What Wood is Best for Decks?

What Wood is Best for Decks

A deck is a perfect place to hang out during those warm spring and summer days. Grilling, chatting, listening to music – it’s an ideal laid-back setting to catch up with friends and family. However, before you start building your deck and getting it ready for the upcoming season, there are some decisions you have to make―namely what sort of wood you want to use for the project.

Many different types of wood can be used to create a good, solid deck, and each comes with its own appearance and experience. Take a look at some of the best outdoor wood options and decide which material fits your needs before beginning the building process.


Redwood is a soft wood, but it is durable. The most remarkable quality of this aptly-named wood is its initial color, which is a warm reddish tone. While redwood deck boards resist rot rather well, that same color is prone to fading to gray over the years or even turning black. To maintain its initial bright color, you will need to seal it using a clear coat and maintain the sealer over the years. Aside from the unique color, this product is comparable to cedar in most aspects.


Cedar is another soft wood, but, like redwood, is one of the best woods for decks that are left uncovered as it resists rot. There are many different types of cedar, each with its own benefits. Some common options include:

  • Western red cedar
  • Northern white cedar
  • Aromatic cedar

Cedarwood decking holds its own against sun, rain, snow, and heat with ease. Aromatic cedar (commonly used in closets and nearly three times harder than red cedar) also helps to keep insects at bay. However, when used outdoors, cedar wood is prone to splintering. Staining is recommended to keep this wood looking great.


This hardwood is from South America and has excellent resistance to not only rot but also bugs. The wood is known for its stunning density and hardness. Though this quality can make the material difficult to work with, it also ensures it’s able to support a great deal of weight, which makes it an excellent product to use on decks that have planned stone or slate accents involved.

Tropical Hardwoods

Mahogany, tiger wood, and cumaru wood are other options for those looking for something vibrant to add to their outdoor space. Tropical woods typically have rich grains and rate high on the hardness scale, making them resistant to bugs and rot. It is a generally durable option. However, with that being said, these woods are so dense they can be challenging to work with, are difficult to stain, and are generally expensive to import.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

This is the leading option for decks across the country and makes up a whopping 75 percent of all new deck constructions. Rather than having air between the wood particles, these boards have been filled with chemicals that stave off rot and bugs, which makes it an excellent addition to any outdoor project. Woods can be treated in a variety of different ways, including the inclusion of water or oil preservatives that are less harmful to the environment while remaining just as effective.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is a human-made product that’s created of nearly equal parts recycled wood fiber, and recycled plastic. As this material contains a high plastic content, it doesn’t fade, splinter, or crack like most natural wood, but the existing wood content still gives it that familiar, wood texture. Composite decking also comes in a wide range of colors, so you can get the look you’ve had your eye on – for a fraction of the price. This is an excellent option for those looking to build a deck that presents as little mandatory upkeep as possible.

Find the Best Wood for Your Deck

Each option has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which aspects important to you and your outdoor experience. Contact All Exteriors today to learn more about popular deck wood options and get the answers to any questions you might have before getting started on your outdoor construction project!