I'm replacing an old deck in my backyard. The existing deck is about 15X15 and is at ground level. I'm trying to decide between treated pine (Ac2) and cedar. Synthetic/composite wood is too expensive and I like the look/feel of real wood. I live in Minnesota, so we get a good amount of harsh weather. Cedar is a bit more expensive, but I just love the appearance. Treated pine lasts about the same amount of time, and is cheaper (or so I'm told). Does one material require less maintenance than the other? Is it suggested that I stain/seal either material?
Definitely Cedar & 1-1/2" thick, if possible. Thicker stuff won't cup & if you had any bounce or flex between joists before due to thinner stock, that will be gone.
The best & most natural finish I've found is One-Time Wood Protector. Though, it must be Sun or UV cured to work.
But, with Cedar you want to let it season for 6-months before you coat it with anything. You lumber supplier can tell you everything you ever wanted to know & may have other & even better options.