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Decking FAQ

Have you got questions about decking lengths? Wondering what the right decking sizes are? When it comes to building a deck, many questions come to mind such as how to choose the right hardwood decking sizes and how to maintain your deck. We’re here to cover all those annoying questions so you only need to worry about what matters most, enjoying your deck for years to come.

Choosing timbers for my deck

What is the best timber for my deck?

Ultimately, your decision hinges on aesthetics. Once factors like local weather patterns and location of the deck are considered, your final choice will depend on the style a certain timber provides. You might prefer the look of a deep red merbau deck, or perhaps you prefer the lighter tones of pine decking. 

Can I use treated timber for decking, and is it safe?

We recommend only using treated timber for your deck frame; joists, posts and bearers. The decking boards can be left untreated if they are cleaned and oiled regularly. However, using treated boards will dramatically lengthen their lifespan.  

Are there environmentally friendly timber decking options?

Composite decks are always a great decision if you prefer to steer away from natural wood. Composite decking also boasts the quality of lower maintenance requirements due to no need for oiling, washing or sanding.  

Which decking material is most suitable for areas with high sun exposure, like around swimming pools?

Hardwood decking with a Durability Class rating of 1 is the best choice for spaces that receive abundant sunlight or minimal shade. Discover more about timber durability ratings.  

Timber decking lengths and sizes

What standard sizes are available for timber decking?

The most common size for decking boards in Australia is 86×19. This size provides a uniform and cohesive look to your timber deck. 

What decking lengths do you stock?

Decking can be bought either in set lengths or random lengths. However random lengths are the most common due to timber being a natural product. When buying decking boards in lineal meter (LM) increments you will receive decking lengths that vary so we recommend you factor a wastage allowance when buying boards in case you need to cut some to your desired length. Our decking calculator can help calculate this for you. You can also find decking boards in set lengths ranging from 1800 to 5400 (mm). 

What space should there be between decking boards?

We recommend a 3mm (about 0.12 in) or larger gap between your decking boards to allow for the natural expansion and contraction of timber. Though experienced carpenters will often use a nail as spacer, best practice is to use deck spacers to provide a uniform gap throughout. You can find deck spacers in 4mm, 6mm and 10mm sizes to suit your needs. 

What space should I have between deck joists?

With a traditional deck frame the Australian standard says the joists should be spaced between 450mm and 600mm apart, and the larger the spacing, the wider the deck boards need to be. 

Are there recommended decking sizes for different locations?

For decks in exposed environments a 4:1 ratio is needed for the size of the decking boards. Sizes such as 140×35 and 90×19 fit this requirement. These sizes provide the right thickness to withstand cupping and warping due to moisture. Other decking sizes such as 135×19 that have a 7:1 ratio are only suitable for enclosed environments, as the board is not thick enough to withstand moisture. Discover more about building a ground deck in exposed environments.

Caring for my deck

How do I maintain my timber deck?

We recommend regularly sweeping debris from your deck and washing it once every six months. You should also apply a protective sealant annually to prevent weathering and ensure long-term durability. 

What is the lifespan of a timber deck?

The lifespan of a timber deck depends on factors such as wood species, climate, and maintenance. In general, a hardwood deck that is well-maintained with reduced exposure to the harsh elements will last 20 years or more – however this is only a guideline as factors like species, substrate and regional climate all influence the lifetime. Neglect and harsh weather conditions can shorten the deck’s longevity. 

How does climate affect timber decking?

Exposure to extreme weather, such as heavy rain, intense sunlight, or freezing temperatures, can lead to expansion, contraction, warping, and decay of the timber. Choosing the right timber species and adequate maintenance help to mitigate these effects. 

How can I prevent or deal with issues like warping and cracking?

Decking problems like warping and cracking stem from inadequate maintenance or unfavorable conditions like moisture and mould. Regularly check under the deck after wet weather to prevent water pooling and moisture buildup. Additionally, ensure proper installation of decking screws to avoid undue pressure and stress cracks on the boards. 

Building my deck

Can I install timber decking myself, or should I hire a professional?

Whether to install timber decking yourself or hire a professional carpenter depends on your DIY skills and the complexity of the project.

If you have experience, tools, and confidence, DIY can be cost-effective. However, for intricate designs or if you don’t have any carpentry experience, hiring a professional not only ensures a well-executed, durable installation but also provides a safer and secure deck. 

Which way does the ripple on decking face?

The ripple is designed to be the underside of the decking board. It allows air to flow freely beneath the boards which helps to mitigate damage caused due to moisture buildup. Therefore, always place the ripple on your decking boards facing down. 

When should I oil or paint my deck for the first time, and how many coats?

We suggest pre-oiling the decking before installation, making sure to cover all faces, edges and ends to minimize moisture penetration. For the first treatment, applying three coats of a high-quality decking oil is recommended to ensure long-lasting protection. 

Placing my order

How can I get a quote for the materials I need?

To get a quote, simply add your timber decking and decking hardware to your cart. Once in your cart, select ‘Get Quote’, input your details and we will send you an instant quote for your materials right through to your email. Our Customer Care Team are always happy to provide a quote over the phone, by email, or in person at Narangba Timbers. 

Will your team help me to get the right products for my deck?

We stock every item required for building a deck and can deliver it right to your driveway. When it comes to working out what’s needed for your deck, that will need to be left to the professional carpenter or designer managing the project. Once you know what you need, we’re your one-stop-shop. 

Do you only sell decking timber, or the other things I’ll need?

While we stock timber for flooring, decking, fencing, structural, landscaping and cladding, we also stock the hardware and building supplies needed to complete your timber deck, like cement, screws and decking oil. 

Can I compare decking timbers before buying?

Absolutely you can! Our Decking Showroom is built with display walls full of all the different types of timber decking we stock. You can look, feel and envisage your timber deck right from our Narangba, Brisbane location 

Still have a question?

Get in touch with our friendly team. We’re happy to help!
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