There are several factors to consider while choosing suitable timber decking for your home. Here is a simple guide to help you make your selection
The Three Options
Timber decks are primarily designed from one of three materials; softwood, hardwood or composite.
Each category has several options with unique textures and aesthetics. However, choosing the perfect timber requires thorough considerations.
Softwood is made from evergreen coniferous trees that grow over a short period. It’s a popular option for decking owing to its affordability and impeccable performance. Softwood is also easier to work with compared to hardwood.
When the wood is treated well, it offers excellent resistance against termites, rot and weathering. It also provides a perfect surface that feels great on the feet and has a good grip.
The aesthetics of softwood is also impressive. Although traditional finishes didn’t have remarkable results, modern treatments accentuate the beauty of the wood and give a unique glow to the surface.
Pine is one of the most popular options for softwood decking. It’s versatile, inexpensive and the surface can wear several finishes. Cedar is another beautiful choice since it’s weather resistant. However, the cost is high.
Composite is man-made and contains a mixture of plastics and organic materials. The price point of the deck is attractive, and the design versatility makes it a favourite for creative owners.
However, there are several downsides to owning a composite deck. Some panels swell when exposed to moisture, especially along cut edges. Moreover, the surface is prone to staining, moulding and scratching. Finally, the deck surface tends to heat up when exposed to the open sun.
Nonetheless, top quality composite performs well on all fronts. As a result, it’s still a viable option for top-tier decking.
If you are looking for a resilient and durable decking option, hardwood tops the list. Hardwood is curved from broad-leaved trees that grow over decades. It’s resistant to pests, fungi and rot. Moreover, the surface is not vulnerable to scratches.
Hardwood decks welcome a variety of finishes that give it an elegant look. The wood is richer in colour and texture. However, the decks are among the most expensive installations.
Examples of the hardwood options include
Ironbark: one of the top choices if you are looking for long-lasting decking. The wood comes in various shades ranging from light grey to red and dark brown.
Merbau: a red-brown appearance with a deep tone. It’s incredibly durable and looks great on any deck.
Blackbutt: a favourite in Australia due to its resistance to bush fires. It performs as well as Merbau but comes in shades of golden yellow and brown.
Jarrah: has a unique red-brown colour and outstanding durability.
Spotted gum bears a distinct wavy grain pattern that enhances the overall beauty of the wood. It comes in both light and dark hues of brown.
Other Considerations to Make
Aside from knowing the various options for a deck, it’s important to take some things into account, including:
If you know the purpose of your deck, you will have a rough idea of the traffic expected and the capacity. Only then can you choose an appropriate decking option.
If harsh weather is a norm in your area, you are better off settling for a highly resistant decking option. Moreover, consider the prevailing yearly temperatures and sun exposure in your backyard.
Your deck is central to your outdoor styling. Therefore, how it looks matters a lot. Ensure your decking choice enhances the overall aesthetics of your outdoor space.
Before settling on a timber deck, Sydney reviews all your options. Find out what works for you.