Australian Cypress hardwood flooring is an excellent choice for those who are looking for light colored wood flooring with plenty of character. Dark knots occur throughout the wood naturally, and the wood does not darken drastically when exposed to light as some other species do. Though considered a softwood, it is the only softwood that’s harder than Red Oak. It may also be referred to as Cypress Pine.
Botanical Name: Callitris glauca
Color: The sapwood is cream colored. The heartwood has a honey color and has dark knots in it. There is a large spectrum of colors available. Colors may fade after a long time of use, but generally will not darken with light exposure.
Grain: The grain is closed.
Variations within Species and Grades: There is a high degree of color variation between grades within the species.
Hardness/Janka: Australian Cypress ranks at a 1375, which makes it around 7% harder than traditional Red Oak.
Dimensional Stability: Though it has a dimensional stability rating higher than traditional Red Oak, many installations have shown significant movement. It is suggested to leave the wood in the room a bit longer than recommended to allow it to acclimate better and to reduce exposure to water to limit likelihood of movement.
Sawing/Machining: Australian Cypress has good machining qualities, making it easy to work with.
Sanding: It is difficult to sand because it tends to clog up the paper because of the high amounts of resin. Screening the floor at least two times may be necessary. The knots in the wood may make waves in the floor.
Nailing: It is difficult to sand because it tends to clog up the paper because of the high amounts of resin. Screening the floor at least two times may be necessary. The knots in the wood may make waves in the floor.
Finishing: Many finishes will work for this floor, but the knots may cause some drying issues. Water based finishes will work best as oil based finishes may react with natural oils in the wood.
Availability: Readily available.
A Brief History of Australian Cypress
In addition to its use as a hardwood floor, Australian Cypress is used in cabinetry, healing oils, and cosmetics.
Australian Cypress is a fairly durable species. It has a natural resistance to termites, which makes it a highly desirable choice for flooring, furniture, and cabinetry. It is suitable for nearly any climate or temperature, making it an excellent choice for a building material.
Though workers should practice care when nailing the wood because of how easily it can split, it holds nails well. It is excellent for sawing and machining, so building furniture and making floor boards is easier with Cypress than some other species. Certain instructions must be followed to sand the floor correctly because the high amount of resin in the flooring may clog the sander. Natural oils in the wood make it necessary to use a water-based finish on site finished floors. It is important to finish the floor immediately after the final sanding, because letting the floor acclimate too long will cause the finish to bubble and peel. This occurs as a result of the natural oils in the wood. The floor boards may crack because of the knots present in the floor. If there is excessive cracking, replace the boards. If the finish peeling and boards cracking may become a problem in the future, it is recommended that you choose another species.
Where to use
Australian Cypress flooring can be used in both residential and commercial settings. It can be used in nearly any room of the home, though it is not recommended for use in bathrooms, kitchens, or other areas where standing water may be present. The flooring can be used anywhere in a home or commercial building where the character and color of the floor will accentuate the decor. It is especially good to use this wood in areas where termite damage is a concern.
Care and Maintenance
As with other hardwood floors, the finish determines how to properly care and maintain it. Clean regularly with a cloth mop, using rugs and mats by doorways and in high traffic areas. Clean spills immediately and avoid wearing high heeled shoes on the floor. Follow specific directions for the finish applied to the floor.
Australia takes great pride in the fact that they harvest the cypress with the utmost care, with complete concern for the environment. It is logged in an environmentally sustainable manner, placing no stress on the species.