close the banner

Exterior flooring

Choosing what kind of wood to use for your decking is all about style and practicality. The other thing you need to consider is the base that you will be constructing it on. Follow our advice on constructing perfect decking.

Exterior flooring

What wood species to choose?

Ipe, Cumaru, Garapa, Pine ... many wood species are available for decking...
essences exterieur_images_products_Deck_Mass_mass-stack

What types of wood should be chosen for the outdoors?

Wood is a living material that changes over time. To conserve the original properties of each wood type, an outdoor wood deck needs to be protected by regularly applying oil specially made for outdoor wood flooring.

For deck tiles or planks, you’ll need to choose a wood that is graded lower than Class 4. Exotic and tropical woods work especially well for outdoor use. Naturally waterproof and very dense, they don’t require special treatments when used to make a wooden deck. Other resinous woods like pine need an autoclave treatment. Autoclave treatment is a steam “cooking” procedure. The treated wood is then durably protected from all biological invasions (mushrooms, insects including termites) and can be used outside with no worries.


Origin: Burma
Teak is the most well-known exterior wood. Famous for its use in boats, teak is rather light-coloured, shaded with gold tones and somewhat whitewashed. With water contact, its colour reveals many copper nuances and a silky grain. Its discreet and subtle veinage remains visible and gives a touch of elegance to your installation. Teak keeps all its beauty as it ages. As it has become increasingly rare and more expensive, it is very difficult to find original Burmese Teak. Other types of exotic wood, with comparable qualities that are more affordable, also make excellent material for building a wooden deck.

Origin: South America
Very elegant, Ipé is a wood renowned for its solidity, density, and superb colours: deep brown with very light reddish-brown highlights. The veinage contrasts slightly and its silky grain varies from thin to medium. Ipé is a dense and heavy wood, which doesn’t expand or contract very much with changing weather conditions, so it does not change over time. A very hard wood: 15; Density: 1050 kg / m3; Dimensional Stability: rather weak. Resistance to insects and mildew: excellent.

Origin: South America
Cumaru is a hard and dense wood with qualities comparable to Ipé. Also called “Brazilian Teak,” its copper colours and grain are reminiscent of Burmese Teak. More affordable but also very resistant, it is a wood often used for outdoor projects. Cumaru offers excellent resistance to insects and mildew. Monnin Hardness: 13.1; Density: 1070 kg / m3; Dimensional Stability: good.

Origin: Africa
Afrormosia is a wood that is not very well-known in France, but it offers some excellent qualities. It is as resistant as Ipé, but it is lighter. It looks very similar to Teak, since it displays a splendid gold colour and beautiful original veins. Afrormosia is a semi-hard wood, about 700 kg per m3, and nice to the touch. It is easy to work with. Because it is available in great lengths, it is an ideal wood for big projects, as well as for smaller ones.


terrasse_iroko1IROKO / KAMBALA
Origin: Western Africa
Iroko is an open-pored wood that has been studied thoroughly. In the past, it was used as a teak replacement because of its similar colours. Monnin Hardness: 3.9; Density: 650 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: good. Iroko’s colours are very warm and come in a nice yellow brown palette, with discreet and slightly darker veins, with very nice gold highlights.


Origin: South America
Garapa has unique colour and veins. Its caramel colour is rich and dense, as a result of deep gold highlights. Its veins are subtle and give superb bright reflections. It is a very hard wood, resistant to wear and tear. Monnin Hardness: 6.7; Density: 790 Kg / m3; Dimensional Stability: good. Resistance to insects and mildew: excellent.

terrasse_massaranduba1MASSARANDUBA (Brazilian sequoia)
Origin: Latin America
Fine-textured Massaranduba has a very deep purplish red colour. It has a very discreet grain that is mostly straight and occasionally wavy. Massaranduba is one of the hardest woods from Latin America. It is very resistant to wear and tear. Monnin Hardness: 12.9; Density: 1,100 kg / m3; Dimensional stability: excellent. Resistance to insects and mildew: excellent. It is suitable for humid environments.

Origin: Africa
Padouk is very similar to Massaranduba because of its bright red colours. Padouk darkens a lot when exposed to light. Some planks stay orange, while others turn a dark reddish orange with nearly black veins.

Green in colour, the maritime pine is autoclave treated, class 4. Autoclave treatments are effective against wood-feeding insects, wood-rotting fungi, and termites but not against coloured fungi. Typical in high altitude areas, this resinous wood is used often for outdoor furniture, fences, and also for outside flooring. As it ages, pine turns more green than grey.

11Wood for your Battens and framework:
The framework is the key to your outdoor deck’s durability. That’s why we only use exotic wood for the framework.  Floor battens are a class 5 wood, meaning they can be submerged in water. The visible beams are usually made of Iroko or Afzélia or even Angelim Pedra. We never use Pine autoclave (chemically treated), because it is too light in comparison with the density of exotic woods, making it less durable.