Decking Lumber: A Guide to Choosing the Best Materials for Your Outdoor Space

Posted on: 14 June 2024

When it comes to building a deck, choosing the right type of lumber is crucial. Not only does it affect the overall appearance and durability of your outdoor space, but it also impacts its maintenance and cost. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which decking lumber is best for your needs. In this blog, we will discuss a few things you need to know about decking lumber.

Types of Wood

The first step in choosing decking lumber is understanding the different types of wood available. The most common types used for decks are pressure-treated wood, cedar, redwood, and tropical hardwoods like ipe or mahogany. Pressure-treated wood is the most budget-friendly option and is treated with chemicals that make it resistant to rot and insects. Cedar and redwood are naturally resistant to decay and insects but come at a higher price point. Tropical hardwoods are known for their durability but can be expensive.


The appearance of your deck largely depends on the type of lumber you choose. Pressure-treated wood has a greenish tint due to the chemicals used in its treatment, while cedar and redwood have a warm reddish-brown color that ages beautifully over time. Tropical hardwoods have a rich dark brown color that gives off an elegant look but may require more maintenance to maintain its color.


Another important factor to consider when choosing decking lumber is its durability. If properly maintained, pressure-treated wood has a long lifespan, while cedar and redwood can last for many years or more with regular maintenance. Tropical hardwoods have the longest lifespan but require annual cleaning and sealing.


The level of maintenance required for your decking lumber can greatly impact your decision. Pressure-treated wood and cedar require regular cleaning and sealing to prevent rot and maintain their appearance. Redwood and tropical hardwoods also need annual maintenance, but they are naturally resistant to decay, making them easier to maintain in the long run.


Cost is also a crucial factor when choosing decking lumber. Pressure-treated wood is the most budget-friendly option, while cedar, redwood, and tropical hardwoods have a higher price point. However, while the initial cost may be higher for other types of wood, their longer lifespan may save you money in the long run.

When it comes to decking lumber, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each type of wood has its own unique characteristics, and it's important to consider your budget, desired appearance, durability, and maintenance level before making a decision. Whether you choose pressure-treated wood for its affordability or opt for tropical hardwoods for their longevity, make sure you research and consult with professionals before starting your deck project. 

Keep these tips in mind when looking for lumber supplies from a local supplier.