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How to identify my decking timber

Well, you’re probably on this page because you’re trying to identify the timber on your deck; it can be a tricky job sometimes, especially after many years of the kiwi harsh sun, and then all the elements of muddy boots, fungus mould, old Stains, new Stain.

The easiest way is to do a little sanding. Or, If you can remove the screws from a small board or the one you are replacing, take it off and sand top or underneath, then pop down to Mitre 10 or Bunnings. Compare the wood grain patterns with the piece you have and the timber stacked on the yards, or even better, ask somebody. Generally, most of the timber guys have years of experience and will be able to identify it straight away.

Below is a quick image gild to help you identify , these are based on th most common types of decking timber that we come across at deckrefresh.


Radiata Pine

It is a medium-density softwood, straight-grained with an even texture. It is treated to H3.2 for durability and works well with hand and machine tools. Heartwood is light brown in colour and is non-durable to perishable in regards to decay resistance. Sapwood is a pale yellowish-white colour treated with preservatives to be used in external applications.The bottom line is that pine timber decking is by far the best value for the price.


Kwila heartwood is yellow-brown to dark red-brown in colour. The grain is slightly interlocked, and the texture is moderately coarse. Yellow deposits in the vessels are a common feature of the wood.. Kwila decking not only looks great, but stands the test of time.


In 2023 we see this used alot for hardwood decking, Vitex is sourced from community-based operations in the Solomon Islands. Vitex is a hardworking timber that is light in colour and weathers to a beautiful uniform grey with UV exposure A consistent pale-yellow and creamy-grey colour, with a fine, even grain, Vitex has minimal bleeding of tannins, making it much less likely to stain concrete and other hard surfaces when compared to other hardwood products.


Garapa is a dense, naturally durable hardwood, ideally suited for exterior decking. Able to be finished to a smooth, fine finish, Garapa has a naturally durable surface with little tendency to splinter or move. it can show golden and yellow colours as ,and look very dark , depending on the source.


Purpleheart is an extremely dense, strong, and durable South American hardwood, especially popular as a decking timber in New Zealand for many years.

The unique colour change of Purpleheart also adds appeal – light brown when freshly cut, changing to a deep purple upon exposure, before maturing to brown and eventually a silver-grey colour after many months.


Sourced from responsibly managed forests in West Africa,One of the most versatile and hardworking timbers.

Commonly used in kiwi decks for the past 35 years, Iroko is relatively light to mid-weight hardwood, durable and resilient, with a natural resistance to both rot and insect attack. With a medium to coarse texture and interlocked grain, Iroko is a a great decking.


Blackbutt heartwood ranges from golden yellow to pale brown, sometimes with a slight pink tinge. The sapwood is much paler in colour, and can sometimes have small gum veins visible

Spotted Gum

Spotted Gum is a hard and durable A Highly resistant to decay and with natural oils, often displays regional differences in colour, ranging from pale grey-browns and creams through to rich, chocolates and greens. The ‘spotted’ refers to the mottled colouring that forms on the exterior of the tree as it sheds strips of bark.


Macrocarpa (Cupressus macrocarpa) is a NZ grown, exotic cypress softwood timber.

Light blonde-coloured softwood decking

Macrocrapa is easy to work with, has good strength and is naturally durable.


Cumaru is an exceptionally dense, hard timber with a natural resistance to fungi and insects, making it an ideal solution for deecking, extremely resilient and durable, with a beautiful grain detail and finish.


Bamboo has been through a heat treatment process Thermo density, making it suitable for the harshest climates. The decking comes in a darker brown color, but will gradually change to a more caramel color as a Weathers before gradually fading into a silver gray color like any other timber.


Botanical Species:Eucalyptus marginata Origin:Australia (Western) Very DurableStrength

froma large tree producing light to dark red timber darkening to a uniform red brown mahogany.

Find out more about:

Decking Oil vs. Stain: decoding the choice

Choosing Wisely: Water-Based vs. Oil-Based Decking Products

Revamping your space: your deck renovation

Deck refresh is Auckland's leading environmental and family safe deck restoration service.

We do it all. From deck sanding, cleaning, oiling, staining to deck maintenance.

It's the only clean solution.

If you would like a free quote or know more about kiwi decking care and protection, visit

Auckland deck cleaning service.

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