint, stains, and polishes. It also has a lower tannin content than similar tree species. This means you do not run the risk of staining nearby areas if water washes over unpainted surfaces of the timber.
Spotted Gum timber flooring is also:
- Extremely termite resistant
- Resistant to fire
- High-density wood
- Easy to machine and bore due to natural greasiness
- Natural hues complement many interiors
- Works well in extreme climate settings
- Resilient to indents, scuffs, and other damage
Options for Home Use
The warm, natural colours of Spotted Gum timber can give any space a fresh, comfortable feeling. You can opt for a brighter style or a more demure hue, depending on the rest of the décor in a room. The wide variety of shades means that you can find a style of Spotted Gum that will suit your needs.
Try Spotted Gum flooring in:
- Living rooms
All kinds of solid timber flooring, including Spotted Gum, are not ideal for areas that experience lots of moisture, like bathrooms and laundries. If you have fallen in love with the appearance of Spotted Gum flooring, you can opt for a waterproof option such as vinyl and hybrid.
Where Else Is Spotted Gum Used in Flooring?
Solid timber is an ideal way to bring Spotted Gum into your home. The naturally dense and hardy properties create long-lasting hardwood floors for anywhere in the home.
Many different flooring varieties have been inspired by the lovely, natural variation of Spotted Gum timber including:
- Luxury vinyl
- Engineered timber
- Hybrid flooring
When you find Spotted Gum used in engineered flooring products, you get to enjoy both the natural strength of the hardwood and the high-quality refinement of pre-finished boards.
Sometimes called Spotted Iron Gum, this timber is one of the most durable options for flooring. Because it is a native Australian species, it also has natural properties that make it hardy in dry, hot climates (Please remove this sentence. In this situation, Spotted Gum is prone to Checking.) We recommend this timber for areas that receive more traffic in your home, including hallways and living rooms.
You do not need to spend a lot of time cleaning Spotted Gum floors because of their hardy characteristics. To maintain their colour, texture, and integrity, focus on routine cleaning. For example, sweeping and the occasional mopping will do the trick. Avoid using abrasive cleaning products and take care of spills straightaway.
Take care of your timber floors thoughtfully and you will not need to worry about repairs or replacements. Spotted Gum timber flooring is a lifelong flooring solution. Even when it begins to show signs of aging, you will be able to sand and refinish the planks to renewed perfection.
How Much Does Spotted Gum Flooring Cost?
Solid Spotted Gum timber will naturally cost more than other synthetic floor options. Depending on the supplier, Spotted Gum timber may vary in price. Look for differences in board width and thickness.
If you are interested in bringing the distinctive look of Spotted Gum timber into your home for a lower cost, try engineered Spotted Gum. Engineered flooring utilizes a timber veneer over a less expensive plywood core. You can increase the durability of your flooring this way, too.
Many synthetic styles also use Spotted Gum timber for inspiration. You can find hybrid, laminate, and vinyl floors that have Spotted Gum colour options.
Give Your Space the Beauty of Australian Timber Floors
Crafting an intimate space in your home is the culmination of many design choices. Adding Spotted Gum timber can be that final spark of life into living spaces, bedrooms, and kitchens. Whether you select a light greyish style or a rich reddish-brown hue, you will see the charming character of Spotted Gum.
At the Online Flooring Store, many gorgeous brands carry Spotted Gum styles. If the pre-finished convenience of engineered flooring is better suited to your needs, there is Hurford Australian Natives, Woodland Floating Timber Spotted Gum or Regency Advanced Engineered Timber Spotted Gum. Both of these engineered timber styles feature diverting red hues with natural variation from a real timber veneer.
There are lighter shades of Spotted Gum, including Desire Loose Lay Vinyl Planks Spotted Gum and Clever Choice XL Hybrid Flooring Spotted Gum. We also carry a lovely pre-finished solid timber style that captures all the variations we love about Spotted Gum. The Wonderful Floor Pre Finished Solid Timber Spotted Gum Pacific is an easier way to add hardwood floors to your home.