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Sydney Blue Gum
Grades & Properties of Wood Flooring —
Other Common Names and Related Species:
- Blue Gum
Australia, particularly near the city of Sydney, from which it gets its name.
Janka Hardness: 2023
Grades of Sydney Blue Gum Flooring:
Sydney Blue Gum flooring is grouped into two grades. The grades are called different things by manufacturers, but there is a Select grade Spotted Gum and a #1 Common grade. Select grade Sydney Blue Gum flooring has considerable color variation from deep reds to pinks and grays but has no knots. The #1 Common grade Sydney Blue Gum will have pitch pockets and small knots. Pitch pockets are small black openings where pitch gathered inside the tree.
Sydney Blue Gum Flooring Dimension Specifications:
Most Sydney Blue Gum is milled in Australia because it is more cost-effective to ship finished material than raw lumber. Lengths of the Sydney Blue Gum flooring bundles are 7 feet so they can easily fit into 8-foot-wide steel shipping containers. All pre-milled products are tongue-&-groove and end-matched (tongue-&-grooved on the ends of the boards). Moisture content ranges from 6% to 8% for quick acclimation. The average length of the flooring pieces is usually about 3 feet and ranges from 1 to 7 feet. Almost all imported flooring that is found is in 7-foot bundles, with widths available from 2¼″ to 5″. If a long or wide plank floor is desired, raw lumber must be obtained and the flooring must be milled here in the United States. Typically, the lengths can develop up to 12 feet. However, the cost can be double that of the pre-milled stock because of waste and labor costs in the United States. Also, raw lumber is relatively expensive and rare with this species.
Sydney Blue Gum flooring is readily available prefinished or unfinished in solid form for nail-down applications and in engineered form with a veneer top layer for concrete applications. Sydney Blue Gum is an uncommon species in comparison with most hardwood flooring. There is a moderate amount of Sydney Gum in Australia, and it is not endangered. However, less logging, stricter regulations, and a slower American economy have limited commodities and caused slightly higher prices of this product in this country.
Finished Floor Appearance:
Sydney Blue Gum flooring has pronounced color variation. The colors range from pinks and reds to grays and tans. The pitch pockets are almost black and the wood color is dark tan and contains dark color variation. Oil- or water-based finishes are recommended. The flooring does not darken significantly with age.
Flooring Durability and Stability:
Sydney Blue gum flooring is very durable and resists denting and traffic wear quite well. It is harder than many North American floors because of its density but can swell with moisture if not acclimated properly. Sydney Blue Gum is heavy, weighing over 3 pounds per square foot.
Workability of Sydney Blue Gum Flooring:
Being extremely hard and tough, Sydney Blue Gum works with some difficulty with both hand and power tools. When installing the flooring, it is best to use a manual nailer, but staples and pneumatic nailers can be used. It holds screws well, glues well, stains, and polishes to a very attractive finish. It can be difficult to sand with flooring equipment, so professional sanding and finishing is recommended. This wood is very resistant to decay and insects; these resistant properties may contribute to a possible allergic response to the dust. To avoid a possible allergic reaction to the material, wear a dust mask and long-sleeve shirt when working with Sydney Blue Gum.
Principal Uses of Sydney Blue Gum Flooring:
Sydney Blue Gum flooring is used in medium- to high-end residential and commercial applications for an interesting floor. It is used in rustic camps as well as in contemporary structures.