What Are the Best Deck Materials to Build With?

Did you know that more than 23% of homes in the United States in 2017 had decks? Having a deck for your home can be a great use of space since you can use it to spend time with your family outside, grill food, read a book, and do virtually anything else you want. But there remains a problem: how do you choose the best deck materials to begin with?

There are many building materials to choose from and each has its own unique pros and cons. For that reason, you will need to consider the appearance of the materials, the maintenance, how long the materials last, and more. Keep reading and learn more about the best materials to choose from when building a deck.

Natural Wood

Natural wood is a classic choice for deck installation. It matches all outdoor spaces and it can come in all different colors and textures depending on what kind of wood you use. Tropical hardwoods, cedar, and redwood are all popular options for outdoor decks because they are attractive and durable.

Because these materials are so dense and strong, you won’t have to worry about them rotting down the line. You won’t have to worry about insects like termites ruining them either. Not only is the wood itself resistant to these problems, but the wood is also coated with a material that makes it more resistant to water, insects, and other types of damage.

For that reason, you won’t have to deal with a rotting deck after only a few years. However, there are a few downsides to choosing natural wood. One of the main ones is that it requires more maintenance than other types of deck materials.

In particular, you will need to reseal the wood every few years. This is important because if you don’t, the original wood coating will start to wear down. As a result, the wood will begin to crack or fade, and it may become damaged.

Pressure washing the wood a couple of times a year is also a good idea. It will brush away any debris that might be trying to penetrate the wood and cause damage. Another downside of natural wood is that it is very expensive.

It is actually one of the most expensive types of decking materials you can buy. This is especially true if you buy an exotic wood that is hard to come by and needs to be shipped from a long way away. But, at the same time, nothing can compete with the appearance of natural wood.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is a favorite of many because it comes with only a few downsides and many benefits. In particular, composite decking is an attractive alternative if you can’t afford natural wood. The great thing about composite decking is that it can come in all sorts of colors and textures.

There are many types of composite decking that aim to emulate the appearance of natural wood as closely as possible. While this type of composite decking will be more expensive because it takes more effort to create, it is still cheaper than the real deal and just as attractive. The biggest benefit to this is that you can have the pleasure of having the material look like wood without having to worry about resealing it later on.

This can save you plenty of time and money down the line. There are also options if you don’t want the deck to look like wood. You can get composite decking in pretty much any color you want.

But keep in mind that darker colors may not be ideal for decks because they absorb heat easily. When this happens, the deck can get very hot which can make it difficult to step on. You might be able to deck away with dark deck materials if your deck is mostly in the shade or if you don’t live in a hot climate.

Another downside is that composite decking may grow mold and mildew if left in damp, shady places for too long. The underside of the deck is especially vulnerable to this. Also, when the deck is exposed to moisture such as rain, it tends to hold onto that moisture and it can get quite slippery.

But overall, composite decking can be a great choice for the price and durability.

PVC Decking

PVC decking is a relatively new kind of decking, but it is also a very popular type. PVC is also known as polyvinyl chloride and it is a type of plastic. You might not like the sound of having a deck made of plastic, but keep in mind that PVC decking can come in all sorts of levels of quality.

As with composite decking, PVC decking can mimic the appearance of natural wood, including wood grain as well as color. If you don’t want the deck to appear wooden, PVC decking can also come in colors such as gray, tan, white, and more. PVC decking is also very durable against the elements.

Unlike wood decking, you won’t have to worry about resealing PVC decking every so often. Also, the plastic used in PVC decking is more than 90% recycled. The downside is that PVC decking can be quite expensive.

While it isn’t as expensive as natural wood, it is more expensive than composite decking, so keep that in mind if you’re on a budget.

All about Deck Materials

There are all sorts of deck materials you will have to choose from if you want to install a deck. Your choice will depend on your budget, the time you have to maintain the deck, and how you want the deck to look.

To learn more about deck installation and materials, contact us here.