Which Type of Timber is Best for Decking?

In Australia, we’re blessed with mild winters and warm, sunny summers – it comes as no surprise that as a nation, we love to spend time outdoors. Whether we’re going on camping holidays or day trips to the beach, there is no end to the things we’ll do outside. However, if you want to lap up the sunshine from the comfort of your home, then a stunning deck is an excellent way to enjoy al fresco dining and entertaining. If you’re considering building a deck or patio for your home, then you may be considering timber decking. If you’re wondering which wood is best, you’ve come to the right place.

1. Merbau

This South East Asian hardwood has long been a favourite for a wide range of applications across the country, thanks to its extreme durability and rot and insect resistance. Less expensive than other timbers, it offers an attractive reddish-brown colour range that can easily be stained, oiled or polished depending on your personal taste. However, as it is imported from overseas, take care to only buy sustainably harvested timber.

2. Spotted Gum

One of Australia’s most common hardwoods, this gum offers beautiful and distinct grain patterns. With colours ranging from light coffee to deep chocolate, it lasts well over 40 years when used above ground – making it an ideal choice for timber decking. Not only that, spotted gum is resistant to termites and stands up remarkably well to our hash climate.

 3. Blackbutt

Another classic Australian hardwood, blackbutt is ideal for those living in fire-prone areas. In fact, it’s one of only seven timbers approved by the Building Commission in Victoria for homes where the threat of fire is high. Termite and lyctid bore resistant, it is durable and strong – regardless of whether you choose to season your timber decking or not.

 4. Ironbark

If you’re looking for maximum durability, then look no further than ironbark. Named for its density and weight, this timber can be difficult to work with for first time builders. However, once the timber decking is laid, it offers the highest possible strength rating – you can be sure it’s not going anywhere. Ranging from dark red to pale brown, it is an excellent choice for all decking styles, including pool and spa areas.

 5. Treated Pine

Versatile, easy to use and affordable, treated pine can be a great choice if you’re sticking to a budget. However, be sure to look for a pine that’s rated for outdoor use – your timber supplier will be able to tell you if it’s strong enough to be used as decking and joists.

As you can see, it comes down to your home, your needs, personal taste, and location! There is a huge range of hardwoods and treated pines to choose from, each offering their own distinct benefits and characteristics. Hopefully, this guide has offered the clarification and inspiration needed to build your own timber decking – if not, consider speaking with your local hardwood supplier for their advice.