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Tasmanian Oak & Victorian Ash Hardwood Timber Overview

8 minutes
October 15th, 2019

Victorian Ash Vs Tasmanian Oak

Victorian Ash and Tasmanian Oak timber come from two near-identical eucalypt species: Eucalyptus Delegatensis and Eucalyptus Regnans. While there are some minor differences between the two types of hardwood timber that are listed below, there are a remarkable number of similarities, which is why they are often used interchangeably.

Common characteristics between Oak and Ash

  • Both hardwoods are characterised as being durable and resilient, as well as seamlessly adding warmth no matter the project.
  • Both are incredibly versatile and can be used for a number of different applications such as flooring, panelling, stair components and much more.
  • Both are easy to use and work with, stain well and produce a remarkable finish.

What is Tasmanian Oak?

Tasmanian Oak can be one of Eucalyptus Regnans (Mountain Ash), Eucalyptus Delegatensis (Alpine Ash) and Eucalyptus Obliqua (Messmate). This mix of hardwood species ranges from straw blonde to pale and dark pink through to chocolate blonde. The younger growth tends to be lighter in colour, while the older trees can be darker across the spectrum. This is what gives Tasmanian Oak hardwood a much larger variation in colour.

The climate in Tasmania and clean nature of the trees makes it preferable for Tasmanian Oak millers to focus the majority of their cutting pattern on small section sizes such as 16mm & 25mm thick. These are generally suitable for small mouldings, flooring, lining and furniture. Some Tasmanian Oak mills will cut minimal 38mm and 50mm.

The versatility and adaptability of Tasmanian Oak timber makes it a perfect building material for finished and structured flooring applications. Apart from adding a luxurious touch to indoor spaces, the timber is also very easy to install.

Is Tasmanian Oak durable?

Tasmanian Oak timber, also known as Tassie Oak, has a good level of durability and has a Janka rating of 5.5. It is very easy to work with, mostly being used for indoor applications such as flooring and Parquetry. This is because Tasmanian Oak has an amazing texture and colour, beautifully showing off this stunning soft, light timber.

Five Yards by Archier shows the Tasmanian oak colour range

What is Victorian Ash?

GoodWood Victorian Ash is either Eucalyptus Regnans (Mountain Ash) or Eucalyptus Delegatensis (Alpine Ash). This mix of hardwood species ranges from straw to pale blonde and straw pink. All of the GoodWood Victorian Ash resource is regrowth which limits the variation in colour to a slight mix of colours – primarily in the straw colour range.

The Victorian climate allows effective drying of all thicknesses, which is why Victorian Ash millers will focus on 38 & 50mm thick material with a smaller percentage of 19 & 25mm thick material being produced. The thinner end sections are used for small mouldings, flooring, lining and furniture while 38 & 50mm is used in windows, stairs, doors, furniture, structural material and much more.

Another impressive quality of Victorian Ash timber is that it is very easy to work with machine tools and by hand, resulting in it having a wide range of practical uses. Victorian Ash is usually the perfect material when building balustrades and staircases because it has minimal shrinkage after it has dried. Its flexible nature of the timber also results in it being highly used in F17 seasoned structural framing, which is one of the highest grades commercial framing timber can receive.

Is Victorian Ash durable?

Victorian Ash timber isn’t necessarily known as the most durable of timbers yet still possesses a good level of durability and resistance to insects. Victorian Ash timber has a Janka rating in the 4.5 range, which means this type of timber is ideally suited for indoor applications like flooring and outdoor uses such as decking. When used in above ground applications, Victorian Ash timber features an impressive life span between 7 to 15 years. You can learn more information by reading our Victorian Ash timber brochure.

Five Yards by Archier shows the variation in Victorian ash colour

What is the Difference?

Although they share many similarities, including species makeup, there are some minor differences between Victorian Ash and Tasmanian Oak.

Regarding the basis of colour, figure and grain when differentiating veneer, the subtle differences between Tasmanian Oak and Victorian Ash become more visible. Though both similar in terms of light tones, from a veneer perspective, ‘Oak’ is referenced towards darker coloured veneers while ‘Ash’ is referenced towards lighter coloured veneers.

The other main difference is their price. Victorian Ash tends to be more expensive due to Eucalyptus Regnans and Eucalyptus Delegatensis producing a much smaller portion of light-coloured veneer. Tasmanian Oak, on the other hand, is less expensive due to being widely available.

Tasmanian Oak & Victorian Ash Hardwood Timber Uses

Both species are suitable for many of the same applications and are quite easily used in unison. The main uses for Tasmanian Oak and Victorian Ash hardwood timber include:

  • Flooring – combines adaptability with style for structural flooring applications.
  • Decking – provides durability and strength for outdoor decking applications.
  • Interior Handrails – a popular choice for creating beautiful balustrades.
  • Joinery – perfect for window frames, door frames and furniture.
  • Interior Staircases – an excellent choice for its durability, strength & flexibility.
  • Interior Panelling – ideal wall cladding due to very long a life expectancy.
  • Mouldings – creates an elegant and beautiful addition to any interior.

The quality of species can depend on the timber mill, grading and their processes. If ever any doubt, contact your ASH representative or specify Goodwood Victorian Ash for your project.

Where to Buy Tasmanian Oak & Victorian Ash

Find out how you can order this product by contacting us below or learn about our ASH Retail Shed and how you can purchase directly from the mill.

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