Types of Wood Used for Decks


When your house does not have a proper porch, building a deck seems the logical decision. A deck allows you the opportunity to enjoy the outside while still within the reach of the comforts of home. Indeed, for some, a deck can be a virtual room without walls that includes elaborately laid deck boards, built-in furniture and more. The first step when constructing wooden decks is learning the types of wood used, then choosing the one that will best suit your needs.


  • The mighty redwood tree provided decking for countless decks, and it's easy to understand why. With the combination of the beautiful grain and reddish hue, redwood creates a deck that's not only pleasing to the eye but durable. However, the higher cost of the lumber and, according to Back to Nature Decks, changing cultivation rates, this wood is being used in deck construction less and less. Redwood is considered a softwood.


  • Cedar is another softwood that is a popular choice for constructing decks because it is strong like redwood but less expensive. However, it is easily damaged by the sun and better suited to shady areas. Because it contains less tannic acid than redwood, it is less fire and rot resistant.

Treated Lumber

  • The most available treated lumber in the United States is fir and pine. These woods, because of the coating they receive, makes them weather resistant and long-lasting. This lumber is also quite strong and capable of spanning wider distances between joists than most composite lumber. This lumber works especially well in the structural portions of the deck, such as joists, posts or beams.

Australian Hardwood

  • A favorite Australian hardwood used for decks is jarrah, or eucalyptus. The grain of this wood is striking and straight. The wood is extremely hard, which requires pre-dilling when constructing a deck. It can also be hard to cut.

South American Hardwoods

  • The selection of hardwoods from South America include Purple Heart, Janka, Marupá and other exotics. Like eucalyptus, these woods require pre-drilling and can be difficult to cut. They are also very dense and heavy.

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