Well, you have heard it before, not all wood is created equal, so if they are not created equal how can you use them equally? Here we will talk about four strong and tough hardwoods, Ipe, Garapa, Tigerwood, and Cumaru, and three common softwoods, Red Cedar, Redwood, and Treated Pine. All four hardwoods are very strong and durable, most are naturally resistant to insect infestations and all are weather resistant, and the three softwoods are also strong to a point with some resistance, but not fully protected naturally from insects or the elements ipewoods.com.
When talking durability and how long each wood would last, Ipe outlasts all other woods, it is very durable can easily last 40+ years with absolutely no treatments, with Cumaru and Tigerwood following with a close 2nd, they are also very durable woods lasting 25+ years. Western Red Cedar and Redwood are both moderately durable lasting a really good 10-25 years and just following that is Garapa which is also moderately durable and lasting 10-20 years. Treated pine is the least durable wood with the amount of years it can last being not so reliable, it all depends on the amount of weight put on the wood, how good you take care of it; do you weatherproof it yearly, and keep it from insect infestations? These things will all judge just how long it lasts for you. As far as beauty goes, hands down Tigerwood wins the award, with Ipe coming in close second; they are both beautifully rich and dark in color. Garapa is more yellow, as is Cedar and Treated Pine, and Cumaru and Redwood are both more of a dark brown to reddish color.
Ipe wood is without question the strongest wood for outdoor decking options, in general it will outlast any other woods that could be used, and it expands and shrinks very little with weather. It needs no weather resistance stains, and is naturally insect resistant; this wood is great for all your indoor and outdoor projects making beautiful lasting furniture and decks. Cumaru is also a strong durable wood, with natural weather resistance, but it is more prone to insect infestations than other woods are. This wood can last a very long time and if treated properly can be used for many projects at a reasonable cost. Tigerwood is highly resistant to weather and insects and one of the strongest woods out there, this wood is great when used for anything you want to last for at least 25 years. The only issue with Tigerwood is that if it is not seasoned and treated correctly it has the tendency to warp so be sure to check with your lumber associates to be sure your wood has been dried correctly.
Garapa is also a strong wood, not as strong as Ipe, Tigerwood or Cumaru and will not last as long, but is sold at an extremely reasonable price and beautiful. It will outlast your softwoods such as pine, redwood or cedar at a similar cost, it does have a tendency to shrink if not dried properly so be sure to check with your lumber yard to make sure it has been dried for you first. Western Red Cedar and Redwood could both outlast Garapa but they are both softwoods not hardwood, they make great wood for all your outdoor and indoor projects as well. But these woods need to be treated, they are not naturally weather resistant or insect resistant, if they are to be used outdoors you need to be sure to weather treat them first. Treated Pine is the least durable lasting a total of 10 years at most if taken very good care of, you will need to apply a weather and insect repellent to it. It is also more prone to shrinking and warping than the other woods are, on the plus side, this wood is very affordable.