Choosing the best material for your deck

Whether you’re building a new deck, or giving your existing deck a whole new lease on life, you’re faced with a big decision. What material is best for your deck?


This is a question with several possible answers. It could be local timber. Imported hardwood. Composite material. It could even be concrete. Choosing the right decking material depends on your particular requirements. You might prefer low maintenance over a true high-end look. You might want an eco-friendly material, or an easy-to-install one. Lifespan is another consideration. Budget comes into the equation as well.  All these factors…all these materials. No wonder this decision is a bit of a headscratcher. Let’s go through the options and try and make your choice an easier one.

Local timber: Low cost, hard wearing, and acclimatised to New Zealand conditions – just a few reasons why local timber, such as pine, is a solid and reliable choice. Regular maintenance and staining are required but for a relatively low-cost build, local timber should be looked at closely.

Imported hardwood: Imported hardwoods like kwila are strong, offer good insect resistance, and are easy to work with during the installation process. Like local timber, regular maintenance and staining are required and you need to be careful that the imported hardwood you choose is from sustainable plantations.

Composite: A mix of recycled plastic and timber, in an approximate 50/50 ratio. Very weather resistant, low maintenance (a wash with soapy water rather than staining is usually enough), long life span and environmentally friendly because it is made from recycled materials – but you might want to check what chemicals were used during the manufacturing process. Also, because composite material will expand and contract with temperature variations, it needs to be installed by someone who knows what they’re doing. One more thing; there is a lot of cheap, second-rate composite decking material out there, and this stuff isn’t exactly premium quality. Always be sure that the composite material you choose is from a reputable manufacturer.

Concrete: Concrete is strong and solid, and offers stability and a level surface for added safety. However, structural support is required to support the weight of a concrete deck, which adds to the Cost and time required to build one.   

While you are faced with several options when choosing the best material for your deck, at BUILPRO we believe there is only ONE option you should look at when it comes to choosing a fastener for a timber deck. Sharkstooth hidden deck fasteners are suitable for virtually all types of timber, including hardwood, pressure treated or kiln dried pine decking planks. Sharkstooth deck fasteners allow for a nail and screw free deck surface, which is safe and aesthetically pleasing…they even reduce moisture and rot. Sharkstooth is so strong and versatile, it has even been used on steel decking!


Whatever decking material you choose…and whether or not you use Sharkstooth hidden deck fasteners…it’s a good idea to add a deck, or revitalise your existing one. A great deck is like an outdoor room over summer, and you’ll be spending hours and hours relaxing and enjoying yourself in that space. So, choose your materials now and get that deck happening soon. Summer is just around the corner and it’s looking particularly deck-worthy!