hardwood lumber

Everything You Need To Know About Hardwood Lumber

Installing a deck adds extra value to a house while also giving you a lot of extra space to enjoy the outdoors for years to come. This makes it one of the best renovation projects for any home. With so many options of wood to choose from, it’s difficult to know which material to choose for your home’s new deck. Hardwood lumber is the best choice, both for its beautiful appearance and longevity, but what else is there to know about this material?

Making sure you know everything beforehand saves you both time and money in the long run.

That’s why we’ve collected that kind of information for you down below. Keep reading to learn all of the information you need to know to get the most out of your hardwood deck installation.

Why Choose Hardwood Lumber?

Hardwood lumber comes from deciduous trees that are slow-growing, which means the wood grows compact and dense. This high density gives hardwoods extra strength and longer life. They’re able to withstand more without ever getting damaged, and it makes the wood less of a chore to clean as well.

This is why it’s important to choose hardwood for your decking material rather than softwood. It makes for a much better investment compared to softwood lumber.

Ipe Wood

This type of wood has other names such as Brazilian Walnut and Pau Lope. Regardless of what you call it, this wood stands above the rest.

With a hardness rating of 3,600, it’s one of the hardest woods on the market. Having such a high hardness makes Ipe very durable and long-lasting. It resists against common problems such as warping, denting, and has the same fire rating as concrete without additional chemical treatments.

It’s sold without any knots or blemishes so that its beauty shines without any distractions. Ipe has a natural color range in rich browns with black undertones that makes it a desirable choice for many homeowners.

Garapa Wood

At 1,630, Garapa wood has less than half of Ipe’s hardness, yet it still retains many of the same desirable qualities as Ipe. It’s durable, strong, and resists many kinds of damages without extra chemical treatments. The best part about it is that it is a cheaper option, making it a good choice for those on a stricter budget.

It’s resistant to warping, rot, and is also fire-resistant. Also known as Brazilian Ash, Garapa is unique because of its eye-catching golden tones.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Ipe and you love yellow-toned woods, Garapa is the choice for you.

Cumaru Wood

Another Brazilian-based wood, Cumaru wood, sits just below Ipe at 3,540 on the hardness scale and is as beautiful as its brethren. Cumaru, or Brazilian Teak, is the medium brown option between these three hardwoods. There are tones of purple in the wood, giving it a mystical feel.

Like the others, Cumaru has high durability and resistance to damage, rot, warping, and even fire. It’s a cheaper option when compared to Ipe, though it doesn’t have as flawless of an appearance as Ipe.

Common Defects

When you purchase from a trusted company, defects in your lumber are hard to find, but it’s still a good thing to keep in mind. Sometimes minor defects won’t cause any problems during the installation of your new deck. Other times, they’ll stall the entire project.

Once you receive your lumber, give each piece a good inspection for the following:

  • Types of warping, such as bowing, twisting, or cupping
  • Cracks
  • Splits in the wood that go all the way through
  • Grain separation
  • Loose knotholes

Hardwood minimizes the chances of these defects from occurring, but make sure to call your provider if there’s a problem.


After you’ve chosen your desired wood material, it’s time to choose the right kind of cut for your project. Different installation plans require different cuts and fasteners. Purchasing your lumber pre-prepared makes the entire installation process easier.


This is the cut most of us think about when we think of lumber. It’s as basic as you get: a board cut only to the dimensions you set, without any other incisions. The edges of the wood are sharp corners, making it easy to lay the pieces up against each other.

This cut is best used with face screws drilled into the wood. Use wood plugs or other methods to hide away any evidence of the screws.

Eased Edge

An eased edge is the same as a standard cut of wood, except it has rounded edges. You’d install this type in much the same way as standard, but the finished deck has a different feel and appearance at the end of the project. This is also a great cut for making stairs and banisters.


For an installation process that creates a seamless effect, pre-grooved is the way to go. Each side of the board has a small indentation, allowing you to fit the pieces into one another without the use of screws.

You’ll need special fasteners specific to this style to secure the lumber pieces together. Once you’re done, you’ll have a deck with nothing marring its natural beauty on the surface.

Groove and Tongue

This style of cut lumber comes with a large indentation on one end and a mirrored section sticking out at the other end. This is to help create a seamless look that hides aways any fasteners you use during the installation process.

Make sure to only select this style of lumber for places that allow for good water drainage. The grooves and tongues create hidden spaces for water to collect and cause damage to the wood over a long period. It’s a prime area for rot and mold to begin growing.

With the hardwoods listed above, you won’t have to worry as much, but it’s still good to keep in mind.

Always Choose Hardwood Lumber for the Best Results

Now that you know all of the pertinent information about hardwood lumber, installation is a breeze. No surprises wait for you around the corner when you’ve done all of your research beforehand.

When it’s time to figure out the logistics of your next hardwood renovation, make sure to check back here for everything you need!

Ready to get started on your new deck? Check out our lumber selection to find your home’s perfect match!

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