Selecting the right decking timber for a particular outdoor space requires homeowners to ask a few key questions before they make their choice.
According to Boral Timber marketing manager Robyn Barnes, it's important to consider which timber species are most suited to a particular location.
"Boral decking is offered in a vast range of Australian hardwood species, seasoned for our climate and blending harmoniously with any style of garden or entertainment area. Australian hardwood species are an excellent choice for decking because of their high density, toughness, colour spectrum, natural beauty and durability," Barnes said.
In some species, such as Blackbutt and Spotted Gum, fire retardant properties make them suitable for bushfire prone areas. These same hardwoods have termite resistant properties, which is important in many Australian suburbs and outer regions.
Finding an interior timber flooring species equivalent to a particular decking species also has its advantages. By using the same timber species, decking can enhance the natural flow from indoor flooring to the outdoors, creating additional living space.
Selecting decking timber with the right strength for the job is vital. For homeowners looking for extra strong and durable materials for outdoor entertainment and living spaces, Boral Timber's new range of commercial decking can be used. The 135 x 32mm sized boards boast a greater load capacity and offer wider spanning between supporting members, when compared with other Boral decking products.
Homeowners choosing decking timber should also ensure the product they select has been produced under a Quality Assurance system that meets Australian Standards, which is not the case for many imported products.
Once the selection has been made, knowing how to finish, clean and maintain the timber will help to preserve the colour and improve the life of the deck. In order to complement an outdoor colour scheme or match the interior of a home, hardwood decking timber is easily finished with a clear decking oil or stain. It can also be left to weather and turn a soft silver-grey. A simple sand and coat with a decking finish to the exposed surfaces will help restore decking timber to its original appearance.
After installation remember to sweep and clean the deck to remove all metal filings from drilling, nailing or other construction that may cause staining on the timber when exposed to the elements.
When in doubt, it's best to leave the building of a deck to a professional. All building codes and Australian Standards need to be adhered to when building a deck so it's important to consult with a licensed builder, architect or engineer first.
Building a deck in bush-fire prone areas may also require adherence to Australian Standards.