Best decking material – There are tons of decks’ shape and forms designed for small patios letting some people to relax on and even for your second-story decks to handle your entire family.
While the size is crucial enough to consider when buying, so is the material the deck is made from.
So the best question on your mind would be; what the best decking material to use is. In relation with the materials constructing the deck, you may guess that traditional wood decking is the best option.
However, there are some better choices available depending on the climate of where you reside and the overall needs of you.
So let’s guide you to check with our review that comes with decking materials, the way to look for a qualified installer for your decking and some frequently asked questions about the best material for your deck.
Read on every details of the review sections so you can consider the best material that would suit your decking.
Wood, Plastic or Metal?
Some styles are always available when you are checking with the decking availability on the market today. However, those styles are broken down into three basic materials; wood, plastic and metal.
Before you make your final decision which material would be best to suit for your region, you need firstly to understand more about the materials themselves.
Aluminum decking is one of the few types of metal decking options that is widely used for home.
Trust me, aluminum is the only decking material that is able to last longer than the other materials used for homes. Along with the proper maintenance, aluminum decking can have such a long lifespan.
Aluminum decks are characterized by its stiffness. However, they are still lightweight and will not flex underfoot like the composite boards or plastic.
Compared to the other decking materials, aluminum decking provides better slip resistance apart from its natural wood and powder coated, making it able to resist scratches and fading.
What about the termites and rot?
They won’t be an issue with metal and aluminum. Further, aluminum is recyclable if you want to change into another style of decking in the future.
Aluminum is also one of the easier decking forms. Nevertheless, hiring a professional installer is much more recommended for installation if you are not quite handy with the tools.
Cons of Aluminum Decking
Though the pros of aluminum as one of the best decking material sounds great, it doesn’t always become a good option for everyone.
In fact, it offers more expensive price than other decking materials. If you only knew, the price can even be triple the price of composite decking or cedar. But if you don’t concern the budget too much, the style will easily be your choice.
Aluminum is never be mistaken for wood. It feels definitely different underfoot. Actually, it is still arguable to ensure the durability, slippage and weathering.
Well, these are not enough. Another downside is the color selection that doesn’t come with any hues. You can just expect to have off-white and greyish tones.
The Best Suitability of Aluminum Decking Material
So what is Aluminum decking material best suited for?
For wet climates, aluminum can be the best choice. This means that you can install this decking near the pool or areas which receives lots of rain in the year.
It is also described to be perfect for upper deck due to the interlocking products which are watertight along with the built-in channels to receive the rain.
Cold climates would also match since it will not expand and contract like many other decking materials.
So if you plan to have aluminum deck and the price is not your primary concern, let this guide help clear the things up.
PVC decking is the second considerable best decking material. PVC is also known as plastic planks which are sturdier. PVC decking offer some benefits, making it be an excellent option for most homeowners.
This way, there are several styles provided by PVC decking. However, the main styles you need to know are capped and uncapped. This way, the capped boards come with an extra layer of protection.
Though PVC decking is not as hard as Jatoba or domestic Oak, the capped products have better slip resistance and are able to prevent your decks from fading for some decades to come. Meanwhile, the uncapped products are also able to handle UV rays better than the wood.
There are no organic materials included in PVC boards, making them impossible to rot and split. You won’t either need any refinishing or staining since the products are scratch resistance.
PVC Decking Cons
Like aluminum decking, PVC decking is expensive. Even the best products of it are only a few dollars cheaper than aluminum planks.
If you prefer a little more affordable options, the uncapped can be your choice. Further, PVC decking offers only a limited color option so you need to consider a shade since changing the look of the deck is impossible.
After price, the next cons to PVC decking are the facts that it can feel spongy underfoot, it can’t handle the weight and it cannot mimic the wood.
In the summer, it can be hotter than aluminum decking. It is also slippery and difficult to install compared to the other decking styles.
The Best Suitability of PVC Decking
Are you living with pets?
If so, PVC decking is a great option due to its scratch and stain resistance. Never worry too much about your dog’s getting accidents on the deck. Their nails will not either beat up the plastic.
Like aluminum decking, this decking material also suits the wet areas like around pool, the areas that receive lots of UV rays and some other space that requires only a little maintenance.
It is just pretty clear to go with aluminum or PVC decking. However, things become complicated when you deal with the composite decking.
Basically, composite decking is largely constructed from plastic but it uses real wood to combine the products like sawdust.
This means that the material contains a small amount of organic material. Thus, it can look like the real wood compared to the capped PVC.
One of the biggest benefits is the fact that you don’t need to refinish the material. Further, you can clean and maintain it easily. Its weight allows you to get more stability from the boards. Moreover, this decking material is greatly featured by the excellent warranties running between 25 to 50 years.
Composite decking offers more colors than PVC or aluminum. The price points are also ranging from the premium to the budget class.
The regular boards of composite decking come with the resistance to stain and UV rays while the solid premium textured boards offer slip resistance.
If you have a tight budget while you are interested in composite decking, a scalloped 3-sided board is incredibly affordable. Like traditional wood, composite decking is available for DIY option.
Cons of Composite Decking
Due to the fact that composite decking materials mix the wood and plastic, the boards are heavier than pine or cedar planks. It will also cost more no matter the grade. Similar to PVC, this decking material has only limited color option.
If you don’t purchase the capped boards while you live in wet areas, mildew and moisture will be your primary concern.
The Best Suitability of Composite Decking
Listed as one of the best decking material, composite decking is suitable for almost of the climates. So this decking can be best used in California and Pacific Northwest.
The easy maintenance will not let you to take lots of time and effort to clean it. In short, composite decking allows you to have a wood-look decks without any serious drawback.
Do you like something traditional?
Choose no other but wood as your decking materials. Decades along before the composite decking, wood decking has been becoming a widely-chosen material. Even it still stand out today.
There are a variety of species and colors available for the consumers. So if you are dreaming of having Ebony-look on your decks, choose wood. To match any color you want, wood decks can be painted and stained as well as simply coated with the clear protection.
If you tend to find the affordable options from wood decking materials, Softer woods like Cedar, Redwood and Pressure-treated pine are offering the cheaper price than aluminum and PVC. On the other hand, if the price is not your primary concern, Tigerwood can be the best option.
If durability is your main concern, you can just select Tropical hardwoods like IPE. They are also resistant to scratch and dings.
Cons of Wood Decking
It would be hard to wood due to the fact that the sun can cause it to fade and moisture causes the boards to crack. Without a tip-top shape, you will feel like you are getting a splinter on the wood. Further, bees and other insect can happily attack if you don’t properly maintain it.
Compared to any other types of decking, wooden deck has higher price. It also requires you to spend lots of time cleaning it. The lifespan added to the wooden deck is around 20 to 50 years.
The Best Suitability of Wood Decking
Wood can be the best decking material suiting the outdoors and wet areas. If you live in swampy areas, wood decking is not the option.
For consumers, wood serves the more natural look of a deck. Further, its ability to change color makes it the best option for most of the consumers.
Looking for Qualified Installer for Decking
Unfortunately, some readers show their complaint that they cannot find a qualified installer or overpaid the deck installation.
Thus, an online free estimate tool is developed to allow them to find the local qualified installer only in 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
That would be aluminum. This way, aluminum can last longer than any other types.
No, it is not. That is because the woods are treated with chemicals, stained and painted.
Depending on the tools, all types of decking materials can be installed through DIY option. However, wood is considered easier.