Our Manager’s Favourite Hardwood Deck-Type

Garapa Decking With a Malawi Chair

Our Manager’s Favourite Hardwood Deck-Type

The three hardwoods we sell primarily at Online Building are Balau, Macaranduba and Garapa.


When I started at Online Building in 2007, I only sold Yellow Balau. It’s a good choice, with many satisfied customers over the years. It also comes ribbed on one side, giving it an anti-slip feature. However, most customers install it ribbed side down. For some, a drawback may be that it develops surface cracks over the years. These are not structural issues but merely cosmetic damage done to the wood. You may argue that it adds to the authentic and rustic feel of the wood.


Macaranduba is beautiful timber being rich red. The unfortunate thing is that it does not hold this rich red colour for a long time. In my opinion, Macaranduba still has more visual character than Balau. I like it so much that I installed a 100m2 deck inside my home in 2012. Ten years on, it sports an aged look with fine cracks. The deck looks beautiful with no signs of decay, splintering or weakness, although I did use an expert installer. Never take shortcuts when installing your new and stunning deck area.


Then there is Garapa, which is yellow and brown but quickly drops that prominent yellow visual when exposed to its new environment.

Garapa is incredibly stable and shows much fewer cracks on the surface, more than Macaranduba and Balau. It’s stable by nature which is a big positive, showing reduced shrinking and swelling. This lends itself to a side-fixing option. I am not a fan of side fixing, but if the client insists, then the narrow Garapa with professional installation is the best / only option.

Lastly, Garapa lends itself better to areas receiving a lot of sun and heat due to its light colour, although all three decking types age to a very similar colour.

Which Hardwood Reigns Supreme?

Summing up my personal opinions I do favour Garapa over the other two, but all three are good options and will last the test of time provided they are correctly installed and maintained.

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