So, you’re looking to build a deck. Chances are, you want something both that looks great, and will stay that way for the long run. But with so many materials out there, it can be difficult to choose which one will suit your needs. One of the best options out there? Exotic hardwood decking. There’s a reason why most public ocean-facing boardwalks are built with exotic wood. However, just like any other material, there are a few downsides to consider. Before you get to building, here are the pros and cons of decking with exotic hardwoods.


The Pros



Exotic hardwood decking is one of the strongest materials you could choose for your deck. Not only will it hold up well over time, but it’s also resistant to rotting and insects, even if it’s directly on the ground. Because it is so hard, it is also very good at staying protected against scratches, nicks, and any other wear and tear that comes along with regular use. 



Most exotic hardwoods, such as ipe, are sustainably harvested. Plus, just the fact that it comes from a tree already makes it a friendlier option for the earth than man-made materials, as trees are a renewable resource. It’s also recyclable, so if you are discarding any wood, be sure to do so in an environmentally friendly way!



One of the top reasons many people choose to go with exotic wood decking is its appearance. There simply isn’t a way to recreate the look of exotic wood with man-made materials. Even over time, it ages beautifully into a stunning silver that would make any homeowner proud. It also brings a much more natural look to your deck, allowing it to seamlessly blend in with your surroundings.


The Cons



The main downside to choosing exotic woods is the price. Usually, exotic hardwood will cost you almost twice the price of other materials, like softwood or composite. If you’ve got the money to spend on your deck, it is a worthwhile investment. However, if you are on a tight budget when constructing your deck, it may not be the right option for you.



Although the strength of exotic woods can be considered a positive in terms of durability, it becomes an issue when trying to cut and assemble the pieces to your deck. Exotic woods are much harder than other materials, meaning it’s more difficult for a saw to cut through. Ultimately, this will slow down the building process and could require more specialized tools. 



If you live somewhere with hot summers, you’ll want to make sure your deck can withstand the heat. Because it is so dense, exotic hardwood often absorbs heat and can be hot to the touch on those sunnier days. One way to fix this is opting for a lighter colored hardwood, as this can help reduce the amount of heat it absorbs.


The Bottom Line of the Pros and Cons of Decking

When making your choice, you’re going to have to take into account all of your personal circumstances. If you have the finances and are living in your forever home — exotic hardwoods are the way to go. However, if you’re on a tight schedule, a tighter budget, and are likely planning on moving, exotic might not be the right option for you. Remember, all decking materials have their upsides and downsides. It’s important to do your research before you make a decision that’s right for you. 

And if you feel ready to jump into your project, be sure you call in professionals like the team at WICR, who can help ensure your deck is done right the first time and stays looking just as great for years to come.