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Aluminum Decking Reviews

by Ryan Matthews
Published: Last Updated on

Why should you read aluminum decking reviews?

Not many people know that today decking can also be made from aluminum because most of them only know wood and composite boards as the main materials.

In reality, homeowners can also use aluminum for their deck although it isn’t for everyone.

Homeowners tend to underestimate and overlook aluminum focusing on composite planks and mostly wood. But aluminum is a tough and solid material.

It has its own unique signature style and properties too. It would be an ideal pick for those who want something durable and reliable while living in rainy areas.

Aluminum Decking Pros

Everything has its own good and bad sides, and aluminum decking isn’t different. And here are some of the advantages of the aluminum decking:

  • Strength and durability

When it comes to aluminum, we are talking about durability and strength. Based on many aluminum decking reviews, the material is long-lasting and super solid.

If you want something stronger than wood, there you have it. You simply coat or anodize aluminum, and it would outlast PVC and wood planks for decades.

Top and well known companies have limited lifetime warranties for all of their products.

It is highly likely that the deck would even outlast you if you maintain it properly and correctly.

  • Easy care and maintenance

Another advantage is that the maintenance is pretty easy and fuss-free. Because aluminum is not an organic matter, it won’t crack, warp, or splinter (like the traditional wooden material).

It won’t fade out either, like the composite boards. Think of it: You will never have to deal with splinter. You will never have to refinish the deck anymore.

In the end, they may need to be painted as time passes by, but the common issues with decking (such as mildew, UV rays, or mold) won’t be any issue for you.

What about cleaning it?

Simply use a water hose and also a scrub brush. This simple method will keep the deck fresh and clean.

Naturally, different brands would have different guide on the proper cleaning and maintenance, but in the end, the decking is easy and simple.

  • It is resistant to fire

You won’t have to worry about the decking catching fire or such thing alike. This is ideal when you like to have barbeques or you want to have a fire-night outdoor.

  • The material is light

It shares similar lightweight feature with PVC but it is stronger and more solid. Installing it won’t be an issue.

  • The material is recyclable

If you are into eco-friendly practice and you want to have environmentally friendly material for your backyard, then aluminum would be the best option.

Aluminum Decking Cons

When it comes to quality and sturdiness, the deck is built to last based on aluminum decking reviews.

It means that there are two biggest concerns about the material, which includes style and price.

  • Price

Aluminum is naturally more expensive than most composites and also wood. The price range is almost similar to capped PVC but aluminum is still higher.

It may depend on the species and grade, but aluminum is the costliest material to have for decking.

  • However, the good thing is that today’s aluminum can look chic and trendy

Today’s manufacturing companies have come with new innovation and techniques where aluminum can have attractive patterns (just like wood).

  • Cold

Of course, it doesn’t have that wood feel underfoot. The decking is solid. It tends to remain cool despite the weather.

Other decking forms may be warmer in summers, but that’s not much with aluminum decking. Moreover, the decking can be loud it can create noise.

  • Pets slippage

In general, you won’t have to worry about slippage as high-end manufacturers usually have coated their decking’s surface with a certain substance to provide traction.

However, it’s another issue with pets. They are prone to slipping when it is raining or snowing.

  • Limited color

This is an inevitable issue with aluminum material.

How to Choose Aluminum Decking

Based on some aluminum decking reviews, here are some factors to consider.

  • The Boards

A regular and standard aluminum board would be the best pick when you want something simple and basic. It is easy to maintain and care.

However, it isn’t watertight. Moreover, it typically doesn’t come with any drainage system or such thing alike.

This is usually the most affordable type of aluminum decking a slightly cheaper than those composite types or top-tier (waterproof) planks.

If you don’t try to keep the underneath (the decking) area dry, this would be the best option and also the cheapest type.

  • Waterproof Decking

When you see the label ‘waterproof’ for your aluminum decking, it means that the products are designed to keep whatever underneath it to remain dry.

This type of decking generally has its own unique interlocking system so that the deck has no gap and it has a uniformed appearance.

It also has its own built-in gutter or channel systems that will keep away the water.

This one is definitely costlier but it is a perfect option for rainy areas where you experience more wet situations that the dry ones.

Moreover, they have modular and deck system besides the regular and waterproof boards.

Both of them are what contractors refer to as ‘decks within a box’ that usually comes with lighting, railing, and anything else to complete the installation well, aside from tools and labor, of course.

  • Finishes

As it was said before, one of the downsides to aluminum decking is that you can’t have as many finishes as you like.

You basically look at mill finishes, anodized finishes, or powder coated finishes depending on the manufacturers.

Powder coated decks are the most popular one, especially for residential installation. When it comes to colors, they have the biggest options.

You may not be able to find too realistic or too wild outcome, but you can get the shades that are ‘almost’ similar to composites or real wood.

This type of finish may give you color options, but you need to take a look at the facts too. Manufacturers have this tendency to stop colors and lines.

You want to ensure that you have enough stock for your own project before making a decision.

Mill finish is the regular type you find on bleachers or other projects where styles and colors aren’t really major issues.

The surface isn’t coated but it will naturally oxidize itself as protective mechanism against elements.

Such deck isn’t typically found on residential structures, but it depends on your needs.

Most stores may not have the aluminum decking, so you may need to have your own personal supply just to be safe.

Keep in mind that most (aluminum) decking is solid within 2-inch increments of length. You should be able to make fewer cuts and fine-tune stuff.

The widths would vary to a certain degree while some manufacturers may provide the standard planks as well as the wider-sized types.

Professional Installation vs DIY

It’s a known fact that some decking types are easier to install when compared to other decking types.

Wood is easier to rip than PVC, but aluminum itself is pretty complicated when it is related to installation.

It isn’t difficult to lay the aluminum planks down, but there are other easier options when you plan on DIY projects.

When you plan on installing the deck on your own, you will have to consider the hardware cost before the project.

Like PVC and composite boards, many manufacturers use hidden fastening mechanisms so things would remain smooth. Screws or nails can look out of site too.

You may also need extra tools, such as blade saw for cutting nonferrous metals (such as aluminum). Not to mention that you need to have a steady and strong hand for ripping a board.

When you don’t believe in yourself during tool handling, and you are clueless about installing the deck, then it would be best if you hire a professional installer.

The installation price may vary depending on the region, but you should be able to access the online pricing tool so you know what to prepare and expect.

The Best Brands for Aluminum

Based on many aluminum decking reviews, here are some brands that are suggested for decking installation.

  • Wahoo Decks

The company only provides aluminum decking, so they don’t provide wood or composites.

For residential use, they only have two products, but they also have commercial decking, railings, and drainage systems.

Wahoo Fortis is the variant if you want your deck to look like wood planks. It creates wood-look but without actually installing the wood. These planks have gaps, which create traditional feel.

They are powder coated and they are coming in 3 different colors: Sandstone, Granite, and Artisan Clay. The boards are coming in various lengths, up to 24 feet and their width is 8 inches.

Wahoo AridDek offer the same shades, but they are constructed from marine-grade 6005 T-5.

They have their own integrated gutter so anything underneath the deck will remain dry. The planks can come up to 36 feet.

Based on aluminum decking reviews, both AridDek and Fortis are recyclable made from more than 50% of recycled materials.

However, if you want to install the Fortis or AridDek, you will have to contact the company and get a quote from them.

  • Versadeck

This is another manufacturer specializing in aluminum decking. For the standard profiles, they have several product lines.

What makes them different from the others is their Versamods, the modular decking system and their various color options.

Versadeck Plank decking is the standard board available in both commercial and residential grades.

If you want the waterproof type, then you should go with Versadry, which is designed to keep the area below the deck to be completely dry.

Both of them have 8 different colors, with thick 60 mils to 80 mils of Polyurea coating layer.

Erect A Deck is the option when you don’t mind the price. Many aluminum decking reviews say that it is pricey, but worth the performance.

You can have a complete option (from the ground up) if you are willing to spend from $11,000 to $33,000. As the alternatives, the modular R-40 and C-60 system enable you to build the deck with the planks being welded to the modular panels.

Their kits start from around $30 a square foot not included the full decking kits.

  • Nexan

Finding aluminum decking reviews aren’t exactly easy because people don’t usually buy it online.

If you are looking for a quality product, LockDry would be one of the best options. They have verified reviews made by Nexan Building Products.

The company makes two products one is waterproof and one isn’t. Based on aluminum decking reviews, their LockDry line is their line claimed to be ‘stay dry’.

When compared to other planks from other brands, they are good and they have more colors. They have 6 different colors, including Dakota Oak Wood Grain.

What makes it special?

Well, if you want something more realistic, like the real wood, then it would be your best pick.

Unfortunately, the color may not be easy to find, as with the case with Golden Clay and White. It’s because the company has discontinued them. Finding the stock may be a struggle.

The company’s NextDeck is the more affordable option. It is the non-waterproof type that looks great on any modern setting.

Yes, they aren’t waterproof, but they are super stylish. It has 4 color options and they are pretty easy to find.

However, Nexan doesn’t provide any pricing list, so it would be a good idea to contact the company and ask for a quote.

Common FAQs

What is the weight of aluminum deck?

It depends on the boards’ brand and decking size, but it should be around half of composite or wooden board with the same size and length.

Does such decking from aluminum would expand and contract?

Yes, but it won’t be to the degree of the composite material or wooden deck.

Is it okay to paint aluminum decking?

In general, aluminum decks are coated in powder, so painting won’t be needed. There are some alternative materials with marine-based concept that may work quite well with the aluminum decks. Be advised, though, such thing isn’t cost effective.

Can I use ice melt products or rock salt (on the aluminum decks) to clear out ice or snow?

According to aluminum decking reviews, rock salt (as well as other chemicals) can cause pitting over time, so you want to check the manual for the recommended way or method to remove the ice on aluminum. Always consult the manual if you want to care and maintain your decks correctly.

Does aluminum decking easily scratch?

The powder coated decking is extremely scratches resistant, but it is advisable that you don’t wander around in cleats. The decking part that suffers the most from abuse is generally the railings having to deal with natural elements and also jewelry.

Can I use aluminum decking for stairs use?

Yes. It may be one of the better traction options when designed and executed properly.

Does having an aluminum deck would increase the value of the property?

Decks generally have good ROI, which can be between 60% and 80%. However, aluminum is tricky. It is costly, but it isn’t exactly considered potential for homeowners from style point of view.

Is galvanized steel or metal deck better than the one from aluminum?

It may be in some cases, but it isn’t easy to find such decking material, especially for residential properties.

Make sure that you have done your research carefully, including as many aluminum decking reviews as possible, so you can make an educated decision about the decking.