Exploring the Best Wood Types for Canadian Decks: Pros and Cons

Shane Chapman / Backyard Building Expert

Shane Chapman

Backyard Building Expert
See Short Bio

Building a deck is one of the best ways to enhance your outdoor living space, providing a perfect spot for relaxing, entertaining, and enjoying the beauty of nature. We understand that choosing the right wood type is crucial for creating a beautiful and durable deck that stands up to Canadian weather conditions.

Different types of wood offer varying levels of durability, maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appeal. By understanding the characteristics of each, you can select the material that best suits your needs and preferences. From the classic elegance of cedar to the affordability of pressure-treated pine and the low-maintenance benefits of composite decking, each material has its unique pros and cons. Let’s dive into the details to help you choose the best option for your deck.

Cedar: A Classic Choice for Durability and Beauty

Cedar is highly regarded for its natural beauty and durability, making it a popular choice for Canadian decks. This wood type is known for its rich colour and attractive grain patterns, which can add a touch of elegance to any outdoor space. Cedar is also naturally resistant to decay, rot, and insect damage, so it can withstand our harsh Canadian winters and humid summers. This resistance helps in reducing the amount of maintenance and repairs needed over time.

Despite its advantages, cedar does require some upkeep to maintain its appearance and strength. Regular staining and sealing are recommended to protect it from moisture and UV rays. Cedar is more expensive than other wood options like pressure-treated pine, but its durability and aesthetic appeal often make it worth the investment. In addition, its lightweight nature makes it easier to work with, which can simplify the building process.

Pressure-Treated Pine: Affordable and Long-Lasting

Pressure-treated pine is a more budget-friendly option that still offers good durability for a deck. This wood is chemically treated to resist decay, insects, and rot, making it a practical choice for outdoor use. Because of its affordability, pressure-treated pine is a favourite for homeowners looking to build large decks without breaking the bank.

However, there are some downsides to using pressure-treated pine. The chemicals used in the treatment process can sometimes make the wood less attractive, and it may require more maintenance than other options. Regular sealing and staining are essential to protect it from cracking and warping. Despite these drawbacks, pressure-treated pine is durable and affordable, making it a great choice for many deck projects. Plus, with proper care, it can last many years, providing a long-lasting surface for your outdoor activities.

Composite Decking: Low Maintenance and Environmentally Friendly

Composite decking has gained popularity for its low-maintenance requirements and environmentally friendly properties. Made from a blend of wood fibres and recycled plastics, composite boards offer a sustainable option for decking. We find that composite decking resists fading, staining, and cracking, making it a durable choice for high-traffic areas. Unlike traditional wood, it doesn't splinter, which adds an extra layer of safety for families with young children and pets.

Another significant advantage of composite decking is its ease of maintenance. We only need to periodically clean it with soap and water to keep it looking new. No need for frequent sanding, staining, or sealing. This saves time and effort in the long run. Composite decking is available in a variety of colours and textures, allowing us to achieve the look of natural wood without the upkeep. For homeowners valuing sustainability and convenience, composite decking is an excellent investment for a long-lasting, beautiful deck.

Comparing Costs and Benefits of Different Wood Types

Choosing the right wood type involves balancing costs and benefits. Cedar is known for its beauty and natural resistance to insects and decay but comes with a higher upfront cost. Weighing the aesthetic appeal against the price can help determine if cedar is the right choice for your budget. Pressure-treated pine is more affordable and offers good durability, making it a practical choice for many homeowners. Its treatment process helps it resist rot and insects, though it may require more maintenance over time compared to cedar.

Composite decking, while more expensive initially, offers long-term savings through reduced maintenance and replacement costs. Its durability and low-maintenance nature can justify the higher investment if you plan to enjoy your deck for many years. Consider your priorities—whether it's cost, maintenance, environmental impact, or aesthetic appeal—when choosing your deck material. By understanding the pros and cons of each option, we can make a more informed decision that aligns with your needs and budget.


Selecting the best wood type for your Canadian deck requires a thoughtful analysis of each material’s benefits and drawbacks. Whether you opt for the timeless beauty of cedar, the cost-effectiveness of pressure-treated pine, or the low-maintenance convenience of composite decking, each choice offers unique advantages. Understanding these factors ensures that your deck will be both beautiful and durable, providing a perfect outdoor space for years to come.

At The Ultimate Deck Shop, we are committed to helping you find the ideal building supplies in Regina for your backyard projects. With our expertise and extensive range of products, we can guide you in making the right choice for your home. Visit us today, and let us help you create the deck of your dreams.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


About the Editor...

Shane Chapman // Backyard Building Expert

Shane Chapman, President and Co-Founder of The Ultimate Deck Shop, is a seasoned expert in the deck building industry. A former award winning deck builder (Fresh Decks), he now leads Canada’s top destination for backyard building materials.

Shane is committed to simplifying the shopping experience, providing exceptional customer service, and empowering both DIYers and professionals with his expert advice.

Get in touch with Shane to connect, collaborate or ask questions at LinkedIn.