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Opinions on Kebony Wood for Exterior Deck

CB_4 | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Hi all. I’m looking to replace deck boards on an existing deck structure and have been looking at various materials.

Kebony came across my radar and I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with it.

They claim, well, pretty much everything. Fast growing, sustainably harvested softwood (Radiata pine) is treated, with an organic, non-toxic infusion and cured. This process hardens the wood and results in a product with a 50+ year lifespan and 30 year warranty against rot. No maintenance (if you’re ok with it fading to grey), natural wood appearance, readily available, etc etc.


Has anyone worked with this product? I’m curious about all aspects. Workability, installation and appearance right out of the gate. Splinters, slip resistance, checking and appearance as it ages. Generally, does this product live up to the claims made by the manufacturer?

I’m also curious if there are any other decking products I should be aware of. I’m in New England, where fir, ipe, cedar, PT, and  a multitude of plastic products are the other available options.

Appreciate any input.

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  1. Expert Member


    Wood decks are a time-pit. They are at their best for a very short period after they are built, and to keep them anywhere near approximating that condition require too much annual maintenance - which has to be done during the weather you would rather be enjoying them in.

    If the underlying structure can support the additional weight I'd either strap the top with pt 2"x4"s, or use a proprietary system like this: and then use a low maintenance paver or tile as the finished surface.

    1. Mark_Nagel | | #2

      Depends on how one uses one's deck does it not? What were the requirements of the current deck? Future requirements? What's the environment?

      I'm a country bumpkin. I skid pallets of firewood on/across my deck: I try to be gentle, but heavy equipment can be touchy to finesse on occasions. Those nice Ozyland deck surfaces would get pounded/trashed by my use/environment.

      I've currently got a raised, wood deck. I think that out of the 10 years I've been [ir]responsible for it that I'd done anything to it, applied some protective sealant to it, and that was likely within the first couple years. The decking (the entire deck) is probably about 20 years old now and is just about at end-of-life, though it's still handling me dropping pallets of firewood on it (and my tractor smacking it around).

      There's Quality and Cost. And then there's Value.

      Value (function/performance being a given) is really = (materials and installation + maintenance costs) / time

      Speaking of decks and trashing things, I've got a trailer that needs to be re-decked. Talk about a tough environment/life for a deck! My research has turned up a product called "Blackwood." Haven't priced it yet. It's something that holds up to the loading and unloading of loads/equipment (except tracked vehicles, which can really rip stuff up). It's got rubber impregnated in the tops of the wood: nice non-slip; problematic if wanting to shuffle around chairs I'd suppose. Maybe I consider something like this for my house's deck? (could be a serious question to myself!)

      The MAIN POINT of my rambling here is that well-defined requirements should be present before attempting to apply a solution.

      BTW - As long as there is a continued increase in the production of something there is no such thing as that something being "sustainable." Sustainable means ALL VARIABLES ARE CONSTANT. If a thing is being produced at ever larger quantities (which nearly every manufacturer aims) then by definition it cannot be sustainable. Simple exponential function/math issue: perpetual growth on a finite planet isn't possible. I personally avoid latching on to/being attracted to sales pitches involving "sustainable." That is, I gauge on other factors, accepting such claims of "sustainability" as the marketing hype that it is (perhaps less unsustainable than other things, but unsustainable nonetheless). Note that "renewable" is a bit more realistic of a claim as it doesn't proclaim immortality (as does "sustainable"). How many times can it be renewed is the correct question.

  2. joenorm | | #3

    A friend of mine looked into Kebony for a deck project. This person never accepts the term "green" without looking into it a bit. I cannot remember all the details but after some research they found this product to be far from sustainable or green by their standard. Lot's of international shipping and industrial processing. Sure, you may end up with all the feel good stamps and labels but the most sustainable deck is likely the one you can source from your local sawyer. High quality lumber, even as decking will last a long time. And any wood can be left to go grey and develop a nice patina.

  3. hughw | | #4

    Here on Martha's Vineyard, the traditional deck of choice was vertical grain 1x4 fir spaced about 1/8" apart on pressure treated wood joists....with a penetrating sealer ever couple of years. Mine is now 38 years old with about 25% of the strips replaced on an as needed basis over the last 8-10 years....Now, most decks are constructed using 1x4 Mahogany or Ipe with sealing optional. One thing to bear in mind is that these are recreational decks for chairs and tables and walking, not for skidding heavy loads across. the other thing giving longevity is plenty of air circulation beneath.

  4. mark_be | | #5

    Take a look at black locust.

    And if you wind up looking for a source, talk to this guy in Massachusetts.

    1. Expert Member
      NICK KEENAN | | #7

      Have you talked to him recently? I talked to him about nine months ago and he said he wasn't milling then.

      1. mark_be | | #8

        No I haven’t. We bought a boatload of stuff from him maybe 4 years ago, but no contact since.

  5. user-2310254 | | #6

    I put Ipe decks on my last home. It delivered great durability, but I wouldn't go that route again. It doesn't seem sustainable. Kebony looks like a better option. You also might want to check out Thermory ( I like the idea of being able to use a fast-growing species such as ash or pine but need to do more research.

  6. CB_4 | | #9

    Thanks for the responses all. I'll look into other wood options. I appreciate the link to MA produced black locust, it was on my radar but I had no idea I could get it around here. I'll round back if they are milling again.

    And if anyone has first hand (or even second hand, at this point) experience with Kebony I'd love to hear about it. It's still on my list, but I am approaching with skepticism. It's odd. It seems like it would fill a niche in the market, but I can't find anyone who has used it. I've found posts on the internet going as far back as 2010 exposing it's claimed virtues, and like me, asking if anyone had used this 'new' product.

  7. Brumbaughcm | | #10

    As a builder of outdoor living spaces including decks, mostly decks, I have found Kebony mostly easy to work with, and it seems sustainable. I have used it almost exclusively for 3-4 years back from this post.

    It does have a very hard vertical strength rating.

    As for application it is hard, but is somewhat brittle when it comes to cutting, screwing etc. you have to pre-drill holes or use hidden fasteners.

    The shrinkage (wet vs dry, cold vs hot application) is better than synthetics and pvc. Fewer gaps in miter cuts and shrinkage over time. It sands well to re-capture finish.

    It’s a newer material than obviously wood, or even composite, so the warranty should be considered as good as those and as long as the company is still in business. Remember all the composite wood companies that are now out of business!

    Overall though it looks good, is harder and comparable to exotic hardwood. Except the fire rating is less than Ironwood or IPE, don’t think I’d use it on kitchen wraps without a fire barrier.

    seems to be a great alternative to using exotic because of the pine regrow is so much faster. or composite until they can reclaim all the damned plastic we dispose of.

    Also it is recyclable or burn able as a “clean wood”. So that’s good!

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