Materials Selection 02 – Species of Timber Decking
There are many wood species for outdoor timber decking usage and each has their advantages and disadvantages, but it is important to achieve the end results and appearances you desire within your monetary budget. The choice has to been made carefully as the price differences may go as high as 25%.
Different types of timbers are catered for different timber decking needs, for instance, untreated class 3 and 4 timbers should not be used for rain exposed decks. Class 1 and 2 heartwood guarantees a lifespan of 25 years and above due to its natural durability. The best choice for timber decking is Australian hardwoods as they are durable, rigid and have high resistance against fungi and insects attacks.
|Timber Species for Outdoor Timber Decking Usage and Its Properties|
|Species||Place of Origin||Characteristics||Properties|
|Kapur||Indonesia / Malaysia||Yellowish to Reddish Brown.||It does not require finishing and will not rot when exposed to sun and rain. It is also resistant to termite.|
|Merbau||South-East Asia||Light to Dark Reddish Brown, Moderately Coarse Texture.||Exhibits little shrinkage and low degrade. Its wood grain is usually wavy or interlocked with a coarse but even texture. Appears to be attractive on back sawn material resulting in high cost. It is a versatile wood product and will finish well with paint and polish. Merbau if left untreated is susceptible to lyctid borer attack, but it is termite resistant.|
|Treated Pine||South-East Asia / Indonesia||Yellowish to Reddish Brown.||Very resistant and durable.|
|Cedar||California / Australian / Japanese||Natural Wood Look.||It is rot resistant and does not absorb moisture but to retain its colour, it has to be clean and reseal every 1 or 2 years. As Cedar is soft, the edges may get beat up when used for stairs or decks which items gets dragged around. It tends to lie straight and flat. Cedar’s cost is moderate as it cost more than pressure-treated but less than composite.|
|Keruing||South-East Asia||Reddish Brown.||Ideal for outdoor furniture use, Keruing is low in maintenance and hardwearing. Its durability makes it perfect for flooring and it is cured and ready for immediate usage. Resistant to leaching, bleeding or leach sap. It contains oleoresins which will discharge onto surfaces when exposed to heat or sunshine.|
|Teak||Indonesia / Myanmar / Malaysia / India / Thailand / Vietnam / Brazil||Golden Brown.||It is firm and easily worked. Teak contains an oleoresin which gives the timber a greasy feel. It accepts paints and stains, polishes, varnishes and waxes well. It is known for its durability with expected lifespan of over 40 years. It is resistant to acids and will not corrode metal fixings. Teak is termite resistant also.|
|Chengal||Malaysia||Brown.||Moderately difficult to treat, Chengal has small pin-holes caused by ambrosia beetles – its common defects. It is fine and even with shallowly and interlocked grain. Durable and resistant to termite and fugal attacks.|
|Ironwood||Borneo||Dark Brown.||It is twice as dense as most woods and five times harder. Ironwood is naturally hard, strong and resistant to rot and weather.|
|Pressure-Treated||–||–||Stainable and hard with a long lifespan. It is also economic.|
|Environmental-Friendly Composite Decking or Wood Plastic Composite (WPC)||–||–||A composite of wood fibres (cellulose saw dust) and plastic. Contains 50% to 70% wood. It can be made of wood waste and recycled plastic. Lesser tendency to warp as higher grade choice is kiln-dried before and after pressure treatment. It has high resistance to rot, insects and weather. WPC is also low in maintenance, no need to paint. This synthetic decking timber can absorb water because of its high cellulose content.|