Will your new deck be an enhancement or an eyesore? The answer depends on the type of decking wood you use. Pressure-treated pine resists rot and repels pests, but the green-tinged lumber is unsightly and the pesticides it contains are unhealthy.
To build a safer, more attractive deck, choose a prettier yet still durable wood for the floors, railings, and steps. Save the pressure-treated wood for the frame and supports.
If you purchase a tropical rainforest wood, make sure it carries the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) trademark, which certifies that the wood has been harvested responsibly.
Timber Holdings USA
Everwood Decking Partners, Ltd.
2. Western Red Cedar
Learn More: Western Red Cedar Lumber Association
Learn More: California Redwood Association (CRA)
Mahogany is a tight-grained tropical hardwood that resists pests and rot. Treat it with marine oil and it looks like teak. Or, let your mahogany deck age to a silvery hue. You can choose from several varieties, and each has its pros and cons. Whichever type mahogany you select, make sure it has the "FSC" trademark to assure that rainforests have not been harvested irresponsibly.
"Philippine Mahogany" is not genuine mahogany. The term "Philippine" is a trade name for Shorea woods from southeast Asia sold in North America. In Australia this wood is sold as "Pacific Maple." Nevertheless, Philippine Mahogany has many of the wonderful features of true mahogany.
Learn More: Mahogany Decking
5. Mock LumberModern alternatives for outdoor decking include plastic polymer and wood-polymer composites. Synthetic materials are virtually bug-proof and rot proof, but even the most realistic imitation will always be just that – an imitation.
Learn More: Plastic Deck Lumber: An Alternative to Wood