Which timber to use for decking

Building a deck is a great way to add extra living space and value to your home. But before the building can begin, there are a few things you need to consider when selecting timber for your deck.

Where will your deck be located?

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.

How much maintenance are you happy to do?

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.

What is your budget?

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.

Types of decking material

Now that you’ve considered the basics, here are three popular materials that are widely used for New Zealand decks:
hardwood decking

Hardwoods

Hardwoods are a great option for New Zealand decks – they’re extremely durable, highly resilient and can look, feel and even smell great. Our most common hardwood decking is Kwila. 

Appearance

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 Kwila. The best part is, with the right care and maintenance, their good looks will last for many years to come. 

Installation

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.

Maintenance

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.

Cost

Hardwood decks tend to cost less than composite decking but more than treated pine decks.

Treated pine

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 and fungi.

Appearance

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.

Installation

Treated pine is easy to work with, lightweight and versatile, making it a good option for D.I.Y. installation.

Maintenance

Treated pine must be oiled yearly for lasting results.

Cost

Composite decking

Made from a mix of wood fibres and recycled plastic, composite decking is an easy and environmentally friendly alternative to timber. Popular brands, like Ekologix, offer highly weather-resistant products designed specifically for New Zealand backyards.

Appearance

Composite decking comes in various timber looks to suit your outdoor space, such as Dark Brown, Silver Ash, Highland Oak and Grey Stone.

Installation

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!

Maintenance

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.

Cost

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