Sustainable Deck Buying Guide

Get everything you need to build a sustainable deck for your home, including lumber and other decking materials. Learn about how to care for your new deck, spruce things up with eco-friendly deck decor, and how to find products at Lowe's with the ECO symbol for a cleaner, greener world.
sustainable deck buying guide

Building a New Deck?

Explore a variety of sustainable, eco-friendly decking materials at Lowe's to help you build the deck of your dreams. We carry an array of sustainable products including ECO certified lumber and environmentally friendly decor. Find out more about our sustainable products online or visit us in store today.

Considerations When Building a Sustainable Deck

Eco Certified Lumber

When choosing wood for your deck, it's important to make sure that it's sustainable to ensure an eco-friendly outdoor living area. You can find out more by looking at the product label before you purchase your lumber. Timber that features the FCS, SFI, or PED Certification is sustainable. This certification guarantees that the wood comes from responsibly managed forests.

Did You Know? 78% of our lumber is fully certified from sustainable sources, and 99.6% of the wood that we sell in our stores comes from North America.

Which Types Of Lumber Are Sustainable?

Several types of lumber are considered sustainable, including oak, beech, pine, fir, sequoia, IPE, and cedar. Learn more about the properties of each type of wood to determine which one will work best for your deck. For example, cedar can be left raw and unfinished, but a bit of colouring increases its durability and helps it to retain its beautiful hue without turning gray after exposure to sunlight and UV rays.

Note: Lowe's carries lumber products that are not identified as ECO but do have the proper certifications. Always refer to certifications when purchasing sustainable products.

Treated Vs. Untreated Wood

Natural or untreated wood has the least amount of impact on the environment however, today's treated wood is made using chemicals that are less harmful to the environment than in years past. Treated wood still has certain properties that can harm the environment. For example, pressure-treated wood contains chemicals that are harmful if they seep into the ground, so it's important to be aware of these impacts when building your deck.

Composite Decking

Composite deck boards are constructed of recycled plastic and wood fibres to mimic the appearance of real wood. You'll find this sustainable decking in a variety of colours, and they require a lot less maintenance than wood which makes this material a wise long-term investment. Composite decking has a longer lifespan than wood since the material is not impacted by water and won't warp, fade, or splinter.

Care Tips for Your Sustainable Deck


Clean your wood deck twice a year using a pressure cleaner or scrub it with water and a stiff-bristled brush. When using a pressure cleaner, always put it on the lowest pressure setting to avoid damaging your new wood deck.

TIP: Wood and standing water don't mix, so be sure to create gaps and a slight slope when constructing your deck or terrace (we recommend a 2% slope for best results). 

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Water won't damage your composite deck, so you can clean it more frequently than wood. You may use a pressure cleaner on a more powerful setting to remove debris, dirt, and grime from your composite deck. Start by cleaning a small section of your deck to ensure that your pressure cleaner is on the appropriate setting. Use sweeping motions to remove debris evenly from the surface. 

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Cleaning Products

Using water via a hose or pressure washer should be enough to keep your new sustainable deck clean. However, if you choose to use cleaning products, make sure they are eco-friendly and don't contain any chemicals that could cause harm to your landscape, lawn, and flowers. Read labels carefully to confirm that your cleaning product is eco-friendly and safe for the environment. 

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Your wooden terrace won't need a varnish since wood is tough and more resistant to damage than you may think. For example, cedar is highly resistant to mould and insects which makes it an excellent choice for decking. If you use treated wood, varnish or oil can keep it protected, but be sure to use Greenguard certified products that emit fewer VOCs and have a safer ecological footprint. Always refer to the manufacturer's recommendations for proper use. 

Shop Exterior Stains


Did you know that Weather-ReadyTM Technology makes it possible to apply stain even on damp and rainy days?

With Olympic Exterior Stains, you can head out to apply stain right after it rains, and your deck will be rain-ready in just 8-12 hours. Weather-ReadyTM Technology can also be used on hot and sunny days, as well as down to 0°C (35°F). Application is quick, easy, and works with your schedule.

Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Deck Decor

Solar Lights

Solar lighting will brighten up your deck and provide an eco-friendly source of light. You'll find a variety of ECO certified solar lights at Lowe's including post lights, pathway lighting, and more. This deck decor is easy to use and requires no energy source other than the sun. 



An easy and eco-friendly way to add colour and charm to your deck is to enjoy a few potted plants. Choose organic potting soil to keep your deck decor as eco-friendly as possible. Opt for native plants since they stand the best chance of flourishing and won't cause disruption to the ecosystem.


Parts & Pieces

Every component of your deck should be as sustainable as possible, including small parts like screws. When building your deck, look for screws made of stainless steel, since this material won't rust and seep into the ground below. Stainless steel is also the best choice to ensure that your new deck looks beautiful for years to come. 



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