Is Natural Hardwood Better Than Pressure Treated Wood?

December 5, 2022 By

At Hardwood Decking Supply, we believe that tropical hardwoods are the best option for your deck. That’s probably obvious, given our name. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have opinions about other decking options! If you’re debating the merits of pressure-treated wood versus natural tropical hardwoods, we’d like to present the following.

Why are hardwood decks so great?

That’s a good question. There are many benefits to a hardwood deck! Let’s take a look.

  • Beauty: We might be biased but nothing can beat tropical hardwoods when it comes to beauty. These species have gorgeous colors and variations. Whether the unique red velvet color of South Pacific redwood, the rich dark brown of ipe, or the striking tiger stripes of tigerwood, hardwood species have a truly beautiful look that few other species can compare to.
  • Durability: These species are majorly tough. They won’t chip, crack, or stain. Do you have pets? Kids? Maybe you like to host big parties? You won’t need to worry about the dings or stains that occur during family get-togethers or holiday parties. Hardwoods can stand up to the most inclement of weather, even hail. Plus, these species are naturally resistant to rot and many insects. Furthermore, species like ipe are so dense that they even have some resistance to fire!
  • Low maintenance: Are you a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of person? Then hardwoods are perfect for you. As long as you don’t mind the natural weathering that all woods experience, you don’t need to do anything to your deck except some occasional sweeping and basic cleaning. If you want to maintain your deck’s original color, simply apply an annual sealer to your deck to avoid the silvery gray color it acquires as it ages.
  • Long life: Depending on the species, your hardwood deck will last from 30 to more than 50 years. Tropical hardwoods have the longest lifespan of most any natural wood.

Are there any disadvantages to using tropical hardwoods?

We’ll admit that tropical hardwoods aren’t without drawbacks. Due to their density and strength, they’re difficult to work with. Additionally, since our wood comes from South America or Asia, shipping is expensive and adds to the overall price.

Still, due to the incredible long life, durability, and beauty of tropical hardwoods, we believe they’re the best option for most decking projects.

What are the benefits of pressure treated lumber?

We’ll admit that there are few …

  • Affordability: Pressure treated lumber is an inexpensive choice. If budget is your primary consideration, then this type of lumber might work for you.
  • Durability: While it can’t match the hardness and toughness of tropical hardwoods, treated lumber will hold up better than certain species of softwoods thanks to the chemicals used in the treatment process. This wood is treated to be insect and rot resistant.
  • Availability: Treated lumber is easy to find! It’ll be at any local or online shop so you can pick it out yourself. It’s also easy to work with.

What are the drawbacks to using pressure treated lumber?

  • High maintenance: Decks made with treated lumber need work! Besides require regular power washing, they need to be stained and sealed on an annual or biannual basis.
  • Questionable safety: The industry has changed the chemicals used in the treatment process due to health concerns but there are still safety concerns. When working with treated work, take property precautions to avoid contact with sawdust. You shouldn’t use treated wood that will be in close proximity to garden beds since the chemicals can leach into the soil. Treated wood should also never be burned. In case of fire, the smoke will be especially toxic.
  • Poor aging: While the wood can last 10-15 years, this type of wood can be problematic. It doesn’t age well and will shrink over time as the boards dry out. Treated lumber is also prone to splintering so it’s not ideal if you like to go barefoot or you have small children.

Shop Hardwood Decking Supply

Contact our decking experts today and shop our variety of certified wood. With over 25 years of experience, we take pride in working with our customers to ensure that their unique needs are not only met, but surpassed. By providing mill direct lumber, we can pass along the savings to our homeowners and contractors. See why we’ve been trusted for over 25 years! 

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