Like any professionally-done home addition, decks can bolster your home’s resale value. Many families with…
When it comes to deck building, today’s market offers a variety of wood choices to kick-start your deck-building project. Decking professionals are informed and updated on wood refinishing techniques, composite materials, and the most durable and budget-friendly options for anyone looking to build their dream outdoor deck. Selecting the correct type of material is crucial to a long-lasting, beautiful deck. It all depends on weather conditions, budget requirements, and the available materials in your area.
There has yet to be a definitive consensus on what types of wood suit you. Some deck contractors consider specific options above others. In contrast, others believe that the best wood for decks is budget-friendlier options that don’t require too much maintenance. Whatever decking material you’re considering for your patio project, every decking board has advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of.
What type of wood is best for a deck?
As we mentioned above, the right wood for you is based on many factors, from your contractor’s advice to the average cost you’re looking for that will benefit your wallet. You have options, from Hardwood to redwood to composite planks — it’s up to you to decide.
Types of Deck Wood
There are countless species of lumber in the market, from widespread ones to the most exotic wood decking boards. Billy Deck & Patios LLC has compiled a list of the most common types of decking material and their pros and cons.
Cedar trees are native to the mountains of the Himalayas and the Mediterranean and can reach heights up to 3200 meters. This type of decking wood is popular for its natural preservative oils that repel moths and other invasive insects. It’s not only popular in deck construction, but in furniture building as well. They are a naturally beautiful option for your deck project and are highly resistant to weather changes and decay, making them one of the most popular options in the decking industry.
However, its preservative nature and aesthetic make it an expensive option for up to 30 dollars per square foot. Being such a dainty and attractive material comes with more maintenance costs, winterization requirements and is prone to scratching and denting.
Hardwood is wood from dicot trees, like oaks, maples, and sycamore. This type of wood has many applications like tools, construction, boats, furniture, musical instruments, flooring, cooking, and even fuel and charcoal production. This is another type of popular wood for decking that is highly durable, long-lasting, resistant to denting and rotting, and fire-resistant.
As you know, though, this very natural-looking wood comes with disadvantages. Aside from environmental concerns with deforestation, a hardwood deck is more difficult to install due to its weight and hardness. It is an even more costly alternative to Cedar, costing you more in installation and materials.
Redwood trees are among the tallest in the world. They grow in coastal California and Oregon and can live thousands of years. They are reddish or pinkish-brown in color. Though not cheap, they’re much more affordable than Cedar and Hardwood, making them an attractive option for your decking.
Despite its popularity and durability, redwood deck boards are prone to staining. Because of the softness of the material, it’s usually unsuitable for pressure washing, making the cleaning process much more time-consuming and difficult.
Though not entirely synthetic, these artificial wood decking tiles and planks are made from wood fibers, plastic, and binding material. This type of material only emerged in the 1990s and has since become a popular choice among deck builders. Because of the general structure of composite wood, it tends to be heavier than regular wooden planks. Composite lumber comes pre-stained, pre-sanded, and pre-painted, so installation costs and time are cut drastically.
This type of composite decking requires less maintenance and comes in various colors. Composite wood deck boards are less prone to staining, fading, scratching, and acquiring mold. However, a composite deck will look more synthetic than other wooden alternatives. Some homeowners prefer a more natural look for their outdoor patio.
Pressure Treated Wood
Pressure-treating wood means filling wood fibers with preservative chemicals to protect them and then removing any excesses. This leaves behind only enough wood fibers to protect it. They are affordable, easy to repair, and versatile in color and installation. Despite its low costs, pressure-treated wood is more prone to splintering, is more high-maintenance, and fades faster over time under the sun.
Other materials used in deck building, though less common, are bamboo, tropical hardwoods that are more difficult to obtain, tile, concrete, PVC, aluminum, and others.
What is the longest-lasting wood for a deck?
Hardwood (like Brazilian IPE Hardwood) is the most durable option among the most durable types of wood. Depending on the type of Hardwood you pick, a well-done hardwood deck can last you more than five decades! It’s expensive, but it makes up for it in sheer durability. You won’t have to worry about replacing your wooden deck anytime soon.
What is the shortest-lasting wood for a deck?
Unlike durable hardwoods and composite decking materials, pressure-treated wood has the shortest lifespan. Though cheaper and easier to install, pressure-treated decking will last about 15 years, significantly less than high-quality wood.
Can You Use Pallet Wood for Decks?
While it’s entirely possible to use pallet wood for deck building, Billy Deck & Patios LLC does not recommend this type of material for your construction. Pallet wood rots faster, is more prone to damage under the elements, breaks quickly, and only lasts about five years outdoors (at the most).
Don’t Let Your Deck Building Dreams Stay Dreams!
Whichever wood type of deck building you’re looking for, whether redwood and Cedar or composite and Hardwood, Billy Deck & Patios LLC is ready to kick-start your deck or patio installation project. We offer the best decking services in Hamilton, VA, and surrounding areas.