Selecting timber for your deck requires a delicate balance of price, aesthetics, and material quality. For instance, the sort of wood used for framing is distinct from the material used for decking and railings. Before you begin your project, it’s critical to familiarise yourself with the many types of decking materials available, including domestic and exotic species.
In general, you should aim to acquire the highest-quality wood that your budget allows, especially when choosing between pressure-treated timber and high-quality, naturally resistant wood. Additionally, you’ll want to consider the lumber quality and moisture content since these factors will affect how well your deck will hold up over time.
Pressure Treated Versus Naturally Resistant Lumber
Pressure-treated timber in Brisbane, often pine or fir, is treated with chemicals to make it exceptionally resistant to decay. Additionally, the chemicals impart a green or brown hue to the wood, which you may conceal with stain or paint or let age to a dark grey. While pressure-treated timber is the least expensive option, you must pick carefully to ensure that the stock is straight and free of loose knots.
Naturally resistant species such as cedar, redwood, and cypress are resistant to rot and insects, a feature that is most pronounced in the heartwood, the tree’s dense central core. You may seal or dye these woods to preserve their natural beauty, or you can let them wear naturally to different hues of grey. Exotic species, such as ipe, cambara, and meranti, have similar colour qualities and are often more durable, harder to work with, and costly.
Looking at the Moisture Content and Grades of Timber
Lumber is graded in an almost mind-boggling array of grades that indicate the presence of knots, the general look, and the piece’s strength. Choose a No. 2 grade or standard-grade timber for structural elements. Select grades are knot-free but more expensive for decking and railings. Choose the finest option that your budget allows.
A lumber grade stamp indicates the stock’s quality and moisture content. Air-dried timber is sufficient for framing the deck. For decking and railings, use S-dry or MC-15 timber.
Grading stamps vary by species, and board marks are distinct from dimension lumber stamps. A PT stamp contains information on the treatment chemical, the treatment depth, and other parameters. Take extra care with the grade and moisture level of untreated lumber.