Jarrah Decking Versus Merbau Decking

No matter the size of your backyard, decking is a great way to spruce up any area. It has the practical benefits of giving you a leisure space as well as adding value to your home. For summer months, in particular, a deck is the perfect space to host a barbeque with friends and family and make the most of the warm weather.

Since the decision to get a deck is an easy one, the hardest choice you’ll have to make is what type of deck to get. Jarrah decking and Merbau decking are two very popular options. Here is an overview of both to help you make the right decision.

Jarrah Decking

Jarrah wood grows in the south-west of Western Australia where the soil is rich with iron and aluminium. Despite the limited location of its growth, the timber is not under threat due to responsible and sustainable harvesting practices.

It is known for its strength and durability as well as its unique colouring. Its durability means that it can withstand extreme weather conditions as well as being resistant to rotting, fungi and termites.

As an extremely dense wood, Jarrah is also resistant to fire. This makes it the perfect choice for homes that are located in fire prone areas.

Because of its density and interlocked grain, Jarrah can be quite difficult to machine. The easiest time to work with Jarrah is when it’s still green; however, it can be worked with when seasoned if sufficiently sharp tools are used. Be aware that it may blunt these tools. It also accepts oils and stains well.

Of the three timber durability classes (with Class 1 being highly durable and Class 3 being unsuitable for outdoor use) Jarrah is typically considered to be Class 2. This means that it will typically last for about 25 years. However, you should also take into consideration the fact that Jarrah is considered a Class 1 timber for above ground use and a Class 3 timber for ground level use. So, when choosing your timber make sure you know what level you want your deck to be.

To care for Jarrah, you should seal it on all four sides before laying it down so it can maintain its beautiful rich colour for a long time. When Jarrah is first laid it is generally red in hue and deepens to a deep burgundy over time. Depending on whether it’s left to weather over time, it can become a pleasing grey colour.

The downsides of Jarrah are that it is on the more expensive side and requires a bit more maintenance and care than other decking timbers. However, many owners of Jarrah decking believe the price and extra care to be worth it for its beautiful finish and durability.

Merbau Decking

Merbau decking is extremely durable and is known for the natural oils it produces that not only make for an incredibly attractive and rich timber, but also help to prevent it from splitting or cracking.

The natural oil of Merbau – which is known as Tannin – also allows it to endure extreme weather conditions and temperatures, making it perfect for outdoor use. It is even resistant to seawater, making it an ideal timber if you live in a coastal area.

Another attractive aspect of Merbau decking is the minimal maintenance it needs. Specific maintenance will be determined by location and the conditions it’s exposed to, but generally its inherent hardiness means that requires very little care or maintenance and some might even consider it to be maintenance-free.

Merbau decking ranges from yellow to brown in colour, which complements almost any home. It also has a beautiful and unique grain which varies from course to smooth and can have a wavy texture.

Despite being a hardwood, another advantage of Merbau is its pliability. This means that it’s a very easy timber to work with and can be made to suit just about any space.

Some of the disadvantages of Merbau is that it can be quite costly, particularly since the majority of Australia’s stock is imported. Merbau is also under threat as a species due to illegal and unsustainable harvesting practices. So, if you choose Merbau for your decking, make sure that you purchase it from responsible harvesters.

Need Help?

Choosing the right decking for you can be quite overwhelming and tricky. That’s why we’re here to help. Everlast Services have over 20 years of experience, so we can help you choose the perfect decking that will suit all of your needs and wants. Get in touch today for a free measure and quote.

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