Before and After Decking Guide
Decking Guide: Tips when choosing timber for your deck
There are many different species, sizes and grades of timber you can choose from. Look at timbers that don’t leech/bleed if the deck is near concrete or wall areas or on balconies. The width of the boards makes a difference to the final look, if you have a long deck that is not very wide, choose narrow boards around 65-70mm wide and run it long-ways as this helps make the deck look wider than it actually is. Larger decks that are square or rectangular looks better with 90mm boards. When choosing wider boards like 135-140mm wide, BE AWARE that they are more prone to cupping and tend to expand and shrinks a little more. Avoid using wider boards when the deck is less than 1m from the ground, generally the boards will have more chances of cupping, caused from cold moist air underneath and heat pressure on top.
After Care For Timber Deck
Most finishing agencies will recommend letting the deck stay exposed to the weather for 6-8 weeks to let pores of the timber to open up allowing the first coat to penetrate further into the timber. This is important with hard/dense hardwoods eg. Ironbark, Spott Gum, Northern Box etc. However, doing this can cause some species to discolor, split, cup and twist, but the oil will last much longer.
Softer timber like African Albezia, Cypress, Red Mahogany can be sealed straight away. When the timber is ready to be sealed, we recommend cleaning it with a natural product called “Wash-A-Away”. Wash-A-Way is a deck cleaning product described to us by the distributor as “Napisan on steroids”. It removes dirt, grease and mould from external surfaces and will help bring the colour in older decks back to life.
Depending on your budget, we recommend either oil based (Sikkens HLS) or water based (Feast Watson) product as a finish for all external timber. If applied correctly, you should get approximately 12 months between recoats. Choose dry days and apply 3 coats (allow 24 hours between each coat) with a brush. DON’T USE A LAMBSWOOL APPLICATOR OR ROLLER. When you notice the oil starts fading or wearing thin, clean the deck with “wash-a-away” again and apply one coat of decking oil.
Timber or Composite Decking?
Choosing between Hardwood and treated pine
Depending on your budget, both types of timber are durable and has a long life expectancy. Though hardwood is known for its popularity in looks and sustaining the test of time in terms of non-twisting properties. Treated pine, on the other hand is a newer product compared to hardwood. Though less attractive but is relatively cheaper and is treated against rot, insects, twisting and expansion capabilities. All in all, any types of deck not sheltered and in direct sunlight will deteriorate at a much faster rate than that of the ones under pergolas, patios, awnings etc….
It has becoming more commonly considered in recent years to use composite timber.
Why? Not only the material is designed resistance against all types of decay, it’s performance with respect to strength, resistance to heat, moisture and wear is of the highest quality!
The overall appearance is also exceptional as a “clipping” system are used instead of screws and nails.
However, composite timbers are considerably higher priced then that of the tradition hardwood or pine and is limited in terms of types and colour.