How to Choose Timber for Your Deck
Outdoor decking has been a staple of the Australian lifestyle for years. There’s no better way to spend the summer than in the great outdoors, surrounded by friends and family on pristine outdoor decking.
Adding a deck to your home not only serves as an area for entertainment and relaxation; it also extends the usable size of your home and adds value to your property in the long-term.
When planning your new outdoor area, it’s important to consider the best timber to use for your decking. There are so many different varieties of decking timber on offer, so here’s a handy guide to help you design an outdoor space that’s right for your home!
Before You Get Started…
Building an outdoor decking requires a lot of planning before construction can go ahead.
First and foremost, it is important to decide whether you’ll employ a qualified deck builder or undertake a DIY project.
Regardless of the option you choose, ask yourself these important questions to pick the best decking timber for your needs:
- How important are sustainable decking materials to me?
- Am I willing to repair and maintain my decking over the course of its life?
- Will I want to update the appearance of my decking in the future?
- Do I want my timber to last through extreme weather?
Got answers to all these questions? Then it’s time to take a look at all the different materials you can choose for your decking.
Types of Decking
Treated pine decking is a popular choice for anyone looking to expand their outdoor areas. It’s sustainable, and is a commonly used renewable material used in a huge range of projects, large and small.
This hardwood is both strong and easy to work with, making it the perfect decking timber for many homes.
If you’re expecting plenty of foot traffic over your decking’s life, treated pine hardwood is the right choice for you. The strong timber will experience minimal decay and remain in prime condition for years to come.
Merbau timber is a nice red-coloured hardwood that is less expensive than other timbers.
Merbau deckings are perfectly suited to the Australian climate, with a hardy exterior that can withstand the harshest of conditions. Deckings made from Merbau are less likely to rot and decay than other timbers, and are insect resistant year-round.
Despite being one of the toughest timbers around, Merbau timber is likely to leach tannins which may stain the areas surrounding the decking. Merbau wood should not be placed near any light-coloured tiles, to minimise the risk of staining.
As Merbau is often shipped from rainforests in Southeast Asia, it’s good practice to make sure that it’s been sustainably harvested, using ethical methods.
If you’re after timber that has plenty of texture and a wavy grain structure that’s unique for every piece, then a spotted gum decking is perfect for you. Spotted gum timber is sustainable, durable and easy to find; in other words, it ticks most of the boxes when it comes to the perfect decking material.
As an Australian-grown hardwood, it’s able to withstand the changing Australian climate, and is an approved timber in many areas prone to bushfires. The hard and dense surface has very little shrinkage and comes in colours ranging from light brown to dark reddish tones, so you can take your pick.
Unlike Merbau, spotted gum wood has low tannin content, so you don’t need to worry about the colours bleeding.
Stringybark timber has three vibrant colour variations: white, yellow and red.
Each colour comes with its own pros and cons when it comes to deckings, with the yellow stringybark decking being the most popular.
Yellow stringybark is durable and won’t break the bank, which makes it a popular choice for aspiring deck builders.
Modwood is a type of composite decking that’s made from a mixture of wood waste and plastic. This safe and eco-friendly product is not only versatile and easy to install, but also resistant to many different weather conditions.
In comparison to conventional timber, Modwood deckings are low-maintenance and long lasting. Modwood is splinter-free, and can be painted and finished in any colour, making it the best decking timber for houses with young children.
Residents in most bushfire prone areas can rely on Modwood as it is manufactured to withstand the Australian climate.