All Hands on Deck ~ Hardwoods & More

Spring has sprung; and with the advent of warmer weather our thoughts turn to the outdoors. Have you considered your deck, lately? Chances are you may need to shore up those wood planks or completely replace them especially if you’re planning to entertain.

But, let’s say you’re tired of maintaining wood and all the effort (and cost) it takes due to weather damage and other factors. Are there other options?

Well, you’re in luck because the choices available today are far more numerous and affordable than ever before. And here’s the kicker: you can still utilize wood if you desire ~ 85% of residential decks in the U.S. still do ~ or you can try something new. Innovative products are continually being introduced so the choice is truly yours to make.

Let’s start with wood since it is still the most popular option. Species of hardwood include Redwood, Cedar, Pine, Jarra, Ipe (Brazilian Walnut) and Mahogany. Before choosing a particular product, keep in mind that wood tends to warp and change color over time. Ipe or Brazilian Walnut is sometimes referred to as the “gold standard” of decking due to its durability and inherent resistance to mold and mildew.

Redwood, Cedar, Pine, and Jarra, also known as Eucalyptus marginata, are traditional choices for decking as well. Not as durable or resistant to adverse factors as Ipe; they are nevertheless often chosen for aesthetic reasons such as color or finish.

You may also wish to consider Janka Hardness Scale ratings prior to your purchase. The Janka Hardness Scale measures the resistance of different wood species to withstand denting, wear, climate and other factors. Janka hardness ratings are often used to determine whether a species of wood is suitable for various flooring applications. The higher the rating, the more durable the species; for instance, Ipe’s rating is 3684 whereas Mahogany scores a mere 800. Considering the adverse climate conditions your deck may have to withstand, taking the Janka hardness ratings into consideration is essential.

Next time, we will discuss different decking profiles, additional options such as plastic or metal, and how to choose the best flooring for your needs.