What is the best decking material for me?

If you’re planning to build a deck, you might be wondering what kind of material you should use, composite, PVC, wood, tile. Is it worth investing in more expensive options? Here are some materials to consider when building a deck and want to make sure it lasts for many years to come.

Low Maintenance Decking

There are several types of decking out there, one that has become most common is low maintenance decking. This can be a confusing subject, because there are so many different styles of low maintenance decking products to choose from. When referring to this decking people are usually talking about Trex or TimberTech (which is a whole other subject). One thing that you should consider when choosing decking is if you want composite or vinyl. For now all you need to know is, composite is a mixture of material including recycled wood, and PVC is a plastic straight though (Composite Vs. PVC) . The most known brands are Trex and Timbertech but don’t be fooled, the lesser known brands are as good, if not better. (Click here to discover what other brands are out there such as Fiberon, Azek, and Deckarators.) If you’re like me, you’ll want one less thing to worry about, this is option for you.

Wood Decking

Wood decks are durable and timeless. Wood decks can last 30 years or more if you take care of them , but they’ll need regular maintenance. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for peeling paint, splinters, and rot. The key to keeping your wood deck in great shape is applying a wood preservative every two to three years. The most common decking is pressure treated pine with a few exotic species of wood that have less maintenance but a higher price tag. Cedar, Mahogany, and IPE are few of the exotic species.

Tile Pavers

Most people have wood or low maintenance decking for their space, but what most people don’t realized is you can have tile! These tiles are a beautiful option other than deck boards for a few reasons. For starters your deck will have a unique look that will make your friends and family jealous. With options to have garden trays and turf trays, these are perfect for rooftop decks in the city especially if you have children. Its always a good idea to get your roof replaced before getting a new deck but having tile allows you to remove one tile and a time for maintenance or repairs instead damaging deck boards while taking them up. The down side is the tiles are strong but not as durable as normal decking and can crack if something heavy is dropped. The pavers come in several colors and styles made from porcelain, concrete, and IPE wood
 

Railing Material

Railings can come in many styles and types of material. Most of the time is comes down to your style and/or brand, normally railings are a top and bottom rail with spindles. If privacy is important to you then deck boards can be used vertically or horizontally. They can be semi custom with vinyl, composite, aluminum, wood, or a combination of two materials. Custom railing can always be an options as-well. Vinyl railing looks great but are the least durable, while composite railings are durable yet heavy and are prone to sagging over time. Aluminum is the sleekest look with great durability but less up grades such as lights. (Side note – lighting upgrades such as cap lights, post lights, under rail lights, and step lighting make a huge difference in look and feel of your space!)

Framing Material

When framing you have two options, wood framing and metal framing. The most common is pressure treated pine, but with material shortages and price increases metal framing has become more popular. Since the framing is not as exposed to the elements like the decking and railing the decision to use one over the other is more of a preference. Some things should be taken into consideration such as if the framing will be touching the ground, or near any body of water, will take part in your decision. Also wood is more accessible than metal framing so lead times have to be considered as well as. If you are building yourself or if you have a pro complete you project, the material list of metal framing has to be more precise. Hiring an architect and/or engineer is always a good idea so you are not short any members when it comes to building.

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