Getting a deck is a great way to enhance the aesthetics and value of any property. No matter how small or large your backyard, a deck is a sure-fire way of sprucing it up. A deck also adds an extra dimension to your home. It creates a recreational space that is especially perfect for warmer months. Whether you want to relax alone with a book in the sun or have some friends over for a barbeque, a deck is a great way to make the most out of your home.
The hardest decision when it comes to decking is not whether to get one, but which type of wood to use when constructing it. Different woods have different advantages and disadvantages. This means that there are a variety of factors you should take into consideration when planning your deck. Jarrah and Spotted Gum are both very popular options. But, which one would best suit your home?
Jarrah timber, also known as Swan River Mahogany and Eucalyptus Marginata, is a beautiful wood that is characterised by its durability and strength, which is due to its dense and interlocked grain. It is naturally resistant to rotting, fungi, termites, and extreme weather conditions. So, whether you live in a seaside town where the air is salty and full of moisture, or you live in a bushfire prone area, Jarrah can be a great option.
When first laid, Jarrah timber’s appearance can range from light reds to deep brown. When exposed to sunlight, it can transform into a rich burgundy colour. However, when left to weather over time, it can turn into a pebbly grey. The close grain of Jarrah means that its initial colour is maintained for longer than other types of timber.
Typically, Jarrah is considered to be Class 2 of the three timber durability classes. Class 1 is highly durable and Class 3 timber is not durable, making in unsuitable for outdoor use. However, Jarrah’s durability can depend on the level of your deck, as it is generally considered Class 1 for above ground use and Class 3 for ground level use.
While Jarrah is generally longer lasting than many other decking timbers, it’s important that it’s properly maintained in order to increase its longevity. Removing dirt and build up, regularly oiling it, and sealing it on all four sides before laying it down can help it to retain its deep reddish-brown colour.
When sourcing Jarrah, you don’t have to worry about unsustainable harvesting practices because, despite it only being grown in a small iron and aluminium rich area of Western Australia, responsible practices have meant that it is not an endangered species. However, this does mean that it is a slightly pricier decking option. Although many people with Jarrah decking insist that it’s worth it.
Spotted Gum Decking
Spotted gum is one of the most popular choices when it comes to decking timbers and refers to four different types of Corymbias. It is a hardwood that comes in a diverse range of colours, meaning it can suit pretty much any backyard. It has an attractive wavy grain that can add an element of interest to any outdoor area.
Though ‘Spotted Gum’ can refer to four different tree species, they only differ in regards to colour and appearance, not durability class or other properties.
Spotted gum is dense and durable, has minimal tannin leach, and has a lifespan of over 40 years. It is in the highest category of durability class – Class 1. Plus, it’s naturally resistant to fire, making it the perfect decking option for people who live in fire-prone, bush or tree-dense areas.
It is a fairly easy timber to work with, due to its natural greasiness. It also readily accepts paint, stains, and polish if you would like to alter its appearance.
One of the downfalls of Spotted Gum decking is that it’s susceptible to Lyctid Borer. This means you will usually have to treat it to help keep it free of bugs and pests.
As the highest volume native hardwood harvested in Queensland, Spotted Gum is a widely available timber and is currently under no threat of being over-produced or becoming endangered.
Need Help Deciding on Jarrah Decking vs Spotted Gum Decking?
If you’re still unsure about which decking is the best for your home, or you’ve decided exactly what you want but don’t know where to start when it comes to building your deck, contact Everlast Services and we will be more than happy to help. We can even provide you with a free measure and quote.