It can be a daunting and overwhelming task, choosing the right timber for your outdoor area. How will it look? Will it be durable enough? Can we afford it given our budget? What sort of maintenance does it require?
There are some basic rules to go by – such as always choosing hardwood timber for floors, and timbers like Teak for furniture. Hopefully I can give you a quick insight into the timbers available in Australia, and what they are commonly used for.
Blackbutt – A native hardwood species. Light brown in colour with a coarse texture. Used mainly for flooring, sleepers and general construction.
Jarrah – Another native species. Its colour varies from rich red to dark brown. Mainly considered a luxurious timber. Commonly used for indoor flooring, panelling and heavy furniture.
Kwila (Merbau) – An introduced species of timber from Asia. Its colour varies from yellow to deep brown. Kwila is the most widely used timber for decking and is also used to make furniture.
Spotted Gum – A native hardwood, varying in colour from pale brown to chocolate. This is used for all heavy engineering and construction purposes. Commonly used for high impact such as shovel/axe handles. Other uses include flooring and decking.
Sydney Blue Gum – Another hardwood native, varying from pink to red in colour. Common ses include weatherboards, panelling and general construction.
Teak – A hardwood species not native to Australia. Commonly used for outdoor furniture. Its natural oils make it highly resistant to pests and termites.
Radiata Pine – An introduced softwood from California. Easy to work with and commonly used for building framework, joinery, decking framework and panelling.