Decking Decisions: Materials to Consider for Your Perfect Deck

The deck is an extension of your home, an outdoor living space where you can relax, entertain, and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. One of the most crucial decisions you'll make when building or renovating your deck is the choice of material. This blog post will explore some popular decking materials.

1. Wood

Wood is the classic choice for decking material, offering a warm, natural aesthetic that blends seamlessly with the outdoors. Popular wood choices include pressure-treated lumber, cedar, redwood, and tropical hardwoods. Each type of wood has its advantages and drawbacks. For instance, while pressure-treated lumber is cost-effective and durable, it requires regular maintenance to prevent warping and decay. Hardwoods like teak or ipe are incredibly durable and resistant to rot, but they are more expensive.

2. Composite

Composite decking is a blend of plastic and wood fibers, providing the look of wood with less maintenance. It's resistant to rot, won't warp or splinter, and doesn't require staining or sealing. However, it's generally more expensive than wood and can get hot underfoot in direct sunlight.

3. PVC

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) decking is made entirely from plastic, making it highly resistant to the elements and easy to maintain. It doesn't warp, crack, or splinter, and it's available in a variety of colors. However, some people find the look of PVC decking too artificial, and it can be more slippery when wet compared to other materials.

4. Aluminum

Aluminum is a less common but highly effective decking material. It's lightweight, extremely durable, and resistant to rust, rot, and insect damage. Aluminum decks are also low-maintenance, requiring only occasional cleaning. They're environmentally friendly, often made from recycled materials, and are recyclable themselves.

One of the biggest advantages of aluminum is its heat-reflective properties. Unlike other materials, aluminum doesn't absorb much heat, making it comfortable to walk on even in scorching summer heat.

On the flip side, aluminum decking is generally more expensive than other materials and doesn't offer the same natural look as wood or composite. However, it comes in a range of colors and finishes, allowing you to choose a style that fits your aesthetic.

5. Concrete

Concrete decks are durable, low maintenance, and able to withstand all types of weather. They can be stained, stamped, or textured to add visual interest and mimic the look of more expensive materials. However, concrete isn't suitable for all locations and can be tough on your feet if you plan to spend a lot of time on your deck.

The best decking material for you depends on your budget, maintenance tolerance, aesthetic preferences, and specific needs. Whether you opt for the natural beauty of wood, the low maintenance of composite or PVC, the durability of aluminum, or the versatility of concrete, ensure you're making an informed decision to create a deck that you'll love for years to come.

For more information on aluminum deck railing systems, contact a professional near you.