fsc tropical

The best sustainable woods for exterior siding and decking

What are the top sustainable wood choices for outside?

Anthology Woods is receiving increasing inquiries about the best woods to use for decking that will have long-lasting durability and a beautiful look while protecting our environment.  The same species selected for Decking also make excellent choices for exterior siding in classic and rain screen applications, as well as soffit cladding.  We've compiled a quick list of your best bets in terms of beautiful woods excelling in exterior durability & sustainability.


Reclaimed Sakhay Teak - clear oil finish

Reclaimed Sakhay Teak - clear oil finish

Reclaimed Tropical Dinizia - Unfinished

Reclaimed Tropical Dinizia - Unfinished

Silvered Dinizia Siding

Silvered Dinizia Siding

Reclaimed tropical Dinizia siding with clear oil

Reclaimed tropical Dinizia siding with clear oil

As we discussed in a previous post, the immense market demand for newly harvested tropical hardwoods for exterior applications has caused unprecedented deforestation in the Amazon Basin and elsewhere in the world.  It's no wonder these woods are desirable - tropical hardwoods stand up exceptionally well to the cycles of sun, wind, rain and repeated abuse.  Luckily, there are a few post-consumer reclaimed options (meaning the wood is entirely recycled from a previous use, and no trees are currently being cut to provide for your project)!  You can either opt to finish your reclaimed tropical hardwood with an exterior finish or to leave it unfinished and allow it to weather.  Finished wood will always last longer, regardless of species.

  • Reclaimed Sakhay Teak is a premium old-growth Teak reclaimed from vintage structures in Southeast Asia.  The rich brown color tones & lively grain of Teak are distinctive to this species, and the natural oil & silica content in the wood makes it an exceptional choice for exterior projects.

  • Reclaimed Dinizia is originally from Brazil, with rock-hard density, extreme durability and excellent resistance to decay and insects.  Along with Teak, Dinizia is in the class of woods that can last for decades outside.

With a Reclaimed tropical hardwood you are getting the ultimate:  the best sustainability and the best durability.  Your reclaimed wood comes with reclaimed character to testify visually to your part in preserving our planet, too!


Domestic species from reclaimed sources are very sustainable, though they are not in the same A+ class for long-lasting durability as the tropical woods are.  Species like Redwood & Cedar are suitable for decking and siding, and Fir is often used in soffits or on siding with an exterior finish.  Unfinished Fir will age rapidly, though it is used frequently in the northwest. 

This house has reclaimed cedar siding and reclaimed  Grandstand Fir  soffit with a matte clear finish to protect the wood. The deep overhangs also provide shelter to extend the life of this installation.

This house has reclaimed cedar siding and reclaimed Grandstand Fir soffit with a matte clear finish to protect the wood. The deep overhangs also provide shelter to extend the life of this installation.



Another great source can be salvaged or sustainable harvest woods.  Anthology Woods has begun working with partners to bring salvaged and sustainable woods to market including domestics like redwood & cedar, and tropical Mahogany.  Sources include urban, industrial, water or forest floor salvage, or in some instances, wood from sustainably managed forests.  These are often excellent woods in terms of lasting service & beauty, though they seldom match the sustainability of a truly recycled wood, and rarely have as interesting of a story.  Their advantage is often longer & more consistent lengths than are common for reclaimed woods.


Please contact Anthology Woods with any questions about sustainable decking, siding, or soffit wood and we'll be happy to support your project with our expertise & wide range of options!

More reasons to choose Reclaimed Tropical Hardwood over new wood

A cocobolo tree sits along the edge of Guanacaste National Park in Costa Rica’s northwest.

A cocobolo tree sits along the edge of Guanacaste National Park in Costa Rica’s northwest.

A recent article in the Tico Times exposes continued illegal logging of Costa Rica's treasured tropical forests, including alleged links to organized crime.  Increasing demand for exotic wood products contributes to the pressure on native tropcial forests, while resources to protect them are often inadequate.

Anthology Woods offers great post-consumer reclaimed tropical hardwood alternatives.  Some good options are reclaimed Teak and Dinizia.  Both of which are available as flooring, decking, siding and other applications. The beauty and longevity of these woods in both interior and exterior applications is unparalleled.  Contact Anthology Woods today to discuss your project or request samples!





Using Reclaimed Tropical Wood Can Help Prevent Deforestation

A recent story by ABC News reports that as many as half of Amazon rainforest tree species may be on the verge of extinction due to deforestation.  The study, published in Science Advances, finds that depending on the degree to which deforestation comes under control in the next 35 years, between 36 and 57 percent of the 16,000 tree species in the Amazon rainforest would be considered threatened.  The study, which can be read here, goes on to state that some tree species including mahogany are already "commercially extinct."

A good alternative to commercially harvested tropical woods such as Ipe or Mahogany is Reclaimed wood from Anthology Woods. Anthology Woods specializes in tropical species like Teak and Dinizia, and we are constantly on the lookout for other rare or exotic species to help fill the need for durable, beautiful and sustainable wood products.

Reclaimed  Dinizia  Tropical Hardwood Decking

Reclaimed Dinizia Tropical Hardwood Decking


IPE VS. DINIZIA: Battle of the tropical hardwood heavyweights in Decking & Siding

Tropical hardwoods are prized for durability in outdoor environments, and architects and designers have been seeking a sustainable, durable natural wood alternative to Ipe.  The alternative is here, and it is 100% FSC recycled: Reclaimed Dinizia for decking & siding. Here, a direct comparison between Ipe & Dinizia:


"Sustainable + durable wood alternative to Ipe: 100% FSC recycled reclaimed Dinizia decking & siding."  -  Click to Tweet This!


IPE VS. DINIZIA: General Stats




Common Name: Ipe (or Ironwood)

Botanical Name: Tabebuia serratifolia

Common Uses: Bridge Joists, Flooring, Siding, Marine Construction, Docks, etc.

Region: Central & Latin America

Hardness: Janka 3684 

Weight: 62 lbs. / cu. Ft.

Color: Olive-brown with lighter or darker streaks.

Grain: Straight to very irregular

Texture: Fine to medium

Durability: Very resistant to decay & attack by termites.  Resists attack by dry-wood insects. 


Common Name: Angelim

Botanical Name: Dinizia excelsa

Common Uses: Boat building, Bridge beams, Docks, flooring, Marine construction, etc.,

Region: Central & Latin America

Hardness: Janka 3040

Weight: 65 lbs. / cu. Ft.

Color: Reddish-brown, occasionally faint streaks.

Grain: Straight to interlocked

Texture: Medium

Durability: Very durable; Very resistant to attack by decay fungi and termites.  Resists attack by dry-wood insects.


While Ipe and Reclaimed Dinizia exhibit similarities in appearance, hardness, and durability, they are wildly different in terms of sustainability:

IPE VS. DINIZA: Sustainability & Sourcing


Ipe is logged from the rainforest.  Ipe occurs just once per 300,000 to 1,000,000 square feet, and many other trees are typically cut to clear a path to the valuable Ipe.

FSC certified Ipe has become scarce, pulling into question whether any kind of sustainable management is possible for this species.

Ipe is not readily available as a recycled material.  The Ipe currently on the market is from newly-cut trees, and sustainable management/harvest cannot be guaranteed.  It is estimated that 80% of Ipe is harvested illegally 


Reclaimed Dinizia is 100% FSC post-consumer recycled.  You can see the nail holes and rich color patina from previous use, and our reclaiming process is well-documented with photographs from the original structures. 

There is absolutely no question regarding the genuine sustainable nature of reclaimed Dinizia. 


  • Available milled to order in siding, decking & more.

  • Average length is approximately seven feet -- much longer than most reclaimed inventories.

  • Custom millwork and lengths for herringbone or checkerboard decking layouts is available.

  • Price is comparable to FSC Ipe, and the cost to our planet is infinitely lower.

Please contact Anthology Woods for your reclaimed tropical hardwood project needs in decking, siding and landscape applications.  Anthology Woods also custom sources the finest reclaimed Teak flooring, siding, decking and wall paneling, too.

If you wish to better understand the concerns regarding the harvest and sustainability concerns of Ipe trees, here are a few links to explore:

Ipe rejected from the Highline project in New York

Ipe Shortage & Illegal logging

Trail of Stumps