If you’ve decided to build a timber deck, you’ll need to start thinking about what material you want to use. In Perth, Australian hardwoods like Jarrah are an extremely popular choice due to their hard-wearing nature and beautiful rich colour. Being a native product of Western Australia, Jarrah naturally blends into the landscape while at the same time creating a stunning design statement.
Just like composite decking, timber decking has its pros and cons. Whether you’re building a new deck or redoing a deck in need of repair, read through the information below to ensure you’re getting exactly what you need.
Key questions to ask yourself
There are some important considerations to keep in mind before you even start looking at timber decking.
- Is your deck covered and is there exposure to the elements (including the sun) or is it protected?
- How much maintenance are you willing/wanting to do? All decking, especially timber, requires some maintenance but while certain types of wood will need minimum maintenance, others require more attention.
- Is there a spa or pool to consider? Timber is a great looking choice, however, a high level of water exposure will dictate the type to choose, as you will want something that can withstand the higher than normal water content in areas without moulding or sacrificing safety.
- And of course, what is your budget? While wood is one of the more reasonable materials for decking, the prices can vary between different types of wood.
Once you’ve answered all these questions, the next step is to talk to your timber decking supplier. They’ll be able to recommend which product is best suited.
Select your timber
All timber decks are usually made out of hardwood as they need to be able to hold up to the wear and tear for at least 10-15 years (with maintenance). However, the term hardwood covers quite a wide variety of wood types – from our local and versatile Jarrah decking to exotic timber such as Fijian Mahogany.
For timber decking, you should use timber that is rated at least level 2 on the durability scale, which still leaves you a wide variety of woods to choose from. This will tell you if it is safe for in-ground use and if it is suitable to use in building a deck.
While treated pine is the least expensive option, it still makes a lovely deck and is a timber that can be stained or painted almost any colour, unlike other wood types that will only showcase certain colours well.
Jarrah is a hugely popular native wood. Its striking colour can include light and dark browns, often with hues of red. With maintenance, your Jarrah deck will retain its rich, dark colour.
Spotted Gum is another popular Australian native tree that makes a beautiful deck. It is reasonably priced and easy to stain, although people often prefer the original look of its natural browns tones. It also has minimal shrinking, which is perfect for outdoor use.
Blackbutt is a commonly sourced timber species that has an even grain and texture and is commonly a light honey colour. Being a dense hardwood, Blackbutt is naturally strong.
Another extremely popular timber decking material is Merbau – a great looking hardwood with a rating of 2 that is resistant to rot and insects. With its strong red colour, it makes a beautiful deck but does have a tendency to leech (also known as tannin bleed), so keep it away from lighter colours or pre wash with a product like Cutek Proclean tannin remover to reduce colour spread.
It’s also important to ensure your Merbau and other decking timbers have been legally harvested using sustainable practices. Ask your decking supplier where they source their Merbau.
As you can see, there are many options to consider when building your timber deck. A deck is a long-term investment, so make sure you choose a timber that not only looks good but will also last.
Ready to choose the timber for your deck? Get 3 free quotes from Decking Perth now!