Cedar, Ipe or Red Batu Decking — Which is Best for You?

When it comes to the best wood for an Ottawa deck, there are three main options: Western Red cedar, Ipe, and Red Batu. Any of these woods would be an excellent choice for your deck, and often the decision comes down to personal preference and budget considerations.  


Western red cedar is the classic decking option that is not only beautiful but also durable, long-lasting and requires minimal upkeep. Western red cedar holds a wide range of finishes while enhancing your outdoor space with its rich beauty. It is a highly sought-after decking material and one of the most sustainable wood options on the market. 

ColourHeartwood reddish to pinkish brown, often with random streaks and bands of darker red/brown areas 
MaintenanceMedium maintenance   
Resistance15–20-year lifespan  
StrengthSturdy and structurally solid   
Staining Required?Requires staining to keep from turning grey 
Flame Rating Class ‘B’ flame rating
Durability Highly durable against elemental and natural forces 
Life Expectancy 15–20-year life span  


Ipe has become an increasingly popular decking material because the material is hard, strong, and naturally resistant to rot, abrasion, and weather. With genuine beauty and durability, an Ipe deck will stand up against harsh climates and resist insect damage, mold, and decay.   

Ipe lumber comes in long lengths and is virtually knot free. Its ages to a nice light gray with exposure to the weather. The material’s colour can be protected with periodic applications of UV protective coatings. This material allows for the use of a pressure washer, which can also help bring back the original colour. 

Colour Pleasant warm red 
MaintenanceLow maintenance  
ResistanceResistant to splintering or cracks (great for bare feet!)  
StrengthExtremely dense; 5x as hard as pressure treated wood or cedar 
Staining Required?Requires staining to keep from turning grey
Flame RatingClass ‘A’ flame rating (same as concrete and steel) 
Durability-High wear durability;  
-Holds up in harsh climates or extreme weather conditions;  
-Little to no warping 
Life Expectancy50+ year life span  

Red Batu

A new wood decking option is available at The WoodSource called Red Batu. Red Batu is a first choice for jobs that require superior finish, natural durability and long-lasting performance. It is a versatile, distinctive wood which provides elegance to any project. While providing the classic look of mahogany, it takes away the maintenance hassles that accompany it. Red Batu is ideal for providing a visual appeal that has long-lasting durability and requires minimal maintenance effort. 

ColourSimilar to mahogany, with deeper red undertones 
MaintenanceLow maintenance
ResistanceResistant to shrinkage or splintering;, decay, molds, and insect attacks
Strength3x harder than Douglas Fir 
Staining Required?Clear stains/finishes or UV protection if not wanting to naturally silver 
Flame RatingClass ‘A’ flame rating (same as concrete and steel) 
Durability-Can withstand extreme weather conditions;  
-Highly durable and sustainable  
Life Expectancy50+ year life span 
Comparison chart against the three lumber types.

If you’re looking to install a wood deck, The WoodSource is your one-stop-shop. We carry the widest selection of cedar, Ipe, red batu decking and can help you figure out which option is best for your specific project. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or to ask for a quote!

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