The Best Hardwood Flooring Options for Outdoor Spaces

The Best Hardwood Flooring Options for Outdoor Spaces

Hardwood flooring can elevate any space, whether it’s a spacious living room, a cozy bedroom, a home office, a library, or even a commercial space. Hardwood can bring warmth, coziness, and timeless elegance to any property, and it can last for decades as long as it’s properly cared for and maintained. But when it comes to outdoor spaces, many homeowners or commercial owners are worried that it might not be the best option, leaving the wood exposed to the elements. 

However, in our experience, if you choose the right type of wood and the right installation method, it can be a durable, elegant option for a patio, balcony, outdoor deck or terrace. Here’s what your clients should know if they’re considering wood flooring for an outdoor space. 

The 5 best types of hardwood for an outdoor space

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing flooring for an outdoor space. Depending on the climate and the type of space itself, clients can opt for concrete, brick, ceramic, artificial grass, rubber tiles, natural stone, pea gravel, or even laminate. But if your client wants to really elevate the aesthetics of their outdoor space and bring warmth and natural elements into the mix, then you can recommend they consider wood flooring. While not all types of wood work for an outdoor area, some types can work very well outdoors and last for a long time, even decades. 

1. Cedar 

Cedar is a softwood that boasts a natural resistance to decay, rot, and insects, making it an ideal choice for an outdoor space like a patio or deck. Because of the natural oils and compounds in its composition, cedarwood can keep insects and other damaging elements at bay, while also having a relatively low moisture content, which makes it less prone to warping or shrinking due to fluctuating temperatures. It can also withstand heavy foot traffic and heavy furniture, and is very easy to clean and maintain. However, it’s not indestructible, so clients should use the right cleaning products and regularly reseal and stain the wood to keep it in top shape. 

2. Redwood

Just like cedar wood, redwood is highly resistant to wear and tear, and has natural tannins and oils that keep insects from damaging the wood planks. It also has good dimensional stability and doesn’t easily warp, shrink, or buckle due to fluctuations in humidity levels or temperature. Another great benefit of redwood is its high density, which adds to its strength, making it more durable than other types of wood. It’s also a great choice for environmentally-friendly clients, since redwood is sustainably sourced. The downside is that it still requires careful cleaning and maintenance, regular staining and resealing, and the price tag can be a bit higher compared to other types of wood. 

3. Mahogany 

Another excellent choice for flooring in outdoor spaces is mahogany. It’s highly durable, stable, it can withstand heavy traffic, and it’s also resistant to rot, decay, and insect infestation. Mahogany is perfect for an outdoor patio or deck, as it requires low maintenance and its strength makes it a great choice for families with pets or children. A dense and hard tropical hardwood, mahogany can stay in top shape for decades, requiring minimal cleanup and regular maintenance and resealing to keep it protected from the elements. 

4. Tigerwood 

Tigerwood is a high-density, high-strength type of wood that’s a great fit for outdoor spaces. Its hardness level makes it less prone to dents, warps, scratches, or cracks resulting from heavy traffic or heavy furniture. At the same time, tigerwood is naturally resistant to decay, rot, and insect infestations. The downside is that tigerwood is an exotic species, thus it’s usually more expensive than domestic hardwood options like oak or maple. However, it offers superior durability when it comes to outdoor spaces, so it’s worth the investment in the long run. 

5. Teak 

Teak is a type of hardwood that provides stability and durability, making it a great option for flooring in outdoor spaces like patios, terraces or decks. It performs excellently even when exposed to harsh and rapidly changing weather conditions, and its natural oils protect it from water damage, or warping and buckling due to extreme heat. Its gorgeous golden-brown hue makes it an ideal choice for a cabin or vacation home, giving it a rustic, worn-in feel. It doesn’t require extensive maintenance, just the right cleaning products and regular staining and resealing to keep it protected. 

If you’re working on an outdoor project for a client and are looking for sustainably-sourced wood and the right cleaning and installation products, check out First Atlanta Flooring or contact us directly for any questions or orders.