Top 8 Water-Resistant Wood Types for Professional Use

Thanks to their remarkable durability, water-resistant wood types have gained significant traction in indoor and outdoor construction projects. Whether you’re considering a bathroom renovation, a kitchen upgrade, or the construction of decks, choosing a wood that can withstand moisture is necessary. This is especially true for outdoor furniture, garden boxes, and fences that withstand the elements every day. In light of this, we’ve put together the top 8 water-resistant wood types that stand out for professional use. Continue reading to find out which wood types make the list.


What is Water Resistant Wood?

Water-resistant wood is a type of wood that can withstand moisture, decay, and rot. These types of wood tend to remain resilient even when exposed to water. 

Generally, water-resistant wood comes in two varieties which include naturally water-resistant and man-made water-resistant. The natural kind boasts an inherent ability to fend off moisture, preventing warping or cracking. 

On the other hand, man-made water-resistant woods can be classified into two types. The first includes solid woods treated to enhance water resistance, while the second involves engineered or manufactured woods intentionally crafted to repel moisture. 

Understanding this distinction is one of the key aspects of selecting the right wood for your project.


Top Water-Resistant Wood Types

  1. Iroko and Other African Hardwoods

Consider Iroko and Other African Hardwoods as your go-to for professional-grade water-resistant wood. Often referred to as ‘African teak,’ Iroko stands out for its natural oils.

It offers a durability akin to teak but at a more affordable price point. Like teak, the iroko wood is resistant to swelling, shrinking, warping, and cracking. 

In addition to all of the above, the iroko wood also excels in boatbuilding, thanks to its dense structure. This characteristic has earned the iroko wood the title of the Rolls-Royce of decking to date. 

This hardwood often comes with a golden-brown hue that later ages to a silvery-grey tone and is not alone in its water-resistant prowess. So, if you don’t recognize the iroko wood, that characteristic alone is a huge identifier.

If you’re looking for options other than the iroko wood, consider the African teak and mahogany, among other African hardwoods. These woods also offer remarkable water resistance.


  1. Oak

When dry, the European and American White Oak can weigh 675kg/m³ to 755kg/m³. This incredible density and superior water resistance make them a top choice. 

Their dense nature makes them less prone to water damage, so oak woods barely exhibit warping conditions even in moist environments. 

Oak’s versatility shines through in furniture, flooring, cladding, decking, and timber-framed structures. This is majorly thanks to their timeless light tan to medium golden brown color.

Oak woods offer not only durability but also a classic aesthetic. Whether for outdoor timber products or indoor applications, Oak is often a go-to choice for many people.


  1. Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar is a primary choice for professional projects, especially regarding cladding and fencing. Its warm reddish-brown hues make it visually appealing, while its technical prowess is equally impressive. 

Despite its lightweight nature, Western Red Cedar excels with low shrinkage, outperforming many softwoods. 

When it is properly installed, it resists warping and checking. In addition to that, it also comes with natural oils that enable it to repel insects and fungal attacks.

This helps ensure that the wood remains exceptionally durable and resistant to decay without treatment. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative with similar durability, consider Alaskan Yellow Cedar. It is mainly used for cladding and fencing.


  1. Teak

Teak is another premier choice among water-resistant woods. This wood originates from Southeast Asia and tropical regions in Africa and Latin America. 

Yet, its dimensional stability and natural durability are well-known factors across several regions and continents. 

Teak excels in outdoor applications thanks to its ability to resist cracking and splitting induced by rain and sun exposure. Aside from its durability feature, the distinctive golden-brown tone, with hints of reddish hues on the wood, also adds to its aesthetic appeal. 

Despite its somewhat higher price, teak proves to be a worthwhile investment. Its inherent natural oils grant it a waterproof quality and enhance its resistance to pests. 

Hence, teak remains a top contender for high-end projects, including premium furniture, flooring, stairs, and decks.


  1. Cumaru

Cumaru wood is another formidable contender for water-resistant wood options, as it shares similarities with the renowned Ipe wood. It competes head-to-head with Ipe since it offers similar properties.

However, the Cumaru wood is easily distinguished by its darker shade. 

With exceptional durability and weather resistance, Cumaru thrives in environments subjected to diverse weather conditions. Even without treatment, its high density makes it a standout choice for areas with direct water exposure. 

It is also versatile in its applications. To name a few, Cumaru gracefully adorns decks, floors, pergolas, stairs, tables, and outdoor furniture. 

Cumaru originates from Central and Northern South America. 

Overall, Cumaru is a hardwood of remarkable hardness and quality. It is a go-to for exterior applications, including floors, carpentry, veneers, and construction.


  1. Ipe Wood

Ipe wood takes the lead for many as a top choice for water resistance. The name “Ipê” in Tupi, meaning “hard shell,” reflects its exceptional durability. 

The Ipe wood is highly renowned for its high weather resistance. It is a versatile wood suitable for various projects, from bridges and stairs to baseboards and ceilings. 

This wood can perfectly cater to diverse environments, thanks to its non-glossy finish and lack of characteristic smell. 

As one of the hardest woods, Ipe excels in weather and moisture resistance. So, it is ideal for construction projects like stairs, bridges, doors, decks, and outdoor structures.

Its adaptability and strength position it as a reliable option for professional use.


  1. Maple

Maple falls into two main categories of woods with very diverse characteristics. These classes include the hard and soft maple. 

Both robust wood types offer a beautiful aesthetic suitable for various indoor and outdoor applications. Maple’s creamy white and pinkish brown hues seamlessly blend into architectural visions.

This makes it a perennial favorite for home improvement. 

With a dry density of 705kg/m³, maple is hard-wearing and resistant to moisture absorption. However, when used for outdoor projects, they often require proper treatment to guard against insects and decay. 

Generally, Maple is commonly employed in furniture and flooring. Its unique figures, including tiger stripe, birdseye, and quilting, enhance its character and popularity in Scandi-inspired interiors.


  1. Heat-Treated Ayous and Other Modified Timbers

Heat Treated Ayous is also known as thermo-Ayous. It emerges as a game-changer in the aspect of water-resistant woods. This wood type often originates as a soft and non-durable tropical African hardwood. However, the Ayous undergoes a transformative process through heat treatment. 

This enhances its durability and insect resistance and ensures dimensional stability. 

Due to how the thermo-Ayous showcases exotic medium-brown tones that align with the current trend in timber products, it is particularly favored for outdoor applications like cladding.

If you want to try other options similar to the thermo-Ayous wood, you can try thermo-tulipwood and thermo-wood. Each of these woods presents unique characteristics. 



Choosing the right water-resistant wood is pivotal for durable and long-lasting projects. With a myriad of options available, each with its unique qualities, it’s essential to consider the specific needs of your endeavor. 

For top-notch water-resistant Western red cedarwood and impeccable services, look no further than Longhouse Cedar. Contact us today to explore exceptional wood options for your projects.