Best Wood For Decking: Which One To Choose And Why?

Installing a deck is a relatively straightforward process, but as long as you use the appropriate materials. If you are interested in wood for the deck, you might want to go with the right type for the job and of decent quality.

It is not wrong to say the correct wood is the key to a successful deck-constructing project. But, before that, you might be curious to know about the best wood for your decking. Let’s find out!

Selecting the best wood for decking can depend upon a few factors, like budget, external appeal, durability, and longevity. Pressure-treated wood costs low and is easily accessible. Softwood like cedar can add an element of natural beauty to your deck. Tropical hardwood is quite durable but very expensive.

Sometimes it can be hard to come up to a conclusion about what decking material is better for you. This article will walk you through the best wood for deck in budget, beauty, and strength.

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What Is The Best Wood To Use For Decks?

Decks are a perfect outdoor addition to your home, providing a comfortable area to spend some memorable time with your friends and family. While installing one, the first concern is mostly about making the correct material decision. Wood is always the first choice for deck construction as many people prefer the look and aesthetic appeal it provides.


However, there are many wood options available in the market. It might be somewhat hard for you to tell which one is suitable for your deck. Considering the budget, performance, and natural beauty, the best wood choices for decking are categorically listed for you below.

Best In Terms Of Affordability; Pressure Treated Wood

If you are looking for the most economical and budget-friendly option, your ideal pick can be pressure-treated wood. You can easily find this wood type in many varieties. But, among all, the most preferred choice is southern yellow pine. Besides costing low, it also has the potential to last for decades.

Best In Terms Of Affordability; Pressure Treated Wood

This wood gets treated with chemicals that allow it to resist molds, rots, and insects that can otherwise damage the wood. Also, as it is readily available almost everywhere, it adds to the widespread popularity of pressure-treated limbers.

Also Read: Best Decking Material For Winter

However, it might require some maintenance now and then as the pressure-treated limber can split or crack with time. You might have to pressure wash it yearly to keep it long-lasting and in a good state.

Best In Terms Of Aesthetics; Soft Wood

Appearance can be a top concern for many homeowners as they want to enhance the look of their property. It has a crucial role to play in the case if you are thinking of increasing the resale value of your house. So, softwood is the answer for you if you are willing to pay a little extra to achieve your goal.

Best In Terms Of Aesthetics; Soft Wood

Western softwood like cedar and redwood can add a visible appeal to your deck through their eye-catching rich colors. Cedar offers a beautiful natural hue and is easily accessible in many regions. Besides, it is lightweight yet strong and durable, making it ideal for places prone to rapid weather changes and outbursts. It also contains some naturally occurring oils enabling the cedar wood to withstand rots and insects.

Also Read: How To Protect Your Deck From The Weather?

The average lifespan of cedarwood is around 15-20 years if you take care of it properly. But, the price range of this wood is on the high side, making it an expensive option. In addition to this, softwood also requires yearly power wash and finishing coats to prevent cracks and splinters.

Best In Terms Of Durability; Tropical Hardwood

If you are ready to spend more amount for your dream decking project, you can consider the option of tropical hardwoods. They are much more durable, strong, and long-lasting than softwood decking. However, as they are rare and come from slow-growing trees, they are generally more expensive than softwood.

Best In Terms Of Durability; Tropical Hardwood

Tropical hardwoods like mahogany and ipe are great for decking. They are grainy woods and notably resistant to moisture, insects, and rots. On top of all these qualities, they are solid and durable. Their rich density provides them an extended life span compared to other traditional wood options.

But, as evident, tropical hardwoods cost high, and it is often difficult to get your hands on them. Besides, their dense nature makes it quite hard to work with them. It is a challenge to cut and drill holes in them, increasing the cost through labor alone. Also, they don’t accept stains very well either because of the thickness. You might have to opt for specifically-formulated stains to maintain your hardwood decking.

Also Read: What To Put Under Deck To Prevent Weeds? 6 Different Options

Natural Wood VS Modified Wood; Which Is Better?

In recent years, modified wood has grabbed a lot of attention from people, and there are several reasons behind it. Architects and homeowners prefer it because of its natural wood-like beauty, high durability, low maintenance, and environment-friendly nature.

Natural Wood VS Modified Wood; Which Is Better?

Modified wood, like Kebony, is a combination of softwood species treated with a non-toxic liquid that changes its cell structure. It, in turn, makes the wood denser and performs similarly to tropical hardwood. Moreover, it is super moisture-resistant and works very well in almost any climate.

Best of all, modified wood is maintenance-free and only requires occasional cleaning. So, you won’t have to treat them annually or seal them for protection to extend their life span. Thus, modified wood can be a great alternative option for you in place of natural wood. In the end, it comes down to your personal preferences and budget.

Also Read: Cheapest Ways To Build A Deck In 2022

Final Thoughts:

People can have many different opinions regarding the best wood for decking. If you dream of an aesthetic and appealing look for your deck, going towards higher-cost options like softwood is worth the money. Similarly, if you want to decide on your budget, pressure-treated wood can work the best for you. Either you opt for more expensive choices such as hardwood or an all-rounder like modified wood. It depends on your liking, and the final take would be yours.

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