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Timber Decking: 7 of the most popular timber species for decks

So, you’ve decided you want to build a deck. Now what?

The next step is choosing which product to use. If you are leaning towards a traditional timber deck but are unsure of which species is right for you, continue reading below for the features and benefits of seven of the most popular timber decking options, all available from On The Deck. If you are still weighing up whether to choose between composite decking or timber decking, you can read this article and decide why eco decking might be the right choice for your decking project.

1. Massaranduba Timber Decking

If you are looking for a warm, rich coloured timber to compliment a rustic or more ‘traditional’ home, Massaranduba may be the right choice for you from an aesthetic point of view. The grain can vary from straight to wavy, with a fine texture. There isn’t always much variation between the heartwood and sapwood. Massaranduba weathers well and retains its colour beautifully, meaning you needn’t worry about staining your deck too often.

With origins in South America, this hardwood timber decking material is very durable and hardwearing, making it perfect for an outdoor deck which will be well used, and as an added bonus, is highly rated against rot and insect attack, which is definitely a consideration when building a timber deck.

Massaranduba Timber Deck | Commercial Lodge, Hoedspruit, Limpopo

2. Red Balau Decks

Taking the climate you live in into account is important when choosing a timber species for your outdoor deck. Red Balau is a timber which performs very well in warm, dry climates (such as the Highveld), but less so in coastal conditions. However, as with most timbers, if maintained correctly, it will perform well in any climate. Also rated highly against rot and insect attack, Red Balau is one of the most durable decking choices.

A hard, heavy, dense timber, Red Balau is usually a warm, reddish brown with quite a course, interlocking grain pattern. It is a beautiful timber which can really bring a feeling of warmth and comfort to your outdoor living spaces.

Weathered Red Balau Timber Deck | Hoedspruit, Limpopo

3. Garapa Wooden Decking

Garapa’s origins are in South America, boasting a reputation of being one of the most easy-to-work-with timber decking materials, making it a favourite amongst contractors and installers. It is classed as a hardwood and is reliable, durable and stable as a timber decking option – in fact, arguably one of the best decking timbers in the South African market.

With a distinct golden yellow to light brown colour, Garapa has a unique reflective streak within the grain which often resembles that of a cat’s-eye gemstone. The colour generally weathers to a grey tone, which still just as beautiful. The grain is usually straight with a consistent, medium texture.

Garapa Timber Deck Installation | Johannesburg South, Gauteng

4. Rhodesian Teak Decks

A well-known (and well-loved) timber in South Africa, Rhodesian Teak has excellent wear resistance and is very durable, making it the perfect choice for decked areas (or internal flooring) with high traffic areas. Considered one of the most beautiful decking timbers available due to its grain, it is not as available as it once was, making it quite a coveted decking material.

A dense, strong decking timber, Rhodesian Teak has a very identifiable, rich characteristic colour. The heartwood has black streaks running through a medium, reddish brown base with distinct contrasting sapwood which is a pale, pinkish yellow. The texture of Rhodesian teak is fine and even, with a variable grain which can be straight or interlocking.

Rhodesian Teak Timber Decking Residential Installation | Hoedspruit, Limpopo

5. Saligna Decking

Originally from Eastern Australia, Saligna is now grown in South Africa as a structural timber, but is now being used for everything from doors and windows to decking and internal flooring. It is an affordable, entry level hardwood deck which, if treated and maintained well, can offer reasonable durability. Saligna is an easy to work with timber decking option that finishes well, offering a neat decking installation.

Variations in colour from dark pink to reddish brown with a paler sapwood make Saligna easily distinguishable from other timber species and will give your outdoor area a recognisably different look. With a moderately course texture, Saligna’s grain is typically straight with occasional interlocking.

Residential Saligna Timber Decking Installation

6. Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) Wooden Decks

Considered the “Rolls Royce” of timber decking materials, Cumaru has the ability to withstand most harsh weather conditions and will provide you with a very long lifespan, making it a great investment in your outdoor entertaining areas. With its excellent durability and weathering properties, Cumaru is one of the very best choices for outdoor decking projects, as well additional outdoor applications such as screens and cladding.

The grain of Cumaru is interlocking with a medium texture, with a beautifully rich medium to dark brown heartwood, with some yellowish to greenish brown streaks, giving it a wonderful depth.

Cumaru Timber Decking Residential Installation | Johannesburg

7. Pine Decking

Pine is one of the most commonly used timbers in South Africa, being utilised for everything from furniture to decking, and so, is one of the cheapest options when looking at building a timber deck. Of course, as with most building materials, being the cheaper option means that it’s not as durable as hardwood decking timbers, but if maintained correctly, your pine deck can last from 5 – 10 years, especially when treated with CCA (Copper Chromium Arsenic).

Pine has a very distinct colour with its heartwood being light brown and its sapwood being a paler, yellowish white colour, giving the boards a very distinct look. More commonly used as a sub-structure material, pine is still an option if you would like a cheaper deck.

Wire Brushed Pine Timber Deck (CCA Treated) | Mountain View Lodge, Namibia

The choice is yours…

We hope you have a clearer idea of what kind of timber might be the best option for your decking project from the above features of the timber decking offered at On The Deck. Whatever you choose, timber offers outdoor spaces the beauty and warmth of nature, while still boasting durability and stability when properly looked after and maintained.

If you have any questions about our timber decking range or would like to speak to one of our consultants to discuss which option would be best for your specific project, please contact us and we will gladly assist in helping you make the most informed decision.

If you would like to read more in-depth products specifications on any of our timbers, please click here and select the species you are interested in.

Looking for a little inspiration? Have a look at our gallery for stunning ideas for your outdoor areas and entertainment spaces.

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