If you’re planning to build a deck in your home, you need to understand the major differences between hardwood and softwood decking. While it’s easy to assume that all wood is the same, the two provide different sets of advantages and disadvantages. Having an idea of what you’ll be getting will allow you to set your expectations and choose which option best suits your needs.
Hardwood Decking Versus Softwood Decking
The main difference between hardwood and softwood decking is the material that is used to create the decking boards. From their given names, you either craft the decking using hardwoods or softwoods. However, the materials are all different. Even if the wood or timber falls under the same category, that doesn’t mean that the advantages and disadvantages they offer will be the same.
Having said that, there are some common characteristics that can be observed among crafting materials, which will give you a general idea of the pros and cons.
Many homeowners prefer crafting decking boards using hardwoods such as ash and oak because they result in a more durable build. Hardwood decking boards typically are more complex in structure because the materials are largely deciduous. They also typically cost more because these trees are more difficult and complicated to process. Deciduous trees don’t grow very quickly, which is why they’re hard to harvest.
Pros And Cons
The major advantage you get with hardwood decking is that they have the highest quality of the bunch and they’re durable, which means you can expect your decks to be longlasting. Hardwood decks are also highly customizable, but given wood’s beautiful natural design, it’s a fantastic idea to keep the pattern visible if you want a more organic feel. Hardwood decks are very sturdy and resistant to rotting, warping, and flames.
While there are many pros, hardwood decking doesn’t come without some downsides. They’re not exactly easy to install because of their solidity. Hardwoods are also difficult to grow in some regions, which is why they can be rather expensive.
Softwood decks are built using coniferous trees, which grow fast and are typically easy to harvest. This trait of softwoods makes them easy to work with and since they are generally accessible, softwood decking doesn’t cost as much as hardwood decking. Trees like spruce and pine are the go-to materials for many craftsmen, but these types of softwoods, among many others, require treatment to defend against fungus and insects.
Pros And Cons
Softwood decking is a quick and easy decking solution if you’re not too concerned with life span. The major disadvantage that softwoods bring to the table is that they’re not as durable as hardwoods, which is why they would only typically last for 15 years. However, softwoods are easy to install and the availability of the materials makes decking more convenient. While they’re not as durable as hardwoods, decking boards made from softwoods can still last for a reasonable amount of time.
Knowing the difference between hardwood decking and softwood decking will help you decide which option to settle on. If you’re looking for a quick and easy decking board, making one from softwood is a great choice. If you’re looking for something durable, opt for hardwood decking to ensure that your deck lasts decades.
Are you from London or Essex and in need of cut-to-size timber decking for your decking boards, get in touch today! We have a wide range of options and are happy to discuss your needs with you.