Cedar: The wood from this large, coniferous evergreen tree
is a popular favorite for decks. It not only looks and smells
wonderful, it is also extremely durable. The texture of cedar is soft,
and the grain of cedar is intricate and beautiful. Cedar produces
natural tannins that are thought to be naturally resistant to insects.
These tannins, however, can spot, especially after rainfalls, and this
continues until the wood becomes fully acclimatized (about three
years). Sealer colors that work particularly well with cedar are the
natural redwood or cedar tinted, or clear. These sealers allow the
natural grain of the wood to show through, while at the same time
protecting the wood through a color tint.
Pine: This long-needled tree also has wood that is very
popular in deck construction. Pine varies from very soft wood, as with
the white pine, to very hard wood, as in the long leaf pine. Usually
pressure treated for deck construction, pine is very versatile,
cheaper than cedar or redwood, and dependable. Depending on personal
preference, pine works well with any color sealer. As with cedar,
there are natural colors that can enhance the natural grain and color
of the wood.
Redwood: Used frequently in timber construction, redwood is
(as the name suggests) a reddish wood. Outside of the color, redwood
is very similar to cedar.
Pressure- Treated: This term refers to wood that has been
chemically treated to ward off insects and rot. Cedar and redwood are
never treated. The drawbacks to using pressure treated wood are rapid
discoloration, prone to splitting, and many chemicals are in the wood
that can discolor it. As with all woods, it is always best to have
your pressure treated wood seasoned, cleaned, and sealed so that these
natural drawbacks can be avoided.