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How To Choose Deck Boards: Definitive Guide.

Selecting the correct type of decking boards is an important decision.

Not only do they need to be aesthetically pleasing, but they also need to be durable and easy to work with.

Each board has different properties that make it either more attractive than others or more practical.

Here are some of the things to consider when choosing deck boards for your deck.

1. Cedar is a type of wood determine the resistant to rot and insect damage. 

2. Not all wood is alike. Make sure that the type of wood you choose is appropriate for the location. 

3. Check the thickness of the boards before buying.

You want the boards to be thick enough to ensure that they are strong enough to withstand contact with the ground.

4. The color of the wood can affect how well it will stand up over time.

Darker woods tend to look better in the long run because they age naturally.

If you have darker colored cedar on your deck, then you don’t have to worry about painting them every year.

However, if you plan to paint them regularly, then lighter colors may last longer.

5. Consider what kind of maintenance you would like to perform on your deck.

Some types of decks require less upkeep while other types require regular cleaning.

For example, pressure-treated boards requires no additional treatment after installation.

It does not stain easily and needs little care.

On the other hand, composite decking tends to attract dirt and stains very quickly.

Therefore, this type of material should be cleaned frequently.

6. Look at the size of the boards.

Smaller pieces of wood are easier to handle and install.

They are also cheapest deck boards. Larger pieces of wood take up more space and cost more money.

7. Decide whether you prefer natural materials such as cedar or synthetic materials such as plastic planks.

Natural materials are usually stronger and harder wearing.

Synthetic materials are often softer and easier to clean.

8. Think about where you intend to place the boards.

Do you want to use them around stairs or near water sources? These factors determine which side of the board faces outwards.

9. How much weight do you expect to put on the boards? This determines their durability.

Heavy duty boards are made from thicker timbers so they can support heavier loads.

Lightweight boards are thinner and therefore weaker.

10. What style of railing do you want? There are many styles available including traditional wooden board railings, metal rails, and even fiberglass ones.

All these options come in various sizes and shapes.

What Are Decks Made Of?

Decks can be constructed out of a range of materials, including treated wood, plastic, composite, and metal.

Decks are usually built using 2x4s which are also called joists.

The reason behind choosing 2 inch thick lumber is that it provides enough support while being lightweight.

This makes it easier to move around during construction.

Joist size varies depending on where you live.

In North America, 2×6 joists are common, whereas, in Europe, 1×2 joists are more popular.

Decks come in various sizes and shapes.

Some people prefer square shaped ones while others like round ones.

You may want to use decorative moldings if you wish to make your deck look unique.

If you don’t know much about carpentry, then you might need help installing those molding pieces.

Types Of Wood Used For Building Decks

There are hundreds of different types of wood used for building decks, and choosing the right one for your project is a critical step.

The most commonly used wood is treated pine, but any of the following types of wood boards will work well for that special project.

Here are some examples:

1) Pressure Treated Pine – This kind of wood is very durable and resistant against insects and rot. However, pressure-treated wood pine does not last forever since it loses its natural color after time. Also, it needs regular maintenance by applying stain every few years.

2) Red Cedar – This is one of the best choices for outdoor furniture due to its durability and resistance to weather conditions. It doesn’t require too much maintenance either.

3) Mahogany – This is another great choice for outdoor furniture. It looks beautiful and adds elegance to your home. It requires less maintenance than other hardwood decking boards.

4) Composite Decking – This material is mostly preferred nowadays. It combines both plastic and wood making it stronger and lighter. It is highly recommended especially for new homes.

5) Hardwood Flooring – This is an option if you want something long lasting and strong. It lasts longer compared to composite boards materials.

For outdoor decks, the best choices are tropical natural woods like teak or mahogany.

The natural oils in the species of wood resist weather damage and damage by insects.

Redwood and cedar make good choices for natural wood that will be exposed to the weather year-round.

Treated grade of wood can last for about 10 years.

Deck Board Sizes and Actual Dimensions

Deck boards are used to build decks.

They are usually made out of wood and are used to support type of decking board materials such as plywood, cedar, pressure treated lumber, etc.

They are also used to create a level surface for building decks.

The deck board dimension depends on the type of deck being built.

For example, if you are building a deck that has a deck board length of 10 feet, then you would need a deck board that is at least 10 feet long.

If you were planning to build a smaller deck, then you may only need a 4 foot wide deck board type.

Choosing the right deck board thickness

The thickness of deck boards depends on the location, the type, and the quality of wood.

In general, for a deck, you should use perfect decking boards that are 2″ to 2.5″ thick.

This permits you to use traditional finish techniques.

However, there are exceptions when thinner boards are needed.

When designing a deck with stairs, you have two options:

  1. Use solid wood steps instead of plywood steps. Solid wood steps are heavier so they won’t bend easily. They are also harder to install.
  2. Install plywood steps over concrete slabs. Plywood steps are cheaper and easy to install. But they tend to warp because of moisture absorption from the ground.

Deck boards are quite strong, and if you use the wrong kind of boards, they could snap.

Some deck boards are made from softwood, while others are made from hardwood.

Types Of Decks And Their Uses

There are different types of decks available today. Each type serves a specific purpose.

Here are some examples of common types of decks:

1) Porch/Patio – A porch is basically a covered area outside of your house where people sit down and relax during warm summer days.

Patios come in many shapes and sizes but most often consist of a wooden platform surrounded by walls.

The patio provides shelter from rain and sun.

You can add seating around the perimeter of the patio which makes this space more comfortable.

2) Gazebo – These structures provide shade and protection against windy conditions.

They are typically constructed using metal frames and fabric covers.

There are several styles of gazebos including round, square, octagonal, hexagon, triangular, and oval.

3) Pergola – This structure consists of an open framework supported by columns.

It’s designed to protect plants and flowers from harsh winds and direct sunlight.

Most pergolas include trellis work along their sides.

Trellises allow vines and other climbing plants to grow up them.


Choosing good-quality types of decking boards will make sure that your new deck lasts longer than expected.

Good-quality deck boards are durable and resistant to warping or rotting.

Also, choose a color scheme that matches well with your home décor.

Remember that it takes time to properly construct a deck. So don’t rush into buying cheap deck boards just yet!

Scott Buckley

Scott Buckley

I'm Scott, a Woodworker by day and book geek by night. I love making things out of wood. While I have and still, on occassion do, work with metal and plastics, I find them to be cold and somewhat boring. Wood is warm and I feel close to nature with it. I started as a means to help like minded creative folk to answer burning questions. I hope you enjoy reading and learning, and always feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions!

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