When considering what decking timber to use you firstly need to consider the true costs. Typically a completed deck cost between $360-450 per square meter, 50% is labour, 25% for foundation materials (including framing, concrete, screws and other hardware) The remaining 25% is the decking timber itself.
So when it comes to choosing between hardwood decking timber and pine decking, there are several other factors to consider.
Durability of Hardwood Decking Timber
Hardwood decking timber, such as Garapa, Purpleheart, Red Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) and Angelim Pedra, is known for its exceptional durability and resistance to decay, rot, and insect damage. These hardwoods are dense and have natural oils that make them highly durable and long-lasting. Pine decking, on the other hand, is a softwood and is less durable than hardwood. It is more prone to rot, decay, and insect damage unless properly treated and maintained. The life expectancy of softwood is between 5-15 years (depending on upkeep) where with a hardwood the life expectancy can be 20-50+ years depending on what species.
Hardwood decking timber is often favored for its attractive appearance and rich natural colours. It tends to have a more luxurious and exotic look, enhancing the visual appeal of outdoor spaces. Pine decking has a lighter colour and a more traditional appearance. While it can be stained or painted, it may not provide the same level of elegance and sophistication as hardwood.
Hardwood decking typically requires less maintenance compared to pine decking. Hardwoods are naturally resistant to weathering and require minimal treatment or sealing to maintain their durability. They may require periodic cleaning and oiling to retain their colour and prevent greying. Pine decking, being a softwood, needs regular maintenance to protect it from moisture, UV rays, and pests. It requires sealing, staining, or painting and more frequent upkeep to maintain its appearance and prevent deterioration. Replacement of pine deck will be required between 5 -15 year.
Hardwood decking timber is generally slightly more expensive than pine decking. Hardwoods are often imported, and their superior qualities and scarcity contribute to a slight price difference.
Ultimately, the choice between hardwood decking timber and pine decking depends on your priorities, budget, and the specific requirements of your project.
If you value a superior product that will not only look great but will out preform a softwood.
With an increased durability, natural beauty, longer life expectancy and better value for you dollars over time.
Hardwood decking timber is therefore the better choice.