If you want to build a new deck, you now have more options for decking materials than ever before. Materials range from traditional wood to modern composite and PVC materials, and each type brings its own character and value to a deck. Read on to figure out your best fit:
The most traditional option, wood is a common decking material, particularly on older decks. Pressure-treated lumber makes for a cost-effective choice, and when properly maintained, it can last for years. Mid-priced woods like cedar and redwood are beautiful and more resistant to rot, but may be limited in availability depending on where you live. Tropical hardwoods like mahogany and ipe are more expensive, but they are the most durable options for a wood deck. They resist splitting and cracking, and offer lasting beauty. However, all wood decks require some degree of maintenance. Depending on the wood type, most require sealing and staining every few years to protect them from the elements. You must keep your wood deck well maintained, or you run the risk of it rotting, warping, and splintering after prolonged exposure to the elements.
Polyvinylchloride, or PVC, decking comprises entirely of plastic. Because it has no natural wood fibers and has been specifically created for decking purposes, PVC requires no staining or finishing and won’t ever crack, warp, or splinter. However, manufacturers usually design it as part of a system, which limits flexibility when it comes to installation. It also tends to be less impact-resistant, so scratches and dents show up over time.
Often made of recycled materials, wood-plastic composite material takes the best of both worlds. It combines wood fibers with recycled plastic material to create a durable deck that resists fading, staining, scratching, and mold. It requires no maintenance and tends to last at least twenty years. Because it isn’t exclusively plastic, composite decks usually look more wood-like than their PVC counterparts, and are more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly. Because of its durability, beauty, and easiness to care for, we highly recommend Trex Composite decking.