How To Choose The Right Timber For Your Decking
Tips on Choosing The Best TimberBuilding a deck can be quite the project. From getting a plan laid out to collecting all the tools you’ll need, it can become a real chore. One of the most important considerations you should make when building a deck is what wood to use for decking.
According to professional builders, deciding which wood to use for structural element is all about pressure-treatment. Wood that is pressure treated has greater ability to stand up to fungi and other forms of damage. For decking, you’ll be able to use much less pressure treated wood.
But what is decking, and how is it different from the other structural elements of your deck? How do you know what treatment-level to use on your decking? In this article, we’ll clear up all your concerns about choosing the right decking. By the time you’re done, you’ll have all the info you need to figure out what kind of wood you’ll be setting out your deck chairs on.
When considering what kind of timber to use for your decking, the most important thing to consider is pressure treatment. Pressure treatment is a way to give wood a little bit more strength to stand up to the elements. Highly pressure-treated woods have much higher resistance to things like heavy water exposure and fungi.
Firstly, let’s talk about how pressure-treatment is measured. When you look for pressure treated wood, you’ll be looking at lbs/sq. foot measurements. The more pounds per square foot, the more treated it is, and the more it can stand up to.
Surprisingly, the kind of timber you’ll be using for your decking will have a very low rate of pressure treatment. This might seem counter-intuitive, since your decking will be exposed to rainfall and pollen and dirt, but when you think about it, there are parts of your deck that need much more resistance.
For decking you’ll likely want to use about 20 lbs/sq. foot treated wood.
Decking is the part of the deck you walk on. It’s the boards that show outwardly and the wood that you’ll be staining and cleaning. The wood you’ll want to use here is above-grade wood. This means that you’ll be putting this wood above other structural elements.
You may be wondering- why not use highly-treated wood? I don’t want my wood to wither away in the rain, after all.
Well, your decking is not going to be the part of your deck getting the worst of water damage. When we’re talking about water damage, the part that really bears the weight of water damage is your structural posts, or, the parts that actually go in the ground.
In the ground, structural posts just have to sit and stew among the dirt and mold. Therefore, you’re going to be looking for more highly-treated wood. Plus, treating wood can make it look very ugly, which isn’t great for wood that people are going to be looking at and hanging out on.
Kinds of Wood for Decking
Now, you may be wondering- is treatment all that matters? Haven’t I heard a lot about different kinds of wood, like cedar and hardwood? And yes, you can also consider these kinds of things, we would just recommend going with treated wood because it stands up to the test of time. Here are a few kinds of wood you might use for your decking.
Redwood tree is a great option if you want your deck to look a little more, well red! If you think your house would benefit from a beautiful subdued splash of red, you may want to go with a quality redwood for your decking.
Redwood decking is so great because it gives off an almost regal air. It looks exotic, and reminds people of quality silks and other extravagant things.
A redwood deck will give off an air of extremely high quality. It will also stand out, catching eyes from hundreds of feet away. Redwood looks great with white siding or railings built-in. Not to mention, redwood has a unique ability to retain its finish, so if you want long-lasting aesthetic appeal, this might be the way to go.
For environmentally conscious people, however, using redwood for your decking is close to using real fur on your coat. It looks nice and really is quality material, but supplies of old-growth redwood are dwindling. If you’re concerned about keeping old-growth redwood around, you may want to opt out.
Here’s a wood that will really carry its weight in terms of both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Cedar wood is used across the country in all sorts of decks, and has a great, subtle coloration. If you’re looking for something common and cool-looking, cedar is your wood.
For the actual decking, you might want to consider another kind of wood. Cedar is an above-grade wood that’s great for bannisters, railings, and other structures, but for decking that you walk on, it may be just a bit too soft.
You see, cedar is a very soft wood, which makes it easy to saw, nail, and overall great to work with. However, over time, you might notice some splitting and damage. If you’re concerned with quality when it comes to the wood you’ll be walking on, you might want to go another way.
This one’s really just in here for fun. Most people don’t even give it a second thought. This is because mahogany is so expensive.
However, if you’ve got the money to spend, the look of mahogany when used for decking is nearly irresistible to some.
This exotic jungle wood, when finished, gives off a soft pink, luxurious hue, and implies great care and extravagance.
So, when choosing your decking, make sure to consider things like resistance to fungus and water. Also think about how your decking wood will look when paired with your home. Different kinds of wood yield different hues, which you may or may not be a fan of. Post Source