Choose the Right Lumber for Your Project

Whether you're building a deck or a fence, it's important to understand which treated lumber to use for your next project. Making an educated decision will help prevent rot and decay in the future. ProWood® lumber is available in a variety of treatments: 

ProWood Light Duty 

Represented by a white bar on the end tag, it's made for non-structural projects that are easily replaced and maintained. The recommended applications for this treatment option include split rail fencing, lattice, and landscape timbers. This option comes with a 1-Year Limited Warranty (in proper application).

ProWood Above Ground

Represented by a gray bar on the end tag, Above-Ground lumber is best suited for elements that are easily replaced, maintained, and installed at least 6 inches above the ground. The recommended applications include railings and balusters, however, this treatment option is not suitable for deck joists, beams, or near-ground uses. This option is backed by a Lifetime Limited Warranty against rot and fungal decay, and termites (in proper application).

ProWood Ground Contact 

Represented by a green bar on the end tag, Ground Contact treated lumber is our most widely used general-purpose treated lumber for above-ground, ground level, and freshwater applications. This treatment option is required for elements that are critical to the integrity of the structure and difficult to replace- such as ledgers, beams, joists, and posts. Ground Contact lumber is especially recommended for projects near (or in contact with) the ground, and with inadequate ventilation and frequent moisture. This treatment option is backed by a Lifetime Limited Warranty against rot and fungal decay, and termites (in proper application).

critical structure tag

ProWood Critical Structure

For the toughest jobs, Critical Structure lumber gets the call. Represented by a green bar on the end tag, it’s made to withstand the harshest conditions and recommended for heavy duty projects, permanent structures and exposure to salt water. 

ProWood Borate

Represented by a blue bar on the end tag, Borate-treated lumber is designed for interior use. Often recognized by its blue hue, Borate is compatible with the same fasteners used for untreated wood while offering protection against rot and termites. It's great for sill plates, studs, and rafters. When Borate is not available, ProWood Above-Ground treated lumber is a great option for these applications.

ProWood Naturals

Represented by a gold color on the end tag, ProWood Naturals feature Western Red Cedar and Redwood. Natural untreated cedar and redwood lumber is beautiful, durable, and naturally resistant to rot and decay. Recommended applications include above-ground uses such as decking, lattices, railing, and fencing. 

Download our Treated Lumber Standards Chart.

Download our Complete Application Guide.


Questions You Should be Asking for Your Next Project:

  • Will the lumber be difficult to replace or maintain?
  • Will the lumber be critical to the integrity of a structure?
  • Will the lumber be 6 inches or less from the ground (or touching the ground?)
  • Will the lumber be subject to inadequate ventilation?
  • Will the lumber exposed to frequent or prolonged moisture?

If you answered yes to at least one, then we recommend using Ground Contact lumber. This treatment option is always a safe choice to ensure the quality and integrity of your project for years to come.

Find ProWood products sold near you.