Comparing Wood for Decks: Cedar and Pressure Treated Timber

Posted 4 years ago


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Perhaps the toughest decision a homeowner has to make when building a deck is what type of material to use. Cedar and pressure treated wood decking both have similarities. They are all resistant to rot to different levels, require 16-inch joist spacing for proper support, bleached out to silvery gray, cut and installed using traditional fasteners and tools. However there is no perfect wood choice for decking, as any type of timber has its own advantages and disadvantages. You just have to determine the characteristics that are of most value to you, fit your need, and then make your decision based on that. CEDAR DECKING PROS AND CONS If the natural look of wood is on top of your list then go with cedar. The heartwood of the cedar has natural property that is resistant to rot. It has a natural repellent that drives away insects, especially borers such as termites. But it does not readily absorb water or moisture. And since water and/or moisture is what causes splitting and twisting, cedar wood tends to lie straight and flat. In general, cedar deck boards last for about 15 to 20 years, but they can rot faster when applied for ground-level decking, and for shaded decks that tend to dry out slowly. To retain its nice natural colour, power clean and reseal it every one to two years. But cedar wood is soft when used for stairs or decks where pieces of furniture or potted plants get dragged around often, the edges in particular could be beaten up. And finally, the cost is moderate, a tad more than pressure treated wood. PRESSURE TREATED DECKING PROS AND CONS If you are looking for longevity and economy then choose pressure treated wood. It is sustainable, sufficiently tough to resist abuse, tear, and wear, and a number of brands offer a lifetime warranty. But you should be aware of pressure treated wood because not all of them are manufactured equal. The standard pressure treated deck costs less than cedar wood. However, oftentimes the inexpensive type is full of moisture and will unevenly shrink and twist as it dries. Pressure treated decking may last for many many years, but it is going to look unattractively for many many years as well. But if it is maintained properly, pressure treated wood can still look stunning. "Select," "premium," or "choice" treated boards are highly recommended by most carpenters and building contractors. At about 40% more for every linear foot, you will pay more, but the boards have significantly straighter grain and fewer knots. Many of the higher-grade choices for pressure treated wood are kiln dried before and after the process of pressure treatment which reduces the wood's tendency to warp. ---------------------------------------------------- If you're looking for high quality, affordable timber for decking, visit the team at Serano Timber by following this link: http://www.seranotimber.net.au/

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