The Best Kind of Wood for Decking
Decking has quickly become a popular choice among homeowners who want to increase their outdoor living space and enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of their garden. Choosing the right type of wood for your decking project ensures that you will have a beautiful, long-lasting addition to your home. In this article, we'll delve deeper into various types of wood that are best suited for decking, as well as discuss their unique features and benefits.
What Makes a Wood Ideal for Decking?
When determining the ideal type of wood for your decking project, there are several factors to consider:
- Durability: The wood should be resistant to decay, termites, and other insects, as well as being able to withstand the elements such as sunlight, water, and temperature fluctuations.
- Aesthetics: The appearance of the wood should be visually appealing, with variations in colour, grain patterns, and texture to match the desired look of your outdoor space.
- Workability: The wood should be relatively easy to machine and cut, with minimal tendency to split or warp.
- Sustainability: Ensure that the wood originates from responsibly managed forests that adhere to sustainable logging and replanting practices.
Top Types of Wood for Decking
1. Pressure-Treated Softwoods (Pine or Spruce)
Pressure-treated softwoods, such as pine or spruce, are a popular choice in the UK due to their availability and affordability. These woods are treated with chemicals to increase their resistance to decay and pests. However, they do require regular maintenance, such as re-staining, to maintain their appearance and prevent warping or splintering.
- Readily available
- Easy to work with
- Requires regular maintenance
- Susceptible to warping and splintering
- Lower lifespan compared to hardwoods
2. Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar is a popular choice for decking due to its natural resistance to rot, decay, and insects. With a reddish-brown hue and finely textured grain, it provides a visually appealing option for homeowners. Although relatively soft, it is still more durable than pressure-treated softwoods and requires minimal maintenance.
- Naturally rot and insect-resistant
- Aesthetically pleasing appearance
- Low-maintenance option
- More expensive than pressure-treated softwoods
- Lower durability compared to hardwoods
3. Hardwoods (Ipe, Teak, Cumaru)
Hardwoods such as Ipe, Teak, and Cumaru, are incredibly dense, heavy, and durable, making them ideal choices for decking projects. These woods boast a high resistance to decay, insects, and wear, which significantly extends their lifespan. However, hardwood decking is more difficult to work with and generally more expensive than other options.
- Exceptionally durable and long-lasting
- Highly resistant to decay and insects
- Minimal maintenance required
- Difficult to work with due to density
- Limited availability