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When it comes to making purchases for your home, longevity is key – whether it’s a new stove, crisp bedlinen or an outdoor renovation. To ensure your decking is an investment that will stand the test of time, it pays to choose materials best suited to your location and lifestyle.

Take a look at these downsides of timber that might mean thinking beyond the traditional choice for a safe and long-lasting outdoor area.

Splintering and shrinking 

It’s safe to say your deck is going to see a lot of sun, and you want to be sure it can handle the Australian summer. Heat and UV rays can wreak havoc on timber decks over time, causing them to weaken and, as a result, shrink, split and splinter. This can be a big hazard for bare feet, especially for young children who enjoy running and playing outside.

If you’re concerned about injuries from splinters – not to mention to costs involved in replacing damaged boards – consider alternative materials such as wood plastic composite or fibre cement boards, which are resistant to splintering and are a safe, long-term option for families.

Owners can now replace their splintered wooden deck with HardieDeck™, finished in a grey seal for a modern look.

Rotting and warping

Pool decks are a place for carefree fun, and the last thing you’ll want to be thinking about is how water might be causing damage to your decking. This can often be the case with timber, which is prone to damage from moisture ­– whether from swimming pools, rain or mildew – and end up rotting and warping.

Look into alternative decking options to see if a harder wearing material will better suit your lifestyle. Some research into fibre cement decking, which is resistant to moisture and rot, will help you decide on the ideal choice for your pool area, or any decking that will be exposed to the elements.

Looking for a solution for your pool and entertainment area? HardieDeck is made from fibre cement decking, which is resistant to moisture and rot.


Timber has typically been a popular choice for decking because of its appearance, however it can lose its lustre pretty quickly without regular re-staining. While frequent upkeep might suit some, there are alternative options that have the same appearance as timber but require very little work to stay looking great.

Alternative options (like fibre cement boards) can be sealed in almost any colour. Installed with a joining system that conceals screws and uses less than half as many as timber boards, they have a cleaner appearance and a much smoother surface for outdoor activities.

Would you rather enjoy your deck on weekends than maintain it? HardieDeck can be sealed in almost any colour and unlike wood, does not require regular re-staining and re-sealing.

Termite damage

Termites have caused many a headache for homeowners in the past, and they often go undetected for long periods. Timber can be affected by termites or borers, which weaken and reduce the safety of your deck, resulting in expensive repair work or having to replace your deck entirely.

To save yourself the worry – and potentially a lot of time and money down the track ­– consider opting for a sturdy and long-lasting decking choice such as fibre cement boards, which are resistant to termites.

Consider timber alternatives for your deck, especially if you live in a bushfire or termite prone area.

Regular maintenance

The amount of maintenance – and money – your deck will require over time depends on the materials you use, and for timber this can be quite high on both counts. Timber calls for regular re-staining and repair work to as it is prone to many different types of damage from the elements.

If the commitment of time and money doesn’t suit your lifestyle, consider alternative decking materials such as wood plastic composite and fibre cement boards that require minimal upkeep.

This modern deck from Three Birds Renovations is sealed in a cool grey colour which adds a contemporary look to the outdoor area and does not require regular upkeep.

Contact HardieDeck™ for further advice, tips and decking inspiration.

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