There are many decking timber species in use today, and each decking timber type can withstand the different weather conditions in most parts of the world. Some decking timber types are not weatherproof or fire-resistant, however, and these timber decking types may not be suitable for use in all situations. The decking timber types that are most widely used are hardwood decking, which includes redwood decking, cedar decking, and redwood planks. Other decking timber types are not as well suited for use in all situations. For example, pressure-treated decking timber (PTFE decking) is not affected by moisture, rotting, warping, swelling or scratching and moulding. These decking timber types also do not have the same water resistance properties as other decking timber types.
Decking timber species that are commonly used in North America is Western Red Cedar decking, Finger-Jointed European Oak decking, Australian Blackbutt (Hickory) decking, Australian White Ash decks and Australian Teak decking. All of these decking timber species have excellent water resistance properties, are very fast-growing, insect and fungal resistant and require minimal maintenance. Each of these decking timber species has its distinctive appearance and colour pattern that make them ideal for decking. However, decking timber species may not be ideal for all locations. decking timber types that are not suitable for certain locations include Stickler (Pterocarpus santalinus), Pine (Prosciutto galangal), Poplar (Piper nigrum) and Cork (Cinnamomum zeylanicum).
Decking timber is classified according to the method in which it is manufactured. Generally, decking boards are manufactured with a ‘box’ shaped cavity at their edge. These cavities are made by ‘pointing’, or ‘engraving’, the ends of the decking boards. Alternatively, some decking manufacturers make their decking timber boards in a ‘rollers’ or ‘spindles’ configuration.
The wood that is used in decking is largely classified into three broad categories, namely: hardwood, softwood. Hardwood decking is the most durable and best choice for North American decking. Its durability is due to the high concentration of tannin and moisture resistance, as well as the natural waxes, pigments and other minerals present in the wood. Its smooth and delicate grain structure makes it ideal for both heavy and light decking applications.
Balau hardwood decking is also highly durable. It is commonly available as part of low-density hardwood varieties. Balau decking is a tropical hardwood species that originate from the rainforests of Brazil. The bark of this species is coated with resins and salts to prevent water penetration. This coating makes it extremely durable and resistant to the effects of weather, and stains.
Rainforest iroko decking is relatively weak and lighter than other decking timber species. It is typically used for raised decking systems. Iroko hardwood is the most versatile tropical hardwood available. It is dense hardwood with distinctive, straight grain patterns and silky texture. It is used in everything from flooring and exterior panelling to furniture, balau hardwood flooring and ball furniture.
Cedar decking can be either high-quality or low-quality. High-quality decking timber is generally darker and richer in colour than low-quality decking timber. It is also more tightly woven and knotty than low-quality decking timber. Generally, high-quality cedar decking boards are light and strong and resist weather and decay better than low-quality decking wood. This is because high-quality cedar has more natural moisture content than low-quality cedar, which helps to retain its strength even when wet.
If you’re looking for decking timber that will last longer and look better as well, you should take time to research what decking oils are best suited for your decking system. Organic decking oils have a natural, protective and antibacterial action against mould and fungus, which means they won’t compromise the health of your decking. However, organic decking oils are very expensive compared to decking timber with synthetic compounds in their composition. Natural decking oils may also cause some allergic reactions, so it’s always best to speak to your decking manufacturer or supplier about your specific needs. You also need to make sure your decking timber contains a minimum of 25% hardwood.