Building or updating your deck requires high-quality, sustainable materials that are affordable, beautiful, and easy to install. Modified wood, like that from Kebony, has a proven performance record in applications like cladding and decking. This wood type is also regularly endorsed by skilled architects and contractors.

Let’s look at what makes modified wood a sustainable and high-performing material for decking projects. 

What Is Modified Wood?

Modified wood is a patented and sustainably developed material that comes from Norway.  During the manufacturing process, a bio-based liquid is infused into the wood. The wood is then heated, which causes the wood’s cell structure to change. 

Modified Wood
Image Credit: Canva

Modified wood is a 100% organic alternative to traditional lumber and does not contain harmful toxins or dangerous chemicals. Modified wood products also develop lovely silver-grey or brown patinas over time, depending on the type of parent wood and their exposure to natural elements. The heat treatment process creates a highly durable, sustainable material — which requires very little maintenance. Kebony products also come with a 30-year outdoor lifetime warranty. 

Top 6 Reasons Modified Wood Outperforms Traditional Wood Decking Options

Modified wood offers several advantages over traditional wood types:

  • Consistent quality: As an engineered product, modified wood offers more reliability when compared to the variability found in natural woods. 
  • Low maintenance: Modified wood needs little upkeep beyond an occasional cleaning with soap and water.
  • More durable: The treatment process increases hardness significantly, making it more scratch, dent, and wear resistant — this leads to a longer life span. The likelihood of shrinkage is also reduced by 50% compared to the untreated parent wood.
  • More stable: Modified wood experiences less expansion and contraction from moisture. This results in fewer cracks and less warping. Modified deck wood is also between 30% to 50% harder than the parent wood. 
  • Rot resistant: The heat treatment helps make modified wood resistant to fungi and microorganisms which cause decay. 
  • Sustainable and safe: Kebony products use responsibly sourced woods like pine and spruce. The heat treatment process also does not require the use of toxins.

The above qualities make modified wood an ideal choice over traditional wood. It provides a durable and stable beauty that makes it perfect for decking or other outdoor projects. 

Key Applications for Modified Wood 

Modified wood is ideal for decking projects as it is splinter-free and comfortable. We recommend modified wood as an alternative to cedar and treated pine, as it is ideal for deck boards, railings, benches, and stairs. 

Modified wood can also be used in a variety of other outdoor projects, including: 

Modified wood offers strength, decay resistance, and minimal warping, making it a good choice for fences or gates. 

This material is resistant to sun, rain, and other outdoor elements, in addition to resisting algae and mildew. This makes it ideal for use in outdoor furniture and seating, as the finished furnishings are durable to leave outside year-round.

Kebony and other modified wood projects are perfect for decorative use in walls, boxes, and outdoor edging. Its hardness and stability allow structural and decorative use in walls, boxes, and edging.

Modified wood does not require paint or staining to maintain its character. This makes it a good choice for exterior siding, in our experience. 

Modified wood is a great choice for pergolas, gazebos, or trellises.

Because of its beauty, performance and easy care, modified wood is an excellent exterior material that provides years of charm. 

So, Is Modified Wood the Best Choice for a New Deck?

A new, updated, or replaced deck should be durable, low-maintenance, and high-quality for years of enjoyment. Modified wood has a variety of options that make it a superb choice for discerning homeowners and builders. Its smooth and splinter-free surface ages gracefully and does not require sealing, staining, or painting. 

Modified wood does have a higher up-front cost than pressure-treated pine or cedar. However, our expert team finds that its long service life and minimal required maintenance provide a high amount of value. In addition, its sustainability is highly appealing if you are looking to avoid tropical lumber or boards treated with toxins. 

Considering these attributes together, modified wood decking provides unparalleled enjoyment, performance, and value for decades. It offers stability, longevity, and sustainability for those looking to create a cherished and beautiful outdoor gathering space. 

A new deck can become a cherished, carefree gathering place while enhancing the environment. For those seeking the ultimate deck, modified wood is clearly the premier choice.

FAQs About Modified Wood for Decks

What are the grades and quality levels of modified wood?

Kebony-modified wood is available in a variety of grades based on knots, checks, and character marks. The durability also depends on the original parent wood. We recommend opting for the highest suitable grade for your climate.

Does modified wood come pre-finished? 

Modified wood does not need finishing or staining. It is sold unfinished and develops a naturally weathered patina when exposed to sun and rain. Sanding is recommended if you wish to maintain the original dark coloration.

What's the best way to clean and care for modified wood?

Modified wood only needs to be washed with soap and water. It does not require abrasive cleaners. In our experience, it is best to let the wood age naturally. We recommend periodic light sanding to keep the wood free of scratches. Keep in mind that doing so will change the color of the wood, as it will expose the darker wood underneath.

How does the cost of modified wood compare to cedar or treated pine?

Modified wood is generally two to three times more expensive than basic treated pine but competitive with premium cedar. It is less cost variable and more environmentally sustainable than more exotic hardwoods like ipé. The added initial investment is offset by reduced maintenance.

Editorial Contributors
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Nikki Stavile

Nikki Stavile is a writer based in Tucson, Arizona. As an avid backpacker and passionate environmentalist, her work often focuses on sustainable movements at the personal and societal level.

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Jeff Zoldy

Jeff is a writer, editor, and marketer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has been editing on the Home Solutions team for over a year and is passionate about getting homeowners the information they need when they need it most. When he’s not working, Jeff can be found at baseball games, golfing, going to the gym, reading, watching movies, and playing video games.

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