Alternatives to teak timber for boat decking

Teak timber is a very popular choice for a number of uses. Due to its high oil content, teak timber is naturally weather resistant and also insect resistant meaning it is great for being used outside. Teak timber is also one of the most durable hardwoods so it can be used for strenuous and heavy duty tasks such as construction.

As teak timber has such desirable properties, it is a well sought-after hardwood for boat decking for boats that may eventually end up on sites like this one for New Boat Sales, and can therefore be difficult to get hold of on certain occasions. If this happens, are there alternatives that you can use for your decking? Certainly yes! There are a variety of other materials available these days, which could be as durable as teak and also be as easily assembled with the help of square shank or Decorative Copper Nails. So, here’s the list:


Using cork for decking has been increasing in popularity, especially for those who have newer boats. Cork is a natural material harvested from FSC certified forests mostly in Portugal. Looking for a cork product with large grains will help to ensure that the wood is more durable and will cope better with impact. Choosing cork with large grains will also help it to mimic the durability of teak timber. Aside from being durable, cork is a good insulator meaning that it will remain comfortable to walk on even in the worst temperatures.

Expanded Foam

Made from a closed-cell PE/EVA, expanded foam is popular throughout the boat racing industry, expanded foam has a soft cushioned feel making it comfortable to walk on and giving good grip underfoot and shock absorbing qualities. For boat racing, these characteristics make expanded foam a good choice of decking due to the potentially rough and intense practices of the sport.


Another alternative to teak timber for boat decking is a modified softwood called Lignia. Lignia is based on pine that is grown in FSC certified forests, once the timber is harvested it is impregnated with resin before being dried using a curing process which will ensure the resin has been substantially locked into the wood. This process gives Lignia the durability and properties of other hardwoods such as teak timber and a life span of up to 50 years. However, the impregnation of resin means that the disposal can be a more complicated process than that of other untreated woods.


Decks made from PVC have been historically known to offer the most convincing alternative to teak timber. Characteristics that can be crafted to be surprisingly similar to teak include the grain, texture, grip and durability. Due to this, a high number of new yachts have been made with PVC decks that emulate teak timber. Although PVC replicates the grain of real wood it can be much easier to clean than wood and can also be pressure washed without the risk of damage. One of the most popular PVC decking brand names is Flexiteek which is now over 20 years old. 

Teak timber is arguably one of the most durable and diverse hardwoods on the market making it ideal for a wide range of uses and environments. Teak timber has been a popular choice for boat deckings for a number of years, however there are other options that can replicate some of teak’s desirable characteristics.