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Decked out with style: Best Wood Choices for Decking

July 26, 2013

Wooden decking? Of course. Have you noticed how our summers are getting longer and hotter? It seems there are more perfect opportunities to enjoy a barbeque with friends or to simply relax outdoors with a glass of wine on a lovely summer’s evening. That’s why, now more than ever it’s worth adding a deck to your property. While it adds another living space to your home, a deck will also add value – so it pays to investigate the best timber for your particular style and needs. 

Wood has long been the most popular choice for a deck – and for good reason. It is natural, strong, easy to install and weathers well to match the exterior of a home. It also feels good under bare feet, which is ideal for summer. 

So which should you choose – hardwood or softwood? Just like timber flooring, each species of wood has its pros and cons when it comes to decking. The big question is this: softwood or hardwood?

Softwoods, including pressure-treated Southern Yellow Pine, Scots Pine, European Redwood and Cedar are extremely durable – so long as you choose a good quality wood that will stand the test of time. In fact, most of UK decks are constructed from softwoods thanks to their budget friendly and easy-build properties. 

For richer colours and more hardwearing properties, hardwoods are a better choice. An increasingly popular hardwood for decking projects is Ipé, which is extremely hard, strong and heavy. This means it is an exceptionally durable, resistant to water and algae, which keeps it from becoming slippery. Ipe is also a beautiful rich colour, which will fade to stunning light silver over time. Other hardwoods include Tatajuba, Balau, Iroko, Massaranduba and Oak, which can last up to 20 years. 

No matter which wood you choose, there are some key things to remember. Whether you choose traditional slow-grown softwood decking or hardwood decking, make sure the timber is fully certified.

Timber is a natural material, so it will change when exposed to the elements. There may be some surface degradation and movement as a result of sunlight and moisture. This is normal though and won’t impact the strength of the deck. 

Also remember that the colour of the deck will change over time. However, you can periodically oil, stain and recoat your deck to revive it. 

When choosing your decking timber, consider matching the decking colour and style with your internal floorboards to integrate the inside and outside, creating a visually bigger area.

Do you have any question? Contact our flooring specialist today!

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