July 25, 2024

How to Pick the Right Wood for Decks


Adding a deck to your home is definitely an investment worth your while. Not only will you have a great space to enjoy your yard and the outdoors in the comfort of your own home, but deck installation will also boost your home’s resale value in case you ever consider selling it. 

Of course, in order to go through the deck project smoothly, you need to consider several different factors and come up with a proper plan. Regardless of whether you feel handy and skilful enough to do this project on your own or need to hire professionals for the job, the cost will also vary based on the layout and materials. Composite and wood are two commonly used materials for deck installation, but, as you can probably guess, wood is definitely the most popular. In case you’re envisioning a nice wood deck for your home as well, it’s important to understand your wood options in this case. 

Pressure Treated Wood

Pressure treated wood also called PT wood is one of the most popular budget-friendly options for many homeowners who want to add a deck in their home. Also, PT wood tends to last for a very long time. You can find deals that offer warranties between 20 and 50 years. Pine is the most common choice in this case. 

It all seems ideal but unfortunately, pressure treated wood is not without its issues. If you’re planning a deck installation while envisioning happy family life with children and pets running around, PT wood might not be the best choice. It can splinter easily, and the splinters can cause infections due to present chemicals. Also, PT wood doesn’t tend to age well, which is why it requires regular maintenance once a year with power washing, staining and sealing. That said, it’s important to compare the pros and cons with your own needs and wants in mind. 

Redwood and Cedar

Due to their beautiful appearance, redwood and cedar are the more expensive options compared to pressure treated wood. However, they are naturally resistant to rot and bugs, which makes them perfect for family homes, especially with a more natural rustic vibe. 

Still, it’s important to mention that the average durability of redwood tends to be around 30 years while cedar can last between 25 and 40. These woods can be prone to damage due to the elements, which is why they need annual or biannual sealing and staining maintenance. Even with this particular con, redwood and cedar are decay-proof, which makes them rather attractive as a deck material. In case your kitchen area opens up to the deck, it’s important to boost the safety and functionality of your space as well. Ventilation and fire protection are serious aspects of every modern and safe home. That said, don’t forget the effective kitchen duct installation as a proper fire prevention, too. 

Tropical Hardwood

Another more expensive wood material compared to the previous ones mentioned on the list include different kinds of tropical woods. However, these tend to be some of the most gorgeous woods, especially when used for the deck and they can easily elevate your exterior. Massaranduba, Cumaru, Red tauari, Tigerwood, Ipe and Philippine mahogany are common choices for homeowners who want something special for their deck. Thanks to its density, tropical hardwood is very durable and sturdy. It can last up to 40 years without any issues. 

Still, it’s important to mention that tropical woods are obviously exotic, which makes them difficult to source and not very sustainable, if this is something you worry about. 

Modified Wood

For many homeowners, contractors and architects, there’s no better solution available on the market than modified wood. Essentially, modified wood are sustainable softwoods such as Kebony that had their structure changed with non-toxic liquid so that their durability and density get a significant boost. Modified wood is 100% safe as there are no harsh chemicals involved in the treatment. Furthermore, modified wood lasts for a very long time even though it’s very low-maintenance! Not to mention that insects and pests aren’t attracted to modified wood. This solution is rather effective for all climates, so there’s no need to worry about that either. 

In the end, there’s no right or wrong wood when it comes to your deck. It all depends on your budget, taste and preferences as well as the way you value different pros and cons. Therefore, it’s crucial that you take some time to research, visualize and plan your deck installation so that you can be 100% satisfied with the end result.