Wood deck or composite deck: how to choose?


For a few years now, wooden terraces have had great success: as a result, over time, materials and techniques have improved and perfected. No more house that does not have its wooden terrace and no DIY store that does not offer a whole range of boards allowing you to make your own terrace. By browsing their shelves, you will quickly see that you will have to choose between real wood or composite wood …

How to choose ? There are aficionados of some and detractors of others, as always when an alternative arises. Know already that if your house is located in an area prone to termites, immediately opt for composite wood, otherwise you will create with your wooden terrace, a huge shelter and pantry for these pests, despite the fact that these woods are treated. .

The different types of wood for terraces

The wood offered is always treated in an autoclave, in a more or less strong way, against insects and mold, according to a classification ranging from 1 to 5: a class 2 wood must remain sheltered from bad weather, a class 3 wood suitable for a terrace on joists in temperate regions, a class 4 wood is rot-proof and may be in contact with the ground, or even submerged. It is therefore advisable to choose at least a class 3 wood.

What did you envision in terms of form? Whatever the material, you can buy either planks, smooth or grooved) whose length and width vary and which are placed on joists, or slabs, also to be mounted on joists, and which have the advantage of ‘be very easy to install if they are clip-on. But the effect is not the same

You will finally have to choose between different types of wood ranging from softwood to composite through exotic wood:

  • conifers (Douglas fir or spruce): these are the cheapest, the least hard to drill, but also those which age the fastest,
  • exotic woods (bankiraï, almendrillo, tali, ipé) and bamboo: naturally rot-proof, they are very resistant to bad weather and age fairly well, but be careful, they are difficult to pierce because they are very dense. Be sure to choose wood from forests whose exploitation responds to sustainable and reasoned management: they are recognized thanks to the FSC label (Forest Stewardship Council),
  • composite wood (mixture of natural fibers and polyethylene): it is of course rot-proof, easy to install thanks to a system of clips, and very resistant over time.

In terms of the budget to be expected, it is common to say that the above list goes from the cheapest to the most expensive: this is not necessarily true because there are, in each subject, many different qualities, which puts this misconception wrong. Especially with the promos made by the big DIY stores, it is possible to find very beautiful resistant things, at very reasonable prices!

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