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Hardwood Decks

Kavanagh Carpentry no longer offers hardwood decking as a service. While it has been the number one form of decking for many decades, it just isn't the way to go anymore - let us explain why!


Hardwood decking requires bucketloads of maintenance. Scott always says, a hardwood deck will never look as good as the day it is laid - this is because over time it fades, becomes damaged by the sun and weather, warps, rots... the list goes on!

The cost to maintain a hardwood deck adds up for the lifetime of the structure, with 6 (or 12)-monthly staining, sanding every second year, it becomes a pain!

In addition, because it is a natural material, each and every board is different, there are bends in the length of the board, as well as imperfections that can cause issues down the track too. Even with high quality carpentry, it is inevitable that things will need fixing up over time!


We often have clients asking for a hardwood quote because they believe it will be cheaper than composite decking. This is no longer the case!

Composite decking has come a LONG way in recent years, while major price increases for timber have occurred more so than the price increase of composite decking.

While hardwood decking is still cheaper to purchase than its composite equivalent, it is far more labour intensive in comparison. As a result, the cost to lay a hardwood deck is actually about the same as the cost to lay a composite deck when the materials AND labour are considered.

Because there is no financial benefit to laying hardwood decks anymore, we always recommend composite decking instead as it has no ongoing maintenance costs and is very easy to warrant for years to come as every board is identical and perfect!


The most popular hardwood decking option remains to be Merbau; we have laid them by the hundreds over the last decade!

Merbau is grown in rainforest areas in India and Asia; as it became more popular the harvesting and logging practices became unsustainable due to the significant demand - particularly in Western countries.

Much of the merbau sourcing today is done illegally, importing the product to China where it is re-branded and distributed around the world, without the buyers knowing the true source of the material. This ethical issue which impacts a great proportion of the worlds forests and ecosystems is a top reason why we have decided to step away from building merbau decks.

If you desperately want a real timber deck, we encourage you to seek out more ethical timber options. Please note, we do not lay any timber decks at present - only composite.

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