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Why Australian Deckwood

Some background…

I once visited a friend who happened to have just come back from grading some hardwood. I asked, “Did it meet the standard?” The reply was, “Yes, but I just wish that someone would ask me, ‘Does it meet an appropriate standard?’” Deckwood Australia’s deckwood is that appropriate standard.

Deckwood evolved after visiting a local government project that was under construction and, seeing that little about that job was right1 (apart from the mathematics), I realised that the peculiarities of timber design was not understood by many.

We understood that professional designers needed a product that they could call up by name, a product where my team took care of all those things that are critical to ensure long life, i.e. durability, stability, shrinkage and appearance. Such a product could allow professionals to design confidently in timber.

In the ensuing years we conducted considerable research and material testing and fine tuning of the specification. We also protected our deckwood profile with a patent and registered design in Australia and the USA.

Why a System Approach?

The difference between a long lived timber structure that ages gracefully and one that fails prematurely is getting the multitude of very small points of detail correct. When I went to photograph the first Deckwood project, I found a brilliant observation deck in a rainforest, just what Deckwood was intended for.

But the design of the subframe of the deck followed industry technical guides which allowed 50 mm wide joists and they had all split badly. Having good decking was not enough. The way it was used was just as important. We developed very high quality technical guides that showed best practice in design. This was followed up by a guide giving best practice for construction.

Deckwood Sizes & Profiles

Deckwood is normally manufactured in the following sizes from unseasoned royal species hardwood (refer to the Deckwood Selection Guide for the specification)

70×35 and 70×45
95×35 and 95×45
120×35 and 120×45
145×45 and 145×70

Deckwood is also available seasoned but there is a 3-4 month delay and for most applications this is discouraged.2  Discuss with me your needs for other applications, such as vehicle decking, on 0414 770 261

The profile varies depending on the width to thickness ratio, (none of which are lower than 3.5 to 1. This gives great stability) but all feature the tapered sides that set our product apart from the rest. Some are now copying the tapered side feature but this is done without understanding the system approach.3

Decking Design Advice

Design error with too wide decking timber gap
Timber surface cupping from an incorrect width to thickness ratio

The two images above show what can go wrong when you do not follow our guides or engage the services I provide as a timber design consultant. The decking on the left was too wide, compounded by a 5mm laying gap, the other (145x35) is cupping because of an incorrect width to thickness ratio.

Deckwood is offered with as much technical support that you need, far beyond any other decking that may well be repeating common practice. Our research led us to the conclusion that sometimes common practice can actually be bad practice.

How much does this support cost? If you are specifying Deckwood it will cost you nothing, it is all part of the product. I can accept AutoCad files and assist with cross-sections. If you are not using Deckwood I will still assist you but at a cost. A poorly performing deck reflects badly on all timber products and I would willingly help you avoid that.

Much of what I have learnt has been written down in a series of Technical Design Guides and these will assist you greatly in understanding how to design well with timber.

How to Order Deckwood

Orders are placed through me so I can be in the loop but you will be invoiced through my manufacturing arm.
Edgar (Ted) Stubberesfield Mobile: 0414 770 261


1. The problems we identified immediately were:

  1. Span was too large giving trip hazards due to movement in the boards;
  2. The top of the decking was dressed making the surface too slippery;
  3. The defects were too large in many pieces, and…
  4. Fasteners were galvanised. « Return

2. Seasoned hardwood commercial decking should be avoided.
Every day we are bombarded with claims about the reality of climate change and the need to reduce CO2 emissions. On the other hand I am increasingly encountering the letters KD added to hardwood specifications without any understanding of its implication or indeed, whether it can be achieved at all. Unnecessarily drying timber is bad environmental practice.

Kiln Drying involves applying an enormous amount of heat, about 17 megajoules for each cubic metre of hardwood. If unseasoned timber is used the sun dries the timber without creating any CO2. The gap is very easily controlled by adjusting the decking width and laying gap (usually butted hard up). It is not difficult and we can guide you in this.

It is not possible to commercially dry Australian hardwoods beyond 50 mm thick, so while it is theoretically possible to dry the decking, the 75 mm joists cannot be dried.« Return

3. To understand the difference between supplying decking and selling a thought-out system:

Here is an example…
Our decking was specified for a large project in NSW but the engineer had ignored our design guides and changed the 75 mm wide spotted gum and ironbark joists to F11 KD 100x50 Hardwood; i.e. Victorian Ash. If it wasn’t enough to use low durability timber, 14# screws, when in a straight line, can split that size timber from face to face and along its full length. We said to the architect, “You have a problem that needs to be rectified.” A competitor with a tapered side decking came along and said, “Problem? What problem!” He took the order not understanding what he was doing or having the best interests of the client at heart. When this deck fails prematurely, timber will be blamed. « Return


Deckwood Australia are looking for manufacturers to take up our unique decking profile and manufacture it under license. There is opportunity to make the Deckwood profile under license in jarrah and pine in Australia. The rights are also available for the United States. Contact Edgar (Ted) Stubberesfield via for details.

Resource: Printed: 2024-06-21
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