Eucalyptus flooring is made from a fast-growing tree species, relatively common in Asia and Europe: there are over 700 species of eucalyptus, mostly of them native to Australia.
The environmental advantages of eucalyptus flooring
Eucalyptus reaches maturity and becomes harvestable in only 10 years or so (an oak tree takes 80 years or more), which is critical from an environmental standpoint.
If you are considering buying eucalyptus flooring for environmental reasons, consider harvested materials from eucalyptus forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSE) or the Pan European Forest Certification (PEFC) or the SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative).
Prices of eucalyptus flooring: another advantage?
Eucalyptus is often sold at prices as low as $3 - $5 (square foot, engineered and solid wood). But prices vary with the species and mostly with the manufacturing process and the brand.
Be aware of low-cost options. Eucalyptus flooring produced with soft raw materials and involving inadequate manufacturing techniques will not last long.
Eucalyptus flooring durability, stability and care; Discount vs. quality eucalyptus flooring
Eucalyptus flooring can be as durable, stable and low-maintenance as any other equivalent hardwood. It depends in large part from the raw materials (the species of eucalyptus) and on technological issues.
It’s possible to produce eucalyptus flooring with a very high hardness and very wear resistance. Tarkett – one of the world’s hardwood flooring leaders – claims that their eucalyptus flooring can be three times harder than its oak equivalent “in all climatic conditions and at any ambient temperature”.
But that’s not the rule. It depends a lot, as mentioned above, on raw materials and technology.
Eucalyptus colors and patterns
New eucalyptus flooring comes in many colors and patterns, especially the engineered products (see images).
Eucalyptus flooring - Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot
Eucalyptus flooring is not widely available in some parts of the world. Though not uncommon in the North America, the offer is rather limited when compared with bamboo flooring and many other hardwood products.
Though available in large home improvement stores - Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot – the offer is scarce.
Strand-woven eucalyptus flooring
Solid strand-woven eucalyptus flooring is manufactured using a special technology (the strand-woven technology, also applicable to bamboo and a few other wood species) able to produce extremely dense and durable flooring products from soft or relatively soft raw materials.
Eucalyptus vs oak and other traditional hardwood: pros and cons of eucalyptus
Eucalyptus flooring shares the same advantages and disadvantages of other hardwoods (oak, cherry and many others) with equivalent hardness and subject to the same manufacturing processes.
Issues as the moisture content, the finishes, and the manufacturing techniques are critical when choosing.
Real differentiation factors: price, patterns and eco-friendless. The hardness of the wood floorings is typically measured by the Janka test. Janka test rates Douglas Fir with 660 (a very low rate). The Yellow Shortleaf Pine is also a typically softwood (690), but the Yellow Longleaf Pine is not so soft: it has a 890 rating. Other rankings for common woods: Black Cherry: 890; Eucalyptus: 1125; Red Oak: 1290; Bamboo Teragren: 1307; Ash: 1320; White Oak: 1360; Hard Maple: 1450; Mahogany (some types): 2200 or more…
How hard (Janka rating) is eucalyptus flooring?
Eucalyptus Grandis is the commonest eucalyptus species, but there are others – an issue that has an obvious impact on the hardness of solid eucalyptus flooring. The Karri/Diversicolor species has a hardness of 2040, while the Jarra/Marginata species is a lot softer (1910, Janka scale), not to talk of Eucalyptus Grandis (1420) or Brasilian Eucalyptus (Rose Gum): 1125, Janka rating.
Take into account the Janka rating, but do not forget that the manufacturing process counts a lot. The strand woven process may compress the original timber to a third, creating an extremely hard and durable engineered eucalyptus flooring.
In addition, special coatings can also have a huge impact on the durability, maintenance, comfort feeling and appearance of the final product.
Bamboo vs. eucalyptus flooring pros and cons
On average, bamboo is less expensive than eucalyptus, and there is a wider offer. But this may not mean much. There is high and low quality eucalyptus and high and low quality bamboo flooring.
When comparing bamboo with eucalyptus pay attention to specifications. Bamboo flooring can be either high or low quality (made from softer species, and use harmful chemicals). And the same goes with eucalyptus flooring.
Eucalyptus flooring brands
Shaw (sold by Walmart), Tarkett and Mohawk are global flooring companies/brands with high quality eucalyptus flooring products. Obviously, there are many other choices that you should consider. Just take into account the key factors mentioned in this page. Eucalyptus flooring is not all made equal.