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Which species of wood should you choose for your terrace decking and what are the different treatment options?

A terrace is outdoors all year round, so the timber used to build it must be picked with special care as the service life of wood materials is significantly reduced by weather conditions. Choosing a wood type and treatment option suitable for the site and application will ensure the longer lifetime and increased durability of your terrace.

Various methods are used to increase the decay resistance and durability of the wood. One of the simplest options is using deep-impregnated wood materials. Using deep-impregnated timber outdoors and in humid environments is justified in all respects since its lifetime is considered to be up to 10 times longer than that of ordinary untreated materials used in the same conditions.

The wood of different tree species behaves differently when subjected to industrial impregnation performed under pressure in an autoclave. While spruce autoclave impregnation only manages to penetrate the wood by a few millimeters, pinewood is soaked through to the core with the protective agent after impregnation in an autoclave. For this reason, you should prefer deep-impregnated pinewood to spruce for terrace decking.

If using impregnated wood is either not possible or not desired for some reason – you are required to use as natural and environmentally friendly materials as possible – then Siberian larch is a good choice.

Why should I choose Siberian larch?

High-quality Siberian larch offers significantly better weather resistance compared with spruce and pine due to its dense structure and high resin content. As a result, there is no need for additional treatment and you can install this wood material untreated even outdoors. Natural larch will acquire a uniform grey tone outdoors over the years without losing its durability.

Which decking profile should be preferred?

Various decking profiles are offered commercially. Both smooth-surfaced and grooved decking is available. Both sides of the decking can be used and they often have different profiles, so you can decide which side to use for your terrace.

To reduce the slipperiness of the terrace, using grooved-surface decking for the visible side of the terrace is often argued for. In this case you should, however, be prepared to clean your terrace more frequently, since even grooved decking will get slippery due to dust, dirt and moisture settling between the grooves, and the dirt and moisture in the grooves will also significantly affect the service life of your terrace.

Using the grooved surface on the bottom (invisible) side of the terrace provides necessary air movement to reduce the impact of moisture on the decking. By and large, you should choose your decking profiles based on your personal wishes and preferences as care and maintenance is necessary for all types of decking surface, and you should also always be careful on a wet terrace to avoid slipping.

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