Words cannot really do justice to the breath-taking beauty of hardwood decks. The elegance of hardwoods is one of the elements that makes them some of the most sought-after timbers for deck construction, despite the high price. All the same, they deserve all the credits and are, definitely, worth the extra expense.
As you can see, in spite of their excellent reputation – at least, in terms of their appearance, hardwood species come with some disadvantages. And when it comes to deck building, it’s best if you know the shortcomings from the start. Now, all bad things related to hardwood are revealed from the beginning. So, nothing will catch you off guard. Let’s see.
What makes hardwood species special?
Hardwood species originate from deciduous trees, which take a very long time to grow. Due to their long growing process, they become particularly resistant since they are taught to withstand the elements and the temp fluctuations for years and years. This process makes them truly hard – hence, durable when hardwood is used for deck building. Hardwood decks are known for their extra durability and high resistance to nearly everything – moisture, fire, rotting, splitting, warping.
And although their hardness is a plus, it becomes a negative for the consumers since it increases the price not only due to the rareness of hardwood (since they are growing slowly) but also due to the difficulty to work on hardwood. But that about covers the disadvantages of hardwood.
As we’ve already pointed out, one of the elements that makes hardwood decks particularly beautiful is the great looks of such timbers. First of all, we are talking about natural wood and so each board is unique – not two of them are the same.
It’s important to mention here that since we are talking about real wood, maintenance – at least, once in a while, is a basic criterion for keeping the outdoor decking free of troubles for many years.
On the other hand, this compensates with the really long lifespan of hardwood decking. Assuming that the deck is regularly maintained, it can last for decades – some species may last for 50 years.
Hardwood decking – different species, different decks
Naturally, there’s an abundance of choices when it comes to hardwood options. Ipe decking may take the lead but Mayan mahogany, Cumaru, Cambara, Garapa and other choices are equally worthy counterparts.
They are all long-lasting, durable, resistant. And while they are all true beauties, their colors and appearance differ – often significantly.
- Ipe decks are known for their dark brown colors, although there are lighter species too. With age, they may get a grey hue, which makes them even more attractive. Ipe is one of the denser hardwood species with incredible qualities – fire & scratch resistance, anti-slippery, particularly tough, etc. But it’s also one of the most expensive deck materials.
- Mayan mahogany – aka Machiche, is equally beautiful with ipe. Its sweet browning/reddish color interrupted by blonde boards would make any deck one and only. It’s very resistant to fire and scratching, very strong, dense.
- Cumaru decks are as eye-catching as ipe decks due to their beautiful red/brown color, which makes their appearance extraordinary. Like all its hardwood counterparts, Cumaru is extra durable, resistant, and long-lasting.
- Cambara looks like mahogany and is an excellent option for those looking for beauty without paying a very high price. This is one of the hardwood options that will last for a long time but won’t outperform its counterparts. It will, certainly, perform better if sealed.
- Garapa is the blonde gal in the company of so many dark brown hardwood species. It’s also more affordable since its hardness doesn’t compare with that of ipe or Cumaru. But it’s still a perfect option for home outdoor custom decks.
Hardwood decks make the backyard – and any part of the outdoors they occupy, truly amazing due to their unique appearance and natural beauty. Although they need maintenance and cost quite a lot, they make a difference and not just in terms of aesthetics. One more look at the long list of their great properties will convince you. It will, also, bring back to mind that their long performance – while subject to maintenance, will compensate for their high price. As for their beauty, who can deny it?