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Understanding the Qualities of Spotted Gum for Decking Purposes

Understanding the Qualities of Spotted Gum for Decking Purposes

March 28, 2022

You may not have realised it before, but now that you are shopping around for a new deck, you’ve seen the infinite decking options available. Yes! Choosing the right material can be overwhelming and confusing, to say the least. But what may seem like an overwhelming decision can also be decidedly simple. Regardless of colour and style, you are down to two options; use composite decking or wood.

While we have looked into many other types of wood used in decking, we want to discuss one of the most popular decking materials we use here in Australia – spotted gum. We’ll delve into its use and how it compares to composite decking.

What Is Spotted Gum Decking?

Spotted gum is made from Australian hardwood trees that grow on the east coast and is harvested in New South Wales and Queensland. These trees can grow up to 60 meters high but average at about 40 meters. The spotted gum has a light colour and makes deck planks in an off-white or grey. However, if the decking is made of spotted gum hardwood, it comes in a reddish to a golden-brown colour. However, all spotted grey decks will fade to grey over time. Homeowners tend to choose spotted gum because of its grain, which is attractive once the deck is in place.

Spotted Gum Is Versatile

This versatile wood is often used in construction, cabinetry, decking, paper manufacturing, and shipbuilding. It is used in all of these industries for its ease of use and versatility.

A More Expensive Option

Spotted gum is a popular option, but it is more expensive than other hardwoods. Regardless of this drawback, though, spotted gum is preferred for its ability to conserve water. Why does it cost so much? It often takes between 30 to 50 years to harvest spotted gum, and because of this, it is more expensive than other woods.

Its Attributes

There are more than a few qualities that homeowners like about spotted gum. It is tough and durable and it is a fire retardant when it is at least 18mm thick. Another advantage is that it is resistant to termites.


While spotted gum certainly has many attributes, it also has a few drawbacks. It is susceptible to mould and cupping because of its ability to retain water.

Not only that, but the wood is also susceptible to lyctus beetles. This wood-boring beetle can damage the wood and if left untreated, can cause unrepairable damage.

Like any other natural wood decking, spotted gum will also require maintenance. It will need to be sealed and oiled yearly to retain its attractiveness.

Should You Use Composite Decking?

In truth, nothing is like a hardwood deck. It has longer longevity and wars better than composite that can easily be scratched. Timber-like spotted gum offers an unequalled warmth and beauty, and while composites may not need sealing or staining, the cleaning care is specific. These floors cannot be scrubbed and can easily be scratched by furniture.

The Best Option

If you are looking best decking option, you want to make a long-term investment so what better option than spotted gum.

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