Whether you’re looking at creating a timber deck in your backyard or you already have a deck that has seen better days, the process of planning and buying timber for decking requires technical knowledge of materials to make the most of your options.

If your decking has aged significantly, it’s important to ensure that your decking is safe. Before you jump to buying new timber to replace your decking, conduct the following safety checks;

  • Check that areas aren’t weakening under your feet
  • Check for splinters or rusted nails
  • Make sure railings and bannisters are all secure
  • Check steps and stairs for movement
  • Ensure the decking doesn’t sag, bounce or flex more than it should

Timber decking design considerations

If it’s time to buy some new timber decking, it’s worth considering these points when planning your project to design the right deck for your home:

  • Designs that incorporate multi-level layouts, custom designs and unusual shapes will be more expensive than simple designs which are more attractive and less costly to build.
  • The best-looking decks utilise materials that complement the house and garden.
  • Regardless of the design and materials be sure you know the locations of any underground utilities.

Timber varieties for Australia

There are many varieties available, and each timber type has advantages and disadvantages. Pressure treated is common and originates from pine trees; other popular types are Merbau, Spotted Gum, Jarrah, Blackbutt and Batu Timber.

These timbers are hardwearing, weather-resistant, and are the best choice of timber for outdoor bush areas and with barbeques.

Merbau grows in Southeast Asia, Papau New Guinea, the pacific islands, and Australia in Far North Queensland and is a tropical hardwood with a high oil and tannin content. Merbau is a versatile hardwood used in many products ranging from a pale to dark reddish-brown colour.

Jarrah is renowned for being a hardwood that is tough wearing, beautiful, and versatile in nature. Hardwood timber does bleed; Jarrah has a deep red colouring which has the potential to stain surrounding paving and fixtures.

Grown in the Eastern States of Australia, Blackbutt is one of the most common species of timber commercially available in Australia. Blackbutt has an even colour, grain, and texture, ranging from a golden yellow to pale brown colour.

Spotted Gum is Australia’s most harvested native hardwood, making it widely available. Spotted Gum is classed as a dense ground-contact hardwood that will stand up to the elements. It has natural oils and a lower tannin content, so it accepts oil and stain well and doesn’t experience bleed-through.

Hardwood has a relatively higher price and can be divisive as it often can’t be guaranteed to be from an environmentally sustainable source.

Pressure-treated timber is rated according to the protection against fungi and insect attack.

Treated timbers are rated based on level of hazard and are as follows:

Hazard Level Exposure Specific Service Conditions Biological Hazard Typical Uses
H1 Inside, above ground Completely protected from the weather and well ventilated and protected from termites Lyctid Borer Framing, flooring, furniture, interior joinery
H2 Inside, above ground Protected from wetting, Nil leaching Borers and termites Framing, flooring, etc., used in dry situations
H2F Inside, above ground Protected from wetting, Nil leaching Borers and termites Framing (envelope treatment) used in dry situations south of the Tropic of Capricorn only
H2S Inside, above ground Protected from wetting, Nil leaching Borers and termites LVL/Plywood (glue-line treatment) used in dry situations south of the Tropic of Capricorn only
H3
Outside, above ground
Subject to periodic moderate wetting and leaching Moderate decay, borers and termites Weatherboard, fascia, pergola posts (above ground), window joinery, framing and decking
H3A
Outside, above ground
Products predominantly in vertical exposed situations and intended to have the supplementary paint coat system that is regularly maintained Moderate decay, borers and termites Fascia, bargeboards, exterior cladding, window joinery, door joinery and non-laminated verandah posts
H4 Outside, in-ground contact Subject to severe wetting and leaching Severe decay, borers and termites Fence posts, greenhouses, pergola posts (in-ground) and landscaping timbers
H5 Outside, in-ground contact, contact with or in fresh water Subject to extreme wetting and leaching and/or where the critical use requires a higher degree of protection Very severe decay, borers and termites Retaining walls, piling, house stumps, building poles, cooling tower fill
H6 Marine waters Subject to prolonged immersion in sea water Marine wood borers and decay Boat hulls, marine piles, jetty cross bracing
Source: Timber.net.au

When buying treated wood, buy boards that have had time to dry after they’ve been processed. If they are damp, the decking boards are harder to work with and they shrink when they dry, creating gaps between boards and making them bouncier and less well supported.

Aesthetic grading is used for timbers to determine the quality of a surface’s appearance. There are three cosmetic grades:

  • Select – has the minimum number of knots, straight grained and uniform in appearance.
  • Standard – has a different appearance from piece to piece that gives a distinctive appearance.
  • Character – is characterised by knots and sap streaks. Typically used in furniture such as table slab where a natural rustic look is desired.

Deck Maintenance

Timber decking can last many years, but it must be looked after with maintenance considering how it reacts to the weather changes. Maintenance is required for both structural and aesthetic reasons.

Timber decking is an investment, and it is up to the owner to decide how well they look after that investment. Regardless of your choice of decking material, you should always:

  • Sweep dry debris off the surface
  • Keep debris out of the gaps so that water can escape
  • Prevent staining by moving items that are on the decking such as furniture

Timber decking requires oiling or staining to ensure that the wood does not absorb excess moisture when it rains.

Finishing your deck

The finishing is vital to the life of the timber and decking. Finishes generally come in two types such as reactive and coalescing. Your choice will determine the maintenance needed and the final appearance.

Reactive finishes use oils as a base; these products penetrate the timber to achieve the desired coloured or sealed effect. These include oils, oil-based varnishes, oil-based polyurethanes, and oil-based stainers.

Coalescing uses water as a base requiring only one or two coats to penetrate the timber to achieve the desired effect. These products include water-based varnish, enamels, water-based strainers, water-based oils, and water-based polyurethanes.

Water–based finishes have fast drying times and clean-up, while oil-based finishes create a more traditional look with greater durability.

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Our customers say

We couldn't be more pleased with the result of our new decking built by Dean and his team from Allstyle Build using composite decking sourced from Decking Perth. Dean's customer service and attention to detail was really appreciated and his pricing was value for money given the excellent result. Wouldn't hesitate recommending both Allstyle Build and Decking Perth's products for any decking project.
Paul Hamersley
Paul Hamersley
11:43 24 Mar 22
Ive just had my new composite deck supplied by Decking Perth. The whole process was so easy and professional. James and Eric from JLA Carpentry did a fantastic job doing the installation. The workmanship is top class. Highly recommended.
Steve Blight
Steve Blight
04:46 09 Mar 22
I had no idea where to start when it came to getting decking installed. I was so pleased when I found Decking Perth because they did all the tricky stuff for me - all I had to do was tell them what I was after and what colour and they did the rest. The contractor I ended up choosing to do the instal was fantastic. Couldn't be happier with my new deck! So thank you!
Kealy Hardman
Kealy Hardman
08:12 19 Feb 22
We had our front entrance decking replaced with the composite product - Spanish Saffron colour - and am super happy with the outcome. The service and advice/options provided by Perth Decking was very professional and Eric and his team did a fantastic really great job.Recommend Perth Decking and their teams without any hesitation.
Nico Spangenberg
Nico Spangenberg
10:35 13 Feb 22
Mazlin Junid
Mazlin Junid
03:04 09 Feb 22
Highly recommend Decking Perth. They were super helpful from the initial shop visit to the many questions and queries I had, right through to the installation by the fantastic Jake. Cannot fault.
anna wingell
anna wingell
09:35 17 Jan 22
Fantastic experience from start to finish. Ashleigh at Decking Perth was very helpful and the installers Michael and Liam from Lesgo Construction were reliable, friendly, on time and did a quality job. Nothing was to much trouble and I would definitely use them again..
Rod Wright
Rod Wright
10:40 13 Dec 21
Great service and product
Ryan C
Ryan C
05:12 13 Oct 21
Decking Perth provide great advice for novice deck buyers by showing you a wide range of products underpinned by knowledge and a conduit to deck builders. A couple of days after we visited Decking Perth one of their preferred contractors provided a very competitive quotation and we engaged AllStyle Carpentry. Decking Perth supplied all materials as they are a One Stop Shop for the contractor. The Modwood Xtteme deck looks fantastic and we could not be happier with it. Thank you Decking Perth as your business supported our thinking and your advice saw the planning come together and we now have a lovely deck.Phill Cribb
Phill CRIBB
Phill CRIBB
10:14 21 Apr 21
Could not recommend Deck Perth more. I had a small area at the front of my house which needed Composite decking supplied and installed. Visited their shop for ideas, then they organised a contractor to attend for a quote to install. All done within 2.5 weeks and over the moon with the end result at a reasonable price, thanks again
Owen Taylor
Owen Taylor
04:01 08 May 20
I contacted Decking Perth regarding an extension to our current Trex Deck. They took my details and within 4 hours I had been contacted by 2 decking installers and both had attended and quoted within 3 days. Jamie from Elite Decking had the job completed the following week! Lovely team, quiet, clean and tidy workers, on time and on budget, attention to detail exceptional. You cannot tell the difference between the 5 year old deck and the new extension. Highly recommend Elite Decking and Decking Perth.
Louise Bray
Louise Bray
06:27 28 Jan 20
I had some Trex (tiki torch colour) decking installed just before Christmas 2019. Jamie was great to deal with and did a great job installing the product. He and Phil were also very helpful in choosing the best product. Thanks guys! I have no problems recommending Decking Perth to others.
Peter Coulson
Peter Coulson
23:30 05 Jan 20
Great service, professional products.And easy to deal with
Dean Bumbak
Dean Bumbak
19:02 04 Dec 19
As an ordinary DIY supported by a Team of Rockstars to achieve a tremendous result and nothing was too much trouble Cristian and Cassandra.
Aaron Henley-Martin
Aaron Henley-Martin
07:36 22 Nov 19
We were seeking a good quality decking oil for our garden landscaping and out-door shower project. We found the reviews on-line for Cutek Extreme Clear wood preserver were very good and suited us as it is absorbed by the timber thereby ensuring greater life expectancy and a great grain enhancer. In addition re-coating every 18mths to 2yrs appealed as the timber only requires a high pressure wash and a dry off period before re-coating. No sanding required. We chose a New Bronzetone tinter to deepen and enrich the merbau timber grain for an excellent aesthetic finish. Next Project the pool deck!
Chris Pallett
Chris Pallett
04:13 08 Nov 19
Marty Brausch
Marty Brausch
08:47 29 Jul 19
I contacted Decking Perth to see about getting my small courtyard sorted. Cassandra recommended 2 companies to install Trex decking. Marty and his team did a great job. I'm really pleased with the results.
Belinda G
Belinda G
03:34 13 May 19
I use Decking Perth as timber and composite decking supplier, and have dealt with Adrian for years. The team are passionate and strive for innovation, always presenting the latest products to benefit the end user. I'm grateful for their knowledge and desire to see the best fit for purpose product for both client and contractor alike.
Matt Libardi
Matt Libardi
12:47 15 Apr 19
I contacted Decking Perth to get my alfresco area upgrade to latest trex decking. She recommended two subbies however I choose one subiie who is Easy Deck. It was highly impressive to note the way specially Casandra how she provided total service package including resource, material and also best economical options. This is the best customer service i ever had experienced. follow up on work progress, quality control etc are other events Cassendra followed up with customer. it was very impressive work indeed by Easy Deck and Decking Perth.
Great job at a fair price. Thanks Joe!
Steve Collins
Steve Collins
04:25 20 Aug 18
Aaron East Landscape Designs used Trex decking and did an absolutely awesome job. Very professional. Would highly recommend them for decking and landscaping
Kelly Berry
Kelly Berry
03:27 01 May 18
21m2 of decking needed around pool area. Decking Perth provided an easy service to get the job done quickly and at a very good price. Installation contractors were switched on and provided smart options to get around a couple of problem areas. Cannot fault the installation, it is fantastic and sets off the pool area fantastically.Can highly recommend Decking Perth to anyone.
Tim Waldby
Tim Waldby
13:47 05 Oct 17
Sharon Moieni
Sharon Moieni
06:14 26 Sep 17
Made the quoting process very simple and easy and checked in regularly to make sure that we were happy with the process and the finished job.
Samantha Stenersen
Samantha Stenersen
02:06 15 Sep 17
Adrian and the team were extremely pleasant to deal with and provided friendly and informative service throughout the sales process. A thoroughly positive experience from start to finish and the Trex products we purchased look outstanding.
Jon G
Jon G
07:06 12 Sep 17
The service provided by Adrian at Decking Perth was exceptional in helping us select our decking and providing advice regarding the laying. The Torona Brown Trex decking looks great. Neville
Neville Jones
Neville Jones
04:58 06 Sep 17
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