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3 Types of Wood Decking for Your New Deck

3/11/2016

Category: Decks
Tags: cedar redwood wood decking

wood decking

So you’ve settled on a wooden deck? That’s a great choice if you are looking for an inexpensive solution and don’t mind the maintenance. But now you have another difficult choice to make: which type of wood should you use? There is pressure-treated wood, redwood, cedar, exotic hardwood and many other varieties to choose from. Allow our Maryland deck contractors to show you the differences between a few popular wood decking options.

Redwood and Cedar Decking

Cedar can make a beautiful deck and is ideal for homeowners going for that natural look or the “cabin in the woods” style. Cedar has a natural reddish tint to it, which can be further enhanced with the right stain. What makes cedar great as a decking material is the fact that it’s resistant to rot and moisture in general. With the right maintenance, a cedar deck could last between 15 and 20 years, depending on how far off the ground it is and how much shade/sun it gets.

You would need to clean and reseal your cedar deck every 1-2 years if you want to maintain its beautiful, rich color. You may also need to be careful with the furniture you use on your cedar deck, because cedar is a fairly soft type of wood. If you plan on using heavy metal furniture with sharp legs, or expect the furniture to be dragged around a lot, you may need something tougher like redwood.

Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is made by placing wood into a pressurized cylinder where it gets infused with chemical preservatives meant to enhance natural qualities of the wood. These preservatives make wood more resistant to termites, rot, fungus and decay in general. This pressure treatment process helps make some softer species of wood like Douglas Fir and Southern Pine more suitable for outdoor use and better protected against the elements.

This may sound like a good idea, but keep in mind that there are many different grades of pressure-treated wood. Sometimes, it’s best to spend a bit more and get wood with fewer knots that would dry evenly without warping. Since you are investing in something long lasting, you might as well make sure it will result in a beautiful end product.

Tropical Hardwoods

Tropical hardwoods include such species as Jutoba, Tigerwood, Ipe, Red Balau, Cambara and Golden Ironwood. They are extremely dense and are high up on the Janka hardness scale. Most of these tropical hardwoods are also naturally resistant to rot and insects, but this also comes at a hefty price. However, if you are building an upscale deck, tropical hardwoods can fit right in and help you achieve the desired look. The only other thing to consider is how much sun your deck will be getting. Many tropical woods tend to be dark, so you may want to pick a lighter variety to reduce the fading.

Interested in learning more about different wood decking materials? Or maybe you changed your mind and want to go with composite decking instead? Contact our Maryland deck builders at Archway Remodeling and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

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