Choose wisely to ensure you buy decking materials suited for the Australian climate.
Life in Australia is one of beauty. But as in anywhere in the world, there are some materials that are better suited for outdoor jobs than others. From hardwood to capped composite decking alternatives, you have a number of options to consider to maximise the potential of your deck.
Know Your Climate
The first step in finding the right material is considering where you live, and the type of weather your deck will experience throughout the year. Some areas in Australia have a temperate climate, while others are home to a more wet tropical climate. Yet others feature a dry desert type of climate. It’s vital that you take the local climate into consideration when looking for the appropriate decking material.
Hardwoods to Consider
It is grown in a plantation-like style, so if you are looking for a more environmentally friendly option, spotted gum is a good choice. This type of hardwood is especially beneficial in areas that are prone to bush fires. Additionally, it comes in a variety of colour tones, so you’ll be sure to find a type that matches with your home’s style.
Finally, this hardwood option is so dense that it will not shrink. So if you are thinking about adding a deck, and you live in an area that is prone to bush fires it makes sense to at least consider spotted gum as an option.
Teak is native to a tropical climate, but is suitable for a variety of climates. Additionally, when teak is cut, the sap goes into overdrive in order to protect the wood from insects and fungus. That makes this timber especially useful if your deck is above ground and exposed to these threats.
Teak does tend to be very expensive. But it is also relatively durable, and suited for any climate. Add its natural beauty, and you see why many homeowners choose it. It also does a great job of holding onto screws and nails, which means it will give you a very sturdy and strong deck.
Ironbark gets its name from its durability, especially compared to other hardwood options. Like Spotted Gum, this timber has a high density that makes it heavy and durable.
In addition to its weight, this is also a good option if you are looking for something that is highly fire, termite, and rot resistant. Naturally, these benefits make sense for any type of decking, which has to have these qualities. The colour of the wood with its silver-grey colour almost resembles iron metal, another reason for its name.
Another option for you to consider when looking at hardwood is Blackbutt. This fire resistant timber has a nice range of colours, from a yellowish brown to a light brown. It also features a straight grain and even texture.
Blackbutt grows quickly, and is typically grown on plantations. As a result, it tends to be an environmentally friendly option that does not contribute to deforestation. It is also hard, strong, and durable, which is why it is so popular for decking projects.
Like most of the other options on this list, Jarrah is a very dense and hard lumber, making it durable and a good fit for decking. However, this timber is slow to grow, which means it’s also limited in quantities and genuine Jarrah can be expensive.
On the other hand, Jarrah is naturally resistant to weather, rot, termite, and marine borer. So no matter where you live, it can be a solid option of hardwood for you to consider. Additionally, Jarrah has very deep red colours, making it a beautiful timber compared to some of the other options.
Be careful of timber being sold or marketed as “Pacific Jarrah”, as this is not the genuine highly-prized and uniquely West Australian timber.
All of these hardwoods have great features which lend themselves to be used in the variety of climates in Australia. But why limit yourself? All of them also come with a number of drawbacks that are typical to hardwood. They are expensive, and can be difficult to get because of their growth rate. They also need to be treated regularly for maintenance, can be difficult to work with because of their weight, and can diminish in quality over time.
That’s why, despite their benefits, none of these hardwoods are actually the best decking materials suited for the Australian climate. Fortunately, they are also not the only ones for you to consider. A number of alternatives can give you a great looking deck, that also comes with a lot less of the maintenance and a longer lifespan than you could expect from a wooden deck.
Finding an Alternative to Hardwood Decking
Wood can be beautiful, and when you pick the right type, it can last for a long time. But what if you don’t want to deal with all the back-breaking maintenance associated with wood, and are looking for a better product? In that case, you absolutely have to consider capped composite and aluminium decking options. They provide you with not just a beautiful deck, but also a robust one that provides guarantees wood simply cannot offer.
A capped composite deck is going to look beautiful for years to come, and will not weather the way traditional wood will. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about it being too wet, or too dry, or even bugs. These non-wood decking options will be able to stand up any harsh weather in any climate, and still look amazing. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about mould, mildew, or insects ruining your deck.
Also, your deck will provide a safe and skid-free surface. You will have no fear of splinters, or about cutting your feet on nails that are protruding from the decking surface while trying to enjoy your time on the deck. This is an especially nice feature if you have small children or pets, in case you are worried about delicate feet and paws.
From Far North Queensland to Tasmania, both capped composite and aluminium decking can result in beautiful decks that become not just outside living spaces, but showcase pieces. Especially if you want to enjoy your deck without all the hassle associated with routine timber deck maintenance like oiling and staining, they are your best decking material choice. To learn more about all of our available materials and which product is right for your project, please contact us.