When buying timber for decking, you are often asked if you would like to go for softwood or hardwood timber decking. If you don’t know the dealer personally, more often than not, the 5 minute sales pitch will gloss over certain details and hard sell you one or the other decking timber depending not on what suits your requirement best but on what suits the dealer’s bottom line best.
Before you even visit the local timber shop, you should make up your mind of what kind of decking timber would suit your requirement best i.e. which decking timber will last long and look better, which is easier to work and maintain and which decking timber looks better and will give you better value for your money.
A good deck starts with a good design. Continuous flow lines and great harmony are the hallmarks of a good deck. Once the design is ready, you have three options:
1. Hardwood timber decking (very rich, long lasting)
2. Softwood timber decking and, (initially looks good, medium lifespan cheaper than hardwood timber, easier to work with)
3. Composite decking materials (economical, lasts long, low maintenance)
The end result for each will obviously be different. Hardwood timber decking will produce the richest effect because hardwood timber brings out the natural colors of the wood from which it is made.
Softwood timber on the other hand, is made from treated pine. This too is quite good and can be selected if your budget does not stretch enough to opt for hardwood timber decking. Note however, softwood decking will over time, lose shape. Exposure to harsh sunlight too will affect it badly. On the positive side however, being a softer material, it is easier to work with.
Composite decking boards are used by restaurants and all kinds of commercial establishments where they want a “reasonably good looking deck” and don’t have to spend a lot in fixing or maintaining it.
A composite decking board is manufactured from a fibrous mixture of resin and timber. During the manufacturing process, various colors are added. Composite decking can therefore be the ideal choice if you desire for example, a “retro deck” for a place frequented by the younger generation.
Hardwood timber decking not only looks very rich, it is easier to maintain and will last 20 years or more. In contrast, while softwood timber costs less to buy than hardwood timber decking, it is more expensive to maintain and will last about 10 years or so.
Composite material is supposed to last 20 years or more but the product itself is new so we don’t really know if it will really last that long or how it will withstand the ravages of time.
If you want the real deal, we recommend hardwood timber Canberra decking. True it costs more to install but you will find it cheaper to maintain and it lasts longer and of course, the appreciation from your guests will be priceless. It is also the right type of decking for Canberra. We recommend hardwood timber decking.