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Information on Types of Decking Material


Written by: Stephanie Stevens | Date: Tuesday, 6th April 2010

Pros and Cons of Popular Options

A deck is a significant investment, and the materials chosen can make the difference between being satisfied with the outcome and living with something less than ideal. When many people think of decking material, they automatically think of wood. However, these days many different types of decking material are available. The following information provides details on several different types of decking material as well as the pros and cons of each. There are many factors to consider when choosing the ideal material for decking, and whether you plan to build a deck yourself or hire a professional deck builder, this information will help you decide on the perfect material for building a deck that will meet your needs as well as increase the value of your home. 

Plastic or Vinyl Decking Material

Vinyl or plastic decking material is a little more expensive than treated top-quality lumber, and although it is virtually maintenance-free, plastic or vinyl decking material is not ideal for every application. Vinyl or plastic tends to be slipperier than other materials when wet, and it does not match every home style. On the other hand, plastic or vinyl decking material is long-lasting and unlike wood or composite wood, it will not succumb to the elements.

When considering plastic or vinyl decking and wondering if it would match the style of the home, consider the quality of the materials used to design the exterior of the home. Is fencing and/or siding made from vinyl? When a home is built of all-natural materials such as stone or wood, consider sticking with top-quality treated lumber to maintain the design of the property. Although vinyl or plastic decking is not cheap, it can look cheap when used in the wrong setting.  

Treated Wood Deck Material

As previously mentioned, treated top-quality wood decking material is an excellent option when trying to maintain a natural appearance. However, the natural appearance does not come without continual cost. It must be maintained with sealant, stain, or paint to prevent damage brought on by the elements. Wood can also crack and splinter, but with proper care and maintenance it will provide years of beauty and practical use. Best of all, the treated wood found in lumber yards and home improvement stores these days is manufactured using environmentally-friendly chemical products.

Wood Composite Decking Material

From a distance, composite decking material can look like real wood, but unlike actual wood it resists moisture and sun damage. It is one of the most expensive types of decking material, and it can run as much as five times the cost of top-quality treated lumber. It is developed from real wood fibers and recycled plastics, and this is what makes it more resilient and resistant to damage. However, in damp locations this type of decking material can still become moldy, and nothing can replace the beauty of real wood. When viewed up close, composite wood material can look synthetic and not nearly as lofty as the price.

Aluminum Deck Material

Many people searching for information on decking material are unaware of lightweight high-quality aluminum. It is the costliest option when considering the aforementioned decking material, but it is the safest and most resilient. It is textured and provides a skid-free surface, and it is available in a variety of long-lasting hues. Like vinyl or plastic, it does not provide the inviting look of wood, but it is virtually maintenance-free.

Consider all of the above pros and cons when searching for decking material to create a comfortable and inviting outdoor seating area, and check current pricing when weighing the options. A deck is a major investment, and the choice you make is an important one. Visit home improvement stores to view the available decking material options firsthand, and chose the best option to meet your needs while enhancing the beauty and the value of your home. 

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