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Merbau Decking – Advantages & Disadvantages

June 1, 2020

What is Merbau Decking?

Merbau is an imported hardwood timber from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia that has become increasingly popular for deck builders in Western Australia. Below, we detail the advantages and disadvantages of Merbau decking to help you decide whether it is suitable for your project.

The Advantages

Merbau decking has many advantages including but not limited to the following:

Class 1 Hardwood

Within Australia, all timbers are given a durability rating (Class 1 – 4) which provides an indication of the resistance of the heartwood to decay, termite and fungal attack. Merbau is a Class 1 Hardwood above ground which is estimated to have 5 – 15 years ‘in-ground life’ subject to conditions and 40 years above-ground exposure.

Termite Resistant

Termites potentially cause millions of dollars worth of structural damage to Australian homes every year. For those who are located within a termite prone area, it is important to select a termite resistant timber such as Merbau.

Ideal for WA

Because of it’s high durability rating and termite resistance Merbau decking is ideal for the harsh West Australian climate. It meets the BAL 29 rating.

Merbau Decking

The Disadvantages

Merbau has a few disadvantages including the following:

Tannin Leaching

Merbau is a naturally tannin-rich timber and planning your project around this is important.  Ideally, washing surface tannins off and then applying a sealer will lock in the residual tannins preventing potential leaching issues.

Finger Jointed Merbau

Finger jointed Merbau boards are typically a combination of shorter timber lengths interlocked together to make a longer board. The ends are glued together which can create several issues, particularly in harsh weather conditions.  Generally, non-finger jointed boards have a longer life-span. Finger jointed Merbau is not available from Timber Decking Supply Shed.

Find Out More

Click here to learn more about Merbau decking or Contact Paul today for free expert advice.