If you’re looking for the perfect wood to use outdoors, look no further than Merbau. Also known as Kwila, Merbau is a popular hardwood that is found in East Africa, Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and right here in Queensland, Australia.
Let’s take a look at over everything you need to know about this great wood.
Benefits in Outdoor Applications
Merbau is the ideal choice to use in outdoor applications such as decking, patio flooring or exterior stairs. In large part, this is because it is very durable and known to be rot resistant. It is also naturally resistant to termite attack, which means that it’s a good, long lasting investment.
Merbau has good workability, too. It is a versatile wood that both glues and finishes well with paint, stain and polish, which is perfect if you want to have a strong and durable deck. This wood also turns well and responds to hand tools easily. You can trust it to be pliable enough if you want to build your own deck or if you want to add carving, cabinetry or other specifics.
In addition, due to the threat of bushfires in Brisbane, Merbau would be a good choice because it is more flame resistant than other wood types. It ranks a 0 on the EFH Spread-of-Flame index.
Unique and Strong Aesthetic
In terms of appearance, Merbau is sought after because of its unique beauty. When it is freshly cut, Kwila has an orange-brown colour which ages into a darker reddish-brown. Contrarily, the inner sapwood of Merbau is a stark white or pale yellow.
This type of wood is also known for small yellow mineral deposits found throughout the wood. Buyers use this as a way to distinguish Merbau from lookalikes. It has interlocking grains and a coarse texture that is well suited to the outdoors.
Ideal Outdoor Uses
Due to the strong properties of the wood, the durability, and the easy workability, there are many outdoor uses that Merbau is perfect for. For example, many homeowners choose to use Merbau as their timber decking because it will hold strong and because it’s resistant to insects and rotting. For these same reasons, you may choose to use Kwila as patio flooring or exterior staircases, balustrades and handrails. Merbau can be finished with a variety of paints and stains and can easily withstand the elements for years to come.
A Merbau pergola is a practical and beautiful way to extend your outdoor living space and create a functional, aesthetically pleasing entertainment area in your backyard.
Like all wood, Merbau needs to be maintained properly if you want to ensure its longevity and durability. In order to properly clean and maintain your Merbau, you should follow the steps below.
- Clear the area of all furniture and debris. Use a broom to sweep away leaves and other debris. Make sure to get in between the slats of wood, too.
- Use a solution of warm water and laundry detergent powder to clean the surface. Pour the solution on top and then use a soft-bristled brush with a long handle to scrub the surface.
- Rinse the surface of all suds and dirt with a garden hose.
- Apply a coat of stain or paint to add a level of protection and increase durability.
Interested in choosing Merbau for your next outdoor building project? Get in touch with Sunstate Timbers today.