We're getting decking installed soon. Originally I was looking at EkoDecking for the low maintenance requirements and because it would be resistant to dog pee soaking in and smelling. But I left samples outside for a few days to check for how hot it gets - so hot! And I've also seen product reps recommending against it for large dogs given the scratching.
So I've decided to go with a hardwood and ensure it's maintained well - oiled 1-2 times a year. We'll also work on trying to train our boy to wee in other areas (but it's a courtyard so there aren't many), and rinse off any pee straight away when we see it happen. But I'd also like to choose a timber that's most resistant to pee soaking in - if there is such a thing. I've narrowed the choices down to spotted gum or ironbark - is either of those better than the other for our needs?
Edited to add: the decking will be low to the ground.
Thanks for your time.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @tpb and thanks for this interesting conversation starter.
You might find the advice offered to @Serveh in this discussion about What type of decking is anti-scratch specially with dogs? helpful. I'm hoping that @PJA and @Adam_W might be able to offer you some guidance about which option would better suit your needs. Dogs generally won't toilet close to where they eat, so perhaps you could feed your dog on the deck?
Oiling a deck once a year would be considered standard maintenance under normal conditions. If you're looking to prevent urine from penetrating the timber, I would advise you to oil the deck three times a year at a minimum. Since you'll be applying oil regularly, it won't be a big ordeal and will probably only require one quick coat. I'd suggest you invest in a Cabot's Deck Coat Applicator and Pole and a Cabot's 15L Deck Hand Bucket to apply your oil, as they'll make the job a breeze. The key to this will be doing water droplet tests at regular intervals throughout the year. If the droplet gets absorbed into the timber instead of beading on top of it, you know it's time for a re-coat.
Spotted Gum and Ironbark would both be suitable choices and far superior to Merbau or Pine. Ironbark has a hardness of 14KN, which exceeds Spotted Gum's 11KN. The harder the better, and I would advise you to go with the Ironbark.
I look forward to hearing about your choices and following along with the project. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks, Jane. The issue with toileting near food is that a lot of the decking will be a long, narrow strip (about 13m long) - so while he eats at one end, there's plenty of length for him to wee on while still being well away from his dinner.
Thanks for that info, Mitchell - I'll get a quote for ironbark. Appreciate the help.