Considering Merbau Decking for your Project?
Merbau decking has become an increasingly popular option for deck builders in Western Australia. It has many advantages and some disadvantages compared with other timbers available in WA, which we have detailed below.
Merbau is a popular option in Perth and regional WA. This is because it is a very stable hardwood in even the most demanding and extreme locations. It has very low rate of expansion and contraction. This makes it a great option in hot and wet weather conditions. By comparison, some other timbers have a tendency to cup when exposed to wet conditions if cross-ventilation is inadequate.
Furthermore, Merbau has the highest rating for resistance to timber fungi and insects, including termites. Termites and other wood burrowing insects can cause major damage to timber structures in WA. So this is an important factor.
Additionally, it is ideal for high risk fire areas. It is rated category 4 for resistance to fire. This makes it highly desirable for those building decks in remote bush and outback areas.
Many people also believe that the appearance of Merbau improves over time. A good quality sealer ensures that the colour tends to stay longer. Merbau is free of natural gum-line. Consequently, this makes it more appealing for those who are looking for a consistent appearance.
Finally, Merbau decking is somewhat cheaper than alternative Australian Eucalypt hardwoods or hardwoods from the South Pacific region.
The Merbau sold in Australia is most commonly sourced from Indonesia. Although, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Solomon Islands and the Philippines all contain the tree species. Concerns over sustainability of natural growth forests are valid. However, care is taken to ensure stocks are bought from reputable mills.
Tannins can leak from wet Merabu which is the main disadvantage. A tannin is a polyphenolic compound. It can cause staining on other porous surfaces if leakage occurs. This is particularly important when the deck is close to limestone. The use of Hydrophobic sealer can restrict the leakage. Therefore, you should maintain the deck with this sealer.
Want to Learn More?
Contact Paul today to find out more about Merbau decking.