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Australian vs offshore

Australian Timber vs. Offshore Timber

14 July 2018

Australia is a land of magnificent timbers. Most of our timbers are the super-tough, fully acclimatised timber that make up so much of the modern Australian environment. One of the great ironies in the timber sector is the totally wrong idea that imported timbers are somehow superior. They’re not.


One of the reasons Australian timbers are so popular with professional builders and designers is that they’re extremely reliable for all types of construction. The most dedicated timber expert will tell you that beautiful as some types of foreign timber are, they’re nowhere near as outstanding, or as well suited to the Australian environment; potentially even indoors.

Some Basic Comparisons

The comparisons between timbers are all practical considerations:

  1. Cost: The cost of Australian timbers, particularly for structural purposes, is a hands-down win for Australian economy. That makes a big difference, when you’re talking about any sort of large structure, like a house. If you can get superior timber that’s suitable, why wouldn’t you?
  2. Market forces: Foreign timbers, sadly, are also subject to a market-based supply; lack of variety. Foreign suppliers tend to deal with large amounts of basic timbers, like kwila, to also meet demand overseas. The other timbers, like teak, are in short supply over there, while Australian teak is relatively challenging to get, there are other foreign species that tend to be offered that may not be as good.
  3. Variety: Australia has a dazzling range of top quality timbers of all kinds. Even our softwoods, are unique, and incredibly beautiful. If you’re looking for a fabulous selection of timbers, start in Australia.
  4. Building quality standards: The basic benchmarks of building quality, our Australian Standards, not too surprisingly, are a much better fit for Australian timbers. This really is a no-brainer; if you want good timber beams, boards and supports, you get the Australian Standard quality products. That means almost entirely Australian timbers.
  5. Foreign timber isn’t what it was: The days of craftsman-quality timbers overseas are gone. With all due respect to some few surviving good American and European timbers, it’s no contest. The modern foreign timbers are mass market products, nowhere near the fantastic quality control of the past. Compare a good piece of Ironbark or Redgum and frankly, why would you want some dull old foreign bit of anonymous-looking board?
  6. Foreign timbers vs Australian climate: If ever there was a total mismatch between timbers and environments, our climate and cold climate timbers must be it. The Australian climate can be incredibly dry, (high humidity, for example) causing splitting on green timbers . The heat, too, creates distortion of timbers on a scale most foreign timbers can’t endure.

Talk to Sunstate Timbers about Australian Timbers

If you’re looking for top quality Australian timber advise, just ask Sunstate Timbers, your do-everything supplier of Australian timbers in Queensland. We have everything you want, from fabulous decking, to elegant flooring, tougher-than-nails fencing, and much more.

Sunstate Timbers, Deception Bay, have provided customers with quality wood supplies for customers across Brisbane. For more information about Australian timber, contact the Sunstate Timbers team on (07) 3171 8430 or via our online form for quality advice.