Australians have a long and enduring love for timber decks. They're a beautiful and natural way to create an outdoor living space that allows you to enjoy the beautiful Australian climate. If you're considering having a new deck built, then you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the different timber varieties that there are to choose from.
Although many people choose softwoods such as pine to build their decks with, this isn't the best option if you want a durable and strong deck that will last for many years. It's better to pay a little extra for materials and build a hardwood deck that has measurably higher longevity and resistance to the elements. Here are two beautiful native Australian hardwood varieties that are fantastic for use in building decks.
1. Spotted Gum
Spotted Gum is a native Australian tree that grows along the entire east coast. Spotted Gum is actually a collective term for four different species of gum that have distinctly familiar features and properties. The exact species that is available from your local timber supplier will depend on what is most commonly grown in your area.
Because Spotted Gum is actually four different species, you can choose from an array of colours. These vary from a rich, chocolate brown through to pale, creamy light tan. Spotted Gum has a wavy and unique grain that gives it its name and makes it a popular choice for people who like a unique look for their deck.
Spotted Gum makes a great decking material because it's dense, has a high natural oil concentration and is suitable for use in any climate. These properties make Spotted Gum decking great for standing up to sometimes harsh Australian weather without cracking, splitting or warping. It's also naturally fire resistant, so unless you're using very thin planks, you won't need to add a bushfire retardant product.
Blackbutt is a fast-growing, sustainable and cost-effective hardwood that's grown predominantly on the NSW and Queensland coasts. It's a eucalyptus species and is popular because of its versatility, durability and the natural beauty of its medium brown colour and the attractive striations of hues through the grain.
Blackbutt is also very resistant to bushfires and is considered one of very few timbers that is suitable for use in bushfire-prone areas. Another benefit of Blackbutt is that it's naturally termite resistant, so you won't need costly termite treatments each year to keep the destructive boring insects out of your timber deck.