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Decking material choices – continued

As a follow on from my previous blog entry I thought we should cover some of the flooring types readably available to the Australian consumer.

Soft or hardwood?

Choosing the right kind of timber decking for your job really depends on the climate that you live in.

Softwood

Softwoods are a CCA treated pine and tend to work really well in a colder climate, this is because they don’t rot and are very stable at lower temperatures. However they do need a specific nail type to hold them down because the warmer it gets the more they tend to twist and move around, so they need a larger nail with a twist shank to keep them nice and tight in place. In saying this thoughs oftwoods don’t work well in Brisbane decks, this is because we have such high temperatures, so even with a good nail they tend to lift off the joists. I’ve also found over the years that due to the low grade of timber that softwoods are generally supplied in you get a lot of expansion and contraction cracks and knot failure, because of this I try to avoid using them at all costs, not to mention the fact that you as the deck owner will need to give the deck a lot of ongoing service and maintenance to keep it safe and in good condition. While softwoods don’t work in decks built in Brisbane they are great in other application, I recently built a deck in New Zealand out of softwood and its standing up really well.

Hardwood

Hardwoods come in a multitude of species. There are a lot of great Australian decking materials on the market at the moment. One of my favourite to use is spotted gum, it’s really common and you can get it in all sorts of varieties like mixed packs or specific colours such as red or white. I’ve always found mixed gum to be really good quality if you can get it from a reputable source, like a high quality timber yard. It is sometimes available in the auction houses but this is always seconds, or sometimes even thirds! and are very poor quality. The one thing I’ve always found with Australian hardwood decks is the flooring varies dramatically, even within the same pack, so you need a carpenter with really good skills to get a dramatic colourful deck. I always try and build our decks in such a way that we can really show off the beautiful Australian timbers that we have on offer

The other main hardwoods that we get in Australia are Indonesian hardwoods such as; Kwila, Merbau and Balau. These are all an exception hardwood for your new timber deck in Brisbane, they come in really long lengths, are always exception quality and are reasonably priced. This means that they do the job really well, however I feel like these floors are exactly that, just a floor, you just don’t get the same character out of a Kwila floor like you would with an Australian mixed gum.

How to keep it in place

For a very long time we used I used to insist that my staff use an old traditional method for laying our flooring, which was using a 2 inch bulled head galvanised nail, predrilled, offset, skewed and punched in. I always preferred this way because while there were plenty of nail guns and nails on the market, none of them could do the job as well as I would have liked them to. While we can still offer this if it’s the look you are going for, We’ve now moved over to using a nail gun because there is finally a nail on the market that will do the job as well as I would like it to. Using a stainless steel ringshank nail we can hold down your decking incredibly well, in fact much, much better than the older traditional method.

– Gordon

Think you’ve got enough information to move ahead with your decking choice? Why not visit us at our Brisbane decking website or call me directly on 0438648689.