6 Deck Materials Choices – Dwelling Stratosphere

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Listed here are the completely different choices that you may select from to find out which is one of the best kind of deck materials to make use of on your personal property showcasing their execs and cons.

This is a man installing the deck with composite plastic materials.

There may be nothing extra pleasing than sitting exterior on a well-built and beautiful deck, with a drink in hand and looking out on the sundown. Once we take into consideration lazy summer time days and yard BBQs, we not often take into consideration the deck we can be doing all this on; nonetheless, it is among the most vital choices you’ll make if you determine to construct or redo your deck. 

A number of many years in the past, there was just one choice when the subject of decking materials got here up; wooden. Nowadays there are such a lot of different decking materials choices reminiscent of cement, prefabricated wooden, metal, laminate, and even eco-friendly decking.

Once we determined to redo our cracked and outdated deck, we have been overwhelmed by all out there choices. It was fairly a problem to undergo the data and piece collectively all of the choices, their execs, and cons, and determine if we wished to take it on as a DIY venture or required the assistance of execs specializing on this discipline. We determined to share our expertise and all of the choices we realized about.

Desk of Contents

Components To Contemplate When Selecting A Decking Materials

This is a man brosing through the available materials at the hardware store.

Earlier than selecting the decking materials that fits your wants, you will want to think about a number of elements that may affect your determination.

  • Price: Whenever you have a look at the completely different decking choice prices, it’s good to keep in mind that the fabric prices should not the one prices it’s good to take into account. It’s important to take into consideration the upkeep of the supplies; for instance, for those who select wooden, it may cost a little greater than different supplies as a result of it requires lots of upkeep and touch-ups.
  • Upkeep: Needless to say it doesn’t matter what form of materials you select that in some unspecified time in the future, you should have touch-ups or simply basic upkeep to do in your deck. Have a look at issues like; will it want common staining or portray, what the upkeep value can be, will it harm simply, if it does damage- will there be alternative items in inventory. For instance, selecting pure wooden means it should want common staining or portray to guard it from environmental elements just like the solar, rain, snow, and bugs. It additionally helps to maintain the wooden from warping. PVC and another decking supplies are a lot sturdier and don’t require a lot upkeep, however you’ll have to purchase a number of additional items if one piece must be changed.
  • Set up: It is very important perceive that some decking materials decisions should not suited to DIY initiatives and require specialised gear to put in, which could have an effect on the associated fee. Choices like wooden and PVC are the simplest to do your self and thus will value much less.
  • Seems to be: They are saying appears aren’t all the pieces, however on this case, I’d disagree; for those who’re going to pay for a brand new deck or improve your previous one, it has to look good. Some decking choices are beautiful, however it might value so much to take care of; others would possibly look nice and have little to no upkeep and would swimsuit you higher.

Wooden Decking Choices

We now have gone from solely wooden choices in decking materials to choices that final simply as lengthy with fewer points than wooden prior to now few many years. It’s nonetheless probably the most generally used deck materials. Listed here are the three forms of wooden decking supplies. 

Stress Handled Wooden

This is a close look at  bunch of pressure treated wood planks on display at the store.

Stress-treated wooden is by far the most typical decking materials due to the benefit of set up and worth. Stress-treated wooden is crammed with chemical substances like pesticides to maintain bugs away and forestall rot and decay, however it’s simple to seek out and work with.

You possibly can set up it your self for those who don’t need to spend extra cash putting in it by another person. In case you don’t just like the pure look, you may stain the wooden, however you’ll have to let it accept not less than a number of months earlier than staining it. It’s finest to sand it down earlier than you stain or seal it, as this may profit the wooden and maintain it wanting good.

Sadly, pressure-treated wooden requires lots of upkeep to maintain it from warping, splitting, and cracking. Nonetheless, it is among the most reasonably priced decking supplies and is broadly out there. You should buy pressure-treated wooden for between $3-$7 per sq. foot.

Cedar Decking

This is a deck being remodeled with cedar wood planks.

Cedar wooden is among the higher wooden choices to make use of as decking materials. It’s a dense pure wooden that fades in colour to a delicate gray over time. It has the additional advantage of being naturally proof against bugs, rot, and decay. It’s because of the composition of this wooden that has pure tannins.

In case you select cedar wooden as your decking materials, make sure you take the core of the wooden known as heartwood, not sapwood that’s the tree’s outer layers and is softer and thus extra inclined to bugs and environmental elements.

As with most wooden choices, Cedar wooden does require lots of upkeep, however it’s a straightforward DIY materials that can final years if handled and restained yearly. It’s a step up from pressure-treated wooden however will value a bit extra. You should buy high quality cedar wooden for $9-$12 per sq. foot.


This is a mahogany deck flooring being reinforced with water proofing.

Out of all of the wooden choices, hardwood is the one which lasts the longest and has lots of advantages that pressure-treated wooden doesn’t have. Hardwood is a dense hardwood with pure resistance to bugs, rot, cracking, warping, and splitting.

It’s, nonetheless, not a kind of wooden that’s generally out there. Among the hardwoods which are exhausting to return by are Tigerwood and Mahogany. These timber are slow-growing, and that makes them more durable to maintain. Every tree has its distinct look, colour, and complex design and makes for lovely deck materials.

In case you oil these hardwood decks 1-2 instances a yr, they gained’t lose their wealthy colours and can final years. It’s the costliest of the three wooden choices due to its gradual progress. As a result of hardwood is a more durable, denser wooden, you would possibly want additional gear. So, it will possibly nonetheless be executed as a DIY; however it’s good to get all of the instruments earlier than beginning. Hardwood materials can value you $14-$24 per sq. foot.

Benefits Of Putting in Wooden Decking

As with most decking materials, there are execs and cons; wooden is not any completely different. Listed here are some benefits of utilizing wooden decking;

  • It’s the most budget-friendly choice short-term choice. Stress-treated wooden is probably the most broadly out there and reasonably priced.
  • Wooden has much more choices in relation to finishes and stains. It has the advantage of being rather more eco-friendly and pure. You possibly can change the colour of the deck each few years if you wish to. You possibly can’t do this with the PVC and Composite choices.
  • Hardwood choices can final greater than 40 years and have so much much less upkeep than the cheaper options.
  • As a result of wooden is simpler to chop, the labor prices could be a lot decrease than the choice. 

Disadvantages Of Putting in Wooden Decking

This is a view of a man doing maintenance work on the wooden deck by the pool.

Listed here are the cons of selecting wooden decking;

  • Stress-treated wooden is probably the most reasonably priced choice, however which means you need to compromise on high quality. Cheaper wooden choices can break up, warp, crack, and might stain simply. That being stated, it should solely final 10-15 years.
  • There may be lots of upkeep concerned, and it must be stained or painted each six months to keep away from harm.
  • In case you select the more durable, higher high quality wooden, the labor and materials prices go up as a result of lots of the wooden needs to be pre-cut, have pre-drilled holes, and wishes particular gear.
  • Though wooden is a renewable materials, you need to minimize down timber to get it, so it takes effort and time to seek out wooden from environmentally aware decking corporations.
  • Even whether it is handled in opposition to fireplace, wooden is nonetheless flammable below intense warmth.

PVC Decking Materials

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PVC is quick changing into some of the standard choices for decks. It isn’t as costly as hardwood as a result of PVC is made of 100% plastic. PVC is 70% – 95% recycled plastic, relying on the model you purchase. It was created with little to no upkeep in thoughts.

Excessive-quality PVC could be very sturdy; it gained’t fade and has virtually not one of the issues you’ll have with wooden. You gained’t have to fret about sanding, staining, or portray the PVC deck.

It’s sturdy and has no points with bugs, warping, cracking, splitting, and decay. Mould doesn’t develop on PVC like another choices, reminiscent of composite decking.

In contrast to another supplies, PVC is available in every kind of nice colours reminiscent of gray, brown, white, and for those who just like the look of wooden however don’t need the effort of upkeep, then PVC is a superb choice because it is available in colours that simulate the appear and feel of wooden.

PVC decking prices greater than most wooden choices like cedar and pressure-treated wooden, however you make up what you pay for in set up and materials in a while as a result of there isn’t a upkeep concerned. You’ll pay $10-$15 per sq. foot for PVC decking.

Benefits Of Putting in PVC Decking

This is the decaying wooden deck of a cabin.

PVC most undoubtedly has the very best variety of execs of all of the decking supplies.

  • PVC decking will final greater than 25 years, and a few corporations give 25 years to restricted lifetime warranties.
  • PVC doesn’t ever require staining, sealing, or portray.
  • About 40% lighter than wooden or composite decking.
  • Extremely proof against stains and scratches.
  • Minimal upkeep solely involving the occasional stress wash.
  • PVC gained’t crack, warp, break up like wooden, and is extra proof against fading over time.
  • Mildew and mould gained’t infiltrate the PVC like with wooden.
  • No pre-drilling is required as with hardwood choices.
  • Some producers supply slip-resistant-finishes on their PVC decking.
  • PVC gained’t appeal to bugs like wooden will, so that you gained’t have to fret about termites.

Disadvantages Of Putting in PVC Decking

PVC does make a sensible choice as a decking materials, however there are some cons to utilizing it.

  • The preliminary value of PVC is greater than that of wooden.
  • Whereas PVC is handled with UV-inhibitors to assist preserve its vibrant colour, it’d fade on some manufacturers over time.
  • Some darker colours will retain warmth on scorching summer time days and may be uncomfortable to stroll barefoot on.
  • Most producers solely have 3-8 colours out there, and so they can’t normally be stained or painted. If you wish to paint PVC sooner or later, you will want to supply particular manufacturers that you may paint.

Composite Decking Choices

This is a man installing the composite wood-plastic material onto the deck.

Composite decking is the wooden various that’s an equal mixture of 50% recycled wooden and 50% recycled plastic. It’s made to seem like actual wooden and even has the grain and texture of wooden. Composite decking solely wants minimal upkeep and might final up to 25 years if correctly put in.

As a result of it’s a mixture of wooden and plastic, composite decking planks would possibly decide up mould or mildew after a number of years, however this may be handled by washing the deck with a mould cleaner and water.

Whenever you store for composite decking, the associated fee will depend on what grade and high quality you goal for. You possibly can select choices that embrace UV resistance coating and scratch safety. There are a number of colours to select from.

Composite decking is a bit more costly than the wooden choices however is properly price it. It would roughly value you $7-$13 per sq. foot.

Benefits Of Putting in Composite Decking

These are wood plastic planks on display.

Composite decking is among the go-to decking supplies in order for you the wooden look however want it to final so much longer with little upkeep required. Listed here are some cons to putting in composite decking.

  • Composite decking appears like wooden however is rather more sturdy.
  • You might be utilizing recycled supplies to construct your deck.
  • You possibly can select in order for you capped (sealed) sides to your planks; it’s extra proof against fading and scratching.
  • You possibly can create a clear look in your composite decking by utilizing hidden fasteners on the underside. It streamlines the look. Screws and fasteners uncovered to the weather within the wood choices can rust over time and trigger cracking and stains. The hidden fasteners are a fantastic function of composite decking.
  • Composite decking is just about impenetrable to water. It makes this materials a unbelievable selection for moist climate areas like Seattle. You do nonetheless have to put in it not less than two toes off the bottom to permit correct air flow.
  • Quite a lot of colours makes it simpler to match your deck to your own home’s total theme and colour.
  • There are non-slip texture choices to select from.

Disadvantages Of Putting in Composite Decking 

This is a man power washing the moldy deck flooring.

Composite decking is a superb selection in decking materials, but it surely does, nonetheless, have a number of drawbacks.

  • It prices about 50% extra for composite decking than pressure-treated wooden. It’s, nonetheless, offset by the low upkeep and can prevent cash sooner or later.
  • Composite decking cannot be used by itself for structural help, so you’ll nonetheless must pour both a concrete slab or use thick wood beams for help.
  • Whereas composite decking is handled for fireplace resistance, it will possibly nonetheless soften at excessive temperatures as plastic and wooden.
  • Whereas the clear look of the deck could be a bonus, it will possibly shortly flip into a drawback when a board must be both changed or refastened. You have to to go beneath the boards and may need to take out multiple. It’s why some folks determine to put in the deck conventionally.
  • In time you will notice mildew and mould, particularly after a wet season. You’ll then must stress wash it with mildew cleaner and water to take away the buildup.
  • Composite decking must be handled in opposition to rot. As a result of half of the fabric is wooden, it should nonetheless disintegrate over time and will trigger a strolling hazard. The one solution to fight that is to have it handled in opposition to rot.
  • In some scorching climates, the boards can get too scorching to stroll barefoot on or contact.

Fiber Cement Decking Choices

This is a fiber cement surface with wood grains.

Some folks need to maintain issues easy and go for a Fiber Cement deck. It’s an improved, environmentally pleasant various to wooden, composite, and PVC. It’s made up of a combination of cellulose fibers, cement, and glass.

In contrast to wooden and composite decking, fiber cement doesn’t take in moisture, crack, break down, swell, or appeal to bugs. It doesn’t fade or peel within the solar and could be made to resemble wooden and its coloring. There isn’t a upkeep required aside from the odd stress wash.

As a result of it by no means peels or fades, it should solely require repaint if you wish to change the colour. It lasts a lifetime, and a few corporations give warranties of as much as 50 years.

Fiber cement is among the most reasonably priced decking supplies, however the set up can hike the prices of this selection up. So, it may be finest to do it your self; you will discover fiber cement planks at most native {hardware} shops for as little as 0.70 cents a single piece or $5 a sq. meter. If in case you have this professionally put in, it might value up to $12 000 only for labor.

Benefits Of Putting in Fiber Cement Decking

The designer is choosing from all the swatches in her hand.

Due to its sturdiness and flexibility, there are extra execs to putting in fiber cement decking than cons.

  • It has a practical wooden look. It seems extra pure than the PVC options.
  • It doesn’t fade, chip, or peel within the solar. So that you get the look of actual wooden with out all the upkeep that goes with it.
  • You by no means must repaint or stain fiber cement until you desire a completely different colour.
  • There are completely different shapes and sizes to select from. So for those who don’t desire a wooden look, you can go for a clean end or a tough stone really feel.
  • Fiber cement could be stained or painted in additional than 18 completely different colours and might simply be matched to the remainder of your own home.
  • They aren’t solely insect, moisture, and UV ray resistant but additionally naturally flame retardant.
  • Fiber cement decking is extraordinarily user-friendly and could be put in by most carpenters and builders.
  • Fiber cement shouldn’t be solely simple to put in and long-lasting, however with all of the completely different designs and colours to select from, your deck can be very ascetically pleasing.
  • The value of fiber cement set up makes it a greater DIY choice as some can value $12 000 to have put in.

Disadvantages Of Putting in Fiber Cement Decking

PacTool International SA903 Gecko Gauge, Fiber Cement Siding Installation Tool (1 Set) , Green

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Whereas fiber cement decking is among the finest decking supplies available on the market, there are some cons to think about.

  • Fiber cement set up could be very costly. It would, nonetheless, prevent cash within the many years to return.
  • Fiber cement is heavy, and also you would possibly must particular order bigger portions as most {hardware} shops gained’t maintain such heavy planks readily available.
  • Whereas it’s eco-friendly, fiber cement shouldn’t be recyclable.
  • It won’t be out there in your space. Due to its weight, some shops would moderately order it when wanted and prices additional to ship.
  • It’s important to get it via a ironmongery store or mediator, as you may’t order instantly from the producer.


It may be complicated and really exhausting to determine on the most suitable choice in relation to decking materials. It’s important to admit that actual wooden appears good, it does have its execs and cons, however it’s lovely. Composite decking is a superb various to wooden, however it may be extra expensive. In the long run, it’s good to select a decking materials that fits your wants and pockets, shouldn’t be too exhausting on upkeep, and lasts a very long time.

Different options are extra eco-friendly however will value extra within the brief time period however save extra in the long term. In case you take into account climate, worth, availability, and upkeep, some choices have rather more attraction than others. I’ve to confess that among the decking supplies shocked me, and I’m pleased to share the data we gathered on our decking journey.


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