What Kind of Timber is Right for Your Decking?
Nothing beats the look of a natural timber deck in an area that’s completely exposed or shaded – it’s the perfect setting for alfresco entertaining and year-round enjoyment. Timber is graded for its fire retarding qualities as well as its density. We’ve rated a few hardwoods here that are ideal for decking projects by location as well as budget.
Ironbark, When Only the Best Will Do
Nothing beats a locally sourced wood that’s grown sustainably with the highest possible durability rating of 1. Ironbark, though difficult to work with because of its density, is also ideal for fire-prone areas, not to mention rot and termites. It’s also perfect for use around wet areas like swimming pools or decks that are frequently exposed to wet weather. A good decking timber supplier can help you measure out your decking needs and trim your wood to size.
Ironbark is available in a range of colours from pale browns to rich red tones that compliment most landscapes and home exteriors. Best of all, Ironbark will literally last forever.
Australian Hardwoods That Go the Distance
Jarrah, Stringybark, spotted gum and Blackbutt are, for the most part, grown sustainably in Australia and can be used for decking and outdoor projects that are contemporary or rustic looking. They’re each rated highly for their fire resistance and durability but need a different approach and treatment to bring out the colour you’re looking for and durability.
With rich honey browns to deep reds, jarrah is often the go-to choice of the DIY home deck builder. Its high durability rating of 2 makes it ideal in fire-prone areas and it can be left untreated to turn a popular shade of grey, much like untreated cedar.
Stringybark is a character-filled hardwood that’s ideal for timber decking and often sought after for projects where the natural interest of wormholes and veins compliment a rustic look.
Blackbutt and spotted gum are best treated to highlight and retain their appeal. Blackbutt will need to be sealed almost immediately to avoid cracking and resealed every few years, depending on how much exposure the area has to moisture and rain.
Merbau or Kwila
Merbau and kwila are the same hardwood timbers called different names in different countries. Typically grown in South East Asia and the Pacific rim, including Queensland, you’ll even find it called Johnstone River Teak and Scrub Mahogany, among other local names.
One of the problems many builders have with Merbau is that the cheaper wood comes from rainforests, so spending a little more on a product sourced from a sustainable producer goes a long way in preserving the environment. This sends a strong message to harvesters that sustainably sourced natural materials are preferred.
Ethically-sourced merbau is still less expensive than locally sourced hardwoods and it’s also extremely durable with a rating of 2, making it resistant to rot and termites. The colour is reliable and can be stained and treated to achieve a variety of finishes.
Pine for a New Deck
Increasingly popular as an inexpensive and easy timber decking material to work with, pine can be stained and painted to completely customise your decking project. Not all treated pine is the same, so spending a bit of time with a pine timber supply Gold Coast expert will ensure you get the right pine decking for your project.
Need some help? Talk to us about your decking project on (07) 5596 3636 or email email@example.com.