Why Choose Tropical Hardwood Decking?
We think Tropical Hardwood Decking is the best choice for a long-lasting and beautiful deck. Hardwood decking provides a long-lasting alternative to treated softwoods or synthetic materials. Hardwood Decking has natural beauty and ages gracefully. If you truly want to create an outdoor oasis for your home, hardwood decking is the place to start. Hardwood Decking is proven to be durable and has been around and used for many years. For example, the Ipe Decking used on the Coney Island Boardwalk lasted 70 years and then was reused in other products once removed.
What Type of Hardwood Should I choose?
Below, we go through all of the Hardwood Decking options that we offer and what their benefits are. We also provide cost information on a scale of $ to $$$$$, so that you can compare the costs of each type of wood decking. We try to give you the benefits of each and why you might want to use them. If you are interested in comparing the specification of each wood check out our comparing decking material post.
Ipe Wood: The Most Popular Option
Ipe wood decking is the most popular type of hardwood decking solution.The color ranges from dark brown to olive-brown and sometimes almost blackish tones, with wide variation in grains. It provides a beautiful long-lasting deck for your home. Ipe is extremely hard; therefore, Ipe decking will wear well and last a very long time. With the proper installation and care, it can last 40+ years in most installations. It is great in harsh environments like near the ocean or beach.
Garapa Wood: Golden Color and Competitive Pricing
Garapa is our second most popular hardwood decking solution. Garapa decking is a beautiful hardwood featuring a light yellow to golden brown color. As the wood naturally weathers, it takes on light silvery gray tones which means there is no need to apply annual sealers. A Garapa deck is resistant to rot, decay, splinters, scratches, and even fire – naturally without any chemical treatments.
Garapa wood, also known as Brazilian Ash, is a dense and naturally durable Brazilian timber. Its golden color, fine grain and moderate cost make it an attractive alternate to more expensive hardwoods such as Teak or Ipe for decking.
Massaranduba: Brazilian Redwood
Massaranduba decking wood is one of the hardest and most durable timber species in the world. It is considered a cost-effective substitute for Ipe decking in some applications. With a reddish-brown hue and straight grain, it has been nicknamed “Brazilian Redwood.” It is our usual alternative recommended for a “Mahogany” appearance.
Cumaru: Brazilian Teak
Cumaru Decking provides a cost-effective and long-lasting decking alternative. Its colors are warm and attractive. Cumaru Decking also ages gracefully and lasts a long time for the owner. Cumaru, also known as Brazilian Teak or Golden Teak, is a naturally durable Brazilian timber with a density similar to Ipe. Its consistent golden brown color and moderate cost make it an attractive alternate to more expensive hardwoods
Teak: The Gold Standard
Teak Decking surpasses all other woods for any outdoor use. This is because of the natural oils in tectona grandis, or true teak decking, which eliminates the need for preservatives and sealants. Teak decking is our most expensive decking option but is a truly the highest quality decking possible as can be attested to with our Teak also being used on many luxury yachts. If you are building a one of a kind deck, then Teak may be the right material for your project.
Mahogany: Check the Fine Print
We do not offer Mahogany Decking because most products marketed as Mahogany are not genuine Mahogany, and we have found their longevity and strength lacking when compared to our other hardwood decking options. If you are looking for a mahogany appearance, then we recommend Massaranduba. If you would like to read more about “Mahogany” Decking, please read: What about Mahogany Decking?
What Type of Profile should you use?
The Decking Profile you choose relates directly to the type of fasteners you are using and the location of your install.
Standard Decking is used for Face Screwed decking that can also be plugged to give a seamless appearance.
Pre-grooved Decking to allow for hidden fasteners to be installed and to allow the decking boards hide any fasteners used.
This is used for porch flooring and only under a covered area where water drainage is not a concern.
What about Fasteners for Hardwood Decking?
All Hardwood decking required stainless steel screws and also requires pre-drilling. Because Hardwood Decking is so hard it must be pre-drilled. You can find out more on our Fasteners page.
Stainless Steel Screws
For all types of Hardwood decking, you want to use stainless steel screws for longevity. If you are installing hardwood decking that will last 40+ years, you want to make sure your fasteners will last that long. Secondly other types of fasteners are known to cause staining and discoloration in hardwoods so they can cause major issues. Stainless Steel Screws are used for face screwing, hidden fasteners, and when using wood plugs.
Wood Plugs are used when face screwing. But, you have counter sunk the screw to allow you to cover the screw head with a plug that is then sanded or planed to be smooth with the surface of the decking.
Hidden Deck Fasteners
Hidden Deck Fasteners are used along with Pre-grooved decking. The clip the decking board to the spans and are mostly hidden by the grooves cut into the decking.
How should you install Hardwood Decking?
With Hardwood Decking being such a beautiful and long-lasting product, you want to make sure you install it properly, so the owners can enjoy it for years to come. Below are the basics of installation for Hardwood Decking. You can find our more on our Ipe Decking Installation Instructions page and by contacting us.
As with all deck building make sure to follow building codes, use proper safety equipment, and safety glasses. Additional precautions should be taken with the dust from tropical hardwoods because some people do have allergic reactions so masks, fans, and long sleeves are recommended. Since Tropical Hardwood are much heavier than some other type of lumbers, please keep this in mind when transporting and working with them.
Get the right Tools
Carbide Saws and carbide drills are recommended for all drilling and cutting because of the inherit toughness of Tropical hardwoods. We also recommend having a bending tool Like the BoWrench for straightening crooked boards to allow for proper fastening. We also recommend #2 Square bit drivers to minimize screw head stripping.
You will want to take special care when storing your Hardwood Boards when they arrive and allow them to acclimate somewhat to your local environment. The amount of acclimation needed will all depend on the final installation design, Sun exposure, and geographic location. Give East Teak a call when ordering and we can advise on best practices.
Cutting Hardwood Decking
Due to the density of the wood, go slower as you cut through the wood to get a smooth cut without excess dulling of the blade. Always cut with the good face up to minimize end-cut splintering. Seal all fresh-cut ends with Anchorseal end-sealer immediately after cutting in order to minimize splitting.
Ventilation, Gapping, Shrinkage, and Expansion are all major considerations when working on hardwood decking. You will want to make sure you have the proper ventilation so allow all sides of the boards to get proper airflow, you want to make sure that your gapping is such that it will allow for the shrinkage and expansion inherent in your decking boards. We give general instructions here but if you are looking for specifics based on your install location, and hardwood deck material please contact us.
For minimal waste, we recommend that you build your deck on 12″ spans. Otherwise, follow these standard spans for installation for minimal deflection of the deck surface Spanning Recommendations.
Sanding and Finishing Hardwood Decking
Once you have your decking installed, you may want to treat it with a oil-based finish below are the basics of that. If you are looking for more information, visit our Installation Guide.
How you should Sand and Seal Hardwood Decking
Spot sand where necessary. Orbital sanding is not recommended as it can leave circular scratches in the grain. As we said in the cutting section, make sure to seal all fresh cuts with AnchorSeal.
Hardwood Deck Finishing
Finishing is not required if you are okay with your decking gaining a natural silvering color. This option is lower maintenance. and your deck will still last many many years.
If you would like to maintain the wood coloring with minimal silvering then you will need to use a transparent penetrating oil-based finish with UV inhibitors such as Wood Rich UV Plus. Before applying finishes, brush and clean the surface to remove dirt and dust. Due to wood density and subsequent impermeability, apply several thin coats of a finish that is designed for hardwoods.
Hardwood Decking Care & Maintenance
Hardwood decking is extremely low maintenance but that doesn’t mean that you can’t improve their appearance and make them last even longer with the proper care. Below are some basics and for more information you can visit our Care and Maintenance page.
How to Clean Hardwood Decking
Periodic cleaning with simple soap and water and a stiff brush will keep your deck looking new. Pressure washers are not recommended. Using a pressure washer can have a sand blasting effect and tear wood fibers, causing a course and uneven surface. A simple garden hose with a spray nozzle should be sufficient. Use of a cleaning and brightening two-part system, such as Messmer’s Part A ( Cleaner) and Part B ( Brightener), or Woodrich’s EFC-38 Wood Deck and Siding Cleaner/Stripper and Citralic Wood Deck and Siding Restorer. These 2-part products will return silver/gray wood to its near-original color.
How to Re-Finishing Hardwood Decking
If you need to remove aged or failing stains or finishes, use a good commercial cleaner designed for hardwoods, such as Woodrich Brand EFC-38.
Re-apply finishes annually or as needed. Clean the deck thoroughly before re-finishing. Products such as Woodrich Brand Wiping Stains may not need to be stripped if you have regularly maintained your deck and are using the same product over the top of the old finish.
Why Choose East Teak Fine Hardwoods as your Hardwood Decking Supplier?
We are specialized in helping you select the right hardwood decking based on your budget, location, and goals for you project. If you truly want to create an outdoor oasis for your home, East Teak’s hardwood decking is the place to start.
Hardwood decking does have special considerations such as installation, maintenance, and which species is best for your local environment. So please check all of out all of our resources, our blog, and contact us if you have any questions. Also, please check out our inspiration section to see how these woods appear once installed.
Naturally beautiful, long-lasting, and tough East Teak’s Hardwood Decking is really the best way to finish your outdoor space, so it feels special and well made.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and we will respond as soon as possible.