What is the best timber to use for decking?
A real wooden deck, expertly laid by professionals, is one of life’s joys to see and touch, especially in bare feet on a hot summer day. Who doesn’t love the thought of family and friends enjoying an impromptu gathering around an outdoor table, who knows, perhaps creating memories for life? So, what is the best timber to use for decking and why? In this blog we’ll look at various options and introduce you to our new high grade timber for decking with a beautiful built-in grey that we call Accoya® Color.
How to choose decking?
When laying down or replacing a deck there are many options for the professional builder or homeowner to consider such as the deck board material to use, color, coatings, weathering, plus of course safety concerns such as possible slips and splinters. This is a big endeavor and likely to cost money and effort, so it pays to do your homework.
Sometimes there are too many choices in life, and this is especially true when you are looking to create or replace your deck. What material to choose, what color stain, if any, and perhaps considering other types of coatings too. So let’s narrow down the choices straight away by taking out the composite ‘wood’ decks that usually feature a mix of wood and plastic materials. These may last a long time, but nothing beats a natural real wood deck. So, in relation to wood decking, one of the major choice factors is durability, how long your chosen wood will last out in the open before rotting or decaying.
So, what is the best timber to use for decking and why?
There are three types of wood suitable for decking:
- treated softwoods
- modified wood (e.g. Accoya)
The Timber Decking & Cladding Association recommends that only timber that will last a minimum of 15 years be used for your deck (15 years would be a good return on your investment). Hardwoods that are classed as ‘very durable’ are popular. There are also some softwoods that can be used but they have to be pressure treated to reach that high grade. The last category includes Accoya of course – an award-winning product that starts out life as a sustainable softwood and is then modified to last for decades.
Another choice factor is maintenance. All real wood will weather in time if left outside and there can be issues such as splits and cupping as well, especially in harsher hot climates. It makes good financial sense to choose a low maintenance timber if possible (you don’t want to have to replace individual boards that fail).
Additionally, the sustainability of your chosen wood has now become one of the major factors, with good reason. Tropical hardwoods, although beautiful to see and touch, are increasingly being discounted for legal and ethical reasons. Which leads us to a beautiful, highly durable and very sustainable alternative…
Introducing Accoya Color
Accoya boards have been used for wood decking for years to great acclaim – let’s face it, thousands of architects, builders and landscape designers around the world can’t all be wrong! The boards combine the beauty of real wood with scientifically-proven durability that will last for years. Due to its incredible ability to withstand rot and decay, even in water, Accoya has become the standout choice for decking timber projects.
There is now a new addition to the Accoya family, Accoya Color, which has all the advantages of our traditional modified timber but with a beautiful and consistent grey color all the way through to the core. Accoya Color has gone through a patented color impregnation and fixation process at the dedicated Accsys Accoya Color plant.
Keeping it real
Accoya Color is a natural wood with ultra-high performance and boasts excellent dimensional stability (it’s classified as a small movement timber and that’s ideal for deck projects). It is barefoot-friendly, which means that you and your family can safely walk on the boards without the fear of splinters. It is not only easy to install, but requires very little maintenance throughout its lifespan.
Its beautiful grey color goes all the way through the wood; a great feature is that the deck boards are straighter and easier to fix than alternative wood deck boards which means less waste during the build stage. There is also no cupping which can be a problem in other types of wood…when that happens individual boards have to be taken up and replaced, usually at great cost, but this isn’t an issue with Accoya Color.
Although Accoya Color is durable, it is also lighter in weight than alternative woods such as Ipe and even composite materials.
Keeping it green (or grey actually!)
Unlike deck boards that come from illegally cut hardwoods, Accoya Color is made from sustainably-sourced forestry and the wood is guaranteed, for extra peace of mind. The long product life also means that the naturally-occurring carbon within the wood is retained within the product for the duration of its lifecycle. An organic and non-toxic grey color pigment is used for the coloring process so Accoya Color wood is also 100% recyclable at the end of its life.
Where to buy
Accoya Color is available to buy in the US from a range of our official distribution partners that can be found here.
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