Top 8 Timbers Used For Timber Decking

Learn About Timber Choices for Decks

Decks are a wonderful addition to outdoor spaces. Aside from expanding your outdoor lifestyle, timber decking is a highly cost-effective way of adding value to your home. With various options, choosing the right decking material might prove difficult. Timber decks are however the most popular choice. Here is an extensive look timber decks.

Benefits of timber decking

  • Stunning visual appeal: Thanks to the timeless beauty of timber, wooden decks can significantly aggrandize the appearance of homes.
  • Increases property value: Integrating a high-performance timber decking solution into your home increases its potential value.
  • Incredibly functional: Because they provide additional space and a comfortable environment, wooden decks reflect the needs of indoor-outdoor families.
  • Strong, durable and long-wearing: Strength and durability are vital for functionality, and because hardwood is long-wearing, it is perfect material for high traffic areas such as decks.

Timber Ratings

Density rating is measured in kilograms per cubic meter and indicates the strength of the timber. The higher the mass, the denser the timber is. Toughness rating represents the impact resistance of timber. Although it’s measured in Newton meters, this rating is simplified to Low (0-15) Medium (15-25) and High (25 and above). Durability class comprises of four categories, each based on tests performed on untreated heartwood. A score of one indicates high durability and resistance to decay, lasting for over 40 years. Class two has a life expectancy of 25-40 years, class three 7-15 years, and class four 1-7 years. Only untreated, undried, unpainted, and unstained woods are tested, which means they can last longer once processed.

Top eight kinds of wood for decking

When it comes to building decks, timber offers more benefits than every other decking material. There are various types of wood available for decking, and each species has its own distinct characteristics. Here are the most common and practical types.

Treated pine

Treated pine is still the number one choice for outdoor structures like decks, mainly because it offers the best value for money. Aside from being the least expensive option, treated pine is infused with chemicals to prevent termite infestation and fungal decay. Pine takes paint or stain finishes well, offering an unmatched freedom of creativity. You can, therefore, use whatever stain or color you desire. Although it is not as dense or tough as those listed here, treated pine is hard-wearing, can last for over 40 years, and is available at a lower price.

Compared to other species, treated pine requires a little bit more maintenance. Because treated pine expands and contracts with climatic changes, you may have to keep your deck wet during summer to avoid cupping and cracks. You may also have to stain and strip your timber decking every three months. Treated pine needs to dry for 3-6 months before sealing or staining since most boards will be damp when being installed.


Also known as Kwila, Merbau is probably the best and most beautiful timber for decks. Merbau heartwood is an appealing orange-brown when freshly cut, and reddens with age. In addition to interlocked or wavy grains, you can find small yellow or gold flecks throughout the wood.

With a durability class of 2, density rating of 850 and toughness rating of M, Merbau is a great decking board. Aside from resisting rot, insect infestation and extreme weather, Merbau lasts for at least 25 years. Thanks to its exceptional density, unusual strength, and minimal shrinkage, Merbau offers excellent performance and is suitable for outdoor use.

Aside from its extreme versatility, you can easily work with Merbau using standard tools. It finishes well with polish, stain, and paint, but has a tendency towards tannin bleed, which isn’t a long-term concern. Let it season elsewhere if you intend to install it on or near a surface that might stain. Although it may cost a little bit more, Merbau is eco-friendly and requires minimal maintenance.


With a hardness rating of 8.5 and density rating of 800, Jarrah is soft enough to work on using sharp tools. Because it’s not as oily as other decking timbers, you can sand it smooth before applying a clear finish. Although Jarrah is merely a Class 3 timber for ground level use, it’s a Class 1 decking wood for above ground applications. Besides being fire-resistant and less susceptible to termite infestation and decay, Jarrah has an overall durability rating of 2. Thanks to its attractive grain pattern and beautiful colors, ranging from light to dark browns and reds, Jarrah has a striking look. It will turn a pleasing grey if left to weather, but some products can restore its natural colors.

Jarrah should be sealed on all sides and given adequate ventilation to breathe. Use caustic soda or products that contain oxalic to clean. Allow the surface to dry after you’ve cleaned and rinsed it, and then finish with specially formulated decking oil.

Jarrah requires a little bit more care and is significantly more expensive than other options. However, most homeowners agree that it is worth the extra input.


Aside from having an even pale brown to blonde color, Blackbutt tends to have a consistent texture and straight or interlocking grains, all of which make it appealing to the eye. With a toughness rating of M, density rating of 900, and a durability class of 2, Blackbutt is perfect for decks, especially in bushfire prone areas. Blackbutt is high in the fire resistance scale, strong, and durable, but slightly prone to cracking if left unsealed. As such, it should be sealed right away and oiled or stained regularly. You can change the color since Blackbutt takes polish and stain very well. It also has little movement and machines well.

Spotted Gum

With colors ranging from pale to chocolate brown, Spotted Gum grains are wavy, giving it a pleasing look. It is a strong, dense, hard-wearing, and eco-friendly choice that has minimal shrinkage, a toughness rating of H, density rating of 1100, and durability class of 2. Spotted Gum has low tannin content, which makes tannin staining and bleed-through less of a problem. Despite its strength and density, Spotted Gum is great to work with because it has few imperfections and an excellent level of natural oils. It is a good decking choice for bushfire prone areas.


Ironbark has varying colors, from light grey to red or dark brown, and produces exceptionally hard-wearing decks. Named for its heaviness and high density, Ironbark has a durability rating of 1, density rating of 1100, and toughness rating of H. Although Ironbark is extremely durable and lasts more than every other choice, its high density makes it difficult to work with. However, the same properties make it an ideal timber decking solution for bushfire prone areas. Ironbark’s chemistry helps to fight off fungus, giving it a very high natural resistance to decay. It’s also resistant to fire, insect infestation and has low tannin content.


Also known as Kapoer, Kapur has an excellent grain pattern and is light reddish-brown in color, often appearing a little pale. If left untreated, Kapur decks will weather and turn a soft, warm shade of grey. With a density rating of 750, a durability of class 3, and toughness rating of M, Kapur is considered a DAR decking board. Aside from being resistant to rot and extreme weather conditions, Kapur decks do not require any finishing, and therefore a great choice for decks. Kapur is also cheaper than most of the other woods.


Stringybark comes in white, yellow, and red. With a durability rating of 3, white stringybark might not be suitable for outdoor applications. Yellow and red have a durability rating of 2, making them suitable for decks. Red Stringybark is rare and can be more expensive than its white and yellow counterparts and other decking woods. The worm holes and gum veins present in Stringybark are welcome variations for some.


Strategically placed posts are used to support wooden decks. These are bolted to stirrups or post shoes above the ground to prevent the rotting and destabilization of decks. Bearers are attached to the top of the posts parallel to each other to stabilize and underpin the deck. Joists run across the bearers and sit on top of them at right angles. Decking boards go on top of the joists, running across like the bearers.

Timber Decking costs

In addition to offering different strengths, sizes and flexibility, wood species have different colors, grains, and densities. Costs range from $2000 to over $10,000 depending on the size and type of timber used.


With outdoor activities playing a huge part in modern lifestyles, designs for decks must be as detailed as interior designs. Wooden decks are flexible, practical applications that can maximize the use of yard space and help accommodate the needs of your family. The stylish and naturally warm visual appeal of timber decking options can transform your backyard into an elegant entertaining area. Wood decks combine elegance and practicality, making them a worthwhile investment.

This article was published by Justin Brownless from Pro Decks Brisbane. If you would like a price for your deck visit