Ask a Tradesman
Best wood for decking
I am a little confused about what wood I should use for my decking - my research shows that the most durable wood for decking is ipe, but there seems to be issues with it and some talk of splinters appearing after a while. I like the smooth deck look but have been told that the grooves are better for draining rain. How would ipe compare with a wood like Balau?
I hope this makes sense. Thanks
You have done your research well,
IPE is one of the hardest wood on earth, it is great for decking because of its strength and natural ability to resit decay.
In all honesty any type of wood you choose, you may encounter splinters, its natural.
There is a decking system which looks like wood, but is made from some sort of plastic/resin.
Answered 30th Apr 2011
the best wood for decking is teak, however woods mentioned are all hardwoods - really depends on your budget?
Answered 1st May 2011
Softwood decking is the weakest - oil it and you'll enjoy it for years. Hardwood decking last longer - again need to be oiled and you have nothing to worry bout. Composite decking last almost forever - no need to be oiled, it's low maintenance, non slippery when wet but choose the right product as there's a lot of bad stuff out there.
When it comes to drainage smooth or grooved without 2% slope water will remain anyway.
Answered 17th Sep 2016
The best decking (in my opinion of course, not everybody will agree) is recycled plastic. Eco-friendly, better quality stuff is non-slip and very easy to maintain, does not swell or warp, cleans off with warm water and washing up liquid. It does not rot and carries guarantees such as 26 years, etc etc etc.
Some hard woods are now grown in sustainable ways and there is much to be said for it. Composite is wood and plastic combined, usually softwood. In either case, wood can rot and once water gets into composite it is as vulnerable to swelling and warping as the raw wood itself.
Recycling plastic keeps it out of the oceans and the food chain as well as, with modern manufacturing processes, offering a genuinely superior product with all of the cosmetic aesthetics we desire.
Answered 31st Jan 2017