Wood decks are, relatively speaking, less expensive to build than others, and are often seen as more attractive to buyers. That’s why wooden decks are such hot-ticket items: they have such a high ROI.
But what is the best wood for decks? It depends on your preferred aesthetics, your priorities for maintenance, and ultimately, what you’re willing to spend to build it.
Popular deck hardwoods include oak, cherry, Ipe, and teak, some of the most beautiful kinds of wood you can use to make a deck. Decks made out of hardwood tend to be tougher, better able to withstand weather and wear, and because of that, they tend to be more expensive. Of course, just like what you would expect for the best wood for decks, they’re also harder to source. And, you’ll still need to seal them and perform surface treatments.
Softwood decks are well, softer than hardwood decks. Some famous examples include redwood, pine, fir, and cedar, which are naturally beautiful and are resistant to rot and bugs. But because they’re softer, they’re more likely to splinter and need lots of maintenance.
Pressure-treated wood is wood (usually softwood) that’s been treated with preservatives to be rot, fungus, and bug-resistant. They’re also the most common and affordable type of wood.
But, what you save in building, you may have to pay more in maintenance. They’re more likely to warp or split, and routine maintenance and cleaning may be necessary. Staining and additional preservatives may also be required every once in a while.
If you decide on using pressure-treated wood, try to look for ones that were not treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a substance that has been banned from being used in lumber for more than a decade. Unfortunately, some suppliers are still allowed to sell their leftover stock.
Keep in mind: this is for your surface decking and railings, the part of the deck that’s visible. You may need a different kind of wood for the sub-structure, or the parts that hold up your deck. And while there’s no end-all-be-all best wood for decks, you can find the next best thing by carefully weighing out your budget, your aesthetic preferences, sustainability, and how much maintenance you’re willing to put in every couple of years.
But, if you’d like the input of the most trusted waterproofing contractors in Southern California, schedule an appointment with WICR. We can help you plan your deck in the pre-construction phase, help you build a gorgeous deck, and waterproof and seal it to protect its beauty. You’ll work with the same company that knows your wooden deck, inside and out.