When building a deck, the materials you choose are instrumental. Unfortunately, there are so many decking materials out there that choosing the best one is fairly complicated. From various wooden materials to plastic and even composite lumber, the options are truly amazing.
While some of you relish the challenge, especially when you consider that building a deck is quite exciting, others are fearful of making the wrong decision. A trip to the supply store might help you better understand those options, but you can find a detailed guide on the subject right here.
In our article, we will explain the most common decking materials and give you our expert tips on which one to choose.
1. Pressure-Treated Lumber
By far one of the most common and affordable options out there is pressure-treated lumber or PT lumber. Looking at this option from the surface, it looks fairly solid. The option comes in green, reddish, and white. While you can easily paint over PT lumber, what sets it apart is the affordability factor.
But is that enough to persuade you to buy this decking material? When building a deck, price should be taken into consideration. But there is an even more important factor – durability. It’s safe to say that PT lumber is fairly durable. While not the most durable option out there, it gets the job done.
Availability is yet another factor to consider. PT lumber is fairly available in most supply stores and you won’t find it difficult to identify suppliers.
While that’s all and a good, there is a side to PT lumber that you need to fully understand before choosing it. PT lumber is easily susceptible to the elements. Water is a big problem with this decking material. As such, it can shrink, crack, and even split when exposed long enough under rain or snow.
Experts say that PT boards need replacing every few years, depending on the severity of the damage sustained from raining or snowing. Due to the high amount of maintenance required, we advise against PT lumber. But if you lack the money, it is definitely a solid option.
2. Redwood And Cedar
Comparing redwood and cedar with PT lumber doesn’t do PT any service. Simply said, both options are superior in terms of durability, stability, and exposure to the elements. Redwood and cedarwood are some of the most popular decking material options out there.
But if we put all of what we said aside, there is one fundamental reason why you should always choose redwood or cedar over PT lumber. That reason is simple. Redwood and cedarwood aren’t made using chemicals. Both options are natural and look amazing. They give out lavish colors and emit a kind of beauty that will make your deck the gathering place for years.
There are a fair few reasons why both options are better. Redwood and cedarwood are naturally resistant to rot and insects. The level of resistance depends on the grade of lumber. So when buying redwood or cedar boards, this is something you have to pay attention to. Fortunately, decksgarland.com has you covered with all of that.
With the wooden options out of the way, metal is the next most common decking material we’ll discuss. Metal has one distinct advantage over wood – durability. Metal is by far the most durable decking material to buy. It is also an option that requires less maintenance.
When buying metal boards, you will need to add a protective seal to help them withstand moisture damage. The elements cause no problems what so ever and the material is fairly affordable, depending on the type you’re going for. With all that said, metal decking material comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. So you can pick the option that best suits your home’s design.
Nearly all metal decking material is made using recycled containers or other metal parts. But what you also need to understand is that metal diverges into multiple sub-options. When you’re buying metal boards, you need to specify the material. Common options include aluminum, steel, and of course, iron. Iron and steel are more expensive than aluminum, but they’re also more durable. Iron will also never rot.
Another option is compost metal. This one is fairly different than iron, steel, and aluminum since it’s made using a combination of various metal materials and organic fibers. This gives the material a better look and feel.
Plastic is a revolutionary discovery that changed the way we manufacture goods. As such, plastic will always be a solid decking material. Like metal, there are many types to look out for. Common types include PVC, polyethylene, and more. The thing with plastic is that boards can be made to look exactly like wood. So for paying much less, you’re getting a decking material that looks like the real deal. Plastic is also quite durable and comes in many colors. In addition, it requires little to no maintenance.
But the area where plastic lacks is availability. Namely, not every type will be available in your area. Some types can also be more expensive than wood or metal. But if you like a decking material that requires the least amount of maintenance, then plastic is an obvious choice to go for.
5. Other Common Materials
While these four options are the most common out there, there are others that you can take into account. Concrete is one of those. Concrete is less expensive than plastic, metal, and wood. But it adds high durability and stability to your deck. With that said, concrete requires a lot of maintenance. If not looked after, it can crack and tear.
Another option is brick. Similar to concrete, bricks can be used as decking material. But they’re probably the least common out of all. With that said, bricks are usually used for decorative purposes. So we advise against using bricks for decks.
Finally, the option to go for depends on you. We’ve given you all the key talking points surrounding every material, so come to a conclusion that best works for your needs.