For deck flooring, wood is often the most cost-effective and efficient option. In addition to its aesthetic appeal and practicality as a building material (it’s easy to work with), wood has a long service life and is widely available.
When it comes to barefoot comfort, both composite and PVC are excellent choices for flooring options. However, the joist spans are limited, and the cost is high. To conclude, it appears that wood deck flooring will remain a popular choice.
Your deck’s flooring should be made of what kind of wood. There are numerous materials to choose from, such as pressure-treated wood, exotic hardwoods like ipe, and even some rarities like pallet wood.
Pressure-Treated Wood Deck Boards
Pressure-treated lumber has long been a popular choice for low-cost wood deck planks. There are some limitations to using pressure-treated wood deck boards with longer lengths (10 feet or more) and wider widths (6 inches or more).
Termites and carpenter ants like softwoods like Douglas Fir, Hemlock, Southern Yellow Pine, and Ponderosa Pine because they are easy to digest. To protect the wood from insects and fungi, copper azole, type C (CA-C) is injected directly into the wood, making it a non-nutritional food source and an effective barrier.
Pressure-treated wood boards are readily accessible at your local home center or lumberyard. If you have a truck or a car with a roof rack, you won’t have to pay for shipping because you will be picking up the item yourself. It’s even possible to paint the wood if you so desire. If pressure-treated deck boards aren’t cared for regularly, they’ll eventually splinter and shatter. Precautions should be used when cutting pressure-treated boards because of the preservatives present. Individually preservative-treated cut ends of pressure-treated wood must be used.
Using hidden deck fasteners to keep the boards together on the sides is one way to install pressure-treated wood decks. These fasteners are pushed into the boards with bespoke jigs to guarantee that they’re placed at exactly what angle, just below their top level.
Ipe Wood Deck Boards
Brazilian Walnut, tabebuia serratifolia, pau d’arco, ipe tobacco, or bethabara is a hard exotic, premium wood deck board that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Dark-brown ipe wood requires little maintenance to remain beautiful. Ipe has a few drawbacks as a decking material. Due to its extreme hardness, ipe can be difficult to work with and can dull tools. The boards need to be secured to the joists with clips, which increases costs. Furthermore, unless you are fortunate enough to reside near an ipe supplier, substantial shipping costs will add to the entire cost of the goods.
Redwood Deck Boards
Redwood, which was once widely utilized for fences, play structures, and decks, is becoming increasingly difficult to come by. It is still a good choice for wood deck floors when it is readily available. Heartwood is around 25% more expensive than sapwood, which is less attractive. Redwood does not require the use of any preservatives to keep it looking good. Redwood weathers to a beautiful rich red color as it ages. Because redwood is difficult to come by on the open market, it is a less desired material for decking. Over time, redwood will become splintery and unsuitable for walking on with bare feet, making it unsafe to do so.
Red Cedar Wood Deck Boards
Red cedar is the most prevalent fence board kind. Because red cedar is an oily wood, it can be left untreated and weather naturally, like redwood. Red cedar can be painted to give it a more formal look. Untreated red cedar will retain its structural integrity for many years.
After the first two weeks, red cedar takes on a distinctive silvery-grey hue. Red cedar, on the other hand, requires a preservative to avoid greying. Most kiln-dried cedar is only available in 1-inch thickness, a major drawback. It’s hard to find two-inch-thick kiln-dried cedarwood.
Hem-Fir Wood Deck Boards
Pressure-treated wood and other materials that resist decay are readily available, therefore untreated dimensional timber such as hem-fir is rarely used as decking boards. However, hem-fir can be utilized as long as precautions are taken against insects and degradation are taken.
The hem-fir tree does not come from the hybridization of different species. Lumber companies use Western hemlock and Amabilis fir interchangeably since they grow in the same forests and appear almost identical. Hem-fir can be found in a variety of woods, including hemlock, at your local home center.
Hem-fir is the cheapest wood deck board, excluding pallet wood. As a result of its sturdiness, it has a long joist distance. A wood-like hem-fir can be used for a painted solid color deck if that’s what you’re looking for. Hem-fir has a short shelf life and is difficult to preserve. The wood must be treated with a preservative as soon as possible. Priming and painting the wood are other options. Site-treated wood, as opposed to factory-treated wood, necessitates more frequent upkeep.
Pallet Wood Deck Boards
Trendy pallet wood is no longer exclusive to shipping docks; it can now be found in anything from restaurants to private dwellings. Softwoods are used to make wood pallets, which are discarded after a short time. This silvery grey worn patina with rusty nail scratches and other evidence of deterioration can be found on pallets that are frequently left outside after their use.
Because of the inevitable splintering, holes, and protrusions, pallet wood should only be used on walls. To loosen the planned wood deck boards, it is difficult to break pallets without splitting the wood, which might be dangerous. Finally, the use of 40-inch-longboards necessitates the use of many boards to complete a row.
A substandard deck floor material, such as pallet wood, can be used in an emergency or as a short-term flooring option.