How to choose the best material for your deck

When building a new deck there are so many options it can easily become a daunting task. That’s why our estimators put extra time and effort into helping our customers through the decision making process. One of the most common questions we are asked is, “What material should I choose for my deck?” In this article we’ll explore the pro’s and con’s of modern decking materials used specifically for rainy climates.

 

CEDAR DECKING


Western Red Cedar is a classic Northwest deck material. It’s known for its striking beauty and natural resistance to insects, rot and wet weather, which makes it the only North American wood to meets our standards.

Cedar lumber is available in two different qualities:

Tight Knot Cedar

This lumber contains knots and burls that give it a rustic character, yet they are tight enough to resist water damage. Tight knot cedar is also lower cost than clear cedar, which can help when working within a budget.

Clear Cedar

Lumber with no knots, burls or other major defects is called ‘clear cedar’. It’s a strikingly beautiful wood with a warm glow that draws (and widens) the eye. Clear cedar is the longest lasting and most water resistant of the lumber quality grades.

Pros:

  • Contains natural defenses against rot and insects
  • Unparalleled beauty

Cons:

  • Requires stain and maintenance for the life of the deck
  • Slivers

 

HARDWOOD


From Brazil and Indonesia come three types of wood that are so dense they’ll sink in water, making them even more resistant to mildew and other types of water damage than cedar.

We offer three types of exotic hardwood decking options:

Ipe

Pronounced “ee-pay” this Brazilian wood comes from the genus ‘Handroanthus’, a flowering tree known for its vibrant yellow, pink, or purple flowers. It’s 8 times harder than a California Redwood tree, and every bit as gorgeous.

Cumaru

Also known as Golden or Brazilian Teak, Cumaru is some of the toughest hardwood in the industry. With lines of dark brown, red and gold, it brings an exotic look to your deck that will last years longer than more traditional woods such as cedar.

Batu

Batu hardwood comes from the Red Balau tree, which is grown sustainably on plantations in Indonesia. For those seeking a warm mahogany deck, Batu lumber is ideal. 4 times more dense than Redwood, it’s tough and naturally resistant to insects and rot.

Pros:

  • Extremely dense and durable
  • Staining is not required for the longevity of your deck
  • Dramatic and unique appearance

Cons:

  • The wood grays over time, and while you can revitalize its appearance by staining it, the process is more difficult than conventional woods
  • Heats up in the sun more than less dense wood or composite decking

 

MAN MADE (Composites, pvc, etc.)


There is a large and ever-growing number of man-made wood alternatives for custom decks, making it very difficult to know what is best when choosing from PVC to composite and all the flavors in between. Excuse the pun, but for us there is only one product that makes the cut: Eovations.

Eovations is a revolutionary, fully fibrous composite that takes both durability and beauty to a new level. Being both lightweight and easy to work with, we can also save costs on the installation compared to older types of composite or PVC decking.

Pros:

  • No staining or sanding required for the life of your deck
  • Composite decking lasts two to three times longer than traditional woods
  • The best warranty of all the decking materials
  • Slip resistant

Cons:

  • Similar in appearance but lacking the natural beauty of wood

As you can tell, we love geeking out on anything deck related, so when you’re ready to explore your decking options, give us a ring or drop a line through our contact form. We would love to guide you through the process and answer any questions you have so that you can feel confident in your choices.


 

Contact us to get started!