14Jun 2024

13 Top Choices for the Best Timber for Outdoor Use

Posted in: Timber Types and Home Improvement  –  By Patchett Joinery

Many people don’t know that hardwoods like Ipe and Teak contain natural oil. This feature makes them highly resistant to water and insects. They require minimal maintenance and can last for decades without chemical treatments.

Choosing the best timber for outdoor use affects your project’s durability, maintenance, and appearance. The right timber withstands harsh weather, resists decay and insects, and maintains structural integrity.

With 175 years of expertise, Patchett Joinery leads in timber for outdoor use. We combine traditional craftsmanship with modern techniques to deliver durable, aesthetically pleasing exterior wood. Trust Patchett Joinery for the best outdoor wood solutions for new builds or renovations.


Stack of Timber Log Wood.

Why Timber Wood is Always Considered To Be Used?

Timber is chosen for outdoor wood projects because of its natural durability, aesthetic appeal, and strength. It withstands harsh weather and resists decay and insects. Its versatility makes it suitable for various exterior wood applications, from decking to furniture.

Timber Durability ClassesTimber is classified based on its natural resistance to decay. Here’s a simple explanation covering Timber Durability Classes:

Durability ClassDescriptionExamples Of Best Wood For Outdoor Use In The UK
Class 1Very DurableTeak, Ipe, Mahogany
Class 2DurableWestern Red Cedar, European Oak
Class 3Moderately DurableAcacia, Black Locust, Douglas-Fir
Class 4Slightly DurableCypress, Redwood, White Oak
Class 5Conditional DurableThermowood, Treated Pine

Using the best timber for outdoor use ensures longevity and low maintenance for wood for use outdoors. This involves choosing timber with high natural durability, such as those in Class 1 and Class 2.

These timbers naturally resist decay and insects, reducing the need for frequent treatments and repairs. This not only saves time and money but also maintains the aesthetic and structural integrity of your outdoor wood projects.


Attic room with timber wooden accents.


5 Factors Affecting Timber Wood Longevity

The longevity of timber for outdoor use depends on several factors. Different tree species have varying resistance to decay and insects. Constant moisture exposure can cause swelling, cracking, and rot. 

Weather conditions like sunlight, rain, wind, and snow stress the wood. Treatments like pressure-treating, staining, or sealing can enhance durability. Proper design and construction also play a critical role. Here are 5 factors that you should be aware of:


Species

  • Different tree species have varying resistance to rot, decay, and insects.
  • Hardwoods like teak and mahogany are naturally more resistant than softwoods like pine and spruce.

Moisture

  • Constant exposure to moisture can cause the wood to swell and shrink, leading to cracking and warping.
  • Moist environments promote rot and fungus growth, especially in exterior wood.

Weather

  • Sunlight breaks down ligtning, weakening the wood.
  • Rain causes rot, while wind and snow stress the wood, leading to cracks.
  • The best wood for outdoor use in the UK needs to withstand these conditions.

Treatment

  • Treatments like pressure treating with preservatives, staining, or sealing improve durability.
  • These treatments protect the best timber for outdoor use from environmental damage.

Design and Construction

  • Proper ventilation and avoiding ground contact prevent moisture problems.
  • Smart design and construction practices extend the life of outdoor wood projects.

13 Top Timber Choices for Outdoor Projects 

Choosing the right timber for your outdoor projects is crucial. The best timber for outdoor use must be durable, weather-resistant, and low-maintenance. Here are the top 13 timber choices that meet these criteria.


Teak Timber Wood Texture.


1. Teak

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Natural oilsHigh durabilityMinimal maintenanceHigh-end furnitureDeckingOccasionally, windows and doorsRich, golden-brown colourWeathers to silver-grey patinaWithstands extreme weather conditionsHighly weatherproof

Ipe Timber Wood Texture.


2. Ipe

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Extremely hard and denseResistant to decayPerfect for deckingHigh-traffic areasOutdoor structuresDark brown colourCan turn silver-gray if not oiledHandles harsh weather very well

Mahogany Timber Wood Texture.

3. Mahogany

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Rich colourNatural resistance to elementsHigh-end outdoor furnitureSometimes windows and doorsDeep, reddish-brown hueEnhances with ageWeather-resistantPerforms well in various climates

Western Red Cedar Timber Wood Texture.

4. Western Red Cedar

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
LightweightNatural resistance to decay and insectsSuitable for fences, posts, and exterior sidingReddish-brown colour that ages to a beautiful silver-grayExcellent weather resistancePerforms well in moist environments

European Oak Timber Wood Texture.

5. European Oak

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Strong, durable hardwoodHigh tannin content, which makes it resistant to insects and fungiIdeal for high-end furniture, decking, and sometimes for windows and doorsAttractive grain patterns with a golden-brown hueGood weather resistancePerforms well in various climates

Acacia Timber Wood Texture.

6. Acacia

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
High oil contentResistant to the elementsIdeal for outdoor furnitureRich, warm colour that can darken with ageExcellent weather resistancePerforms well in harsh outdoor conditions

Black/Honey Locust Timber Wood Texture.

7. Black / Honey Locust

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Hard, stableNaturally resistant to decaySuitable for decking and outdoor structuresPale yellow-brown colour that weathers to a darker hueHigh resistance to rot and insectsPerforms well in various climates

Douglas-Fir Timber Wood Texture.

8. Douglas-Fir

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Hard softwoodGood weathering propertiesVersatile, suitable for various outdoor applications, including structures and deckingReddish-brown colour with prominent grain patternsGood resistance to weather elementsPerforms well in wet and dry conditions

Cypress Timber Wood Texture.

9. Cypress

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Natural oilsExcellent rot resistanceGreat for garden structures and furnitureLight to dark yellowish-brown colourHighly resistant to moisture and decayPerforms well in humid environments

Redwood Timber Wood Texture.

10. Redwood

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Natural resistance to insects and moistureIdeal for decking and outdoor furnitureReddish-brown colour that ages beautifully to a silver-grayExcellent weather resistancePerforms well in wet and dry conditions

White Oak Timber Wood Texture.

11. White Oak

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Strong and water-resistantPerfect for outdoor furniture and structuresLight to medium brown colour with an attractive grainHigh resistance to rot and insectsPerforms well in varying climates

Thermowood Timber Wood Texture.

12. Thermowood

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Heat-treated for enhanced durabilitySuitable for cladding and deckingRich, uniform colour with a smooth textureImproved resistance to weather elementsStable in different environmental condition.

Treated Pine Timber Wood Texture.

13. Treated Pine

CharacteristicsBest Uses of Outdoor WoodAesthetic LookEnvironmental Tolerances
Chemically treated to resist decay and insectsBudget-friendly option for various outdoor projectsLight yellowish-brown colour that can be painted or stainedGood resistance to weather when properly treatedSuitable for many outdoor applications

Final Recap

Choosing the best timber for outdoor use is crucial for durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. Each type of timber has unique characteristics and best uses. From the highly durable teak and ipe to the budget-friendly treated pine, the right choice depends on your specific needs and environmental conditions. Below is a summary of the key points for the 13 types of timber.

Timber TypeBest Uses for Outdoor Wood in the UKConsiderations
TeakHigh-end furniture, decking, windows/doorsBest for long-term projects due to high cost
IpeDecking, high-traffic areas, outdoor structuresRequires specific tools for installation
MahoganyHigh-end outdoor furniture, windows/doorsBest for aesthetic projects due to rich colour
Western Red CedarFences, posts, exterior sidingIdeal for lightweight structures
European OakHigh-end furniture, decking, windows/doorsNeeds regular maintenance to retain colour
AcaciaOutdoor furnitureAffordable alternative to teak
Black LocustDecking, outdoor structuresHard to source in large quantities
Douglas-FirVarious outdoor applicationsEconomical choice for structural use
CypressGarden structures, furnitureBest for wet environments
RedwoodDecking, outdoor furnitureExpensive but excellent for longevity
White OakOutdoor furniture, structuresRequires sealing to prevent staining
ThermowoodCladding, deckingEco-friendly, but limited colour options
Treated PineBudget-friendly for various outdoor projectsAffordable, but requires regular treatment


Man working on timber wood polishing for furniture.

Quality and Craftsmanship: Patchett Joinery Timber Windows and Doors

Are you ready to enhance your home with the best timber for outdoor use? At Patchett Joinery, we bring over 175 years of expertise in creating high-quality timber windows and doors. Our blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern techniques ensures each product is both durable and beautiful.

With our tailored solutions meet your specific needs, providing long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing results. Don’t wait to elevate your home’s style and functionality with the best wood for outdoor use UK.

Contact our team for a personalised strategy for your renovation and exterior wood needs. Visit Patchett Joinery to get started.

Frequently Answered Questions about Best Timber for Outdoor Use

What Timber Wood Is Weatherproof?

Teak and Ipe are the best timber for outdoor use due to their natural oils and dense structure. They resist water and insects, making them highly weatherproof.

What Kind of Wood Lasts the Longest Outside?

Teak and Ipe last the longest outside. Their durability classes are very high, meaning they can withstand harsh weather conditions for decades.

What Other Materials Are Needed for Timber Wood Installation?

For installing timber for outdoor use, you’ll need screws or nails, a sealant or stain, and possibly a wood preservative. These materials help protect the wood and ensure a secure installation.

Are Timber Wood Types High Maintenance?

Most timber wood types, like Teak and Ipe, are low maintenance due to their natural resistance to decay and insects. However, others, like Treated Pine, require regular treatments to maintain their durability.

Are There Eco-Friendly Timber Options for Outdoor Use?

Yes, Thermowood and FSC-certified woods like Teak and Cedar are eco-friendly options. They come from sustainable sources and have minimal environmental impact.

What Specific Uses Is Timber Wood Best For?

Timber wood is best for decking, fencing, garden furniture, and exterior wood applications. Its versatility and strength make it suitable for various outdoor structures.

What Is the Best Timber Wood for an Aesthetic Look?

Mahogany and Teak are considered the best outdoor woods for aesthetics. Their rich, warm colours and attractive grain patterns enhance the beauty of any project.