European Oak is one of the more affordable hardwood decking options. Its finger joints are visible and can shift more than tropical hardwoods. This kind of decking is also available in long lengths and can be finger-jointed or glued. It’s straightforward to stain and maintain. Its natural oils also protect it from moisture and rot. It’s the most popular wood for decking in Boston and other places with a lot of water.
Cedar is another choice for decking. Cedar is naturally resistant to insect infestation and rot. It’s also lightweight and easy to work with. However, cedar is less likely to warp than other woods, making it better for vertical elements such as privacy fencing, pergolas, and planters. Redwood is another option, though it tends to warp when exposed to water. Cedar is an excellent option if you want the look of wood but don’t want to pay the price of rotting wood.
Pressure-treated lumber is another option. Pressure-treated lumber is more stable and can last up to 15 years. However, wood decking made of pressure-treated lumber can splinter, and you’ll need to take steps to maintain it. Otherwise, you risk splinters and rot-in-place, which could ruin your deck. You may also consider sanding and painting the wood to keep it looking beautiful.
Depending on your needs, you may want to choose between smooth or wood-grain surfaces. For example, if you’re building a deck around a pool, you may want to choose a darker color as this absorbs more heat. However, it’s essential to know that wood decks require more maintenance than other decking materials, so it’s best to use a combination of both.
Natural wood decking is also a good option for the DIY enthusiast. Its natural beauty is appealing, and the wood is relatively inexpensive. It’s easy to work with and can last for 15 to 20 years with proper care. However, the price of natural wood decking varies greatly, so be sure to shop around before making a decision. You can expect to spend between PS50 and PS60 per square foot.
Composite wood decking is also an option, which is virtually maintenance-free. Composite wood never needs to be sealed or stained. It’s durable, water-proof, and doesn’t fade quickly. The downside to composite wood is that it’s not ideal for sunny locations. Plastic or Redwood decking will also fade quickly if exposed to the sun. However, plastic is much less susceptible to sun damage. It’s a great choice if you’re concerned about fading.
Besides hardwood, there are several other types of decking. The fastest-growing materials are plastic lumber and composite decking. The former is made from recycled plastic and wood fibers. It’s highly stain-resistant and free of knots. While plastic lumber has no wood fibers, it’s stronger and more resistant to extreme weather. In addition, plastic lumber doesn’t warp or shrink and is easy to maintain.
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