Rot-Resistant Wood: 7 Best Lumber That Do Not Rot

rot resistant wood

When selecting wood for an exterior project, it is very important to check whether the wood is rot-resistant. Being rot-resistant essentially means that the wood will not rot when in contact with some fungi and insects.

Why Choose Rot-Resistant Wood

While wood is a wonderful product to add natural character, appeal and warmth to your exterior, your outdoor furniture and flooring must be made from wood that is durable and rot-resistant. Here’s why.

Wood items that are intended to be used outdoors will be constantly exposed to various kinds of climate and weather conditions, from rain to sunlight, frosty winters and even snowfall. On top of that, all kinds of insects will be ready to eat up the wood if it is not durable enough. Being durable, your timber can efficiently withstand climate conditions and will not easily rot when in constant touch with moisture, insects and similar damaging entities.

Types of Wood That Do Not Rot

There are two major types of woods that are resistant to rot. One is natural wood with high durability and rot resistance. Second is treated wood that is not naturally unaffected but is treated with certain chemicals to make it more durable and unaffected by rot.

In this article, we will talk about the top wood species that are resistant to rot. Before we start, you should know that no wood is 100% decay-resistant. Based on rot resistance, woods can be categorised as superior resistant, moderately resistant, and low resistant.

Choosing the Best Rot-Resistant Timber Wood

Not all woods are naturally resistant to rot. Most softwood species are non-resilient. These include pine, maple, birch, aspen, beech, alder, hemlock, poplar, etc. This makes them not very suitable for exterior projects.

What makes some woods more resistant than others

The reason why some woods are more resistant to rot and more durable than others has to do with the composition of the tree. Sapwood is poorly resilient and has zero durability. A tree that has more sapwood than heartwood will likely be less resistant to rot. Another thing that affects the durability of wood is the amount of extractives, which include the waxes, resin acids, fatty acids, etc. that the wood naturally has. Slow-growing and older-growth trees have a higher concentration of extractives, which makes their woods more resistant and durable.

If you are finding it difficult to choose the best rot-resistant wood for your project, just ask your woodworkers and they would most likely help you. Alternatively, you can call CameroonTimberExportSarl to consult your project and let us help you find the right wood.

Top Most Wood Species That Do Not Rot

1. Mahogany


Mahogany is one of the hardest and most dense woods in the world, which makes it extremely resistant to moisture and rot. Mahogany is exceptionally strong and durable and therefore suitable for exterior wood applications.
Other properties of Mahogany include a fine grain, gray to brown color, easy to use, beautiful natural appearance, and high durability. Mahogany wood is used in everything from furniture to boatbuilding, flooring, musical instruments and luxury items.

2. Spanish Cedar

spanish cedar

As a wonderfully dense wood, Spanish Cedar is extremely resistant to decay and is very durable. It can be used exclusively in outdoor applications and will survive even the toughest weather conditions. Because it costs less than mahogany, cedar is a popular and equally durable alternative. It comes in a reddish-brown color that darkens with age. It is easy to work with and is used extensively for window trim, exterior, closets, chest and other applications.

3. Teak

teak wood

Teak is a strong and hard hardwood that is available at a very expensive price in many parts of the world. It has outstanding durability, termite resistance and decay resistance properties. Teak wood both looks phenomenal and has great resistance to rot, which make it one of the most popular and expensive timbers in the world. The wood is ideal for furniture, carving, exterior applications, construction, flooring, and more.

4. Redwood

redwood wood

Redwood can be moderate to very durable, depending on its origin. It is naturally insuspectible to decay and moisture. Though expensive, redwood is one of the best choices for exterior construction. It has a light pinkish-brown heartwood and pale yellow sapwood. Redwood is typically easy to work with. Common uses include construction, exterior furniture, decking, veneering, musical instruments, among others.

5. Red Cedar

red cedar

Same as its Spanish variant, Red Cedar which is commonly found in Canada and the U.S. is extremely durable. It is naturally resistant to decay and insect attack. Almost all variants of Cedar share similar characteristics of high strength and durability. It can be reddish to dark brown, sometimes with darker streaks, and is easy to work with. Common uses include exterior work, lumber, boxes, crates, and boatbuilding.

6. White Oak


White Oak is very hard and dense and is rated as extremely durable. It is resistant to rot, insects and moisture. Colour ranges from light to medium brown, with sawn timber having ray fleck patterns. It is easy to work with and is used primarily for doors, windows, furniture and flooring.

7. Black Walnut

black walnut

Black walnut wood is very durable and hard. It has extraordinary rot resistance, which makes it suitable for a variety of exterior applications. However, long exposure to insects can damage the wood, so it must be ideally used after treatment. Possible uses include furniture, veneering, panelling, cabinetry, turned objects, and other specialty items.

Need help selecting the most durable wood for your exterior project or looking for the best place to buy premium quality hardwood at the lowest price in the market? Contact CameroonTimberExportSarl for instant quotes for all your timber needs.