Timber is a naturally derived construction material. Therefore, it blends effortlessly into the outdoor landscape when you use it for decking. This attribute makes timber a highly sought-after decking material among Australians.
With decks becoming a more prominent feature in Australian backyards, it is essential to acknowledge their benefits. They offer a blend of functionality and aesthetic enhancement to your outdoor area. They make your yard more usable and inviting. On the other hand, timber decks require regular care and maintenance, but the result is well worth the effort in this case.
So as you plan to install a deck, it is best to be well informed before construction begins. Mainly, you must ensure that you get the proper knowledge about material choice, size and configuration based on your needs and preferences. Therefore, here’s how to choose the right timber decking for your home.
Numerous types of timber available are suitable for deck construction. They fall into three categories:
Softwoods are a common choice for decking, as they are less costly and easier to work with than hardwoods. They can be resistant to rot, weathering and termites, but they must be adequately treated andkiln-dried.In addition, high-quality softwoods have minimal movement, and surface checking once installed.
Softwood decking timber is cheap; therefore, it is an ideal competitive option. Furthermore, newer and safer treatment methods have clear finishes that allow the wood’s natural colour to show through. Pine is also versatile. Its pale colouring will enable it to wear various stain shades with equally striking effects.
Composite decking is relatively new in Australia. It comes in different textures, shades, sizes and widths. Most products in this category use recycled materials, an environmentally friendly option. In addition, it is easier for manufacturers to provide large numbers of timber at set lengths.
However, there are some significant drawbacks to composite. Primary among them is a tendency to absorb water and board swelling upon cutting an end. Moreover, composites become very hot when left in direct sunlightand get mould and scratches.
Hardwood timber is arguably the best choice for decking. It is typically more durable, resilient to fungi, pests and rot, and is richer in grain and colour. However, these desirable attributes also make hardwoods more expensive than other timber options.
There are numerous varieties of hardwood decking timbers available, each one with different benefits. Some examples include:
Merbau: Has distinctive deep red-brown colouringand is highly durable. But expect some initial tannin bleed.
Kapur: Like Merbau, but cheaper and less durable. It has a great grain and is light reddish brown.
Ironbark: Sturdy with a long life expectancy. Light grey, dark brown or red.
SpottedGum: It is as durable as Merbau. Light to dark brown and has a distinctive wavy pattern in the grain.
Blackbutt: Strength similar to Merbau. Pale brown to golden yellow and sometimes has a slight pink tinge. It is renowned for its resistance to moderate bushfires.
Jarrah: Has a low strength rating but is nevertheless very durable. Rich reddish-brown.
RiverRed: Has the same strength and durability as Jarrah. Colouring is brown and deep to light red.
No matter the type of timber you prefer, the best way to ensure your deck lasts a long time is to remain diligent in its maintenance and care. Alternatively, you can install a cover to shield your deck from the elements. This option helps preserve the wood and lower maintenance requirements. As a result, you get to enjoy your deck with the assurance that it will remain in peak condition longer.