Are you asking what is the best wood decking in Texas?
Be it continental steppe, modified marine, or mountain; Texas enjoys beautiful weather all year round. And with a deck on your pool, patio, or balcony, you can enjoy the great weather. Decks can significantly improve your social life, too; you can have friends over and enjoy a great barbeque in your backyard.
Now there are various decking materials tanks to advancement in technology, but wood decking will always be an attractive option because its affordable, easy to maintain, and naturally attractive. But even so, you have to pick the right type of wood for the Texas environment. There are various types of woods, varying in durability, functionality, and cost. Here’s a breakdown of the best types of woods for decks in Texas.
1. Southern Yellow Pine
Southern Yellow Pine wood is usually available in the fan-favorite pressure-treated form to improve its resistance against insect infestation, rotting, fungus, and decay. Despite stiff competition throughout the years, this popular green-tinted wood is the number one decking materials in Texas. Data from Arch Treatment Technologies, a giant wood preservative producer, shows that a good portion of all new decks are constructed with pressure-treated pine.
The love affair between homeowners and pressure-treated pine is not surprising: It’s the least expensive wood decking materials, has a plentiful supply from coast to coasts, and is easy to work with. With just nails and screws, you can have an aesthetic deck for the next 15-25 years.
There are two common sizes of pressure-treated decking: The 2 X 6s, which goes for about 90 cents/ linear foot, and the 5/4 X 6-inch planks that go for $1/linear foot.
PT pine decks, however, are not the best dimensionally stable decks. They tend to warp, crack, or split. This type of decking also needs regular maintenance: A good weather sealant must be applied periodically to preserve the wood. PT decking, however, is the best option if you are building on a budget. With good maintenance, it can give you years of good memories. It’s best suited for pool decks.
Cedar is a western softwood but prized for its natural beauty and rich color. Cedarwood makes for long-lasting decks with unique color and hue.
If you are looking to build beautiful decks with luxurious smell then, cedar is the wood to go with it. Cedars rich red coloring is goddamn pleasing in the summer.
Cedar is ubiquitous among purists because it doesn’t need to be pumped full of preservatives and chemicals to make it longer lasting. Cedar is full of tannins and oils that make it naturally resistant to voracious insects fungus, rotting, and decay.
But even so, cedar should also be re-sealed after some time to keep it longer-lasting. If proper maintenance is done, cedar decks can last between 20-30 years.
Cedar carries a moderate price tag. And according to Red Lumber Association experts, the four best cedar grades are custom knotty, architect knotty, custom clear, and architect clear (listed according to their affordability).
Redwood, too, has a natural resistance to insect infestation, rot, and decay. However, keep in mind that the level of bug and weather resistance of cedar depends on the concentration of heartwoods in the wood. Heartwood is a hard substance that forms the center of the tree, and it’s resistant to decay. Sapwood, on the other hand, forms the outer part of the tree; it’s soft and deteriorates faster.
According to deck building expert Scott Padgett, B-grade redwood is the best cedar board, it’s mostly heartwood and has got fewer if zero knots. If you want 100% heartwood, go with construction heart redwood.
Redwood, too, just like cedar, makes for an aesthetic-looking natural deck. It’s popular in the Dallas Metropolitan area and can be a fantastic add-on for your backyard.
The advantages of redwood decking are that it’s cheaper compared to hardwood, composites, and human-made decking materials. Redwood is also more dimensionally stable than PT pine; it won’t warp, split, or crack easily. Redwood is also easier to stain because it’s softwood.
Redwood, however, should be your decking option if you want a deck with distinctive appearance and capability to give you years of happy memories. Again, apply weather sealants every few years for longer years of service. An adequately maintained redwood deck, made from inner/older tree should last between 20-30 years.
4. Tropical hardwoods
Exotic imports such as Red Tauri, Ipe, Cumaru, Massaranduba, Mahogany, etc. are incredibly hard, amazingly durable, and indeed resistant to insects, rots, and decay.
But if you are looking into exotic wood decking, keep in mind that because of their superior quality, these woods are going to cost some goddamn good amount of money.
Installation too won’t be a piece of cake. Tropical woods are notoriously dense, therefore heavy, and not easy to work with. If you want to drive a nail or screw through tropical hardwoods, you sometimes have got to bore a pilot hole in the wood first. That is how hard exotic hardwoods are to work with, and usually, a hidden fastener is used during installation to clip the edge of the hardwood boards.
Very dense tropical hardwoods are also very hard to stain. You have to use stains specifically manufactured for hardwood boards. These are usually oil-based penetrating wood stains. And if you opt not to stain, apply some UV-shielding clear wood preservative every few years.
Ta-dah! There you go, decking enthusiasts. To recap, wood decks look fantastic in the beautiful Texas weather, and the ubiquitous PT pine is the cheapest wood decking option, but only up front because if you factor in maintenance, the cost of PT pine decking can exceed that of hardwood decking.
Classic softwood cedar and redwood are the best options if you want something rich in color and natural. Tropical hardwoods are exotic but premium and not easy to install. All of these woods could do with regular proper maintenance to keep their aesthetic appearance and give you many years of memorable experiences.