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When planning to build a deck, selecting the right type of wood is crucial to ensure durability, aesthetics, and longevity. At London Decking, we understand that the installation process must be managed by skilled professionals, as timber is a living material that expands and contracts more than composite materials. The framework of your wooden deck will significantly influence the quality and lifespan of the finished project. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best timber for your decking needs.

Hardwood Decking

Hardwoods are widely regarded as one of the most attractive decking options due to their rich, warm hues. Although they come with a higher initial cost, their durability, strength, and natural resistance to insect damage, mould, and rot make them a long-term economical choice. We source our hardwoods from FSC-certified suppliers to ensure ecological sustainability.

Types of Hardwood Decking


Often referred to as the Rolls Royce of hardwood decking, Ipe is a top choice for high-end commercial projects with a desired luxury finish. Known for its exceptional durability, Ipe is a favourite among architecture firms across the UK. This hardwood is built to last and offers a stunning aesthetic that enhances any outdoor space.


Yellow Balau, pronounced Bal-Ow, is a Malaysian hardwood known for its fine, smooth texture. This timber is highly durable and resilient, naturally resistant to fungi and decay. Its low maintenance requirements make it ideal for those seeking a beautiful deck with minimal upkeep. Balau’s inherent qualities ensure it remains a robust and reliable decking material over time.


Sustainably sourced from the west coast of Africa, Iroko is a tropical hardwood that boasts a beautiful golden tone. Its extreme durability makes it perfect for areas with high foot traffic. Iroko’s rich colour and robust nature make it a desirable choice for investing in a long-lasting and visually appealing deck.

Softwood Decking

Softwoods like pine offer a cost-effective alternative to hardwoods and composites. While they may not match the durability of hardwoods, they are easier to work with and quicker to install, leading to lower fitting costs. Softwoods are often chosen for their bright colour and fresh feel. They come pre-treated for external use and can be stained to match your preferred colour scheme.

We supply ecologically sourced softwoods from FSC-certified suppliers, ensuring responsible forestry practices. Despite their lower cost, good-quality softwood can still provide an attractive and functional decking solution.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Decking Timber


When selecting wood for your deck, consider the amount of wear and tear the area will endure. Hardwoods like Ipe, Balau, and Iroko offer superior durability, making them suitable for high-traffic areas and commercial projects. While less durable, softwoods are still an excellent option for residential spaces with less intense usage.


Your willingness to maintain the deck will influence your choice of timber. Hardwoods generally require less maintenance due to their natural resistance to decay and insects. Softwoods, although requiring more frequent upkeep, can be treated and stained to extend their lifespan and maintain their appearance.

Aesthetic Appeal

Another important factor is the visual appeal of your deck. Hardwoods provide a rich, luxurious look with warm tones that enhance the natural beauty of your outdoor space. Softwoods offer a bright and fresh appearance that can be customised with stains to suit your design preferences.


Budget constraints will also influence your decision. While hardwoods have a higher upfront cost, their longevity and minimal maintenance can make them more cost-effective. Softwoods, being less expensive initially, may appeal to those looking for a more immediate cost-saving option.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the suitable wood for your deck involves balancing factors such as durability, maintenance, aesthetic appeal, and cost. At London Decking, we offer a range of high-quality hardwood and softwood options to suit various needs and preferences. Our skilled professionals ensure that your deck is installed with the utmost care, taking into account the natural characteristics of the timber to deliver a stunning and long-lasting outdoor space.

Whether you opt for the luxurious finish of Ipe, the resilience of Balau, Iroko’s golden tones, or softwood’s bright appeal, we are here to guide you through the selection process and provide expert installation services. Transform your outdoor area with a deck that not only meets your functional requirements but also enhances the beauty and value of your property. With our expertise, timber decking in London has never been more stylish or durable.

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