Building a deck extends your home’s living spaces. When planning your deck, you’ll need to decide what material is best for your project. Though wood is common, it’s not the only choice you have for construction materials. Different types of decking materials have different features. There are products available that are easy-to-maintain and weather-resistant that will add beauty to your outdoor spaces.
Pressure-Treated Wood is the Most Popular of the Types of Decking Materials
Pressure-treated wood is often used for decks. This type of lumber is cost-effective and treated to prevent insect infestations. It can withstand weather and isn’t prone to rot. Pressure-treated wood requires some maintenance. It should be power-washed every year and will need to be sealed and re-stained every two to three years.
Redwood and Cedar Decking
Redwood and cedar are softwoods that are great for decks. These woods are available at most hardware stores and have naturally-occurring oils that help them stand up to insects, weather, and decay. Both redwood and cedar are more expensive than pressure-treated wood and need to be sealed to hold their natural color.
Composites are Popular Decking Materials
Composite decking is made up of plastic and wood. Depending on the decking, it could be made with recycled or virgin plastic. The wood is wood chips, sawdust, or other wood fibers.
Composites don’t require the upkeep that a wooden deck needs. They are weather and insect resistant and won’t warp or rot. This type of decking resembles wood but does not need to be sealed or stained. The downsides are that composites support mold or mildew growth, the color fades with age, and the material cannot easily be re-stained.
Aluminum has some advantages as a type of decking material. Because it is durable and weather-resistant it is becoming more popular for homeowners. Aluminum won’t catch fire, is insect-resistant, lightweight, and recyclable. The drawbacks are that metal can become slippery when wet and aluminum is an expensive choice for a deck.
Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is popular in the building industry. As decking, it is available in a wide variety of styles and colors. It doesn’t rot and won’t need sanding or staining as wood does. It is usually made of recycled materials and is very durable. PVC isn’t as attractive as natural wood and it’s also more expensive than many other available decking materials.