The Pros and Cons of Eucalyptus Floors | A Guide


On the Greener Living Blog, we talk a lot about bamboo floors, and we’ve dedicated dozens of blogs to the subject. Our readers love to be informed about the various bamboo topics. However, some of you have raised the topic of eucalyptus floors.

So we’re dedicating this blog to the pros and cons of Eucalyptus flooring. We’ll talk about it all, including eucalyptus’ environmental impacts, cost, and uniqueness. Read on to find out all you’ll ever need to know about eucalyptus flooring and if it’s right for your house.

 

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Eucalyptus flooring pros and cons

The advantages of eucalyptus flooring

First, we’ll discuss the many advantages of eucalyptus floors, especially compared with hardwood floors. Basically, if you’re looking for an attractive and affordable floor that will stand the test of time and be kind to the environment, then eucalyptus is the right choice for you.

1. Moisture resistant

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If you want a floor that can be installed in an area of the country with high humidity (i.e., Florida) or a room in your house with a lot of moisture (i.e., kitchen, bathroom, basement), then eucalyptus floors are the perfect fit for you.

The eucalyptus plants are grown in the humid, tropical regions of South America, Australia, and Asia, so they are already adapted to a little moisture in the air. This means they can easily stand up to a little water or moisture. In most cases, they do better than hardwoods in areas of high humidity.

Always check with your manufacturer to make sure you can install the eucalyptus floors in the place you want. They may advise on a specific installation method, using only engineered eucalyptus floors, or take some other precautions in humid areas. Failure to abide by the instructions could void your warranty.

2. Affordable

If you’re looking to save money, eucalyptus floors will be a great investment for you. Not only are they roughly half the price of hardwood floors, but they’re also easy to install for a DIY-er and will last so much longer. This means you’ll save money initially as well as down the road.

Also, the price will only go down as eucalyptus floors get more popular with consumers. Win-win.

The reason it costs so little? Because eucalyptus trees grow more quickly than hardwood trees, the supply is less strained. Less demand for resources means less cost to the consumer, just like with any product from gasoline to the latest Barbie doll.

3. Safe

With the threat of indoor air pollution on the rise, you’ll want to make sure that the products that you bring into your house aren’t making the problem worse.

That’s why you should ensure that your eucalyptus flooring seller is meeting strict standards about the emissions of VOCs. Look for Floorscore certification on the brand you’re considering.

4. Durable

One of the key advantages of eucalyptus flooring is that it can withstand the punishment of everyday life. That doesn’t mean you can leave them to do your tax return or balance your checkbook. But it does mean that eucalyptus floors will be able to take all that your family has to throw at it.

That’s right; eucalyptus floors can withstand your…

  • daughter’s soccer team as they run through to the backyard
  • son’s band, even if the bass does seem to be shaking the house,
  • pets, both big and small!

How? Well, simply put, strand woven eucalyptus floors are a huge two times harder than red oak. Even regular (not strand woven) eucalyptus floors are stronger than most hardwoods, and they can last for years or even decades without needing repairing or replacing.

5. Attractive

 

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Source: Ambient Bamboo Floors

Eucalyptus floors are beautiful, whether you choose the planks’ natural look or alter them to fit in with your existing décor. This is a great thing for you since it will make you feel happier with your house’s look, but it will also add to the value of your home should you ever have to sell.

Eucalyptus floors can be altered using various textures, colors, and glosses to suit anyone’s style, whether you want light modern vibes or a rustic frontier look. All you have to do is choose from your manufacturer’s vast collection.

You can even personalize the floor to your specific taste during installation by choosing how to layout your planks, which will vary slightly according to the individual eucalyptus tree’s growth patterns.

6. Easy to install

There are three methods of installation for eucalyptus floors: glue down, nail down and float. Each one is simple enough for a DIY novice to undertake and can be completed in just one day, leaving you more money and time to enjoy yourself.

If you want to learn how to install a eucalyptus floor in your house yourself, look no further.

7. Low maintenance

No one wants to spend their precious time cleaning or repairing their floor. We all have better things to do, whether that’s watching TV, playing sports, or even just sleeping in on a Sunday. Why should we have to waste that time doing things for our floors?

Well, we don’t think you should have to. Eucalyptus floors are a great low maintenance option for today’s busy lifestyles, leaving you more time to do what you want. As mentioned above, they’re resistant to moisture and highly durable, so there are less cleaning and more time between repairs.

Want to know how easy it is to clean eucalyptus floors? Sweep or vacuum them once a week. If you feel that the eucalyptus floors need a more intense cleaning, you can go over them with a lightly damp mop. Or you can use specialized hardwood floor cleaning products.

8. Long-lasting

If you want proof of the durability of eucalyptus floors, then take a look at your warranty. Most eucalyptus floors come with a minimum 25-year warranty; if something goes wrong with the floor during that time, you can get your money back.

That’s the kind of confidence you want from someone selling you a floor! You don’t want to replace such a massive item every few years. Aside from the money, it’s way too much of a hassle to keep clearing the room.

Of course, the warranty will be voided if you do something to cause the damage. Or in the case of a natural disaster.

9. Eco-Friendly

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If you’re looking for a floor that is kind to the environment, eucalyptus flooring is a fantastic choice for many reasons. Let’s look at just a few of the reasons why eucalyptus is greener than the average flooring material:

  • Doesn’t harm koalas: Everybody knows that eucalyptus is the main food for koalas, but you may not know that using eucalyptus for flooring doesn’t starve any adorable marsupials. You see, it’s rare that koalas live outside of Australia. The commercial eucalyptus industry operates mainly out of Asia and South America. Therefore, the koalas will not be getting their fluffy paws on that eucalyptus anyway.
  • Sustainable growth: Eucalyptus trees should always be grown suitably without harming the local environment or the people that live there. As such, check out your manufacturer’s environmental certifications and make sure they’re harvested from well-managed forests, or lay out an extra $1-$2 per sq ft and request a custom order certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) (most high-quality brands offer this option but there may be a lead time and minimum order quantity required).
  • Rapidly renewable resource: Eucalyptus takes about 3-10 years to reach full maturity, which means that when it is cut down to be made into floorboards, less damage is done to the surrounding environment. Compare this with hardwood trees, which take around 50 years to reach maturity, and you’ll see that uprooting them could be an environmental disaster.
  • Uses fewer resources: Due to their rapid growth time, eucalyptus trees actually use far fewer resources (i.e., water and fertilizer) than hardwood trees.
  • Gentle cleaning: Because you don’t have to use harsh chemicals on eucalyptus floors to keep them clean, you won’t be contributing to air pollution (with chemical vapors) or water pollution (from tipping the cleaning solution down the drain).
  • A staggered growing season: Unlike most plants, eucalyptus trees can be grown throughout the year; decreasing damage to the local eco-system helps reduce soil erosion, habitat destruction and maintains water quality.
  • Shorter shipping time: While most eucalyptus that grows commercially comes from China, it’s more environmentally friendly to choose those than all-American hardwoods. You see, China is the world manufacturing hub for floors because it’s cheaper there. And the fact that there aren’t any manufacturing plants in the USA. Even many of the hardwoods sourced in the Americas have to be shipped to China for milling and finishing and before they make it into your home.

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The disadvantages of eucalyptus flooring

As with all things in life, there are some cons to eucalyptus floors. These disadvantages are only seen when you compare eucalyptus to bamboo floors. When compared to hardwood floors, eucalyptus comes out on top in every way.

1. Slightly more expensive than bamboo

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While eucalyptus flooring is roughly half the hardwood flooring cost, bamboo does have a competitive edge in terms of pricing. Bamboo flooring is only one-third the cost of hardwood flooring, making it roughly 20% cheaper than eucalyptus flooring.

However, considering how low cost both eucalyptus and bamboo flooring are, it probably won’t make a lot of difference to your overall cost.

2. Less widely available

It’s hardly the fault of the eucalyptus floor itself, but it’s not widely available in traditional flooring retailers across the US. Thus, those who want to purchase eucalyptus flooring are often choosing to go online to search for a variety of options.

 

That just about wraps up our look into the pros and cons of eucalyptus floors. Now we’d like to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Do you have eucalyptus floors in your home? Did this article inspire you to get some? Do you have any more questions about eucalyptus floors?

Let us know all that and more in the comments section below. You might even make it into our next article!

Flooring Samples

Last updated: 11/17/2020.

 

EXPLORE FLOORING COMPARISONS:  Bamboo Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring  |  Bamboo Flooring vs. Wood-Look Tile




Categories: Flooring

16 replies

  1. Iam interested in the eucalyptus floor please let me where I can see color chart of flooring

  2. I Love my floors! I had a mishap when I spilled granite cleaner/sealant on my floors, I just mopped the cleaner up. The floors are now cloudy and I can’t figure out how to best clean them without ruining the finish. Any ideas would be helpful. Thank you

  3. Bona mops are a joke. What’s the best way to mop a eucalyptus floor? I know water causes the joints to pucker. What solution/liquid can be used with a traditional mop on these floors?

  4. The eucalyptus flooring looks like a very attractive investment for the home. The ratio of Pros to Cons; 9 to 2!

    • Haha that’s right! It’s a wonderful option that we tend to hear almost nothing about. Glad you took the time to read up on this terrific floor!

  5. I had eucalyptus floors installed in our home many years ago. I have always loved the way they look and always get beautiful comments on them. Then, a horrible thing happened. I had to have repair work done on my refrigerator. My husband made sure the floor in the kitchen was protected since the refrigerator had to be moved. During the course of moving, the refrigerator went off the protection device and put deep cuts in the floor. The manager of the place tried to return the deep incisions by steaming them with an iron placed over the areas that were ruined. The procedure did not work. I was so upset that I could not look at what these men did. I had to buy carpets to cover up the areas where the floor was ruined. I called several flooring companies but was told that eucalyptus floors were no longer available and no one could fix my kitchen floor.

    • Oh no! That’s an unfortunate series of events to have happened to your lovely floor, but there may be a way to fix them. If you have any leftover planks, you could try to cut out and replace the damaged boards. If you know where you purchased the flooring, maybe you can call them to see if they can contact other customers that bought your same floor to see if they can send you a few planks to make the repair. We sell eucalyptus flooring but it might be different than what you purchased. It can’t hurt to check! Good luck and I hope you are able to get those floors fixed.

  6. I would really love a eucalyptus but worry it is too dry of a climate. Our humidity is average of something like 30%. What happens to the flooring in these conditions?

    • Hi Nedra,

      It’s recommended for areas of low or high humidity to extend the acclimation period from 3 days to 10 days to help the floors settle to the new climate. Then you just want to make sure that the humidity stays relatively stable compared to how it was when it was installed to ensure that the floors don’t lose or gain too much moisture over time.

  7. We had Eucalyptus flooring installed in our home. We made certain the GC used the glue recommended by the manufacturer but the floor has now cupped. It is still beautiful but I’m concerned that this may negate our resale value for this investment. Is there any way to correct the cupping? Is was a slab, glue down installation, with proper acclimation time inside the home (believe me because I was the one nagging the GC to get back on the job).

    • Hi Cheri,

      Having a cupped floor can be a stressful situation indeed. The first thing I would do is reach out to the manufacturer of the flooring to see if they can offer any suggestions. Then I would contact the installer and try and get as much information about the installation as possible. You already know the adhesive, but see if you can find out what trowel they used, whether or not they performed a moisture test on the slab to ensure that the adhesive had a high enough vapor barrier for your slab, etc. If neither party is willing to help you get the answers you need, it might be worth it to hire an NWFA certified inspector to come out and determine the cause. Good luck!

  8. My client is interested in eucalyptus flooring for their remodel. We live in the desert with an average humidity of 5-10%. Is it too dry for this product as a solid flooring?

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