Comparing Decking Materials for Your Perfect Deck

Whether you’re installing a new deck or repairing an existing one, selecting the best decking material is crucial. The right material can greatly influence the durability, maintenance needs, and overall appearance of your deck. A well-chosen decking material not only enhances the beauty of your outdoor area but also ensures it can endure various weather conditions and daily wear.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of different decking materials to help you make an informed decision. We will explore options such as natural wood, composite decking, and PVC, discussing their benefits, drawbacks, and ideal use cases. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of which material best suits your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget. Whether you prioritize aesthetics, sustainability, or ease of maintenance, we’ll provide the insights necessary to create the perfect deck for your home. 

At Roosa Fence & Deck, we recognize that choosing the best decking material is important for the longevity and aesthetics of your outdoor space. With over a decade of experience as one of Austin’s premier deck companies, we take pride in our innovative designs, exceptional customer service, and superior craftsmanship.

 


 

Decking Materials Plus Their Pros and Cons

Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is affordable, versatile, and more durable. It is one of the most cost-effective decking materials in the market and is widely available across different budgets. In the manufacturing process, wood is infused with chemicals that make it resistant to rot, insects, and fungal decay. This process makes the wood last longer than ordinary wood. Homeowners prefer it because it is long-lasting and budget-friendly. 

Pros: 

  • Affordability: Among the most cost-effective
  • Durability: Resistant to rot, decay, and infestation by insects due to chemical treatment
  • Availability: Flooring is available in all sizes and lengths

Cons:

  • Maintenance: Requires regular sealing, staining, and replacement of damaged boards 
  • Chemical Treatment: The chemicals used in treating this wood may not be considered environmentally friendly

Composite Decking

Many homeowners choose composite decking for their decks because it offers an exceptional mixture of durability, maintenance, and aesthetic versatility. It is engineered to resist fading, staining, and scratching better than regular wood, so it has the capability to provide a long-lasting solution that retains its look with very little effort. Maintenance is easy, typically involving just washing with soap and water every now and then, and no staining or sealing is required. Added to its list of benefits is the fact that it resists moisture, insects, and rot, making it a practical and attractive option for an easy-care, long-lasting decking choice.

Pros:

  • Low Maintenance: Requires little upkeep, eliminating the need for staining or sealing.
  • Eco-Friendly: Commonly crafted from recycled materials.
  • Durability: Resistant to rot, insects, and fading.

Cons:

  • Initial Cost: Higher upfront expense compared to traditional wood.
  • Appearance: Some composites may lack the natural look and feel of wood.

Hardwood

Hardwoods have outstanding strength and offer an elegantly aesthetic effect. They are often considered one of the best options when it comes to luxury decking. Their dense grain structure imparts superior resistance to wear, rotting, and insect damage, thus making them long-lasting. Additionally, many hardwoods have their own natural oils that provide extra protection against decay and moisture, minimizing the need for frequent treatments. Considering the high cost, the initial investment of hardwood into your decking is justified if you are looking for a high-class, high-quality, and exceptionally durable decking system.

Pros:

  • Natural Beauty: Rich, luxurious look.
  • Durability: Extremely wear and tear-resistant.

Cons:

  • Cost: Relatively more expensive than other options.
  • Maintenance: May require periodic maintenance for appearance and longevity.

Softwoods

Among decking materials, softwoods like Pine, Cedar, and Redwood stand out due to their lower cost, ease of use, and natural decay- and insect-resistance characteristics. Compared to hardwoods, these woods are less heavy and dense, making them a lot easier to cut and install, which saves labor and time. Most importantly, Cedar and Redwood contain natural oils that protect them from the elements; however, they may require additional maintenance to continue looking beautiful and increase their longevity. Overall, softwoods are an affordable and versatile alternative to creating beautiful and functional decks.

Pros:

  • Cost: More affordable than hardwood.
  • Workability: Easier to work with for custom designs.

Cons:

  • Durability: Less resistant to wear and tear compared to hardwood.
  • Maintenance: Requires regular maintenance to prevent decay.

Aluminum

Aluminum decks are popular due to their durability, low maintenance, and sleek appearance. Many choose aluminum for its resistance to rust, corrosion, and decay, making it ideal for harsh weather or waterfront areas. Unlike wood and composites, aluminum doesn’t warp, crack, or split over time, ensuring safe footing for years. Aluminum’s strength allows for elegant, lightweight designs without sacrificing integrity. Many aluminum decks also feature slip-resistant surfaces, adding safety in wet conditions. They are low maintenance, usually needing just a rinse of water to keep clean. Available in various colors and finishes, aluminum decking suits contemporary architectural styles with both practicality and aesthetic versatility.

Pros:

  • Durability: Extremely durable and resistant to rust, rot, and insects.
  • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal upkeep.

Cons:

  • Cost: High initial cost.
  • Heat Absorption: Can become very hot in direct sunlight, making it uncomfortable to walk on.

PVC Decking

PVC decking, made from polyvinyl chloride, is one of the best decking material options for hardy, low-maintenance. Being completely synthetic, PVC has some other advantages that wood and composite materials are not able to supply. One of the strongest attributes of PVC decking is that it resists moisture very well, and would work well in humid climates or areas near water features. PVC decking is resistant to damage from water, rotting, mold, and insects, offering you long life with very little maintenance.

Highly durable, PVC decking resists heavy foot traffic and scratching, making it suitable for heavy usage. Most PVC products are UV-protected to ensure that the color does not fade. Cleaning is easy and most of the time requires only an occasional wash with soap and water. Modern PVC decking is available in a host of styles, colors, and textures for homeowners to imitate natural wood or fit contemporary designs. Its uniform color and finish provide a polished look.

Pros:

  • Low Maintenance: Requires little to no maintenance.
  • Moisture Resistance: Excellent resistance to moisture, making it ideal for wet environments.

Cons:

  • Cost: Higher initial investment.
  • Brittleness: Can become brittle over time, especially in colder climates.

 


 

Roosa Fence & Deck: Your Partner in Decking Decisions

Choosing the proper decking material is crucial for longevity, maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. Here at Roosa Fence & Deck, we pride ourselves on helping you choose the best decking material to match your vision and needs. Whether you prefer traditional wood or modern composites, we offer a variety of decking options to suit any preference and budget.

Remember, it all depends on your unique needs, lifestyle, and the environment where your deck will be constructed. If you are at a loss for the material to use, contact us at Roosa Fence & Deck for guidance. 

Let us consult with you and help you get your dream outdoor space started. We’ll help you understand the pros and cons of each decking material so that you can make an informed decision that ensures your deck remains beautiful and functional for years to come.

 


 

 

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