Most decks use treated wood decking, either for decking or the frame or both. While it has been around for a long while, it has been through quite a few evolutions in the past few decades.
Now let’s see how it stacks up to the competition in COST, LIFETIME and LOOK and FEEL.
First Cost $
First of all, treated wood decking is the lowest cost of any decking option. So, if you want to choose solely on cost to install, this is your choice.
True Cost $$$
Unfortunately, to keep treated wood decking looking good over time will require frequent power-washing and staining every 2-3 years, which starts to add up.
LIFETIME 15-30 years if properly maintained
The whole point of treating the wood is that it lasts for a long time without rotting. Unfortunately, it grays over time, which is great if you like gray.
Treated wood decking is also not very dimensionally stable, which is just a fancy way of saying it tends to expand, contract, twist, crack and warp over time. Translation: more maintenance.
LOOK AND FEEL EHHH
Alas, no one will claim a treated wood deck is the most beautiful deck. This is partly because treated decking has a green or a orange-ish tint that makes it look like Trump after a skin treatment. Also, the wood can crack, split and warp over time since it is softer.
However, it is real wood under all that treatment, so that’s gotta count for something, right?
- Treated wood decking is made of softwood, usually pine. It gets treated with a preservative to protect against rot, fungal decay and termites.
- The lumber company uses a pressurized cylinder to force micronized copper preservative into the board. Then they kiln-dry the wood to remove excess moisture and help reduce shrinkage.
- The good news is manufacturers have made the treatment safer than it used to be. It used to be really nasty stuff that you wouldn’t want to eat or breath or even touch, but that has changed. That was back in the olden days. Like the ‘90s.
- Many treated wood products are EPP Certified, meaning they are better for the environment. They take less energy to produce than composite wood, and are harvested from managed forests.
Maybe I’ve made treated wood decking sound like a bad choice, but at roughly half the cost of a composite deck, it can be a compelling choice for someone who is on a budget.
I love the saying “a meal I hate at $50 is a meal I love at $5.” Just think of treated decking as the $5 meal.
Wanna find out more? Try checking out this link
So here’s a video of the treating process (classic Bob Vila) that used to be used.