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A wooden patio – but which type of wood?

A wooden patio represents the dream of many houseowners. With this, they can bring Nature a little closer to their home. In addition, wooden patios do not heat up too much in summer, meaning that it is still possible to walk on them barefoot in high temperatures.

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On a patio with a stone covering, the high temperatures in summer will cause you to burn your feet. Walking on wood is also more pleasant than on hard stone. However, wooden patios require more maintenance so that they retain their natural look. Before creating a patio, the first question arises: which type of wood should be used? The question primarily concerns the variety of wood, but also the surface of the decking boards. These can either be ribbed or smooth.

When selecting the correct variety of wood for the patio, various things must be observed. If, for example, the patio is subjected to heavy use, the wood chosen should not be too soft. For normal use, less expensive patio wood varieties are often completely sufficient. Those who opt for a tropical quality wood such as cumaru, ipe, garapa or bangkirai can rest assured that the patio will last for the next 20 to 30 years. In addition, these hard quality woods are easy to process, as they do not warp or twist even after years of use. And these tropical woods do not even require a great deal of care. However, those who do not like the silvery colouration of the bangkirai must treat it with a special hardwood oil.

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On the other hand, tropical wood varieties are relatively expensive, which is why wood such as larch, Douglas fir or robinia may be a preferred alternative. These wood varieties are also highly robust and weather-resistant. They therefore possess all the qualities required for a decking board. Thermally treated woods are also increasing in popularity. When thermally treated, even native wood varieties such as beech, pine or poplar can be used as patio decking. A real insider‘s tip are decking boards made of bamboo, which actually belongs to the grass family. However, this does not prevent it from being extremely durable. WPC patio decking is also highly robust. These are produced from a wood-plastic composite material and yet still feature the typical wood look.

Opinions differ on the question of whether to select ribbed or smooth boards. Some say that ribbed decking has much better anti-slip properties. Others consider this to be nonsense. Neither party has as yet produced clear proof for their opinions. It is certainly the case that dirt can settle more quickly into ribbed decking, and that they are more difficult to clean. However, minor damage can be concealed better on such boards than on smooth decking, where every fault becomes apparent. Smooth boards reveal the wood grain more clearly, whereas the grooves form the main pattern on the ribbed boards. And the discussion rises in intensity amongst specialists when the prevailing opinion is aired that ribbed decking is better to walk on barefoot. Therefore laymen should decide for themselves which version they choose.