What’s the Best Wood to Choose for the Outdoors?

By Perswood Team,

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Find out which wood types superbly endure all weather conditions.  


When it comes to designing an outdoor deck, you’d want something that can last through the years, no matter how well-trod or battered by the elements. Planks popping upwards are unsightly; the last thing you’d want to see when sunbathing by the pool, tending to your garden or strolling along the promenade of your development.

Fortunately choosing the appropriate wood type for your flooring can help you ensure that it stays in good condition rain or shine.

Such wood is usually more dense and less porous, and hence will not absorb water as easily as those with lower densities. Such properties also allow them to be more durable overall. They would typically qualify for a rating of 3 and above based on the European standards for durability (indicating they are moderately to very durable).

Examples of wood that have these characteristics include ipe, yellow balau, chengal and teak.

Another thing to look out for to help wood flooring outdoors last, would be the installation method. Installing the planks through nailing them down punctures the wood. This can result in their surfaces collecting more water, drying slower and eventually rotting.

In contrast, we usually secure wood planks used outdoors along their sides through a side clip fastening system. This allows the planks to be installed without puncturing the surface of the wood.

The dimensions of the wood planks can also affect their susceptibility to expansion and contraction when exposed to the elements. Every wood has varying degrees of “stability” in terms of how much it expands and contracts; generally, more dimensionally stable woods, such as chengal or teak, can afford to have a wider range of widths without affecting the thickness of the planks. Less stable types of wood will need to be thicker, have wider widths and shorter lengths.


Zircon for assorted outdoor elements

An exceptionally suitable wood for the outdoors is Zircon wood, which is wood that has been subjected to thermal treatment of around 190 to 250 degrees Celsius. This fundamentally transforms the properties of the wood, upping its stability and durability, and provides a much wider range of wood choices for the outdoors.

It also unlocks more variety in dimensions for the wood; you’d be able to opt for thinner and longer planks than usual. As such, this flexibility usually makes the wood suitable for other outdoor elements as well, such as ceilings, claddings and screens.

Having an outdoor deck that weathers well through the years is within reach, as long as you select wood that is suitably durable and keep it maintained.

Find out more about our Zircon wood offerings and how they can be incorporated for your outdoor plans.