This is superior-quality decking timber and competes well against hardwood because of the graded selection it has to go through for this category. If you don’t want grooves, choose timber that’s smooth on both sides, and you might find it easier to match the variations in tone.
The standard or merch grade decking timber is a mid-range, cheaper timber that may distort more over time in comparison to your premium product. It might have bark and resin pockets as well as knots of various kinds. But if you don’t mind a more rustic look, then this should be fine.
Kwila always looks very upmarket and fabulous when it’s stacked inside at the timber yard, but it contains a natural resin that will bleed and discolour the timber while it is drying. It’s a very stable and durable timber, which makes it an ideal choice for decks.
Vitex (also know as Vasa) is a natural hardwood imported from the Solomon Islands. It’s a good-looking, light walnut brown with a smooth interwoven grain and ages to an attractive silver grey. Its durability makes it ideal for decking in coastal situations.
If you’re a natural materials snob – I am – you’ll probably sneer at composite decking materials. I used to, but after using some offcuts given to us by friends to lay a floor in our woodshed, I’m almost a convert. That floor has had the worst treatment and it still looks as good as the day it was laid. True, it doesn’t look quite like wood, but nearly!