2022 has arrived, and although Christmas has just been and gone, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about the summer. Wouldn’t it be nice to have perfectly installed hardwood decking in your garden by the time the weather gets warmer? Timber 2 U Direct are here to give you the ultimate guide to decking, including the intel on which hardwood timber is the best for the job.
What Is a Hardwood Decking?
Hardwood decking is decking that is made from hardwood timber, such as oak, iroko or sapele. This timber comes from forests in temperate climates from deciduous or evergreen trees. Hardwood timber is used for decking due to its exceptional properties including its resistance to the outdoor elements. These timbers are generally more durable and can withstand more than softwood. The main difference, however, is that hardwood comes from trees with larger leaves. Hardwoods are usually darker in colour and are denser due to a thicker cell structure within the tree.
What Hardwood Timber Should Be Used for Decking?
There are a few options you can choose from for your hardwood decking. Distinctive differences will include the price and the look of the timber itself.
This type of hardwood timber is found in African forests. Sometimes it can be called African teak. It is one of the best hardwood timbers out there. It’s on the pricier side, however, it’s no wonder it is considering the stylish look it provides. It has an irregular grain that allows it to age beautifully. If you want a decking that changes colours over time, iroko will be perfect for you. It starts off with an exotic golden colour and will slowly progress into a darker shade. It has a high resistance to fungus, sunlight, and moisture due to the natural oils it produces. This prevents rot, meaning it doesn’t have to be treated as often and will require minimal maintenance.
European oak is another beautiful hardwood timber that has exceptional durability to withstand the weather and elements. One thing to bear in mind when choosing European oak is that it often expands over time so when you’re installing it, you should leave a larger than normal gap in between each board.
Installing Your Hardwood Decking
The first step to installing your decking is to draw up a plan of action. It might sound simple, but without something in place, there could be many errors during the process. You will need to take certain things into account. This may include where your decking will sit in your garden, how many hours a day the sun will be on it in that position, if you want it on ground level or raised, and many more. You will also need to ensure you have the correct tools available if you’re going to install it yourself, this includes the hardwood timber you’re using and any safety equipment you may need. Before installation you must prepare the ground and measure all pieces, cutting them to size, and laying them out in the space provided to ensure they fit in the space available.
You may have extra things that need to be added to your decking. These could be stairs, handrails or a balustrade. All of these extra items must also be measured and prepared before installation of the main decking to ensure a smooth process.
Cleaning Your Hardwood Timber
Hardwood decking requires a minimal amount of maintenance compared to softwood options, however if you are looking for extra protection, it would be wise to apply a sealant to your decking. Sealant will prevent any moisture from penetrating your decking.
The natural elements can be harsh on outdoor wood, especially in the UK, so it’s important to deep clean your decking every so often. A power washer may seem like the best choice available to you, however this may damage your decking. Timber 2 U Direct recommend using a bucket of water and powered oxygenated bleach. This will kill any mould or mildew that is festering on your decking that you might not even be able to see yet. Using a wooden brush, you should be able to get rid of any leaves. If you don’t remove these, they may fester and cause further damage and rot to your decking.
Other Types of Decking
If hardwood decking doesn’t take your fancy, and hardwood timber is not for you, then you may consider softwood decking or composite decking. Softwood decking is more affordable, but it will need a high amount of maintenance. This is because softwood isn’t as resistant to the elements as hardwood, so it needs extra protection and care. In comparison, softwood decking lasts 25 years less on average than hardwood decking.
Composite decking is less likely to hold mould and mildew within it, but it can be quite costly, and it can’t be painted or customised. However, composite decking does offer a nonslip element, if that is something that you are concerned about in adverse weather conditions.
Your Hardwood Decking
When looking to purchase hardwood timber for your decking, it is important to get your timber from a trusted timber yard. Timber 2 U Direct, the online trading arm of Brooks Bros LTD, have a wide range of hardwood timber that is suitable for decking. We provide decking in two profiles, and we also offer a made to measureservice. We will always overcut your timber to ensure you don’t fall short for your decking. All our made to measure timbers can be delivered to your doorstep from one of our multiple timber yards across the country.
What are you waiting for? Start planning your hardwood decking today and have a gorgeous outdoor space, ready in time for the spring heatwave and an amazing British summer. If you want to find out more about our timber options, get in touch with our friendly team or call us on 0115 993 1111 today – we would love to hear from you!