What Makes Suitable Decking Wood?

A question we often hear is what makes suitable decking wood, surely wood is wood. As you can guess by reading the topic of this blog post, not every wood is equal to the task.  There are plenty of wood species which are used for a wide range of timber applications from flooring to worktops, but those used as decking wood have to accommodate a number of important properties.

What Makes Suitable Decking Wood?

1. Available from sustainable forests – The wood should be sourced from managed forests where trees are replenished. This will normally mean that exotic species are not suitable.  

2. Contain natural oils – Deck surface has to cope with the weather. Woods which contain natural oils reduce the need for preservatives and sealants, and will help ensure a long service life.

3. Decay-resistant woods – High quality decking woods which have been professionally installed are expected to last from 15 to 25 years, so natural decay-resistant properties are important. Other useful properties to look out for are insects, fungus, acids or alkalis natural resistant characteristics.

4. High fire rating – A nice added bonus of quality woods is their high fire rating. Some woods such as Cumaru actually enjoy the same fire raring as steel (class A rating).

So, while you have plenty of choice when it comes to hardwood, only a selected few are suitable as decking wood. To name just a few, common species are Teak, Ipe, Opepe, Iroko & Cypress.

Advice by Wood and Beyond

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