You have different options any time you are shopping for new wood decking. One option some people come across is called tongue and groove (T&G) decking. This type of decking is similar to the press and place floating hardwood floors you may have installed into your home. However, T&G decking is not waterproof when used on exposed decks. This is because you have to allow for drainage and ventilation, as well as space for the wood to expand and contract with changes in temperatures. Since water drains under the decking, it is possible that it will not be fully dry, even if it is elevated off of the ground.
An alterantive to T&G decking is to use Ipe wood, instead. This Brazilian hardwood is designed to be used for a variety of decking projects, including exposed and covered decks. Prior to installing Ipe or any decking, it is recommended you prepare the area under the deck by gently sloping the soil away from the house to allow for drainage and cover the exposed soil with plastic. The next step is to frame the deck and ensure it is level. Unlike a hardwood floor, the level and squareness of the finished deck is based upon the framing underneath.
Ipe wood decking does require some spacing in between sections to allow for expansion and contraction as temperatures change. Since there is no tongue and groove connecting the sections, water drains away, and your deck remains dry. Additionally, this Brazilian hardwood does not require any painting or finishing, as it has natural properties to resist against rot, fungus, and insects.