When we were looking for the deck timber I went to these people near Widnes Homepage - we ended up getting a rather better price from a local builder's merchant but Silva did have a lot of info and samples. Most timber merchants of any quality would be able to mill (i.e. saw!) to specification.Thanks for the replies, i will have a look at that. We also want to clad a retaining wall with 2x1 strips, can you get Balau for this or would one of the other two look ok if mixing together?
I used that for our decking. It is made about 25 km from us so we got it straight from the mill.The other product to look at for the wall cladding is Thermowood
A local builder's merchant sourced it for us (Buildbase in Stratford-upon-Avon) - so a bit of a way from you! Most timber merchants should be able to find it.Where did you buy the yellow balau from?
I'd agree with that is saws very easily BUT drilling the 30mm holes for the lights (with a Forstner bit) tore the back out of the board even when clamped to sacrificial board. For our wall-cladding it's great.I used that for our decking. It is made about 25 km from us so we got it straight from the mill.
The advantage of Thermowood (for me at least) was that it is long-lasting without needing any finish to be applied (and re-applied, and re-applied ad nauseum). At a previous house we had a decking that needed to be re-treated every year ideally, every 2 years as a minimum, but I don't know if that was down to our climate. Anyway, our Thermowood decking has had no treatment at all, ever, and I like that.
There are 3 downsides that I am aware of:
First, the colour. It starts off a lovely warm brown colour but if you want it to stay that way you would have to treat it with varnish or something. I haven't done that so it has faded to a grey colour. I knew that would happen and I don't mind it but I think few would claim it is an attractive colour and I imagine it could turn some people off the product.
Second, there is a significant loss of strength compared to untreated wood.This did not matter for our decking but keep it in mind for anything structural.
Third, the heat treatment seems to rip the guts out of the wood. Again, not important for our decking but it is the opposite of close-grained and I think would be horrible for joinery work.
Everybody has their preferences but the ribbed don’t look pleasing to my eye and as long as you give the deck a clean in late Autumn then there is no issue with algae.I've done two decks with yellow Balau and have been very pleased with both.
Whatever you choose I very much recommend that you buy decking with a ribbed surface.
While a smooth surface looks nice, it becomes lethally slippery in the winter months due to green algae and other such unwelcome deposits.
Obviously, water freezes in the cold and this does no favours in the winter months on smooth decking either.
Have to say I agree - ribbed looks awful/cheap - yes the Yellow Balau we had was very slippery in winter - but we seldom ventured outside onto the deck in winter. An early pre-Easter blast over with the pressure washer sorted out any alage etc.Everybody has their preferences but the ribbed don’t look pleasing to my eye and as long as you give the deck a clean in late Autumn then there is no issue with algae.
Interestingly the timber merchant we went to (this was late 2016) wouldn't sell Ipe (which we identified initially) as it was deemed not to be a sustainable timber.We used a sustainable hardwood called ipe. It's super, very tough; not ribbed so it needs spreading to clear algae to reduce winter slippiness