Merbau (also known as kwila) timber is a hardwood and popular material durable decking material in Australia and Brisbane.
Merbau trees grown in North Queensland and many areas in south-east Asia, the Pacific Island and Papua New Guinea.
Kwila or merbau trees can grow to forty metres in height having a 0.6m trunk diameter.
In Australia certified merbau can be obtained for building purposes. The certification of the timber ensures that it is not sourced from illegal means and is only harvested from managed forests.
Whilst merbau trees are grown in tropical regions of Australia, most of the merbau timber used in this country is sourced from overseas. Thus it is important to ensure that the merbau timber used by your builder is certified and not illegally obtained.
What is Merbau Timber Used For?
In addition to deck building merbau or kwila timber is also used for outdoor furniture as well as for flooring and other uses within a home.
The timber from merbau trees is also popular for boat building, as a veneer and for joinery.
Advantages of Merbau Decking
Merbau decking is an attractive decking material which when first cut has a yellow to orange/brown hue. The colour of a timber will be a more reddish colour as the timber ages.
Merbau decks also have the advantage of the natural resistance of this timber to termites which is extremely important in Brisbane.
Importantly merbau (or kwila ) is bushfire resistant. This is one of the major reasons it is such a popular form of decking in Australia.
Merbau is strong timber and also stable meaning it does not move or shrink to a significant degree. This too makes it a good timber for outdoor use, therefore a great timber for a quality deck.
With a merbau deck you have the choice of keeping the natural colour, staining the wood or even paining it if you choose.
Merbau timber is one of the easier timbers to work with. Thus decks can be constructed efficiently using this material. With a good deck builder this should result in reducing the labour costs for you the home owner.
Disadvantages of Merbau Decking
One of the disadvantages of merbau timber is the possibility of gum bleed. This can be largely overcome by the use of well-seasoned or recycled merbau wood.
As for most hardwood decking materials kwila or merbau is a more expensive timber than softwoods. However in the long term the durability and other quality features of this wood make it a cost-effective material for deck building.
From an environmental perspective the popularity of this timber is leading to the potential of extinction of these trees. With many overseas countries not having any controls in place, the forests containing merbau trees are being harvested at a rapid rate with no replanting occurring.
Responsible deck builders (such as All We Do Is Decks) only use certified merbau decking and prefer to use if possible recycled merbau decking wood.
Due to the advantages of merbau decking, merbau decks are attractive, cost-effective and very durable. Thus it is not surprising that merbau decks (or kwila decks) are a favourite choice for many Brisbane home owners.
All We Do Is Decks are experienced in building merbau decks. We enjoy merbau deck projects as the work is very satisfying because the final product is so good. Not only are these decks very practical but often they are stunning allowing for great designs and versatility.