Wooden Decks and Balau Deck Boards for Sale Durban

Besides offering a full wooden deck building service in Durban of supply and install, we also sell balau deck boards to end users for use in wooden decks in Durban and KZN.  Please use the contact us form below to enquire about deck building services or read on for more info on sale of deck boards and decking materials.

Because we secure our balau deck boards in bulk we are able to offer these deck boards to the wooden deck builder or end-user at a highly competitive price and more competitively than your popular outlets in Durban.

We stock largely 19mm x 68mm and 19mm x 90mm wooden balau deck boards but other sizes and species are also available, on request. We stock a range of lengths from 2.4m to 4.8m. Please check with us what we have in stock before ordering and provide us with the rough dimensions of your wooden deck so we can select the correct lengths for you to minimize waste. If for instance you are building a wooden deck measuring 4.8m then you would opt for 2.4m deck boards and space your joists with centres of 400mm or 480mm (but not 450mm or 500mm) as these are all factors of 2.4m. On the other hand if your wooden deck measured 5.4m long then you would opt for 2.7m deck boards and space your joists with centres of 450mm or 540mm being a factor of 2.7m. This way the off cut at the end of each deck board is minimized and a saving can be obtained. I will gladly help you plan your substructure and deck boards so as to build a structurally sound deck and minimize waste. Contact me below with the size of your deck and the height above ground.

There are mainly two different types of balau that can be purchased, red and yellow balau. In my experience the yellow balau is harder and therefore more durable. The red balau I have bought in the past seems to be more porous and will therefore absorb more water and rot more quickly. Although balau is very hard, contains natural oils and resins and repels water naturally all wood will eventually rot. The aim is to choose a decking timber that will outlast other timbers but is still affordable and easy on your pocket. We stock only yellow balau.

We sell mainly reeded deck boards. These are the deck boards with grooves on one side. The grooves are not there for anti-slip as is commonly thought. They are in fact there to be placed down against the joist. The reason is to allow any trapped water to dissipate quickly. By keeping the water away from the gap between the deck board and the joist will reduce rot to a degree and result in your wooden deck lasting longer.  It is not absolutely essential but does help to some degree.  Also by having the grooves up you cannot epoxy the screw holes closed, because you can’t sand it off due to the grooves, thus allowing more water to pool in the counter sunk screw hole causing accelerated rot. Grooves up also traps dirt and grime which actually causes the deck surface to become more slippery than a smooth surface. So always grooves down.

We are able to deliver in the greater Durban area. Please enquire about delivery charge.

To contact us for a full wooden deck building service in Durban, or to order deck boards and other timber decking materials, you can call us on 031 – 762 1795 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Balau Deck, Plantations, Hillcrest Durban

We built this wooden balau deck in Plantations Estate in Hillcrest Durban recently for a client.

We needed to excavate a few hundred mm down in order to give us enough space in which to install our timber substructure. It is quite important to remove enough soil when building low-level wooden decks on top of soil. This is to give the deck enough space between the bottom of the timber substructure and the top of the soil so that the timber remains relatively dry. It is very important not to allow the timber to touch the wet soil unless it is H4 CCA Treated. CCA Treatment has various Hazard Classifications and each one is associated with specific applications. There are various articles on this site on the topic. You can find them by searching CCA in the search box at the top right of the screen. As a quick summary, H3 is good to go outdoors with periodic wetting and H4 is good to live in the ground in constant contact with wet soil. This is all according to www.sawpa.co.za. So if you are using H3 CCA Treated make sure there is sufficient space below to ensure the wood doesn’t touch the soil. If you are using H4 then it is ok to bury the timber in the ground.

Having said that the more space below the deck the better to allow air movement and keep as much moisture away from the balau deck boards which are not treated. Although balau is a very hardy wood and can withstand a certain amount of wetting, the more moisture around, the quicker the wood will deteriorate.

People often ask me about treating the pine before it goes in the ground or before we install deck boards above. There is no need. The pine is all pressure treated to the correct Hazard Classification and therefore no more treatment or sealing is necessary. In fact there is argument that coating it with, for instance bituseal, will in fact allow water in but won’t allow it out. Water will find a way in. A small stone scratching the bituseal off during installation, or a bump here and there, will allow water in and it won’t easily find its way out. Leaving it so the water can flow in and out quickly will result in a drier piece of timber for longer. There’s no need to do anything to your CCA treated timber.

Balau deck boards are then installed on the surface simply because balau is more stable and won’t crack, twist or warp as easily as pine. The cost difference between pine deck boards and balau deck boards is minimal, if anything. If you use pine deck boards you will use twice as much wood and although pine is relatively inexpensive, for deck boards you will need to use S7 (semi clears). The cost of semi clears negates any saving between pine and balau. Stick with balau as a deck board. It’s very stable. As a substructure, it is not cost-effective to use balau and S5 (industrial grade) pine can be used there at a much lower cost that both balau and semi clear pine.

This deck was left to grey naturally by leaving it as is. No oil, no sealer, nothing. Just leave it and periodically pressure wash it to remove any grime or dirt. If you choose to oil your deck then use an oil. Don’t use a product that will dry on the surface. If it dries it will peel and flake.

For a no obligation quote on building your wooden deck please use the contact us form below or you can contact us on 031 – 762 1795. We also offer a DIY service. We will supply you with all the correct materials you need to build your own deck and can advise on time-saving tips and tricks as well as recommended building practices.

Wooden Sun Decks Durban – Westville

Wooden Sun Decks Durban

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Wooden Sun Decks Durban

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This wooden sun deck we built in Westville Durban was designed to try to maximise outdoor space. The house we built it at had very little outdoor space as it was situated on a steep plot. You can see from the pics that before we built the wooden sun deck, the garden had only a small area of about 1m around the pool on the front side of the garden. There was then a steep concrete staircase down the side of the house going to the back garden. The back garden was however not very usable as it was far from any entrance to the house. So the idea here was to build a wooden sun deck that extended from the slasto of the pool area to meet the far side of the house. It was about 48m² in total floor area and was surrounded by a wooden balustrade in a picket design. We left the existing concrete stair case in place and built the wooden sun deck so that one could use this existing stair case. Hence the U Shaped deck.

Wooden Sun Decks Durban

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We also had to split the wooden sun deck into two levels as the area by the pool was a little lower than the area where it met the existing concrete deck. So we had a split level deck with a small step up of about 180mm. 180mm is always a good step height or riser height.

Wooden Sun Decks Durban

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The posts beneath had also been lined up so as to avoid being placed in the middle of the stair case. Even though the outer posts were some distance from the bottom of the stairs, if we had placed them where they would normally have gone (i.e. equal distances from either end) then it would have spoilt the line of sight as one was walking down the stairs. So they were shifted slightly left and right to miss the line of the stairs.

We also had a garden shed beneath the front edge of the deck so we had to build around that which had had a new roof built on it and waterproofed. When building over waterproofed structures one cannot drill through the torch on as it will results in leaks beneath. You need to then build on either side of it or use thicker beams and joists to be able to span them further apart.

Wooden Sun Decks Durban

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Wooden Sun Decks Durban

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In the pics on this article you can also see the horse shoes we used to support the beams on the walls. Instead of dropping posts to ground you can simply attach the beam to the wall by cutting a horse shoe using the same timber as the beams. The bottoms are always cut to 45° for both neatness and to avoid having sharp corners jutting out. This also applies to the ends of main beams.

We treated our cut ends with Permaseal, an approved end sealer used to stop rot or insect damage to cut ends of CCA treated timber. This was necessary in order for us to activate the 50 year guarantee that the supplier provides on the CCA Treated pine substructure. There are a few articles on this blog that go into detail about this and what is required in order to activate your 50 year guarantee.

For a free no obligation quote on wooden sun decks, wooden floors or wooden fences, please contact us on 031 – 762 1795 or use the contact us form below.

 

CCA Treated Substructures in Wooden Sundecks – Durban

Wooden sundecks Durban North

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As I’ve mentioned in previous articles we use a H3 CCA treated pine substructure which the suppliers offer a 50 year guarantee on. In order to activate that guarantee we need to adhere to best practices and there are a few things that we need to do, and document by way of pics. 

Although all decks we build are built according to best practices, when applying for a guarantee we need to document it. So if you require a guarantee please let us know beforehand so we can collect all the documents we need to process it. These include charge sheets and retention records from the treatment plant to ensure that the chemicals used in the treatment process penetrated the timber properly. The charge sheets also document all sorts of things such as how much solution was added to the chamber, how much wood was in the chamber and how much solution much was left over. From this one can work out what the penetration was and can be verified through the retention records.

When the wood is treated it is placed in a chamber and all the air is sucked out to create a vacuum. Solution is then added to the chamber which now takes up the void or vacuum and the solution is sucked into the timber. They call this pressure treatment.

Wooden decks Durban

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CCA is an abbreviation for Chromated Copper Arsenate. The copper stops fungus growing on the wood, which in turn causes the fibres of the wood to break down and rot. The arsenate stops insects from eating it and the chrome binds the two so that they don’t leach out of the wood. There are different hazard classes of CCA treated timber. For a full explanation you can visit http://www.sawpa.co.za (South African Wood Preservers Association).

Once this pine has been treated it can now get wet without the fear of it rotting because the fungus cannot grow. It is not water that causes rot, but rather fungus. The water allows the fungus to grow which breaks down the fibres of the wood which causes rot. So now your wood can get wet without rotting.

When the wood is treated, this CCA solution they use penetrates the timber based on the pressure they use and the time it remains in the chamber. The longer the time, the greater the pressure and the stronger the solution, the higher the hazard class and more resistant it is to rot and insect infestation. So timber being used outdoors subject to weathering (rain and sun) needs to be of a higher Hazard Class than timber being used in your roof where it is protected from rain to a large degree.

The depth of the penetration is subject to the density of the timber (pine vs. saligna or gum), and the time in the chamber. These retention records mentioned above are obtained from coring a section of the timber on each batch to ensure that the solution penetrated the timber properly. The charge sheets will outline how long the timber was in the chamber, the strength of the solution etc.

Wooden deck guarantee

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So once all these documents have been collated, one can apply for a guarantee from the suppliers of the solution used in the treatment process.

One last criterion is that where we cut a piece of timber we need to treat the end grain with an end sealer approved by the supplier. This is because the solution used in the treatment process does not penetrate all the way through the timber. Depending on the density of the wood it will penetrate about 16mm into the timber. With pine, as opposed to saligna, it will obviously penetrate further as the timber is softer. Timber such as balau cannot be successfully treated as it is too dense. However it rarely needs to be treated as it is naturally resistant to insect infestation and rot due to the resins and oils naturally found in the wood.

By following the manufacturers and SAWPA’s guidelines one can successfully use treated pine as suitable outdoor timber for decking.

The pictures alongside show where we have used an approved end sealer to treat the timber on all cut ends.

For a free no obligation quote on your decking and other outdoor requirements please contact us on 031 – 762 1795 or use the contact form below.

Wooden Sundecks – Durban North

Wooden sundecks Durban North

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Wooden sundecks Durban North

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We completed these wooden sundeck jobs in Durban North last year during our busy decking season. There were two decks we built. They were both quite simple in that they were low-level wooden sundecks coming off the granny flat, which had just been refurbished measuring 5m x 2.2m.

The first one was a relatively small deck. It had two steps off the front edge with closed risers. That was probably the most difficult part of the job but we have worked out a way to build these quite effortlessly. We build the deck with a fascia beam on the front and then we build a box complete with supporting joists frame etc. We then attach this to the fascia beam of the deck we have just built and we are left with a frame which we can clad to create our riser and tread of our stairs. It is much easier to do it this way. Trying to build it piece by piece in situ is a lot more difficult and time-consuming. In fact building decks in sections and then hoisting them up into place is the easiest way to build as it allows you to work on a section of the deck on the floor, get everything square and then simply level it in place and attach it.  We had two concrete columns on the front edge of the deck so it was relatively easy to secure the deck and made for fewer posts and concrete.

Wooden sundecks Durban North

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The second deck was closer to ground level off the patio of the main house. Again we built this in sections and lifted them up to secure them to the wall and then secured the front edge with posts to ground using concrete. Because of the length of the deck (11m odd) we had to build it in two sections and lift each section up independently of each other. It becomes a bit cumbersome trying to lift an 11m deck into place. So it is better to build it in two sections and lift each one separately. You need to be careful though that the entire structure remains flat from one end to the other. By doing them in two sections it is easy to get a kink in the middle. So run fish line from one end of the one section to the far end of the other section and adjust the join to get the entire frame flat and level.

In another article I will describe the different methods used to screw the deck boards down. Again there is an easy and quick way or there is the slow process of marking and cutting each board individually. What one wants to do is to lay all boards out and snap chalk line where the cuts should be, then cut them all, put them back and secure them. There is another method too where you screw the boards down and then lift the ends that need to be cut and cut with a skill saw.

Wooden sundecks Durban North

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These two decks were sealed using Timberlife Satin Wood 28 Base, a sealer suitable for woods of low porosity. Being and oil based sealer it goes on very easily, cannot run or streak and when it comes to maintenance, you simply wipe clean and re-apply. You will need to do it a bit more often than other deck “sealers”, but there will be no more sanding as the oil cannot peel or flake like a coating does. It soaks into the wood, nourishes it, leaving the full natural look of the wood and simply disappears instead of flaking and peeling.

For a free no obligation quote on your wooden deck, balustrades, stairs etc. please call us on 031 – 762 1795 or use the contact us form below.

Wooden Screens, Pergolas, Decks and Gates Durban

Driveway gate clad in balau

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Wooden gates Durban

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Wooden Screens Durban

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Wooden balustrades and pergolas Durban

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We were asked to quote on wooden screens, wooden pergolas, wooden decks and wooden gates on a new build in Prestondale, an area north of Umhlanga, at a development called Izinga Ridge. We originally quoted in about June 2013 and the work was awarded to us for s start date of about 1 November 2013. The job consisted of various screens between brick columns on the boundary wall, a pergola on an open balcony on the first floor, external and internal balustrades, garden gates, a driveway gate and a pool deck.

All the timber we used was balau hardwood with the exception of the substructure of the pool deck which was H3 and H4 CCA treated pine. In other articles you can read about how we have managed to keep our prices down by using this as a substructure whilst still being able to offer up to a 50 year guarantee on this treated timber.

Most of the screens were pretty straight forward with balau cleats on the wall and then clad using a non reeded 19 x 68 deck board. We used non reeded so that both sides would look the same, but we did battle to find non reeded boards as most of the deck boards available are already reeded, or grooved on one side. There were two screens that proved a little more difficult as the wall we were attaching them to was angled. So the boards had to be cut at that angle and secured to each other whilst still remaining level and the join remaining plumb.

The external balustrades were different to our normal vertical picket style balustrades as the client requested horizontal slats instead. Again we used non reeded deck boards for this with a normal post system. On each post we attached vertical cleats to accept the horizontal deck boards or slats. They were installed in line, or on top of the concrete slab, rather than being attached to the front of the concrete slab. The tiles had already gone down so we had to drill through the tiles without cracking them. We installed an “ankle” on the middle post to provide support which is attached to the vertical post and is then shaped to fit around the slab to attach again to the vertical of the concrete slab. This, in effect, allows the post to be attached to the outside but still allows the balustrade to sit on top of the slab. It is much neater but does require a bit more thought and re-enforcing.

Wooden decks durban

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The pool deck was relatively simple as it was a low-level deck around the pool with a simple frame system using 38 x 114 joists and beams. Extra posts had to be concreted in as it wasn’t high enough to slot an under beam, or main beam, of 50 x 228 in.

The driveway gate was fun. We had the steel made up in a design that would work well by cladding it with wood. We had to source long enough non reeded boards to run the full width of 4m. One cannot join boards in this type of gate unless there is a centre steel vertical support which would spoil the look of the gate a bit. We had run out of standard non reeded boards and so had all suppliers so we sourced a 20 x 140 board and ripped it in half, length ways, to arrive at two boards of 20 x 68.

Wooden balustrades Durban

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The pictures alongside show some work in progress and some completed work. It was an interesting but challenging job as there were many contractors on site all trying to work, and finish, before the handover of the house. The worst part of the job was fighting traffic from north Umhlanga to the freeway in both the morning and afternoon.

For a free, no obligation, quote on wooden decks, pergolas, garden gates, balustrades and all other outdoor timber work, please call us on 031 – 762 1795 or complete the form below.

Wooden Decks Durban – Bluff

Wooden decks Durban

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This wooden deck in Durban was the second phase of a job we started at the beginning of the year. We were originally asked to build a deck off the main bedroom. First we had to remove the aluminium window and install an aluminium sliding door. I always suggest that clients do this first so that we can build our wooden decks perfectly flush to the new opening.

We had various obstacles to overcome. There was a septic tank that we were building on top of so we had to leave sufficient space and a large enough trap door to access all three tanks. We built one large trap door so that the whole thing could be taken off to access these tanks. During our build a new soak away had to be built as the old one had packed up.

With all of this out-of-the-way, we could continue with phase two which was to complete the main deck with two steps off the front edge leading to the garden and a new second deck in front of the sliding doors to the lounge. This second deck had a corner step similar to the other deck.

Wooden decks Durban

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These steps were the full length of the deck and had closed risers and treads. In order to build one of these you must basically build a second substructure in the same way as you build the deck substructure in order to span your deck boards across them. So each tread has two beams and joists and is then clad with deck boards. I can clearly remember building our first one which took ages because we tried to build each joist individually. We’ve since learned that with smaller structures one can build a frame and then pull it into position and attach it to the main structure and then clad it. Much quicker, much easier and a lot more accurate.

This was our final job for 2013 and we lost one day to rain which set us back a day and we had to spill over into the weekend. We had originally planned to finish on the Friday, but we had to come back on Saturday morning to seal it.

The original deck we built earlier on in the year had greyed already from the sun so we had to sand it quite a bit to get it back to its original colour for the two to match.
Most of our decks this year have been built using an H3 CCA treated pine substructure. We are able to offer a 50 year guarantee from the supplier for the H3 treated timber and a 30 year guarantee for the H4 treated timber. The cost

Wooden decks Durban

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difference between balau and CCA pine is huge so we can keep our rates down to our clients and the H3 CCA pine will actually outlast the balau substructure. We still use balau as deck boards and balustrades simply because it is a lot more attractive and more stable so reduces cupping, bowing and checking. In the substructure, because of the size of the timber it is not as important to limit cupping and bowing.

For a free no obligation quote on your wooden decks, pergolas, walkways, balustrades and other outdoor timber construction please contact us on 031 – 762 1795 or use the contact us form below.

Timber Sundecks in Durban

Wooden decks Durban

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“Summertime ….. And The Livin’ is Easy “… Or it CAN be !! …Yes, with the South African summer right on the doorstep now, what’s the best Christmas present you could give to your family (and yourself)? (This one won’t fit into a Christmas stocking however …)

Ponder and Dream of how ‘lekker’ it would be to have a good quality sundeck in our sunny climate, leading off your lounge, and onto your pool or into your garden… and yes, in South Africa a sundeck is as important as your lounge, or more so because of our outdoor lifestyle.

Who to get to build it?
The benefits of having it professionally installed versus a ‘fly by night builder’, or tackling this mammoth task yourself; the importance of the maintenance of your valued product and the importance of what wood type to use in its construction are all considerations to take into account when planning to invest in this forever “best thing I ever did” choice. Make it your Christmas gift to the whole family, all in one!

Wooden decks Durban

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Materials used in the construction include the following. All are good quality materials, able to weather the weather (pun intended) if properly maintained. An example:

• Balau (an imported hardwood from Indonesia, extremely dense, contains toxins that prevent termite damage and resins which repel water to prevent rot).
• Kalgard screws (similar to epoxy coating where the coating on the screw is baked on
• Stainless Steel Screws
• Epoxy to fill screw holes where the screw has been counter sunk to prevent water getting in the little hole which slows down rot
• Timber preservative rather than varnish (varnish sits on top and cracks and flakes from the UV in the sun’s rays, whereas timber preservative soaks into the wood nourishing it thereby preventing flaking and peeling of varnish.)
The Wood Joint pays special attention to detail in all products and places great importance on durability and longevity in their products by applying sound techniques and slightly over engineering most products.

Wooden decks Durban

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They pride themselves in their quality workmanship and use only top quality timber sourced from reputable suppliers.

A sundeck is a valuable addition to any home and will not only provide many years of enjoyment, but will also enhance the value of your property.

With the correct care, maintenance costs can be kept to a minimum and the life span of your deck increased.

The Wood Joint will assist you in a design that will be cost effective and will best suit your needs taking into account the existing structure that is in place.

With years of experience in the deck building industry, The Wood Joint can advise, design, maintain and erect your deck in the most cost effective and structurally best methods.

Other Products, Other Timbers …
“We have listed the three most commonly used timbers to construct decks which have been selected due to their structural strength, longevity and cost effectiveness. There are however other timbers that can be used and these can be discussed individually.”
The Wood Joint (www.thewoodjoint.co.za) from my experience and that of many is dependable, reliable, knowledgeable and professional … View their website to see the quality and standard of their Sundecks and a wider portfolio of other specialities their experience encompasses:

• Sundecks
• Balustrades
• Pergolas
• Walkways
• Garden Bridges
• Pool Decks
• Screens (vertically installed to provide privacy)
• Cladding (on walls mainly for aesthetic purposes)
Wood
Balau

The most commonly used, and most cost effective timber, is Balau which is sourced from south East Asia. It is a yellow – brown to dark brown timber with a fine texture and interlocked grain and is extremely durable under tropical conditions.

It is a fairly heavy timber weighing between 800 kgs and 1, 000 kgs per cubic metre when dry.

It can be sealed or left unsealed. Unsealed it weathers to a grey colour. It can also be stained easily using a variety of tints to change the colour.

Garapa

Garapa is also a popular decking material as it is hard, heavy, tough and strong and is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attack. Found most commonly in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Eastern Peru.

It normally weighs between 800 kgs and 960 kgs per cubic metre when dry. A fine grained timber varying in colour from yellowish to yellow – brown / yellow – pink.

It is, to a degree, scratch resistant reducing sanding during scheduled maintenance.

Massaranduba

Sourced form the West Indies and Central and South America, this timber is suitable for decks due to its hardness.

It is extremely heavy weighing in at about 1, 050 kgs per cubic metre when dry.

The texture is fine and uniform. The grain is usually straight but sometimes interlocked.

The heartwood is light red to rose red.

Keruing

Keruing is naturally found in South East Asia.

The timbers vary in colour from pinkish-brown to dark brown and look rather characterless. Grain is straight or shallowly interlocked and the texture is moderately coarse and even. All of the species contain oleo-resins and many of them will exude it onto surfaces during drying or when exposed to heat or sunshine when in use.

The weight is variable too but is generally within the range 720 to 800 kg/m3 when dried.

It is moderately durable.

For free quotes and more information on The Wood Joint’s various wooden products contact us on 031 – 762 1795 or complete the form below.