When it comes to building a deck, there are many options for decking materials. It’s hard to know which one is best for you and your deck. There are so many options from composite decking to aluminum, synthetic decking and more. Which one is the most durable deck material for your next project?
To understand what makes for the best decking material, you have to understand what builders are looking for when choosing the types of decking that work best for them. One of the main things to consider is the overall strength and durability of your materials.
Composite decking is comprised of different materials like wood and plastic that come together to produce a weather-resistant, rot-proof material. Composites are great for building decks because they won’t splinter or warp, and they’re free from any chemicals that may harm homeowners if sealed properly.
However, when it comes to the pros and cons of composite decking, there seem to be more cons. These deck boards can contain harsh chemicals and plastics like polyethylene, that may be harmful to pets and people. The recycled plastic may seem environmentally friendly, but can ultimately be worse for the environment than wood decking as composite decking materials create more emissions.
Natural Wood Decking
Natural wood decking was once the traditional chosen decking material. Planks of natural wood can be one of the least expensive options in the short term. However, natural wood boards are prone to rotting and insect infestation. They also may crack due to rot.
Some tropical hardwoods can be better than natural wood like red cedar or oak. Depending on the certain wood grain, they typically have a darker finish and can provide a more elegant look for a homeowner looking to add a deck and some wow factor to their home.
Pressure Treated Wood
Pressure-treated wood is the better option if you’re set on a wood deck as it can last up to fifty years and is extremely durable. Pressure-treated wood is often more affordable than natural wood, composite or plastic decking materials.
Pressure-treated lumber is created by eliminating moisture and air from wood fibres in a vacuum and then applying a stain-like sealant to the surface of each board. However, the sealant creates the same issue as composite decking, in that it can be toxic to some pets and people.
Aluminum is perhaps one of the best materials to use for a new deck as an aluminum deck can last throughout your entire life. Although the price of aluminum decking can be more expensive, the benefits outweigh the initial cost.
Since aluminum is synthetic, the sun bounces off the surface so it doesn’t retain heat. They don’t splinter in the way some wood boards would and they’re a relatively low-maintenance material to use.
The price of PVC decking is more expensive than its natural wood and pressure-treated wood counterparts but is ultimately the best decking material due to its easy maintenance and durability. PVC can give the appearance of real wood but is protected against mildew, mold, insects, harsh weather and rot.
PVC also can elevate an outdoor space for years to come as it doesn’t warp and is extremely durable in the long run. These decks can be one of the longest-lasting decks due to their materials.
Comparative Cost Per Square Foot
Simply put, the cheapest decking material is typically a pressure-treated wood like pine, redwood or cedar. Pressure-treated lumber is cheaper compared to aluminum or plastic decking. Natural wood like cedar, redwood or pine can be a little more in price but is still relatively affordable.
Premium decking like composite, aluminum, PVC or plastic decking can be more pricey but at the end of the day, it’ll allow you to build a great deck that will last for generations. Keep in mind that you typically get the quality you pay for when it comes to paying for a deck for your house.
Choosing An Ideal Decking Material
Consulting Deck Building Experts
Professional deck builders can help give advice on the best decking material for your specific project. They can also give advice on the most cost-effective material per square foot. Typically, deck builders are experienced in a variety of materials, like composite decking, plastic, redwood and cedar, which means they can help you find the perfect weather-resistant material for your new deck.
An expert team can assist with a variety of services, like levelling the ground, deck framing, wood staining and more. They can also provide maintenance services if you have a crack on the surface of your boards or any issues with your lumber.
These professionals can get you the most bang for your buck per square foot of your decking material.
The Professional Difference
When you hire a professional deck construction company, you’re making sure you get a high-quality outdoor deck for years to come. No matter which material you pick, you’ll be sure to get the best decking possible for your project.
When they install decks, they keep you in mind and try to ensure you don’t have a crazy amount of yearly maintenance to make your deck usable during the summer months. A quick power wash may be all you need.
Pay attention to the weather conditions in the area you live in and decide which material works best for that. If you live in a particularly moist climate, you probably would want to steer clear of natural wood or any type of decking that can rot easily.
If you’re dead set on durability and a nice look, choose PVC. You might be surprised how strong this material is. Whatever decking material you choose, know that soon you’ll be able to enjoy a great deck on a warm summer day with your friends and family.
After all, isn’t that the reason we build a deck? To have a good time and make memories that last for years to come. That’s why choosing a material that’s durable and easy to maintain is important. So you can make the most out of the great outdoors from the comfort of your home.