There’s no getting away from the fact that when many people think about decking, they think about teak; but is teak necessarily the best decking option? With a whole range of decking options now available, there is no doubt that it is a good idea to open up your mind to all the options before necessarily plumping for teak.
A great way to extend your living space and make the very best use of your garden, decking is an outdoor design option which is being embraced by more and more people. Out of many people’s reach budget-wise for a long time, the great news is that decking is becoming more and more affordable, across the board.
The traditional decking options are cedar, teak and mahogany, but more and more you’ll start to see ipe, cumaru and iroko on offer. So how will you choose? Teak decking, as the name suggests is made from teak, that is an extremely stable wood which has an exceptional resistance to moisture, which is why it is so popular. Recognised as one of the main woods used in ship decking, teak is highly workable with a rich, yellow-brown colour and a distinctive grain pattern. All of that said, you’ll find that teak decking is typically more expensive than the woods that have more recently come on to the market.
Cumaru, for example is a hardwood that is often called Brazilian teak and is hailed as one of the hardest woods on the planet, which means that it is perfect when used as decking. Typically cumaru ranges in colour from a rich, reddish brown to a tawny brown colour and is known to darken over time when it is exposed to sunlight, which makes it an option that develops and matures beautifully. Highly resistant to rot, insect infestation and algae, it’s easy to see why more and more people are choosing this decking option, particularly when you add into the equation that it is significantly cheaper than teak.
Ipe decking is another option that is appearing with regularity on the decking range of solutions. Ipe comes typically from countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru is a really rich olive colour, with a range from yellow to dark tones that again darken over time. Once more, this is a wood that’s particularly resistant to insect infestation and is naturally fire resistant. In fact this wood is often called ‘ironwood’ because it is so tough. Add to these strengths, the fact that ipe is a really affordable decking option and you begin to realise that it definitely deserves a place on your decking shortlist.
Finally, iroko is a decking option that is truly within pretty much everyone’s budget, but doesn’t require any compromise on quality. Again a truly durable hardwood, this wood hails from Africa and sports a nice irregular grain and a slightly course texture. Don’t let this put you off though, because if you’re looking for a highly affordable decking option that’ll stand the test of time, Iroko is well worthy of consideration.
So, is teak decking the best? While many purists, may argue that if you’re installing decking, it simply must be teak, there is no doubt that today there are a whole host of viable, affordable and attractive alternatives.
Why is teak a popular choice for decking?
Teak is a popular choice for decking due to its extreme stability and exceptional resistance to moisture. It’s a workable wood with a rich, yellow-brown color and a distinctive grain pattern. Historically, it’s been one of the main woods used in ship decking which attests to its durability and resistance to water.
Are there any affordable alternatives to teak for decking?
Yes, there are several affordable alternatives to teak for decking. These include cumaru (also known as Brazilian teak), ipe, and iroko. All these woods are durable, resistant to rot, insect infestation, and algae. They also develop and mature beautifully over time, making them a great choice for decking.
What is cumaru and why is it a good option for decking?
Cumaru, often called Brazilian teak, is a hardwood that’s hailed as one of the hardest woods on the planet, making it perfect for decking. It ranges in color from a rich, reddish brown to a tawny brown and is known to darken over time when exposed to sunlight. It’s highly resistant to rot, insect infestation, and algae, and is significantly cheaper than teak.
Why should I consider ipe for decking?
Ipe is a decking option that originates from countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru. It’s a rich olive color, ranging from yellow to dark tones that darken over time. Ipe is particularly resistant to insect infestation and is naturally fire resistant. This wood is often called ‘ironwood’ because of its toughness, making it a durable and affordable decking option.
Can you tell me more about iroko as a decking option?
Iroko is a highly durable hardwood that originates from Africa. It sports an irregular grain and a slightly coarse texture. Despite being budget-friendly, iroko doesn’t compromise on quality, making it a worthy consideration if you’re looking for a highly affordable decking option that can stand the test of time.