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Timber Decking: Merbau or Treated Pine

October 17, 2013

Sydney homes simply can’t resist a timber deck. But, like most things in life, not all timbers are created equal. Each wood is imbued with its own set of nuances and idiosyncrasies and thus different kinds of timber decks are going to need to undergo different treatments before being installed in your home. From the way the wood has been processed, to it’s colour, strength and durability, deciding what deck is going to suit your home involves a little bit of research on your part. 


When you’re trying to decide what sort of timber to go, you need to know all the facts of two of the biggest competitors in the market: Merbau and treated pine. Both have their pros and cons which you’ll need to weigh up before making your investment. We always recommend customers use the P.H.L.T (Price, Hardiness, Look and Treatment) system in order to know what to look out for and ask about.

1. Price: Have you ever been in a store looking at a piece of clothing or a gadget, been keen to buy it, then seen the price tag, and suddenly hated it? Price is a big factor for everybody whenever we have to make any choice in our lives and this logic can be applied to choosing the material of your deck. The cost of materials will change on a case-by-case basis, but as a general rule of thumb, treated pine is the cheaper option.

2. Hardiness: When you build a deck, you want it to be able to withstand all sorts of weather, and for it to last the best part of a lifetime. Some woods are better than others for that purpose. For instance, Merbau is classified as a hardwood and if taken care of properly, Merbau will last longer as well as stand up to dents and scratches far better than treated pine.

3. Look: Building a deck that looks good and matches your home can be quite a challenge. Merbau’s warmth and lustre is a hit with those that like a deep-hued timber or have a warm-colour palette elsewhere in their home. Alternatively, treated pine weathers to an almost Eucalyptus-like silvery green, this cool-coloured timber is often complementary to modern homes with their neutral colour schemes.

4. Treatment: Always ask about the treatment of your timber before deciding on which is going to be right for your deck. Merbau’s many benefits need to be weighed up against it’s tendency to leak colour, so your current landscaping will need to be considered before installing it. On the other hand, some treatments are not ideal for homes with pets whose health may be put in danger by the processing chemicals.

Ensuring you take the time to do a little research and relay these questions to your home improvements professional will help you get the ideal deck for your home and lifestyle. This way you know your investment will give you the outcome you desire.