Spotted Gum Decking

September 16, 2013
Spotted Gum Decking

Your outdoor living space can really make a home.

We've recently been through a landscaping project to update our garden and create some usable outdoor entertaining space.

We learnt a lot from the project, but one of the key things was about choosing wood, and more specifically, decking wood.

Early in our planning stage we identified that our choice of wood would affect:

  • The look of the deck and garden
  • The ongoing upkeep required
  • And possibly more importantly the longevity of the deck. And given the investment and upheaval that comes with any building project, this was an important consideration for us.

Look and Aesthetic

We were after a rustic look in our backyard that was well built and solid. With that in mind we starting looking for wider decking boards rather narrower.

Spotted Gum can vary in colour from a rich deep red through to golden brown and has a wavy-grain pattern in places (known as fiddleback). If you leave it to age naturally, it will turn grey in colour, which is the look we were aiming for.

Spotted gum is a very dense and hard timber so it can be left untreated outdoors, which is an advantage in reducing ongoing maintenance.

Ongoing Maintenance

The width and thickness of decking is particularly important to how a deck ages. Make sure you buy your decking from a reputable timber supplier so that you are sure it has been seasoned correctly.

Spotted Gum is a very hard and dense timber (Janka Hardness rating of 11), and when treated correctly is less likely to cup or twist, particularly when you use a board 25mm thick.

Spotted Gum has some two other properties that make it a great choice – it has a natural fire resistance, and its fire retarding properties meet Australian Standard AS3959, so is suitable for use in bush-fire prone areas without any additional treatment.
Spotted Gum also is naturally resistant to termites, which was more relevant to us.

You can either choose to treat your Spotted Gum decking with a wood stain which will maintain its original timber colour, or if you don’t apply anything it will age to grey.

Spotted Gum can be a little splintery, so you will need to work with your deck builder and timber supplier to make sure that you get the quality you require and that its laid thoughtfully.

Longevity

After choosing a good quality timber supplier and the right timber, the key thing that we knew would make the difference to the life of our deck was the builder.
We are not a gifted DIY family so we decided to go with a Master Builder to turn the beautiful Spotted Gum timber into our deck.

Our builder was careful to choose the appropriate fixing method and board spacing that will maximize the lifespan of our timber deck.

The result is fantastic. We are looking forward to the deck colour changing in the coming months, and we are hopeful that by having chosen the hard Spotted Gum timber decking and going for the larger size boards of 140mm x 25mm we will be enjoying our deck for many hassle free years to come.