Having a timber deck comes with many benefits. It is durable, functional, and stylish. But the trick to having the ideal timber deck for your home is to pay careful attention when selecting the timber. Multiple wood species can be used to make a timber deck. The advantage here is that you will always find something that works best for your home. On the downside, however, you need to consider a few things first to narrow down the many options available. Here's a quick guide to help you with this.
Think About Whether You Want Softwood, Hardwood or Composite Decking
Timber decking materials usually come in three primary categories: softwood, hardwood, and composite. They vary in their durability, functionality, practicality, costs, etc.
Softwood decking is among the most popular options. It is usually easier to work with and cheaper compared to its counterparts. And that is perhaps why many people prefer softwood decking. Softwoods are naturally weather-resistant and tend to perform well when it comes to resistance to rotting and insects such as termites. Some of the common softwoods include cedar, pine, and spruce. Worth noting, however, is that softwoods are generally not as durable as other options such as hardwoods.
Composite decking is made from a mixture of recycled plastic and recycled fibres of wood. Some of the advantages of choosing composite decking are that it's naturally impervious to water, there's a variety of options from which you can select (especially when it comes to colour) and it's easy to clean. One of the significant drawbacks of this type of decking is that it's generally not designed as a structural type of timber. That is, if you choose the decking, you may need to add pressure-treated wood on the decking to improve its strength and durability.
Hardwood decking is another excellent choice to consider. Compared to other decking options, hardwood decks are highly resilient when it comes to pests and rot, and they are also more durable. But for these benefits comes the cost because they are the most expensive option you will find.
Natural Durability Rating
Most timber products have a natural durability rating or durability class. The rating determines the natural resistance of the timber to pests, fungi, etc. Generally, a lower class or grade indicates the highest level of durability. Such products are usually the best for outdoor use, such as decking. Keep in mind, however, that this rating usually applies only to untreated wood species. You shouldn't be concerned about this if you are buying treated timber.