What Decking Lasts the Longest?

When it comes to decking materials, longevity is a crucial factor to consider. Homeowners and builders alike seek decking options that not only look great but also stand the test of time.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top three hardwood decking materials known for their durability and longevity. We’ll also discuss some important tings to consider about your deck framing and how to make sure your deck framing will last as long as your deck boards.

1. Ipe Decking: The Champion of Longevity

Ipe Deck with Garapa Border

Ipe decking, also known as Brazilian Walnut, takes the crown as the longest-lasting decking material. Renowned for its incredible durability and resistance to decay, Ipe can last up to an astonishing 75 years with proper maintenance. Its dense structure and natural oils make it resistant to rot, insects, and even fire. Ipe’s rich brown color and fine grain provide a luxurious and timeless look, making it a popular choice for high-end decks.

2. Cumaru Decking: The Runner-Up

Cumaru wood deck
Cumaru Deck

Coming in second is Cumaru decking, also known as Brazilian Teak. Cumaru is another tropical hardwood that boasts impressive longevity, with a lifespan of up to 50 years. Like Ipe, Cumaru is naturally resistant to rot, insects, and decay, thanks to its dense composition and inherent oils. Its golden-brown hue and interlocked grain pattern offer a warm and inviting aesthetic. While not as hard as Ipe, Cumaru still provides excellent durability and is a more budget-friendly alternative.

3. Tigerwood Decking: The Bronze Medalist

Tigerwood Decking
Tigerwood Decking

Tigerwood decking earns its place as the third-longest-lasting decking material, with a lifespan of 30 years or more. Known for its striking appearance, Tigerwood features a unique grain pattern with bold, dark streaks reminiscent of a tiger’s stripes. This exotic hardwood is not only visually appealing but also resistant to rot and insects. Tigerwood’s durability and distinctive look make it a favored choice for those seeking a deck with character.

Deck Framing Concerns

All of the 3 hardwood decking options listed above are proven to last a very long time. However the newer pressure treated lumber formulas that do not contain arsenic are starting to fail in as little as 10 – 15 years.

The older lumber that contained arsenic did seem to last much longer but for obvious reasons arsenic is not good and can cause environmental and safety concerns as the arsenic was leeching into the ground.

Installing a decking material that can last 30 – 75 years on a deck frame that might only last 10 -15 years is a big concern. We have received calls from our customer that purchased Ipe decking from us 15 – 20 years ago stating their Ipe decking still look brand new but their pressure treated frame is rotting and they need to rebuild their deck again.

This is a big concern especially if you are paying for labor as the labor costs make up a very large portion of a deck project. So what are your options for a longer lasting deck frame?

Install Joist Tape and Ledger Tape

DeckWise joist tape applied to the top of the deck joists

One of the most common places your deck framing will start to rot is at the top of the deck joists because water gets trapped in between the bottom of the deck board and the deck joists. This area gets little to no air movement or sunlight because the deck board is secured tightly to the deck joists.

Since this area is exposed to prolonged moisture it is common for the tops of the deck joists to start rotting first. Applying joist tape to the tops of all your deck joists and framing lumber will help prevent this trapped moisture and help prolong the life of your deck frame.

Steel Deck Framing

steel deck framing
Steel Deck Framing

Another option for a longer lasting deck frame that’s becoming increasingly popular is steel deck framing. The steel deck framing we offer is a galvanized triple coated system that offers a 25 year warranty the guarantees your deck frame will be structurally sound for 25 years.

When built properly you should be able to see your steel deck frame last upwards of 50 years. This is a wise investment when you are already investing in a premium decking material that lasts up to 50 years or more.


When selecting decking materials, it’s important to consider factors such as climate, maintenance, and budget. Ipe, Cumaru, and Tigerwood are top contenders for longevity, each offering unique aesthetic and practical benefits. By choosing one of these durable options, you can ensure that your deck will remain a beautiful and functional outdoor space for decades to come. However don’t forget to invest in your deck frame as the structural support system is even more important.

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