Springtime always means that a lot of people are looking for timber decking. Lately, it seems no home in Brisbane is complete without a timber deck. One of the most popular timbers for decking is Merbau, also known as Kwila. It may even be called Pacific Kwila, Vesi or Ipil in some localities.

Why Merbau is so Great for Decking

Merbau is a product of the South East Pacific Rim. Not only does it grow in Queensland, but also in the Philippines, Fiji, Madagascar, Indonesia, Thailand and other nearby countries. So, why is Merbau so popular for decking? Here are a few reasons.

It is Beautiful

There is no way around it; Merbau is a beautiful timber. When it is freshly cut, it starts out with an orange-brown colour. As it ages, it begins to redden. Small golden or yellow flecks permeate Merbau, making it unique and easily differentiated from similar species.

Extremely Durable

Merbau has a durability class of two. That means it should be good for 15 to 40 years of use under normal conditions without any decay or deterioration. It is strong and dense, making it perfect for the wear and tear of foot traffic and for supporting the weight of people and deck furniture. Shrinkage is minimal and Merbau is resistant to termites and rot. It performs well in saltwater and in extreme weather.


While one would think a hardwood with high density and strength would be less workable, that is not the case with Merbau. It cuts cleanly and is easily worked by most carpentry tools. It is extremely versatile. It can be finished with paint, polish or stain with great results. Its only flaw for finishing is that it often “bleeds” tannin.

Tannin provides a “tan” to any surface it touches, so care must be taken to avoid contact. This is also remedied easily by cleaning the deck surface with a deck cleaner containing oxalic acid.

To learn more, call (07) 3888 1293.