Looking to transform your outdoor space? Hire skilled deck builders Melbourne and choose Merbau timber—a durable and beautiful decking material perfect for creating a stunning Australian backyard oasis.
Merbau timber, increasingly favoured for decking and pergola projects, is gaining widespread acclaim among Australians. Renowned for its elegance, durability, affordability, and minimal upkeep, you can never go wrong with this timber variety; it is an excellent choice!
Now, in this article, let’s explore the origins of Merbau timber, learn some maintenance tips, and weigh its advantages and disadvantages.
A Brief Introduction to Merbau Timber
Merbau timber originates from the Kwila tree, also known as the Pacific Kwila tree, which predominantly grows in tropical regions. These trees can reach impressive heights of up to 40 metres, with trunks that can reach a diameter of 60 cm.
The hardwood of the Merbau tree showcases a rich, warm reddish/brown hue, occasionally complemented by golden/yellow flecks. This natural colour variation adds a touch of warmth and depth to any application of this exquisite timber.
One of the remarkable features of Merbau timber is its high tannic acid content and oily nature. These qualities render the timber exceptionally strong, sturdy, stable, and resilient. Merbau is also immune to decay, weathering, termites, mould, and fire. As a result, it demands less maintenance compared to certain other hardwoods.
Merbau wood finds extensive usage in decking, fencing, flooring, outdoor furniture, marine construction, musical instruments, and various other applications.
A significant portion of Australia’s merbau timber supply originates from managed plantations in North Queensland, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. The Kwila tree species can also be found in tropical climates worldwide, including the Indo-Pacific islands such as Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and King Islands. Additionally, it grows in India, Tanzania, and Madagascar.
Benefits of Merbau Timber for Decking
Stunning Appearance. Merbau timber’s rich red/brown/gold colour graduations blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. The wavy grain of the timber enhances its aesthetic appeal. If you work with skilled deck builders Melbourne, they will give you their recommendations or you can choose from a variety of options that suit your preferences.
Versatile Material. Unlike some other hardwood varieties, Merbau timber is relatively easier to work with due to its moderate hardness. It can be easily cut, providing more design and shaping options. Its versatility extends to various applications such as decking, flooring, fencing, screening, cladding, marine construction, outdoor furniture, and even musical instruments. Merbau timber boasts the highest resistance rating against insects (including termites) and timber fungi. Its workability is exceptional.
Bushfire Resistance: Merbau timber is an excellent choice for areas prone to bushfires. It is one of only seven Australian timbers approved for use in bushfire-susceptible zones. The other six approved timbers are spotted gum, blackbutt, red river gum, turpentine, silvertop ash, and red ironbark.
Exceptional Durability. Merbau timber can withstand various weather conditions, making it an exceptionally durable decking material. It resists shrinkage when exposed to heat, water, or moisture, ensuring stability and suitability for outdoor use.
Long-lasting Material. With its C1 timber durability rating, Merbau timber exhibits the highest level of durability possible. This exceptional longevity ensures that your decking will endure for years.
Drawbacks of Merbau Timber for Decking
Oily & Messy. Merbau timber contains a high tannin content, resulting in oily substances that cause bleeding when wet. This bleeding can stain nearby materials such as walls, concrete, and pavers, creating a messy and potentially unsightly situation.
Eco Considerations. The use of merbau timber, like other timbers, contributes to the deforestation of rainforests. Unsustainable logging practices, predominantly in overseas locations, not only make Merbau timber more expensive but also harm the environment. The current logging rate poses a significant threat to the Kwila tree, which could face extinction within the next 35-40 years. Since each tree takes 75-80 years to mature, their scarcity leads to destructive logging practices, causing destruction to the surrounding forest. Despite this, Merbau timber remains easily accessible in the Australian market.
Cost Considerations. While Merbau timber is of good quality, it comes with ongoing costs beyond the initial purchase and installation. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the deck in pristine condition, requiring staining every 3-6 months. These maintenance costs should be taken into consideration when evaluating the overall expenses of using Merbau timber for decking.
In summary, it’s important to weigh the drawbacks of using Merbau timber for decking alongside its positive attributes. The potential messiness and staining issues, environmental impact, and ongoing maintenance costs should be carefully considered before making a decision. Feel free to ask; professional deck builders Melbourne should be able to explain these things to you and help you weigh in to come up with an informed decision on whether Merbau timber is right for you.
Essential Tips for Caring for Merbau Timber
In wet weather, Merbau timber may release dark brown or red tannins due to its abundant natural oils. You have the option to allow the timber deck to naturally bleed over time or hasten the process using a deck wash.
To keep your Merbau deck in excellent shape and preserve its captivating warm tones, it is advised to oil it regularly (1-2 times per year). This simple maintenance routine ensures the timber remains beautiful and ages gracefully, enhancing its appearance over the years.
Any Questions? We’ll be Glad to Answer!
At our core, we uphold a strong commitment to utilising the finest materials that guarantee resilience against Queensland’s diverse climate. Merbau timber, particularly renowned in Melbourne, stands as a preferred choice. Its endurance against the relentless summer heat, turbulent storms, daily wear and tear, and even constant pool splashes make it an exceptional option.
With our in-house design experts, we cater to diverse preferences. Whether you envision a remarkable entertainment area or require a deck tailored for a petite backyard pool, our team of skilled professionals will craft a practical yet breathtaking solution for you.
Feel free to peruse our deck gallery, showcasing our previous constructions, to gain inspiration and grasp the remarkable possibilities we offer. For further information or if you’re looking for professional deck builders Melbourne, please don’t hesitate to contact us.