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Are Exotic Hardwoods Worth the Cost?

What are the benefits of exotic hardwoods for exterior spaces, and are they worth the cost?

Are Exotic Hardwoods Worth the Cost?


Advantage Lumber’s Dan Ivancic has been in the exotic wood decking business since 1992 and has this to say about why he feels it’s worth every penny:

“Soft domestic woods can have limited longevity, especially outdoors on horizontal surfaces like decking, where they see prolonged exposure to rain, snow or ice before they dry out. Exotic woods are naturally resistant to rot and decay for upwards of 75 years with no maintenance, if you’re ok with the weathered-gray look.

Also, most species of exotic hardwoods are highly insect resistant. Hardwood decking and siding products, such as Ipe (shown), Cumaru, Tigerwood, Massaranduba and Garapa are some of the hardest, most dense wood species on Earth. Wood-boring insects can’t chew through them.
 

In terms of cost, yes, exotic wood is more. But you’ll likely need to replace a softwood product three times before you’d need to replace an exotic wood — not to mention the involved maintenance of softwood and the cost incurred for that maintenance. Plus, most importers practice responsible forestry, so the wood is sustainable as well as beautiful.”