Should I Use Pressure treated wood for decks: How much it Cost, Pros and cons

Pressure treated wood for decks is still more popular nowadays than composite decks. People choose to use this wood for decks due to its high durability, moisture resistance, etc. You can apply it to the playground floor too.

Specific treatments, such as protective coatings, can also strengthen it. The chemical coating can also make this floor resistant to insect attacks.

You also have to understand the whole thing before buying this flooring. It is important to know the pros and cons too. Let’s start to explain in detail below.

Advantages of Pressure-Treated Wood for Decks

First, we’ll describe the advantages of using this wood for decks. The first advantage is affordability. It is almost always available for a low price at a hardware store.

Even though the cost is cheaper than redwood and cedar, in any case, it can save you money and be less expensive to maintain and repair.

The second advantage of using it is that it is more adaptable. Pressure-treated wood is easy to modify by using paint and stain. You can apply any color so that it matches your indoor decoration. It is very pocket-friendly, so you don’t spend too much money just installing decks.

We will also talk about the third merit of applying it to decks. The third merit is high durability from scratches, wear, and dents. It is claimed that it is more durable than any wood for decks. You can use it for a long time with appropriate care.

Whenever you find any damage to the decks, you can call for a repair. The cost of repairing this deck is less than other wood decks.

We also convey the good news that pressure-treated wood for decks is naturally insect-resistant. Of course, termites are included in the list of categories of insects in question.

Pressure-treated wood for decks contains certain chemicals that play a role in repelling insects. Those insects don’t like the presence of the chemical, so they automatically don’t like to eat it.

Disadvantages of Pressure-Treated Wood for Decks

This wood is not suitable for outdoor use because it fades easily when exposed to UV light.

The chemical coating on the surface can cause it to become more flammable. Even though all wood is flammable, special chemical protection can also increase the potential for flammability.

Using pressure-treated wood for your deck has its disadvantages. For example, when using some preservatives, standard screws may rust, and it is recommended to use stainless or coated screws instead.

Lower-quality pressure-treated wood is also more susceptible to bending and splitting than other options such as cedar, redwood, IPE, or composite.

Additionally, it must be cleaned and stained regularly to keep the deck looking good and functioning properly.

Even some of these chemical coatings can release harmful substances into the air. That’s why you must be careful whenever you choose a chemical coating.

You need to hire a professional whenever you don’t have enough knowledge and skills about handling wood decks.

Things to Consider Before Using Pressure-Treated Wood for Decks

There are several things you should consider before choosing this wood for decks. You can understand several points below.

We will inform you that there are three types of pressure-treated wood. It comes in various forms, including borate, alkaline copper quaternary, and non-combustible.

Borate is used in pressure-treated wood, which uses water-based mineral salt as a chemical treatment.

Alkaline copper quaternary is a treatment that uses ammonium alkyl and copper-containing solutions. This kind of treatment is more environmentally friendly than other chemical coatings. The last is non-combustible.

Non-combustible is a treatment that makes the wood non-combustible, making it suitable for housing projects.

The chemical coating on pressure-treated wood makes it difficult to color because most wood pores are closed. Most paint will not be absorbed by and attached to the wood.

What is the Best Wood for Pressure-Treated Wood Decks?

Pressure-treated wood encompasses various types, including Yellow Pine, Hemlock, and Pendrosa Pine. Southern yellow pine and douglas fir are the two most widely used types for building decks.

These common materials are prone to rotting and insect infestation without chemical treatment to enhance their resistance to decay and insect attacks.

This treatment makes the wood more suitable for building decks. Typically, treated spruce wood falls into durability class IV, which lasts 5 to 10 years, depending on maintenance.

Is cedar or pressure-treated wood better for decks?

When building a deck, both cedar and pressure-treated wood are popular options.

However, if you’re looking for a material that can withstand harsh weather and last a long time, pressure-treated wood is the way to go.

This type of wood has been treated with chemicals that protect it from rot, decay, and insects, making it ideal for outdoor use.

While cedar is a natural wood known for its beautiful color, aroma, and texture, it is more susceptible to weather damage and requires more maintenance.

Additionally, cedar is slightly more expensive than pressure-treated wood. In the end, pressure-treated wood is the superior choice for a durable and weather-resistant deck.

Sealing pressure-treated wood

Pressure-treated wood must be sealed because the chemicals used to prevent rot and insects cannot prevent moisture from entering the wood.

This causes the deck to swell and shrink with changing weather, leading to cracks, splinters, and warping over time. Sealing the deck protects it from moisture, enhances its appearance, and extends its lifespan.

To properly seal a pressure-treated deck:

  • Determine the right time to seal by checking if the wood has dried completely after the pressure treatment. You can use the bead test to check if it’s ready.
  • Choose a suitable sealant, such as Spa N Deck from Flood or Wood RX.
  • Prepare the deck by removing debris and possibly pressure washing it.
  • Test the sealant on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the deck with a paint pad applicator.
  • Let the sealant dry for 24 to 48 hours.

Is it safe to use pressure-treated wood for decks?

Pressure-treated wood is the top choice for outdoor decks due to its durability, cost-effectiveness, and natural wood aesthetics. But is it safe for daily use? Here’s what you need to know.

Pressure-treated wood undergoes a high-pressure process where a chemical is infused into the wood, making it resistant to rot and extending its lifespan.

Previously, the chemical used in pressure treatment, chromate copper arsenate (CCA), contained arsenic, which is poisonous. There was a risk of arsenic leaking from the wood and exposing individuals to its harmful effects.

Since 2003, CCA has been no longer used. The pressure-treated wood available for residential buildings now uses safe chemicals. You can enjoy the benefits of pressure-treated wood without compromising on safety.

Handling Older Treated Wood Safely

If you have CCA-treated wood structures on your property, like decks or fences, inspect them regularly for signs of damage like rot or scraped surfaces. Replace the damaged wood to prevent the release of arsenic.

To further reduce the risk of exposure to arsenic, consider applying a sealant to the wood each year. Use an oil- or water-based stain, not paints or other film-formers that may chip or flake over time and increase the potential for exposure.

Safety should be a top priority when home projects involving treated wood, such as deck or fence removal or construction.

To reduce the risk of exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, it is recommended to wear gloves and long sleeves when handling the treated wood.

Additionally, wearing a dust mask, eye protection, gloves, and long sleeves when sawing, sanding, shaping, or machining the treated wood can provide further protection.

To limit potential exposure, it is best to work with treated wood only outdoors and wash hands and exposed skin after handling it, before eating, drinking, or smoking.

It is also important to launder clothing worn for treated woodwork separately from other clothes after each use.

All cut ends, sawdust, and construction debris should be disposed of following local regulations to ensure proper disposal.

Finally, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and local and provincial regulations when disposing of wood waste.

Alternative for Pressure-Treated Wood Floor Decks

Maybe you want an alternative to pressure-treated wood floors. There are several alternatives, such as aluminum decking, trex, and vinyl.

Aluminum decking is often used for hotel balconies. It is a very strong material, so it has a long lifespan.

Trex is a combination of polymers and wood flour. Trex is resistant to termite infestations. You can buy it easily because Trex is provided abundantly.

The last alternative for decks is vinyl, which is cheaper than pressure-treated wood. It has good resistance to termites and functions with proper maintenance. The vinyl deck also has a wide variety of shades and colors.

Pressure-treated deck cost per square foot

An average pressure-treated wood deck costs $6 per square foot or $12 to $18 per square foot, including installation.

Homeowners typically spend $6 to $8 per square foot on materials to build a deck with natural wood.

Cost can increase quickly if you are inexperienced with Pressure Treated Deck installations.

The average cost for a new deck installation is $7,696, ranging from $4,160 to $11,257. Hiring a licensed and insured contractor is recommended.

Before starting, make sure you have the Pressure Treated Deck manufacturer’s recommended installation requirements to avoid added costs in the long run.

A Comprehensive Guide to Pressure-Treated Decking Costs

We strongly recommend contacting reputable professionals for an accurate assessment of the work required and costs for your deck project before making any decisions or commitments.

To complete the labor tasks, we suggest laying out and installing 6-inch wide decking on your existing deck support framing, fabricating the decking, and securing it with corrosion-resistant flush-mount deck screws.

Estimates for pressure-treated deck costs may require an on-site inspection and are usually offered for free. Be prepared for a sales pitch during the estimate presentation.

The cost range for labor may vary due to differences in workload, job location, and seasonal wage rates.

Installation costs for complex deck configurations (non-rectangular shape, many corners, multiple levels, etc.) can vary greatly. We recommend collecting detailed bids from several qualified professionals for an accurate cost estimate.

Our deck cost estimates exclude removal/disposal of old decking, repair of damage, and building of attached structures (benches, railings, etc.). Included are a foundation, framing, deck edging costs, and corrosion-resistant fastening (stainless steel, aluminum, or galvanized).

Higher-priced pressure-treated decking often offers more durable materials, extended warranties, and improved appearance and finish options.

Pressure-treated deck installation costs vary by location. To get an accurate estimate in your area, enter your zip code in our calculator.

You can reduce your total project cost by having multiple vendors bid on the same detailed work specification for your deck project.

And you can save on installation costs by combining similar jobs or having the project done during low-demand periods for the contractor.