There’s no better place to host a BBQ than on your deck during summer. It also doesn’t hurt that wooden decks offer an ROI of 80% compared to composite decks, who only have a 68% ROI.
But you’re still flipping through catalogues to decide what makes the best timber decking. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
Here’s a list of the best timber for your decking.
First, Hardwood or Softwood?
If you’re wondering “what is timber decking?” know it’s a construction material used to build outdoor decks and patios.
The best timber decking can be manufactured using a variety of hard and softwood species, depending on the desired appearance.
Before we discuss how to choose timber decking, we must know the differences between hardwood and softwood. Hardwood is a category of slow-growing, broad-leaved trees. Examples include teak, ipe, cherry, and oak.
Softwood includes faster-growing species such as evergreens and conifers. Pine, fir, spruce, and cedar fall into this category. So what is the best timber decking?
Hardwood decks trump softwoods for durability, toughness, and weather-resistance. But with this comes a hefty price-tag compared to softwood options.
Softwood decking is treated with preservative chemicals, is more cost-effective, and can last a while as long you clean it annually and re-seal when necessary.
The Best Timber Decking Options
Each wood has its perks, such as:
1. Treated Pine
If you don’t want to break the budget, treated pine is for you. It’s becoming more popular as it looks great while being one of the least expensive options.
You can customize your pine deck as it takes stain and paints well. But before making the purchase, check its “H” (Hazard) rating as it will say whether it’s suitable for outdoor use and if it can come in contact with the ground.
On the other end of the spectrum sits jarrah. It’s the most expensive decking timber and its striking colour, from light to dark red, makes it popular with many homeowners.
Jarrah has a durability of 2 so it’s a good timber for decking. It’s also fire-resistant so you don’t have to worry when throwing a BBQ party.
Blackbutt hails from Australia and has a pale brown colour. Not only is the colour consistent but you can stained it as you please. Bute know blackbutt timber can crack if left unsealed, so check regularly, and reseal periodically.
4. Pressure Treated Wood
This is one of the most popular timber deckings. PT wood is made from softwood, often pine, and has been chemically preserved so it’s resistant to moisture and insects.
PT is attractive for homeowners who want a strong deck without spending too much. Note that PT woods require high-maintenance such as power washing, staining, and sealing annually.
5. Garapa Decking
If you want to choose timber decking that’s affordable and light-coloured, garapa is for you. You’ll recognize it by the golden tones, from platinum to honey-amber.
Merbau is renowned for its high durability alongside its rot and insect resistance. Most of Merbau comes from Southeast Asian rainforests so it’s essential to find sustainably harvested marabou if you choose this option.
There are three variations of stringybark: white, yellow, and red. White has a durability of 3 so it’s not suitable for outdoor use but red and yellow are.
Yellow is popular because of its price and durability. They’re peppered with gum veins and wormholes, appealing to some homeowners but you may prefer a more consistent appearance.
8. FSC Machiche Decking
Nicknamed “Mayan mahogany”, Machine hardwood is handsome and long-lasting. It’s also Class A fire-rated, scratch-resistant and durable.
The machine has medium to coarse-graining and comes in variations of light brown to chocolatey browns. If you’re after a natural look, consider the machine as long as it has an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification so you know it’s sustainable.
9. Ipe Decking
Ipe’s popularity stems from all of its resistance: fire, scratch, and slip. It’s been used on boardwalks and decks for decades thanks to its dimensional stability and long-lasting nature.
It’s nicknamed “Brazilian Walnut” and comes in an assortment of colours from medium to olive browns. Also, ipe is sustainably harvested which means it’ll be costlier than other options.
As implied by its name, redwood has a reddish tint and come in clear grade, meaning the boards come from the heartwood of the tree. Redwood has faint wood grain, no knots, and is strong.
Note that even though redwood is rot-resistant, elements can wear it down so give it your deck an annual clean and seal.
11. Cumaru Decking
Like others on this list, Cumaru is sustainably harvested and popular because of its high durability. Cumaru ranges from light to darker, reddish browns depending on your preference.
It’s more coarsely grained than ipe and shows plenty of exotic colours and grain variations.
Ironbark lasts forever and got its name because of its heaviness and high-density. Because of this ironbark can be tricky to work with regardless of its highest possible durability rating of 1. Another bonus is its highly fire, termite, and rot resistance.
This timber comes in an array of colours from pale brown to deep red, guaranteed to be a show-stopper.
Which Timber Decking Will You Choose?
There’s timber decking perfect for everyone.
Whether you adore tropical timber like Cumaru or cost-effective treated pine, both will elevate your decking to improve your home’s curb appeal and give you an excuse to spend more time in the garden. Before taking the plunge, decide on your budget and your preference of features such as durability. Happy shopping!
Are you looking to spruce up your decking? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here for more details.