Here is why it is important what timber type you use for your decking

03/12/2019

When the children started complaining of large splinters in their feet, I knew I had made the wrong decision.

With a family of teenagers, a pool with a surrounding deck was the perfect solution to get the kids outside and off their phones. I had it all planned out, except for the timber. Doing only the bare minimum of research I ordered untreated pine, and my partner and I got to work.

Less than two weeks later, my youngest at age thirteen came to me with a splinter the size of my thumb lodged in her heel. It took two hours of soaking and the help of tweezers to get it out. My poor girl was in tears the entire time.

With a strict rule of shoes on the deck, the shards of wood had nowhere to go. However, as the deck was used more and more, it began to become scratched and dented.

After two years of putting up with the now ridiculously damaged deck, we decided to start again with Merbau. If only we had used it the first time!

What’s it being used for?

When deciding what timber to purchase, you need to think about where your deck will be. If you're planning one to lounge by your pool, the timber needs to be resistant to chlorine or saltwater. You don’t want your new deck to start eroding. Decks in the direct light of the harsh Aussie sun have to be tough enough to withstand the heat. Nobody wants matching tan lines with their deck! Similarly, decks with small children and pets need to be strong enough to take a few hits and bumps. 

Where will it be?

If you're lucky enough to live by the beach, you need to plan against salt erosion from the nearby ocean. Just because you aren't planning on having your deck right beside the water, doesn't mean it won't become affected by it. For those living in humid areas, your deck should be constructed of a timber that doesn't rot easily. Don't let the muggy air cloud your judgment! As the summer sun heats up, if you are living in bushfire-prone areas should choose a strong hardwood timber. Preparation is key!

How much money are you willing to spend?

Renovating costs money, but if done correctly it should add value to your home. There are many types of timber, some more expensive than others. Do your research to get the best timber and price for your decking.

How much maintenance will it need?

Some timbers need more maintenance than others. You may need to oil and weatherproof your deck every few years, to ensure it keeps its good looks. Find out how much maintenance your selected timber will need before purchasing it by talking to the decking specialists. You'll want to focus on your tan this summer, not what you're tanning on.

Choose the correct timber and relax this summer in style on your very own deck. We’ll help with the rest.

Happy building!