Timber remains one of the most popular floor choices in Australia. It’s a natural, hardy type of flooring that can look absolutely gorgeous in a home, and because there’s so many timber species to choose from, as well as oil, stains, and paints, you can achieve the exact look that you want.
To find the right colour for your timber floor, you can select one (or more) of these options:
- Pick a hardwood species whose colour you like, such as Jarrah
- Apply oil to your timber flooring, to enhance its natural colour
- Apply stain to your timber flooring, to change its natural colour
- Paint your timber flooring to change its colour dramatically
In this article, we’ll provide you with colour examples for each method, including the names for the various woods, stains, oils, and paints, so that you can get the colour that you want for your timber flooring.
Australian timber floor colours
Australia has about 24,000 native plant species, and from that colossal list is about 20 hardwood trees that are popular for timber flooring. This includes Australian Cypress, Brushbox, Blackbutt, Merbau, and Blue Gum.
If you would like dark timber flooring in your home, we suggest jarrah or ironbark. Both are native to Australia, and as hard as iron. If you want timber flooring that’s in it for the long haul, those hardwoods will perform to your standards. They also have a rich, dark red colour, which is mostly unique to native Australian timbers. It’s also a great focal point in any home; it immediately adds a feeling of luxury and elegance.
If lighter timber is more your style, there’s plenty of colours that will suit your flooring. We suggest blackbutt and Victorian ash as starting points. Both have delightfully mild colours that still maintain the natural caramels of hardwood timber. They give any home a contemporary touch, and work well with minimalistic lines. If you want similar finishes, from a more sustainable and affordable source, why not consider bamboo? Bamboo has really shot into popularity, and it’s easy to see why. It’s cheap, sustainable, and just as durable as any other timber.
Below you’ll find colours for some of the most common Aussie hardwood species, to determine which colour you’d like best for your home. You’ll find the deep red/brown hues of Jarrah, vibrant yellows in the iconic White Oak, the washed out and understated greys of Oak Ashen, as well as blacks and oranges. The diversity of Australian hardwood produces a gorgeous variety of colour.
Of course, every hardwood species will vary in price and durability, so you’ll need to make sure these suit your circumstances before deciding on a type for your home.
Image from No Boundaries Fencing
Timber oil colours
Timber oil is an oil-based product that penetrates deep into the wood, which works to enhance the natural colour of the timber. So if you like the natural colour of your timber but want to make it more vibrant, timber oil is the choice for you.
Timber oil is produced by a few different manufacturers, including Intergrain, Cabot, and Sikkens, to name a few. We’ve included colour charts for a few of these manufacturers below, so you can see how each timber oil will look for your particular type of wood.
Timber stain colours
Timber stain is designed to penetrate the wood, but unlike oil, it’s purpose is to change the colour of the wood rather than enhancing its natural colour. So you can achieve more drastic colour changes with stain compared to oil. Stain also provides a small amount of wood protection (but nothing compared to oil), and leaves the grain visible.
Popular manufacturers for timber stain include Intergrain, Sikkens, and Feast & Watson. You’ll find colour charts for these manufacturers below, as well as a couple more. Check out the colour options below for some of these manufacturers, to find your preferred look.
Timber paint colours
If you’re not satisfied with the colours that can be achieved from oil, stain, or the natural colour of the wood, you can paint over the timber in whichever colour you like. You can use either water or oil-based paint, so your options are vast. You’ll just need to make sure you prime it beforehand, and don’t paint over the wood if it still contains oil!
Here’s just a few examples of what you can achieve by painting your timber, but your options are virtually limitless!
Floating timber floor colours
If you’ve opted for engineered timber floorboards instead of hardwood, you can still apply stain to achieve a different look, but if you want to oil or paint it, you’ll need to make sure the flooring is unfinished otherwise it won’t work.
You can achieve all of the colours outlined in the stains and paint sections above, but here are some additional examples of floating timber floor colours:
Dark vs light: Choosing the best timber colour for your flooring
With so many beautiful timber colours available, how do you choose between dark and light? Well, at the end of the day it’s all a matter of personal opinion. If you prefer light – go for it! And the same applies if you prefer dark. But if you’re generally stuck, we suggest looking at your home design as a whole. Older, more traditional homes generally work well with darker timber floorings. Newer, more modern home designs often accompany lighter timber flooring colours very well.
Timber floor colours—summary
There’s plenty of timber floor colours to choose from, from luscious deep reds to willowy yellows, emerald greens to deep purples—pretty much any hue you like, if you’re willing to paint the flooring.
We hope our article has helped you to find a timber floor colour that suits your style, and as always, if you need some help selecting quality flooring for your home, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.