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Using Recycled Timber for Decking

Last Updated Sep 3, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

There is nothing better than kicking back and enjoying some dinner or drinks on your brand new decking.  If you’re looking for a way to bring something really special to your deck, you can’t go past the beauty and character of recycled timber decking.  Here’s what you need to know.

Options in Recycled Timber for Decking

Recycled timber is available in a number of different species so that you actually have quite a large amount of flexibility in your choices (depending on what is in stock/can be sourced).  Some recycled timber species that are commonly used for decking include the following:
  • Ironbark
  • Jarrah
  • Spotted Gum
  • Tallowwood
  • Blackbutt (if it meets requirements)
You will also find that recycled timber for decking is available in different sized boards, ranging from 19mm to 30mm in depth and from 60mm to up to 260mm in width.  Wide decking boards are currently very popular and they are a huge trend for outdoor areas.  You will also find that there are different edge profiles available such as pencil round and arris edge.

What to Consider When Choosing Recycled Timber for Decking

If you are choosing recycled timber to use as decking, there are some factors that you will need to consider. The first is availability – will you be able to get packs of decking timbers in the same species and in decent lengths?  If your preferred species of timber is not currently available, will you choose to opt for another timber or to wait until it can be sourced?

You will also need to look at the strength and durability of the recycled timber. Because it is being used outdoors, it needs to be able to withstand all weather conditions.  Look for timber that is of a high grade, that is well seasoned and stable, and that does not have high penetration (that is, water cannot soak in easily).  Recycled timbers that are intended to be used for decking are generally graded or classified – look for ones that have good grading, and that will last at least 15 years outside when used above ground.

Of course, something that will have a huge bearing on your choice of recycled decking timbers is the actual cost of the timber.  The higher the grading and the rarer/harder to find the timber, the more it will be.  Look for decking timbers that represent a good balance between value and quality.

Why not browse our photo section for decking design ideas while you are here?
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