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Timber Decking

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Timber versus Plastic

Timber versus Plastic

There are certain areas of the home where timber decking is preferred over plastic. For instance, decking around the pools or landscaping in gardens is best done in wood, as it is directly laid over the natural surface of land, without affecting the drainage system of the pools. Moreover, the natural hue and graining of wood complements the natural setting and gives it warmth and a traditional touch.

Timber decking in gardens divides the huge outdoor space into smaller sections with its geometric lines that enhance the visual appeal and usability of outdoor space. It is also used in patios, even if the interior flooring of the house is not done in wood, as it can aesthetically complement other flooring materials such as tiles or stone.

Plastic decking requires minimal or no maintenance at all, so it might be a perfect choice for families with kids, or areas that are meant for heavy traffic. It is also preferred for its exceptional dimensional stability, which is in contrast with timber decking that shrinks or expands under certain weather conditions. These are costlier than treated wood, so that may be a considerable factor for homeowners that are working within a certain budget. Moreover, plastic decking cannot be used in Green or eco-friendly design concepts.

Merbau Decking

1.Merbau Decking

If you have been yearning for polished wooden floors for your outdoor space, Merbau decking would give just the right feel. It also gives varied colour options from yellowish-brown to orange-brown to deep brown or burgundy with which you can create a sophisticated deck; while its naturally oily surface would retain its lustre through decades.

With proper installation, Merbau decking can last through 25-50 years, according to Australian Forestry Department. If you are keen on having Merbau deck, make sure that you understand it’s weathering process, particularly when it is first exposed to rain or heavy dew, which would cause it to bleed. This is a natural process during which the excess natural oil is washed out of the wood. Moreover, as each piece of timber is different; therefore, the time period of bleeding cannot be ascertained accurately.

During installation, a minimal gap of 3/32 is required for width-to-width and end-to-end installation, as it is prone to shrink or expand under different weather conditions. However, it is insect-resistant, and undergoes minimal-shrinkage. The only disadvantage of Merbau decking is that it comes at a high price; but if you are really keen on installing high-end decks to suit your luxurious lifestyle, then nothing can beat its durability and stability.

If exposed to damp weather conditions, it is prone to be infected by fungus. However, it would not decay under airy weather conditions and thus gives you real value for money. It is also difficult to work upon, especially when dry. Under normal conditions, it not only turns well but cuts clean, except for slight blunting or gumming effect on the edges. It is highly resistant to splintering. It responds well to all sorts of treatments like staining, waxing and polishing.

Spotted Gum Decking

2.Spotted Gum Decking

The biggest advantage of Spotted Gum Decking is that it can tolerate harsh weather climates, which makes it ideal for outdoor use. The colour variations are also available from deep red to light golden brown- an aspect that can give versatility to your decor and itsts4 gum-veins add peculiarity to its appearance.

Spotted gum is one of the hardest timbers in the world, which makes it resistant to indentation and easy to work with hand tools. This also lets you work even with small pieces of spotted gum without breaking it. Thus, if you want your deck to be designed to artistic perfection, Spotted-gum would deliver the desired effect. Its natural greasiness allows it to machine well; however, it should be glued immediately after surface preparation.

It requires careful joint preparation as it is very difficult to be glued. Spotted gum has a relatively high-content of sapwood due to which, some parts expand more than the others. For this reason, at least 5-7 mm gap should be allowed between each board to avoid cupping.

It has one of the highest pH values of all the hardwoods, which allows the bolts to corrode at a slower rate than in other types of hardwoods. It is resistant to treatments with preservatives, as the timber cannot absorb it well. However, it responds well to wood-stains that make it water-resistant and gives it UV protection; it also stands paint and polish well.

Hardwood Decking

3.Hardwood Decking

Hardwood Decking is eco-friendly and biodegradable; thus making it suitable for families with children or elderly, who may be allergic to non-organic materials used for construction. It requires little maintenance- application of UV inhibitor once a year is enough to retain its natural rich colour. It can be renewed after 10-15 years when it ages naturally by sanding it down. The tighter grain of hardwoods makes them naturally resistant to insects, rot and decay. It gives a classy and elegant look to your outdoor living areas such as patios or around the pools.

They are easy to maintain and can be kept clean simply be sweeping or vacuuming. They add real value to your homes, as hardwood decking compels prospective tenants or buyers to rent or buy your property instantly. It can be used for almost any design or theme- be it traditional, colonial, Balinese, Oriental, or even modern.

However, damp weather conditions or liquid spills can ruin them, if not wiped instantaneously. In spite of its durability, they are prone to scratches- something that makes its maintenance really pricey! This is particularly true if you have pets; you would also have to be extra careful while moving furniture around your deck in order to prevent it from scratches.

Treated Pine Decks

4.Treated Pine Decks

Treated Pine is basically normal Radiata Pine, a kind of softwood that is pressure treated to enhance its resistance against termites, decay, and fungi, as all Pines are naturally porous. This is done by saturating the timber or drying it completely before staining it. There are certain health-risks associated with treated pine, if it has been treated with chemicals containing arsenic. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you buy arsenic-free treated Pine for the safety of your family.

The two main advantages of using treated Pine decking are: low-price and consistency that runs through each piece of the timber. During installation, one should remember that the grooved side of the timber should be placed downwards. If you wish to create a look of expensive hardwood decking but don’t have the budget allowance for that, Treated Pine decking is a perfect alternate! As it can be stained in the any tone or colour, thus you can have the desired finishing of the deck that suits your design themes.

Moreover, Treated Pine is available in standard sizes, so you can give uniformity to your design. As treated Pine is a type of softwood, therefore it will become soft over the time due to climatic changes. Therefore, it is recommended to install a membrane over the joists, so that the fixing nails and screws remain in place. If treated Pine is not dried properly, it is bound to shrink considerably. Like Merbau and Spotted gum, treated Pine takes stain, paint and polish well.