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commercial decks

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What type of decking?

Hardwood, Softwood or Composite Decking?

Decking is broadly classified into three groups – softwoods, hardwoods and Composites.

Softwood species come from evergreen coniferous trees, hardwoods from broad leafed trees and composites from generally recycled polyethylene and timber flour.

Within each group there are many different types. Some are suitable for decking, some are not. Some species of timber have a natural ability to resist decay completely; others have varying degrees of natural durability and may require treatment.

DECKS BY DESIGN recommends that only decking capable of providing a minimum service life of fifteen years should be used.

This means selecting:

  1. A hardwood species that suits the environment in which it is used, along with a wide choice of colours.
  2. A softwood species that has been industrially pressure pre-treated with a wood preservative approved under Australian regulations.
  3. A composite product of proven quality and long standing.


Rich attractive colours of some hardwoods add greatly to their appeal. Naturally durable hardwoods are usually higher in density than softwood and their structural strength, impact and abrasion resistant properties are reasons why it is used on commercial projects that have a lot of heavy use. DECKS BY DESIGN like to use where possible Australian Hardwoods species, we can get our hands most species upon request.


In recent years interest has been given to composite decking. The main attributes of composite decking is resistance against all types of decay including dry rot. Choosing the correct composite however is a hard choice. DECKS BY DESIGN recommends only a few types on the market. This results in a superior material that out performs other composites with respect to strength and resistance to moisture, wear, fade, heat and slippage. Composite decking however comes at a considerable price in relation to traditional timber, although ease of installation due to superior hidden fastening and straightness of the boards, reduces the offset of price once all factors are considered.

How decking is fixed down also can manipulate the finished product, both in lifespan and general condition. Decks By Design recommends screw fastening. This will keep your deck fixed down for many years without the lifting issues when nails are used. We also can install a hidden fixing method as shown below.


Properly constructed, hardwood, composite or pressure treated softwood decks provide an equivalent performance. Under normal use, they will last well beyond 15 years and provide an ultimate life of 25 years or longer. DECKS BY DESIGN installs ALL types of decking and will advise the best type for you.

Remember, all decking is only as good as the structure its attached too. So the sometimes unseen structure may need more attention than first thought.