Build the perfect deck understanding the differences between hardwood and pressure treated wood

Take your first step towards the deck of your dreams with this guide to choosing the right wood for you

Taking the first step towards building the deck of your dreams is always the hardest. From all the options at your disposal – from pine wood all the way to ipe wood – it can be more than a little intimidating when choosing the right lumber for you and your project, especially when there are so many variations in wood prices. 

Hardwood vs. pressure-treated wood: which is right for you?

There are numerous differences between hardwood and pressure-treated wood, like pine, that it can be easy to get bogged down by all the details. From durability to sustainability, both types of wood deliver an assortment of benefits that can make it a bit daunting to make a selection among what kind of wood planks to use when building a deck. But there’s no need to worry about making the right decision; that’s what we’re here for.

The sleek design of mesmerizing hardwood pitted against the elementary style of pressure-treated wood. Credit Lumber Plus

Choosing the correct lumber is all about understanding what you want from your project, how you want it to look, and how long you want it to last. Since hardwood decking has a higher starting price, it ends up paying for itself in the long run because pressure-treated wood is a much less durable product. While some hardwoods last up to 75 years, like and Ipe decking, softwoods generally last 15 years max.

Most homeowners prefer hardwood decking such as Ipe, Cumaru or Tigerwood because they result in a much more durable build, bringing a much more appealing look to your decking. And as we said above, even though hardwood typically costs more, it’s for a good reason. Because most hardwoods are hard and dense, they are naturally resistant to numerous hazards such as moisture, pests, and mold. This is why these planks are much more resistant to weather than pressure-treated wood.

Plus, it’s important to understand that when you use hardwood, you make the most out of your labor investment because it lasts longer. When compared to a pressure-treated wood deck that you’ll spend at least twice as much in labor, you’ll find that hardwood is the better investment.

Choosing the right species: hardwood 101

So now that you’ve chosen to use hardwood for your decking project, now comes selecting the right species. The good news is that your options are not limited. The bad news is that you might have trouble picking just one because they’re all just too good to be true. Lumber Plus carries a wide range of hardwood species such as Ipe, Cumaru, Jatoba, Tigerwood, Garapa, and Angelim, each with its own set of attributes and characteristics.

Ipe Decking

Impeccably durable Ipe hardwood put to test to prove it’s harder than anything else in the industry. Credit Lumber Plus

Impeccably durable Ipe hardwood put to test to prove it’s harder than anything else in the industry.

For a stronger, more durable build, there’s nothing quite like Ipe wood decking. With features such as natural oils and dense fiber that make it naturally resistant to mold and fungi, Ipe hardwood is made to last for over a whopping seventy years. But this these aren’t the only attributes Ipe has to offer:

  • Ipe exceeds industry fire resistance standards
  • Dense enough to prevent termites to bite into
  • Stunning brownish visuals

If you are interested in building a deck with Ipe hardwood, check out our prices at the closet store to your location: Florida | Texas | Toronto.

Cumaru Decking

The impeccable and unmatched strength of Cumaru hardwood mixed with a classic, sleek deck design. Credit Lumber Plus

The impeccable and unmatched strength of Cumaru hardwood mixed with a classic, sleek deck design.

You can’t talk about Lumber Plus’ broad inventory of species without mentioning our industry-defying Cumaru hardwood species. With a class A rating for fire resistance, this species is known for its excellent durability and resistance that has been compared to the likes of steel and concrete. And this extra strength comes in handy for a variety of applications and projects. On top of this durability is an ultra-resistance to insects, rot, and even fungi, making it the optimal choice for outdoor use. And like the Angelim, Cumaru wood decking has an impressive life span of over 25 years, making it one of the strongest and most durable products on the market. Using Cumaru only elevates your surface with these distinct features:

  • Excellent durability makes it very resistant to decay
  • Strength and extreme hardness
  • Low-cost lumber with excellent hardness properties
  • An alluring scent of cinnamon and vanilla when being worked on Ipe exceeds industry fire resistance standards

Garapa Decking

Close up of the unmistakable golden tone of Garapa boards. Credit Lumber Plus

But let’s say you’re looking for something else in your hardwood.

No, you’re looking for a wood that will last with little maintenance over time. Well, look no further because you’ve come to the right place.

Along with Ipe and other species, Lumber Plus maintains one of the finest inventories of Garapa hardwood. Picture a wood that doesn’t require all the constant maintenance and chemical treatments that other softwood species do in order to withstand mold and decay.

  • Achieves a stunning gold look
  • Ranked as class A fire-resistance
  • Lower maintenance when compared to Ipe
  • No chemicals used

Tigerwood Decking

Credit Lumber Plus

Now, let’s say you want a more exotic look to your deck. Well, do we have the perfect species for you. Appropriately named after its golden-brown hues that perfectly contrast with dark brown streaks, Tigerwood, also known as Muiracatiara, is one of our most popular products as it blends the eye-capturing beauty of hand-scraped parquet floors with a traditional yet timeless look and aesthetic. If you’re looking to build a deck that your neighborhood will be envious of, there’s no better choice than our Tigerwood decking. Other attributes include:

  • Impeccable durability
  • Resistant to termites
  • Resistant to moisture
  • Long lifespan of over 25 years
  • Easy to work with

Angelim Decking

Credit Lumber Plus

But the wonder doesn’t stop there. Lumber Plus carries a vast inventory of Angelim lumber, a high-end wood that’s known for its strength and resistance to termites and moisture.

Like the rest of our species, this hardwood has a long lifespan of over 25 years, resulting in longevity that you just can’t find in other kinds of woods. Plus, its absorptive properties make it easy to stain the Angelim with oils, making for a straightforward installation process. Not to mention, this wood is named after the lush and delectable stones embedded in the sapwood, giving it a unique and captivating look. With immense strength and a beautiful look rolled into a single species, the Angelim is a perfect choice for all decks. Other aspects of the Angelim:

  • Immensely dense and highly stable
  • Long life span of over 25 years
  • Highly resistant to termites, mold, and even rot
  • Results in a smoother surface
  • Achieves an exotic look and design through its stones embedded in sapwood

Jatoba Decking

Credit Lumber Plus

Last but certainly not least, on Lumber Plus’ impressive list of hardwood species is the ultramodern Jatoba wood. A fan favorite for a number of small specialty items such as furniture and cabinetry, this species is known for its cherry color that rises as time passes, ending in a beautiful hue that’s been nicknamed “Brazilian Cherry.” In addition to this rise in color, the Jatoba naturally exudes a resin named copal that only enhances the overlook of this already eye-popping hardwood. Plus, it never hurts that this species is easy to polish and leaves you with a beautiful shine. Not too bad when compared to other oily woods. Other features of Jatoba to look for:

  • Excellent decay-resistant properties
  • Consists of natural oils and dense fibers make it resistant to mold and fungi
  • Easy to polish with a beautiful shine

These mesmerizing species don’t even begin to scratch the surface of everything Lumber Plus can provide. From Cumaru to Jatoba to Angelim, each hardwood we supply comes with its own deck (yes, pun intended) of benefits and features. The only problem you’ll have when selecting the perfect species is resisting the urge to buy more than one. But whatever your choice is, we’ve put together a quick guide on what to expect from maintenance on your hardwood decking.

Keeping up with your deck: Maintaining hardwood

Credit Lumber Plus

These mesmerizing species don’t even begin to scratch the surface of everything Lumber Plus can provide. From Cumaru to Jatoba to Angelim, each hardwood we supply comes with its own deck (yes, pun intended) of benefits anThe perfect deck doesn’t come around without its fair share of work and dedication. While all of Lumber Plus’ species come with qualities that make them perfect in their own ways, they all require some sort of upkeep to maintain the sleek designs they provide. Each species calls for different forms of hardwood maintenance in order to last longer and keep its distinct look and style. For example, because of how durable the wood is, Ipe can sometimes be challenging to work with saws, nails, and even screws. This can sometimes make it tricky to work with this hardwood, so it’s usually recommended to hire a professional when it comes to installation and ongoing maintenance. No matter what species you’re working with, it’s crucial that you work with professional-grade tools. This, paired with the proper knowledge, allows you to build safely and efficiently with our hardwood species. Here we’ll show you some hardwood maintenance tips and explain each step in great detail, so you don’t have to drown yourself in endless lumber sites and how-to posts.

  • After some time being used, a hardwood deck will need sanding. This consists of usually using an orbital sander to remove any old gloss and to smooth out any rough areas on or around individual lumber boards. In order to achieve maximum effect, you’ll need to pass the sander over each board while moving with the natural grain. Make sure to vacuum after sanding to remove any dust or debris.
  • Next, you’ll need to rinse the boards clean with a garden hose. Once the deck is dry, it’s time to apply the pre-sealer. It’s usually recommended to use a little bit of the sealer on one area to see if it will change the color of your deck. Once you’ve made sure the sealer is appropriate for your deck, you’ll use a brush and cloth to apply the sealer. Make sure to use long, overlapping strokes for each board.
  • Finally, use a dry rag to remove any unnecessary or excessive oil. Let the deck dry for at least 24 hours before you step on it again.

And just like that, you’re done. Doesn’t sound too hard, right? Now get out there and put the process to action.

Bringing your project home: Applications for hardwood

Eye-popping hardwood strategically applied inside to lead to a tiled bathroom. Credit Lumber Plus

If we haven’t sold you on hardwood by now, maybe this will do the trick. From decking to cladding and patio to home renovations, there are countless hardwood applications. Because of how hard and dense they are, these species are perfect for any outdoor usage due to their impeccable strength and robust durability. Not to mention that this extra layer of protection makes them naturally resistant to water, reducing the likelihood of rot and mold. This resistance makes hardwood species the perfect option for bigger, more extensive projects such as decks and patios. But the applications don’t stop there. For countless years, hardwood has been utilized to build some of the most significant and intensive outdoor projects known to man. Renovations such as docks, gazebos, and even pergolas have used hardwood because of its strength and durability. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s easy on the eyes too. Whatever your project is, big or small, there’s no choice quite like hardwood, especially when it comes to the Lumber Plus’ impressive inventory of species.

Keeping the world safe one board at a time: Hardwood sustainability

Pretty hardwood installed for an even prettier deck.

A deck is so much more than a beautiful piece of property. It’s an opportunity to change the world by taking the first step forward to a sustainable and healthy environment. Lumber Plus has dedicated itself to maintaining and protecting natural resources through our carefully crafted systems, such as our Green+ initiative. This commitment to nature ensures that all of our hardwood is harvested in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. So not only are you getting the highest quality of species for your deck, but you’re choosing the best sustainably sourced material on the market. And not only are you choosing some of the best products known to man, you’re also getting the best sustainably sourced material. 100% of everything we source here at Lumber Plus comes from sustainably managed forests. This means that only mature trees are harvested, making room for younger trees to grow and rise. With these processes, we have dedicated ourselves and resources to taking one sustainable step at a time to create a truly eco-friendly environment.

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