How To Choose The Best Decking Materials For Your New Deck?

Choosing the best decking materials requires you to know the different types of material, there are several possibilities available, and your best pick will be determined by your budget, demands, and personal preferences.

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Choosing the best materials for your deck?

For most customers, Composite wood decking is one of the best decking materials for all purposes, if not the best.

Although it has a somewhat greater initial cost, decking of composite requires significantly less maintenance and is far more durable. It does not split or weather like pressure-treated or specialized woods. As a result, it is a better long-term value alternative.

Decking of composite is the most weather-resistant material and requires nearly little maintenance. If you want to build a beautiful deck that will endure for a long time, composite decking is the best option, whether evaluated in terms of long-term investment expenses or time saved on maintenance.

Sometimes, the best decking materials for you can be something else like the wood decks such as pressure-treated wood or specialty wood, or other construction materials that we will be discussing later.

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Why is it important to choose the right decking materials?

There are several common decking materials to pick from, such as wood, composite, and exotic woods. Before deciding on the best decking material for you, it’s vital to research your alternatives, understand the benefits and disadvantages of each, and the degree of upkeep necessary to keep your deck looking wonderful for years to come.

Installing a new deck or upgrading an old one may be a massive undertaking. Begin your decking project by examining your whole outdoor area to choose which sort of decking material is the best answer for your yard.

You will select materials, textures, and colors when designing your deck ideas. Consider the location of your deck, its height, and the architectural aspects of your home and other property fixtures that you would like to match.

Types of decking materials

Now, it’s time to deeply discuss the best decking materials and rank them for you so that you know what to choose:

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Composite Decking

$45 to $65+ per square foot

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Pressure-Treated Wood

$15 to $35 per square foot

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Hard Woods

$50 to $70+ per square foot


Composite Decking

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There’s no doubt that composite decking is one of the best decking materials. Decking of composite has been a popular choice for many backyard renovations since it is more ecologically friendly and easier to maintain than the wood decks. It has progressed significantly from materials that formerly resembled plastic more than wood.

Decking of composite nowadays is made up of different combinations of wood chips, recycled plastic, bamboo, and other raw materials. Deckorators composite materials for example, are made up of a polypropylene-calcium carbonate blend used instead of wood fibers to avoid moisture absorption and limit heat movement

Decking of composite is extremely low maintenance, requiring no sanding or refinishing. Typically, the only necessary maintenance is to wash your deck a few times each year. High-quality materials, such as Deckorators Decking of composite, may endure for 25-50 years with minimum upkeep.

When it comes to composite materials, there are several manufacturers and color variations to pick from, thus the cost of composite decking can range from $45 – $65 per square foot. Some of the benefits of adopting decking of the composite are as follows:

  • Reduced long-term maintenance expenses

  • While decking of composite materials is often more expensive than wood planks, you may save money on long-term maintenance costs by not having to restain or paint your deck in the future. The planks will survive wear and tear while undergoing little aesthetic changes over time.

  • The final product that’s more modern and better replicates the benefits of wood

  • One of the most common concerns about the decking of composite is that it does not feel like wood. While this was true of early generation composite boards, today's decking of composite is difficult to distinguish from the "genuine" thing. Today's composite boards are highly evolved, with the texture and appearance of wood grain added to a larger color palette accessible to match other wood varieties.

  • Resistant to decay and weather

  • If not properly maintained, wood planks can succumb to the elements and endure rotting, splinters, and warping over time. Decking of composite, with the use of recycled plastic to support wood components, can never deteriorate due to the elements.

    Because of the nature of composites, many manufacturers may employ recycled materials without sacrificing performance. Some companies employ up to 95% recycled materials. If you are concerned about your carbon impact, contact each manufacturer for further information on the materials used.


Pressure-Treated Wood

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This is the least expensive choice of the best decking materials. This is a good option for individuals who don’t mind the frequent upkeep. Pressure-treated timber is the most often used form of wood decking. While not all timber is treated the same way, pressure-treated lumber is saturated with chemicals that include insecticides and anti-rot qualities, which serve to improve its natural durability.

It’s also simple to find, simple to cut, and simple to deal with in general. If you don’t like the natural color of your pressure-treated timber, a stain can help to cover it up and make it more visually acceptable to your liking. It’s usually best to let your deck weather for a few months before staining, although there are certain advantages to sanding before staining.

It’s also worth noting that there are several grades of treated lumber, and your local supplier may assist you in selecting the quality that’s best for your budget. When comparing composite versus the wood decking, the most significant distinction is how regular timber tends to split, warp, or fracture.

Regular maintenance is also required for pressure-treated wood. However, with proper maintenance, such as power washing, sanding, and re-staining regularly, you may extend the life of your pressure-treated deck. Pressure-treated wood is also reasonably priced, ranging from $15 to $35 per square foot, and that’s why it’s one of the best decking materials.


Hard Woods

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Exotic hardwoods, such as Ipe wood, are on the list of the best decking materials. The benefit of hardwoods is implied by their name: they are hard. Because of their thick nature, they are resistant to infection and decay. They also contain natural tannins, which operate in the same way as the chemicals used in pressure-treated timber.

Each hardwood has a unique look. Ipe, for example, is a rich red-brown that fades to a light grey unless oiled 1-2 times a year. Tigerwood, Cumaru, and Mahogany are among the more hardwood possibilities. When opposed to softwood, hardwoods can survive longer and look better as they age due to their density.

One disadvantage of several hardwoods is that they grow slowly and in low density in the areas where they are harvested. As a result, there has been discussion concerning how renewable some specific species are. If this is a problem, there are several tools available online to help you select which material is ideal for your project.

Many variables influence deck material selection, from cost and beauty to maintenance and installation. It helps to be completely aware of your alternatives if you want to pick the ideal choice for your deck. Learn more about decking materials by clicking here.

What materials are right for your deck project?

To know the best decking materials for your deck project, you must know the advantages of most of the best materials, let’s get right into it:

  • Wood Decking

  • When planning your deck, you may pick from several soft and hardwoods, many of which will be less expensive than composite materials. If you have a very restricted budget or if your deck design is so huge that finding savings becomes vital, this is a definite benefit for your decking project.

    Although engineered composite decking has tremendously improved in its ability to replicate the look and feel of wood, nothing rivals the authenticity of real wood planks. Wood has a distinct odor and sound, and it naturally absorbs heat received from the sun.

    Wood decking may appear more natural and mix in better with surrounding natural capes. You may match the type of lumber you use for your wood deck to the trees in your backyard.

    You can choose the perfect color you want

  • Composite Decking

  • While composite decking materials are often more expensive than wood planks, you may save money on long-term maintenance expenditures by not having to refinish or paint your deck. The planks will survive wear and tear while undergoing little aesthetic changes over time.

    If wood planks are not properly maintained, they can rot, splinter, and distort over time. Composite decks, with the use of recycled plastic to support wood components, can never deteriorate due to the elements.

    One of the most common concerns about composite decks is that it does not feel like wood. While this was true of early generation composite boards, today's composite decks are difficult to distinguish from the "genuine" thing. Today's composite boards are highly evolved, with the texture and appearance of wood grain added to a larger color palette accessible to match other wood varieties.

  • Specialty Wood

  • For many people, this is the best-looking decking material. It also withstands the elements better than pressure-treated wood.

Composite Versus Wood – Which deck material is better?

Many homeowners like it because it is familiar, widely accessible, and reasonably priced. Simultaneously, the issues of the wood decks such as splinters, decay, and excessive upkeep bring several hassles.

Although the composite decks are less expensive to maintain, some homeowners are concerned that it will not look as attractive as wood. However, innovations in manufacturing have resulted in composites that mimic the rich, natural look of wood without the headaches of maintaining a wood deck.

Let’s see the best decking material for each specific key issue:

  • The Looks

  • While early-generation composite decks appeared unnatural and plastic-y, some newer composites have a varied appearance and randomized embossed grain pattern, so no two boards are similar. Therefore, composites like the ones from Deckorators line seem more like wood deck planks.

  • Moisture

  • One major issue with the wood decks is that the planks rapidly absorb water. Wood decking is prone to warping, splintering, cracking, and rotting if not treated regularly with stains, sealers, or paint.

    Composite decking products such as Deckorators, on the other hand, are entirely moisture-resistant to the core, allowing them to be erected in high moisture situations without deteriorating.

  • Price

  • Among the benefits and drawbacks of the wood decks, pricing is a clear advantage. It’s typically less expensive to acquire than decking of composite, particularly in the first purchase.

    Despite the lower initial cost of wood, composite generally pays for itself within 2-3 years when annual maintenance is included in. The price difference is also affected by the wood species selected against the brand of the composite decks, as well as local market circumstances.

Contact Our Team of Decking Experts

Now, that you completely know the best decking materials, any of your choices can be done with the help of our team at Deck Guardian. You can also check out our other post on 10 things to know when hiring a deck builder

After knowing the right decisions, don’t hesitate to contact us, and let’s start getting your work done!

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