How To Choose the Right Timber for Your Decking Project?

How To Choose the Right Timber for Your Decking Project?

Building a deck in your home helps in adding a functional area. You can easily party at your home and invite more people without worrying about space. On the other hand, the deck enhances the aesthetic value of your house. Some people also use decks for planting and container gardening. 

There are various kinds of timber available in the market for the manufacturing of decks. Choosing the suitable material is very important because it directly influences the look of your home. But how to choose the right material for your project? There are numerous factors, but first, it's essential to know about all types of materials. 

Types Of Decking Material 

Decks are generally classified into three categories: Hardwood, Composite, and Softwood decking boards. The primary difference between these three is that hardwood is made from broad-leaved trees, softwood is made from evergreen coniferous trees, and composite is made from a mixture of plastic, organic and synthetic materials. 

There are various things associated with these three groups which will help you differentiate. Let's talk about them all one by one. 

Hardwood Material 

Hardwood is a strong and dense material making it a fabulous option for decking. This material has a high resistance to pests and other microorganisms, which cause damage to timber. The hardwood is obtained from slow-growing deciduous trees, which take more time to grow. Hence, Hardwood decks are more expensive than softwood decking boards. Also, the material is available in a wide range of colours and designs, making it an excellent choice for every taste. 


  • Decking boards made from hardwood have a premium and luxurious look. 
  • They are highly durable and don't catch fungus even if they are connected to the ground. 
  • Hardwood decks are highly stable and don't change their shape due to temperature, pressure, and other climatic changes. 
  • Hardwood is tough, and it doesn't catch fire. 


  • It is costlier than other materials. 
  • Due to its toughness, installation takes more time. 
  • It requires regular care and maintenance unless it will lose colour and turn grey. 

Composite Material

Composite decking boards are gaining more popularity since the last decade because of their variety in shades and designs. These are made from recycled materials, which makes them more suitable for the environment. Also, it offers good durability and is straightforward to install. 


  • The maintenance cost of composite decks is significantly less. 
  • The composites are available in a large number of colours. 
  • Technology is constantly improving, and in the future, it might offer us more value for money. 


  • It is more expensive than wood. 
  • The material is not natural. It is made from different compounds. 
  • They are not resistant to heat and become very hot in direct sunlight. 
  • It doesn't offer a long-life span. 

Softwood Material 

Softwood is an excellent alternative to hardwood because it offers great value at a significantly lesser price. Installation and manufacturing of softwood decking boards are handy, and it is a quick process. The material provides excellent resistivity to all types of rot and pests. Also, the material can withstand all weather conditions and is eco-friendly. However, you need to treat it well before installation to enhance its resistivity. 


  • The softwood material is easy to install and work with. 
  • The cost of manufacturing is lower than its alternatives. 
  • If you elect pressure-treated wood, then it will provide you with long life.
  • The use of fast-growing trees makes it more convenient for nature. 


  • It's a low-density material which means it is a weaker timber.
  • It's not ideal for a high-traffic region because it will start fading. 
  • It requires maintenance and repair.  

Factors To Consider While Choosing Decking Material


Check the effect of weather on the place where you are planning to install the deck. Will it be exposed to direct sunlight or snow, or heavy rains? You have to select a timber that can withstand your environmental situations. 


It's a crucial aspect. How much do you want to spend on this project? Choose a material according to your budget. 


Is your place prone to a bushfire? If yes, then choosing softwood decking boards might not be a good option.


How many people are going to use the deck? Is it going to be covered or exposed to the external climate?  

Wrapping Up

This is an easy guide for you to select the suitable timber for your deck. You have to make a list of features you need based on the above factors. Then check which material provides you with the most features in your budget range.  

Published by Doreen Burger


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