When it comes to installing a deck using hardwood, the species you pick out can make or break your project. It will play a huge role in determining whether your deck is a complete disaster or a stunning one that will last for decades. Deck installation has become a part of the lifestyle of several Australians. It is one of the many ways for them to enjoy the outdoors. If you are among those who are planning to make this home addition, you need to remember that choosing the best decking or your particular situation will largely depend on the kind of hardwood that you choose. In Australia, there is no shortage of hardwood options, which unfortunately, makes the selection process more difficult. Provided below are some of the best timber for decking options that are well suited to the country’s unique climate.
Spotted Gum – Spotted gum is among the most commonly used hardwoods in Australia. It is the top choice of architects and designers because of its beautiful markings and grain structure. It is durable, less likely to bleed tannins, and performs really well in Australia’s unpredictable climate. You can treat the decking using natural timber oil and this will help in keeping its naturally beautiful appearance.
Teak – teak is a great option too for a decking project but a lot of homeowners back out because of its hefty price tag. Teak is by far considered as the best performing among the different types of hardwood. It holds screws and nails tight and can last for up to four decades in above ground applications. Its pale shade reacts well to mild oiling and staining. Not many builders work with teak for building a deck but if price is not a problem for you then you should definitely consider this option.
Blackbutt – Blackbutt timber decking has great fire resistance and depending on the area where you located, it may even be one of the approved hardwoods for fire zones. It is known for its durability and builders love it because of its durability. It is less likely to split and warp. There’s one issue with blackbutt and it involves getting a pinkish or yellowish tinge after oiling.
Grey Ironbark – Grey ironbark comes with a stunning silvery grey colour. Even though it is brittle to work with, it performs well in locations that are not exposed to varying weather conditions. However, grey ironbark does tend to splinter if placed in areas that get plenty of sunshine and rain.
Merbau – Merbau decking timber is a popular hardwood but considered as a choice that is not eco-friendly by many. This type of hardwood is derived largely from Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. It is obtained from tropical forests and in some cases harvested illegally. Check with your supplier so you can make sure that the Merbau decking timber they provide is sourced from a legitimate supplier using safe and ethical procedures. This type of timber performs really well even when exposed to Australia’s unpredictable climate. Experts recommend pre-oiling this type of hardwood before installation.
Composite Wood – When composite wood was introduced, a lot of homeowners and builders have joined the bandwagon as they try to rid themselves of wood decks that need high maintenance. Apart from ease of care and maintenance, composite wood offers several other benefits over real wood. Since it is made from recycled materials, this option tends to be more environmentally friendly. Additionally, the process involved in manufacturing composite wood as well as co-extrusion timber has less negative impact to the environment compared to how treated pine and other hardwoods are prepared.
If you have an outdoor space that is unused, you might want to consider building a deck. This additional space will add value not only to your home but also to your life. But before you proceed, you need to make sure that your deck design matches your lifestyle. It also needs to be made of materials that can handle the varying weather conditions and stand the test of time.
Don’t forget to consider the size of your deck and make sure that it’s not too big or too small for your property. Establish a plan as to how you want to access your deck and determine the best timber for decking. Do you want to use composite wood or hardwood? Before you make a choice, be sure to consider the material’s pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. Contact Futurewood to find out more about their range of composite wood and co-extrusion products that are best suited for the installation of decks.