Merbau decking is a timber flooring that has been used for decades in Australia. Merbau is a hardwood species very popular in decking applications. The traditional Merbau decking comes from the tree known as “Merbau” which was discovered by Dutch explorers in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is an excellent wood to use for outdoor decking and furniture because it is durable, stable and attractive. One of the many benefits of this type of wood are its low maintenance requirements – so long as you give it a regular coat of sealant every few years, your deck will be protected against water damage, termites and rot!
Merbau Decking Very Popular In Australia
It is termite resistant and has a classified bushfire resistance rating (Bal 40) similar to timbers with fire retardant treatment. With proper care, it will last for 15 to 40 years.
An important thing to be aware of, when Merbau decking is installed, tannins will bleed and leach. The tannins in the timber will stain any surfaces where there is the possibility of the water being run-off onto concrete, tiles, etc. If bleeding is a concern, you can use other timber species for decking or go the composite route. One such alternative timber species is the Northern Box. If you’re still super keen to use Merbau, you can use prepare it by applying a timber conditioner to stop tannin bleed.
For many reasons, but especially because of the Merbau bushfire resistance rating, Merbau decking is a very popular choice in Australia. Of course, with the huge increase in popularity of various alternative composite options, the big question is, is Merbau still a viable choice cost-wise when it comes to a decking project. Well here is the facts and figures.
Merbau Decking Cost
Remember when you are calculating how much you need, you need to add 7.5% to 10% for wastage allowance. If you have a deck project where you know there will be lots of boards needed of the same length, it might be worth looking to see if you can pay a little extra per linear meter and get some boards at a standard suitable length. Typical pricing is based on mixed random lengths but some supplies (such as Demark in Melbourne) offer specific lengths at a slightly increased cost per linear meter.
How much does merbau decking cost?
In Australia, A Grade 140 x 90mm Merbau decking currently costs between $7.50 and $12 per linear metre. If you find that price surprising, check out our post here about the skyrocketing timber prices currently occurring in the United States, which is significantly impacting local Australian timber prices as a consequence. So by the time you get someone to build a sub frame from treated pine on concrete stumps with M class footings, and they install the Merbau on it, you’ll be looking at over $350 per square meter.
What lengths do Merbau come in?
Merbau comes in a range of lengths from 1.8m to 5.4m lengths. Typical widths are 70mm, 90mm, 140mm and sometimes
The cost varies depending on which type you choose, but it’s not unreasonable to expect this material to last up to thirty years or more and still remain attractive in appearance. The lifespan is also increased if chosen with regular maintenance (e.g., stains) applied every few months, while additions such as handrails are optional extras that might increase your costs again.
As well as being resistant against pests and corrosion from outside elements, Merbau wood can make your house stand out because of its natural beauty; many people even recommend painting them in different colors so they complement other items around the property like furniture!
The cost of Merbau decking in Australia is reasonable, given that it lasts for decades and requires very little maintenance. Keep in mind though, that the price will vary from store to store – take your time shopping around!
In terms of cost, one can expect to pay $120 per square meter on average when they purchase Merbau indoor or outdoor planks and boards (roughly $13 per square foot).
So assuming a 25sqm deck with 5% wastage in building it, a 140 x 19 profile Merbau deck will cost you approximately $2,200 for the material costs and around $375 per year to maintain it. So that is a total cost of about $6,000 over a 10 year period.
In contrast, a composite deck of the same dimensions and build wastage, will cost you a little more in initial upfront material costs at approximately $2,700, but with zero dollars annual maintenance costs, the ten year figure comes in at $ 2,700.
Comparing the two options together, the composite deck has a 10 year saving of about $3,300. That comes to about a 40% saving over 10 years of composite compared to Merbau.
As you can see, the choice of Merbau (or any other hardwood) when compared to composite options comes down to the ongoing costs of maintaining wood compared to the set and forget approach that composite gives you. Merbau is a cheaper option in regards to upfront material costs, but a much more expensive option over the life of the product.
Where To Get Merbau Decking
For anywhere in Australia, of course Bunnings is a good starting place for Merbau decking.
Types Of Merbau Decking Available
There are three types of Merbau available on the market. Each one offers its own benefits when it comes to aesthetics and durability.
Strand Woven (this type has a natural pattern).
The average price for Merbau Decking that is Strand Woven is around $180 to $200 per square meter.
This type of decking has a natural pattern and it also provides great water resistance, making it perfect for homes in coastal regions where high humidity levels are experienced due to proximity to the ocean. It’s also a good choice for homes in high rainfall areas.
The downside of the Strand Woven type is that it does not offer as much protection against UV radiation, which means homeowners need to protect their decking with an oil-based sealant at least once every two years.
It also needs regular upkeep so it doesn’t become dry and brittle.
Planed Wood Boards With Parrallel Grains
Planed wood board with parallel grains is the most cost-effective option for a deck.
It’s generally available in merbau (and other wood types) and prices will range from $160 to $200 per square meter. Merbau will be at the higher end of that range.
The downside is that planed wood boards may need regular maintenance if they are left untreated because of natural exposure over time. There also isn’t as much variety in the type of boards, so homeowners may need to buy a more expensive board for some parts of their decking.
The cost breakdown is $160-$200 per square meter = $400-600 per square foot
Cost estimate: between $4000 and 6000 dollars.
Planks Made From Boards
Planks made from boards have been sliced into strips. These strips can be stained and sealed, which makes them less susceptible to water damage.
Faux Merbau Alternative
You can also buy “faux” merbau by using other types of timber such as oak or walnut combined with an artificial coating; this can be an excellent alternative for those who want the look of a merbau decking without the high price.
More About Merbau Decking
Merbau decking is a timber flooring that has been used for decades in Australia. The traditional Merbau decking comes from the tree known as “Merbau” which was discovered by Dutch explorers in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is an excellent wood to use for outdoor furniture because it is durable, stable and attractive. One of the many benefits of this type of wood are its low maintenance requirements – so long as you give it a regular coat of sealant every few years, your deck will be protected against water damage, termites and rot!
Additional Online Resources
Additional Online Resources
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Cost Of Merbau Decking Per Square Metre
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