Whether you are building or replacing a deck, choosing the right material is very critical. A sturdy, durable and efficient material can make a well-constructed deck, which can remain stable for a decade or even more. That is why one of the first crucial steps in deck building is understanding which material perfectly suits your outdoor living space. Though the deck industry continues to market and introduce composites and other sustainable decking products, wood decking remains to be the top choice.
According to statistics, the global wood decking market is still expected to grow at 1.37% CAGR from 2017 to 2023. The studies showed that the major growth driver of the market is the growing global construction all over the world. And so, we wanted to highlight this decking material. Through this article, we will weigh your options and identify the pros and cons of wood decking. We will tackle timber decking in general as there are many wood products you can use for deck construction and restoration. Let’s find out if the wood is the right material for your deck.
Knowing the Pros
1. Readily Available
Wood decking comes in varieties. It is readily available that you can have a world of options if you choose timber for your deck. From pressure-treated lumber, redwood, cedar to tropical hardwood—you can pick the best option. Applying finishes to wood decking is highly accessible in the market as well. The industry loves timber decking that you can have endless possibilities and great potential to raise the charm of your outdoor living space. With wood decking, it is safe to say that your only limitation is your imagination.
Depending on which type of wood, timber decking can be the most cost-effective option you can have. Wood decking is less expensive than composite, especially during installation. Pressure-treated lumber is the most economical option for decking materials. The chemical treatment forced into the wood makes the pressure-treated lumber highly resistant to rot and damages from termites, thereby limiting the cost for maintenance and replacement. Upfront installation costs for pressure-treated wood, cedar and redwood are relatively low as compared to other decking materials.
3. The Feel and Appeal of Nature
Nothing beats the allure of nature if you choose wood decking. Wood is seemingly traditional, but homeowners still prefer using it for deck construction because of its natural feel and appeal. Unlike synthetic decking materials, the natural beauty of wood decking makes it more attractive and inviting. You can’t also underestimate the rustic charm of timber decking that cannot be achieved by using aluminum, metal or plastic decking counterparts. Composite might mimic the look of wood grains, but they are still synthetic. If you want to experience the authentic look, feel and smell of nature, then wood decking is the right option for you.
4. Long-lasting Strength and Durability
Another incredible reason why wood decking is an ideal option is because of its known durability and strength. Tropical hardwood is denser and heavier, which makes it very durable and resistant to rot and damages from pests. Hardwood has a life expectancy of over 40 years because it is not prone to cracks, stains or chipping. This decking option is created to withstand any inclement weather or unforgiving conditions.
Redwood and cedar, on the other hand, don’t rot or decay because they produce natural oils that can resist molds or insect infestations. No special treatment is needed to maintain its sturdiness. Also, these timber decking materials are less susceptible to warping as compared to other cheap materials.
5. Customizable and Highly Functional
Flexibility is what describe wood decking. Unlike synthetic decking options, timber can be convenient to cut up and arrange to a newer design or style. No need to worry about creating your layout and design ideas when you use wood as decking material.
Timber is also excellent in hot weather. While synthetic decking materials can be uncomfortably hot during prolonged exposure to high temperature, wood decking absorbs and retains less heat so you can comfortably walk on your bare feet. Imagine how this can be the right spot during summer.
Dealing with the Cons
Wood decking is high maintenance. It demands greater attention and care as opposed to other synthetic alternatives. To maintain its appearance and vibrancy, you need to seal and stain the surface every few years. Sealing and staining are important aspects of deck maintenance as it prevents moisture damage that may impact the structural integrity of your deck in the future. Upkeep can be quite costly, so it is better to consult a local contractor to help you maintain your outdoor living space. A good contractor can determine the deck issues right away and provide you with the right solution to it.
2. Some are Expensive
Though wood decking is more cost-effective than any other decking materials, some wood products like tropical hardwood can be expensive. Hardwood is highly durable, but it is usually exotic and imported, which makes it costly. Since it is more densified and heavier, the need for pre-drilling and cutting hardwood can increase design and labor expenses as well.
Not all products for wood decking are dimensionally stable. This is true in the case of pressure-treated lumber. Though this type of wood has chemical treatment to resist damages from termites and rots, the possibility of splitting, warping or cracking is still high.
Now that we have figured out the pros and cons of wood decking, it is better to weigh down your options. Perhaps these questions will help you:
Does it suit your style and match the overall landscape or design of your home?
Is it the best decking material option for the condition of your home’s exterior all-year round?
Is it durable enough to withstand any weather or environmental conditions?
Does it cost you more from installation to labor and maintenance?
If the answer tempts you to choose wood decking, then the next step is to find the best contractor in town. Contact Deck Ready. We guarantee that you will get a premium deck service at a reasonable cost. So, let’s partner today to make your deck a substantial asset and be the envy in your neighborhood.