Which timber to use for decking
Be sure to choose a material that can withstand your particular climate conditions. For example, the amount of sun or shade your deck receives will determine whether the colour will fade quickly.
Whichever material you choose, your deck will need regular maintenance (most likely annually) to keep it looking great. Keep in mind that some decks are quicker and easier to maintain than others.
Decking materials vary in price, from more expensive hardwoods to low-cost treated pine. The good news is there's a material to suit every budget.
Now that you've considered the basics, here are four popular materials that are widely used for Australian decks:
Hardwoods are a great option for Australian decks – they're extremely durable, highly resilient and can look, feel and even smell great. Popular hardwoods include Jarrah, Spotted Gum and Merbau, which is the most common timber decking in Australia.
Hardwoods can provide a stylish look to enhance any outdoor space. Every timber is different, but it's hard to go past the warm red-brown tones of Merbau or rich brown Jarrah. The best part is, with the right care and maintenance, their good looks will last for many years to come.
Because they are so dense, hardwood decks can more difficult to drill and nail. But with time and patience, the high quality results are well worthwhile.
Without regular maintenance, hardwood decks can weather and even rot in the harsh Aussie climate. So be sure to apply a timber finish or oil to your deck yearly to ensure its good looks last.
Hardwood decks tend to cost less than composite decking but more than treated pine decks.
One of the most commonly used timbers around the home, treated pine is a versatile and affordable decking choice. Treated pine is Radiata Pine that's been pressure-treated to withstand decay, fungi and termites.
While it doesn't have the same visual appeal as the hardwoods, you can stain or paint treated pine to get the look you want.
Treated pine is easy to work with, lightweight and versatile, making it a good option for D.I.Y. installation.
Treated pine must be oiled yearly for lasting results.
Treated pine costs less than other options, making it a great choice for bigger decks and smaller budgets.
Made from a mix of wood fibres and recycled plastic, composite decking is an easy and environmentally friendly alternative to timber. Popular brands, like Ekodeck and Modwood, offer highly weather-resistant products designed specifically for Australian backyards.
Composite decking comes in various timber looks to suit your outdoor space, such as Jarrah, Silver Gum, Highland Oak and more.
Composite decking can be installed as a D.I.Y. project but it can be heavy to handle, so get lots of hands on deck!
Composite decking is incredibly durable and less likely to fade, warp, rot or splinter than timber decks. It's also extremely low maintenance. No need for oiling and staining – simply wash it down with a composite deck cleaner.
Composite decking tends to be a more expensive option.
Modular decking is real timber boards prefabricated into panels that are fast and easy to install.
Because modular decking is made of real wood, you can choose from Merbau, treated pine and more.
Modular decking is incredibly easy to install, even on uneven surfaces. The deck kit includes pre-assembled sub-frames and pre-made decking board panels, which you simply attach together.
When made from popular hardwoods, like Merbau, modular decking is very durable. However, just like hardwood decking, you still need to maintain it by oiling the decking boards every year.
Because it is prefabricated, modular decking can be more expensive.