Best Wood for Outdoor Benches

Choosing the right type of wood for outdoor benches is essential as it should be strong, durable, dense, and resistant to scratches and dents. If you are wondering: what is the best wood for outdoor benches? We have you covered we some great choices that are also easy to work with.

Let’s look at some durable hardwood options for outdoor benches to sustain adverse climates and resist decay and rotting fungal and insect attacks. Choosing the best wood for outdoor benches is essential to last longer. Read on to find out what these options are.

Best Wood for Outdoor Benches

Are you wondering what makes a specific wood species better suited for outdoor projects like outdoor benches? The answer to this question is that these types of wood are durable and have physical barriers to keep moisture from penetrating the wood.

Outdoor benches

The physical barriers are called tyloses, preventing insects and other living organisms from attacking the wood.

For outdoor benches, we recommend that you use heartwood which is mechanically strong and resistant to decay, compared to sapwood which is the soft outer layer of the wood found between the heartwood and the bark.

Here is a list of wood species that should be your go-to wood option for outdoor benches.

1. Cedar Wood

If you are thinking of working on a DIY outdoor benches project, we recommend using cedar wood. It is lightweight and easy to work with, which would make it a suitable wood option, especially for beginners in woodworking.

Cedar wood is naturally resistant to termite attacks and rotting, which are key factors making it an excellent choice for outdoor benches. Cedar wood is commonly found in North America, and the species found in this region offer even more resistance to moisture and decay.

Another excellent quality of cedar wood is that it requires minimal maintenance and will last you many years. Cedarwood, however, is relatively softer than other types of wood. Contrary to popular belief, certain softwood species like cedar and cypress wood make excellent outdoor benches choices.

One drawback of cedar wood that you must keep in mind is that the overall softness reduces its screw-holding capabilities, which is not to say that it is entirely incapable of holding screws in place, just that it may be less efficient in this regard compared to other wood options we have listed below.

2. Douglas Fir Wood

Douglas Fir is often used in building and construction projects says a lot about its strength and durability, making it a viable option for outdoor benches. If you are looking for one of the hardest and most durable wood species available in the U.S, go for Douglas Fir. In terms of its ability to resist decay, it is moderately strong.

Douglas Fir is relatively easy to work with, making it a feasible choice for a DIY outdoor bench project. Staining and finishing are also relatively easy on Douglas Fir wood. One reason who may be familiar with this type of wood is that it is excellent in terms of grain and texture.

Douglas Fir can hold adhesives well, and it works well in all kinds of finishes, such as paint, stain, or varnish. So, whatever your desired appearance for the outdoor bench, maybe, Douglas Fir can help you achieve it.

Douglas Fir is used across several outdoor projects, from patios and tree houses to benches and sheds.

3. Ipe Wood

Ipe wood is commonly found in North and Central America. Ipe wood is extremely hard and dense, which is also one of the reasons it is relatively difficult to work with. So, we recommend that you carefully monitor your cutting edges when working with Ipe wood. Also, working with softer wood species like cedar wood is suggested if you are a beginner.

The most significant advantage of Ipe wood is that it is low maintenance and can last the outdoors for as long as 15 years without any treatment. Ipe wood is resistant to cracking, decomposition, and denting, making it an easy choice for outdoor benches.

According to research, Ipe wood is relatively more resistant to damage and adverse weather conditions than other types of wood. Ipe wood contains a high oil content, making it highly resistant to insect and fungal attacks.

Like Douglas Fir, Ipe wood doesn’t hold adhesives well, so we suggest steering clear of all adhesives.

4. Teak Wood

Teak wood is commonly known as the king of outdoor woods. One of the reasons for this glorious title is its quality of being extremely resistant to rotting and cracks.

Teak wood is moderately dense and has straight and refined grains. Traditionally, people used it to build boats, which says a lot about its strength and durability.

One drawback of Teak wood is that it must be maintained constantly with oil if you want it to last longer. However, it would require minimal maintenance if you have left it unfinished.

5. Red Wood

What makes Red Wood an excellent choice for outdoor benches? The answer to this question is its natural ability to be highly resistant to moisture and insect attacks. If you reside in an area with high moisture and humidity levels, we suggest going with Red Wood. However, keep in mind that Red Wood is relatively more expensive to source.

Like Cedarwood, we would also recommend Red Wood for DIY projects due to its soft nature, making it easy to work with. It cuts very well with a minimum amount of movement. Red Wood is relatively less resistant to cuts, dents, and chips.

Our Concluding Thoughts

By now, you must’ve realized that there is more to wood than meets the eye. Despite being one of the most primitive building materials, it still holds its own in construction today. Thus, Wooden Benches are something which we are likely to see for a long time in the future.

So, if you choose any of the options listed above because of their durability, resistance to fungal attacks, or visually pleasing outlook, know that it would be a worthwhile investment!

Happy woodworking!

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