Jarrah, Merbau, Blackbutt and More. Choosing the Best Timber for Decking.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to know what the best timber for your decking project is. From native Australian hardwoods like jarrah and blackbutt to pacific teak and Fijian mahogany – which species will give you a beautiful-looking, long-lasting deck that you can enjoy for years to come?
Lower durability timbers like treated pine are a cheaper option that may be suitable for a temporary deck. But if you want to build a deck that is highly durable and will age gracefully over time, it’s best to go with quality hardwood timber.
In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about choosing the best timber to use in decking, weighing up the costs of different species and finding the right decking profile for your project.
How much does timber decking cost?
A number of factors affect the overall cost of timber decking, including the shape and design of the deck, the height above ground, the timber species selected and additional options like edging.
The cost of our most popular timber species is approximated below.
- Jarrah $120 – $200 p/m
- Blackbutt $150 – $250 p/m2
- Spotted Gum $150 – $250 p/m2
- Ironbark $150 – $250 p/m2
- Burnt Ash $150 – $280 p/m2
- Pacific Teak $150 – $250 p/m2
- Fijian Mahogany – $120 – $160 p/m2
This pricing is indicative and is only for the supply of the decking material. It does not include GST or installation. We have listed the price range for the most popular options. Please be aware that other options may alter the cost.
For accurate pricing please contact us to discuss your project.
Factors to consider when choosing the best timber for decking
Before you decide on which timber species you want to use for your deck, it’s important to consider a number of factors including:
- Location Where do you plan to install your deck? Will it be exposed to sunlight, rain and other weather elements – or will it be undercover? These factors may affect your choice of timber species and decking profile as exposed decks need to be more durable.
- Maintenance How much maintenance are you willing to do to preserve the appearance of your deck? Some species of timber require regular maintenance over time to look good while others need less attention. Some species such as jarrah and Fijian mahogany can be left to grey over time with an attractive result.
- Appearance Composite and faux timber decking cannot compete with the richness and beauty of real timber. Different timber species have their own distinct appearance and texture which can affect the final appearance of your deck.
- Budget Different timber species have different prices and this may affect your final decision. We will compare the cost of different timber species later on in this article. Keep in mind there are a lot of other factors that also affect the final price of a timber deck.
- Sustainability Using Australian timbers or PEFC and FSC certified imported timbers
7 Best timbers to use for decking
Jarrah Jarrah is a popular West Australian native hardwood that has a beautiful rich red colour which will deepen over time. Periodic maintenance is required to keep jarrah looking fresh, however many people embrace the weathered grey look of older jarrah. It has a high durability rating and is naturally resistant to termites and rotting.
Blackbutt An Australian native hardwood. Blackbutt is a highly durable and naturally fire-resistant timber. It has a golden brown colour but can be stained to bring out other tones. Blackbutt can crack if left unsealed, so periodic resealing is required to maintain its structural and aesthetic integrity.
Spotted Gum Another popular choice for areas that are prone to bushfires. Spotted gum is a highly durable Australian native. It undergoes very little shrinking compared to other timbers. The colours of spotted gum range from pale straw to dark brown.
Ironbark A dense and extremely durable hardwood timber. It is naturally resistant to fire, termites and rotting. It’s appearance can range from pale brown to deep red ironbark. Because of its high density, oiling is required more frequently than other timber species.
Burnt Ash Burnt ash is a thermally modified American White Ash which is mostly grown in North America. After the thermal modification process, Burn Ash is a durable and stable timber that is resistant to rot. Its colours range from deep red to dark brown.
Pacific Teak Ranging from pale yellow to a creamy grey colour, pacific teak has a lustrous texture and an even grain. A durable hardwood which performs particularly well in coastal areas.
Fijian Mahogany Grown and sustainably harvested in Fiji, this beautiful timber varies from light reddish orange to light brown. It is naturally durable, termite resistant and feels smooth underfoot. It can be left to grey naturally and gracefully if desired.
Choosing sustainable & local timbers
The sustainability of timber species is an important consideration when deciding which to choose for your decking project. Destructive harvesting and manufacturing practices can cause great damage to valuable forests and resources around the globe.
At Mortlock Timber, we’re committed to supplying our customers only with sustainably sourced timber from Australia and around the world. Sustainably managed forests ensure that the surrounding environment is protected, harmful chemicals are avoided and the integrity of the forest is preserved.
Locally sourced timbers can also play a role in sustainability as transportation costs are significantly reduced. By using native Australian hardwoods for your decking such as jarrah, blackbutt and spotted gum, you contribute to reduced carbon emissions from transport and handling.
Mortlock’s timber decking profiles
At Mortlock Timber, we offer 3 premium decking profiles that are expertly designed for maximum durability and a timeless appearance. Our profiles can be used with a wide range of timber species and finishes, depending on your desired result.
- Marineplank This profile has been specially designed for areas that are fully exposed to weather elements, including around pools. Its slightly domed top surface increases water runoff and improves its longevity compared to traditional flat top decking.
- Classicplank Our premium grade flat top decking offers a timeless finish for any decking project. We recommend Classicplank for undercover applications although some timber species make this profile suitable for outdoor applications.
- Metroplank A luxury timber decking profile that is ideal for alfresco areas and verandahs. Its concealed fixed decking design means screws are hidden from the surface of the board for a pleasing and safe finish. Our innovative design allows for the natural movement of timber and improves the longevity of the deck.
Need advice about choosing the best timber for your decking project?
For more information or advice about selecting the best timber for decking, please get in touch with our timber specialists at Mortlock Timber. With over 80 years of combined industry experience, we can help you find a solution with long-lasting and impressive results.
We look forward to helping you bring your project to life.
View our pricing and product guide
For in-depth information about the range of products we offer, please fill out the form below to download our Architectural Timber Pricing and Product Guide. Inside you will find illustrations, specifications, portfolio photo examples and a hardwood timber price guide to assist with budgeting.