The backyard deck is a great place to spend time with family and friends. To keep everyone safe, it’s important that you have a well-built structure. From hiring the right contractor to choosing the best material, you want a quality deck. However, when it comes to the decking materials, there’s not a clear winner. Here are the pros and cons of commonly used types of decking material.
Different Types of Decking Material
These are not the only options for building your deck, but this guide gives a brief rundown of the more common types of decking available.
1. Pressure-Treated Wood
This is one of the most popular types of decking materials due to its affordability. The wood has been chemically treated to make it insect-resistant and more durable.
Pressure-treated lumber is one of the more affordable options available. It’s the least expensive to install because it’s easy to cut and easy to secure with nails or screws.
Although chemically treated, pressure-treated wood will eventually deteriorate, crack, and warp. Wood decking can splinter and grow algae or mildew if not sealed and cleaned regularly. This type of decking requires periodic maintenance. Pressure washing will keep it clean and the wood will need to be painted or sealed every few years.
2. Composite Types of Decking Material
Composites are made of plastic and resins combined with other materials. They may be manufactured with recycled materials or made from polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride plastics. Because of their strength and durability, composites have become more popular in recent years.
This type of material is sturdy and won’t splinter. It’s also easy to maintain. You don’t have to paint, stain, or seal composite decking materials.
Composite materials made of wood scraps will end up breaking down over time. The materials can collect water which may cause mold and mildew to grow. The deck will need to be cleaned periodically.
3. Aluminum Decking
Aluminum is a strong material that is becoming more popular because of its clean, simple look. It has an industrial style that is great for modern homes. Aluminum requires very little care and maintenance.
Aluminum won’t crack, rust, or splinter. The finish doesn’t fade or peel over time, so it looks great without any additional work. This type of decking is resistant to mold and mildew.
Aluminum is more expensive than some other options. It can be noisy when walked on or with rainfall from a storm. The material is slippery when wet, especially compared to other decking materials.
Choosing Deck Material
These three options are not the only materials available but they are some of the most popular. You might consider more specialized materials such as tropical hardwood or even concrete. Keep in mind that there is no perfect type of material for a deck. Talk to a contractor about what option is best for your location and climate.