Elegant flooring made from real timber never goes out of style, and floorboards made out of almost any variety of timber can be used to create attractive, durable flooring for your home. However, to get the most from your timber flooring, it's best to choose one of the more desirable species of wood to make it with, and a tree that provides wood perfect for timber flooring might be growing right on your doorstep -- spotted gum.
The spotted gum is a member of the diverse eucalyptus family of trees native to Australia, and its remarkably versatile wood can have many benefits when used to floor your home. Here are just some of the ways spotted gum beats out its rivals, including many of the rare and expensive tropical hardwoods:
Spotted gum is a naturally attractive wood even without the assistance of artificial dyes and stains, with a clear, densely patterned grain and wood that varies widely in tone and shade. Depending on the tree the wood is taken from, spotted gum floorboards can be pale and muted or rich in deep golden tones, so you will almost certainly be able to find floorboards that suit the overall design scheme of your home. Spotted gum also takes on a brilliant sheen when buffed and responds particularly well to surface waxing.
Despite its good looks, spotted gum is far from all style and no substance. In fact, spotted gum timber sees just as much use in outdoor decking and strengthening structural timbers as it does in indoor flooring, with its excellent durability and particularly impressive load-bearing strength allowing spotted gum floorboards to shrug off almost any form of damage. Spotted gum flooring is therefore particularly suitable for areas in your home that experience high traffic, such as hallways and kitchens.
Unfortunately, even spotted gum flooring is not totally immune to the passage of time, and aging floorboards can begin to look unsightly when too much surface damage is accumulated. However, spotted gum floorboards can be easily resurfaced using a floor sander, and a simple application of surface wax once sanding is complete will leave you with floorboards that look as fresh and new as the day you installed them.
Despite all of these excellent practical qualities, spotted gum floorboards can be picked up for very reasonable prices. This puts them in particularly good stead against tropical hardwoods such as teak and mahogany, since they provide comparable levels of durability at a much more attractive price.
Perhaps the most attractive quality of spotted gum, however, is how close to home it can be found. Since it does not require expensive and polluting importation by ship or aircraft, spotted gum floorboards can be a very environmentally friendly option, especially if the timber used to create them is taken from plantation-grown trees rather than old growth gums. Choosing sustainably grown plantation wood from a location near you can leave you with new flooring that has a very small carbon footprint.