Introduction to Timber Decking

What is a timber deck, and why are they a thing?
Timber deck at the front porch, as an extension from the living hall

In architecture, a timber deck is an elevated surface constructed from timber components and related hardware/accessories, and must be able to withstand the weight of several adult humans. It is typically installed outdoors, on places such as the balcony, backyard, rooftop terrace, poolside and any open spaces in general. The timber deck is built for a variety of purposes; it can serve as an extension from the house (e.g. a balcony deck), as a connecting pathway between two points (e.g. a bridge), or as a standalone platform (e.g. a pavilion deck).

Timber decking has gained popularity increasingly in recent years for the value they bring to the property, be it in terms of aesthetic value or commercial value. For one, we at Nam Soon decided to expand into the business of timber decking back then as we were inspired to share the rustic beauty and natural durability of timber decking with property owners in Singapore.

Basic Terminology Explained:
  1. Timber – an umbrella term that refers to wood that has already been processed and prepared in dimensional quantities to be used in woodworking.
  2. Wood Species – As with all living organisms, wood harvested from different types of trees are scientifically categorised by species to reflect the different properties and characteristics in them, just like how beetles, ants and flies are all different species of insects. It is imperative for end-users, builders and project managers to understand the properties of the various wood species in order to use them to the best cost advantage. Examples of wood species that are used in timber decking locally are Chengal, Merbau, Teak, Bangkirai and many more.
What are the choices?

While natural wood has long been the dominant choice in deck-building, concerns about ecological sustainability, as well as advancements in material manufacturing technology in recent years have led to the introduction of new classes of timber decking products to the market, namely the “Wood-Plastic Composite (WPC)” and “Engineered Timber”.

In coherence to our stringent criteria for procurement of materials, Nam Soon is carrying only natural hardwood and WPC decking products. Several brands of “Engineered Timber” decking have entered and left the local market, having failed to live up to their lofty expectations so far in the hot and humid climate of Singapore. This is exemplified by the numerous failed case studies we have witnessed over the years.