Whether you are thinking about refurbishing an existing deck or building a new one, there are various types of decking materials available. The material you choose ultimately depends on your budget and how much maintenance you’re willing to do. Each type of material has benefits and drawbacks. Here is a breakdown of four decking materials and the pros and cons of each one.
Types of Decking Materials Include Pressure-Treated Wood
When evaluating different types of decking material, look into pressure-treated lumber. This common material is an excellent choice for a tight budget. The wood is readily available at hardware stores and, compared to other materials, it is reasonably priced. An experienced DIYer can install a pressure-treated deck with standard tools. Once built, the materials will need to be sealed yearly to keep them in good condition.
- Pressure-treated lumber is a budget-friendly material.
- It is a good product for DIYers.
- Pressure-treated lumber must be maintained or it will crack and splinter.
- The deck will eventually deteriorate.
Redwood naturally resists rot and insects. The color is vibrant and can make an outdoor space feel luxurious. Redwood decking materials are eco-friendly when harvested from a sustainably-managed forest. Redwood decks can last for two decades if maintained properly, but it is a more expensive choice. To maintain a redwood deck, you must clean and seal it every few years.
- Redwood has rich colors and grains.
- The wood is fire-resistant and resistant to rot.
- It is one of the more expensive decking materials.
- Redwood decking is difficult to find in some areas.
Composite decks can resemble wood, but they are formed from plastic or a combination of wood scraps and plastic. Some manufacturers only use recycled material, so it can be an environmentally-friendly choice. If you are looking to make a colorful addition to your backyard, composite decking is available in a variety of colors and hues. Decks constructed from these types of decking material are easy to maintain and can last for many years.
- Composite decks are easy to clean and maintain.
- They last for 25-30 years.
- Composite won’t warp and doesn’t appeal to wood-destroying insects.
- This material isn’t appealing to homeowners who prefer real wood.
- The wood-plastic combination planks can grow mold in some climates.
Aluminum Types of Decking Materials
If you want to have a unique and sturdy deck, aluminum is a good choice. Aluminum decks have an urban, industrial feel. They are virtually maintenance-free. When looking for types of decking material for rental properties, aluminum is often favored because it is so easy to maintain.
- Aluminum decks do not need staining or water-sealing treatments.
- The decking is easy to clean with a hose or broom.
- Aluminum is fire and insect resistant.
- You can hear foot traffic on the aluminum.
- It is a pricey option for building a deck.
- Aluminum decking can become slippery when it’s wet.
When researching deck materials, think about what features are most important to you. Your budget, the style of your home, and how much maintenance you are willing to perform will all factor into your choice.