Comparing Decking Materials: Merbau Decking Boards vs Other Wood Types

niviwatson 5 Min Read
Merbau Decking Boards


Every homeowner seeking to spruce up their exterior spaces faces a complex labyrinth of decisions, and one of the most crucial involves decking materials. After all, your choice of decking can seriously impact both the aesthetics and functionality of your outdoor entertaining spaces. One material that’s currently enjoying a moment in the spotlight is merbau decking boards. But how does it stand up against the competition? This discussion aims to delve precisely into that, examining merbau alongside other popular wood types to help you make an informed choice.

Just like every material, merbau has its own unique range of benefits, characteristics and potential drawbacks. Similarly, other types of popular woods, teak, cedar, and composite materials, all bring their unique features to the table. The question then arises – Which material suits your particular circumstances and preferences? Is merbau truly the superior choice or might another type offer a more ideal solution?

Through this comprehensive exploration, we will unpack the distinctive characteristics of merbau, juxtaposing them against the pro’s and con’s of other popular merbau  decking woods. Our goal? To provide a holistic perspective that aids in your decision-making process, ensuring that your choice factors optimizing both aesthetic appeal, practical value and longevity of your investment.

Why Choose Merbau Decking?

Let’s start with the star of the show – Merbau. Native to Southeast Asia, it’s highly sought after for its reddish-brown hue, durability and resistance to decay, attractive grain patterns and overall strength. These qualities make it an exemplary choice for outdoor decking. Boat builders have long appreciated it for these attributes, hinting at its capacity for responding well to harsh conditions.

However, Merbau is not without drawbacks. Its initial cost is quite high compared to other woods, and it has a tendency to bleed tannins over time, especially if the decking isn’t properly conditioned before installation. This bleeding can stain surrounding surfaces, requiring careful cleansing or potentially creating long-term aesthetic issues.

Comparing Merbau with Other Wood Types

Now, let’s gaze across the aisle at some other popular decking woods. Teak, widely loved due to its resistance to insects and weather, easily works with various finishes, giving the homeowner plenty of personalisation options. Western red cedar, on the other hand, holds its own with its gorgeous aesthetics and durability, though it might require regular maintenance due to its tendency to split, warp or rot.

Merbau Decking Boards

Meanwhile, composites offer a low-maintenance solution that mimics the look of real wood. They resist pests and don’t require refinishing, giving them a leg up when it comes to simplicity. However, composites can also be more expensive and less authentic in appearance compared to genuine woods.

Assessing the Environmental Impact

A vital aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked in the choice of decking materials is their environmental impact. Merbau decking boards is a slow-growing tree species and excessive harvesting has led to it being on the verge of extinction in certain parts. This presents a serious environmental concern that conscientious consumers should consider.

Maintenance and Lifespan Considerations

Maintenance is another pivotal point. Merbau requires a fair amount of maintenance to prevent color fading and tannin leaching. While teak, cedar, and composites tend to demand less regular attention, they each have their specific needs to ensure a long life span.

Cost Implications and Value for Money

Financial considerations play a significant role. While Merbau decking boards is more expensive initially, its longevity and durability might provide better value in the long term. Other woods, while cheaper upfront, might end up costing more in maintenance or replacement over the years.


The world of decking materials is diverse and complex, with each offering distinct advantages and downsides. Merbau decking boards stands out for its durability, stunning aesthetics, and longevity. However, these benefits come with a higher price tag, potential for tannin leaching, and discerning environmental concerns.

The choice eventually depends on individual needs, tastes, and principles. For some, merbau’s decking boards  robust nature and charmed aesthetics might outweigh its drawbacks. For others, the lower maintenance and environmental friendliness of alternatives like composite decking may appeal more. Regardless, having a comprehensive understanding empowers you to make the best possible choice for your unique decking desires.

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