OUTDOOR

What You Need To Know About Decking Products

May 07, 2015 | STORY BY JENN SCHLEICH

Get The Run Down On The Best Deck Materials

 

There are a variety of products on the market these days, from the most natural to complex high-tech materials designed to make backyard decks low maintenance and worry-free. We’ve rounded up some of the best deck materials available.

Though basic pressure-treated lumber is the cheapest type of decking, it isn’t necessarily the most economical. Factor in the long-term maintenance of your deck when considering your price range for any deck project. Pressure-treated lumber is treated with chemicals to make it weather-resistant, but the copper treatment process causes metal fasteners (nails, screws and deck hangers) and aluminum flashing to corrode over time, which can additionally cause surrounding wood to rot. PT wood also requires significant annual maintenance, such as sanding, staining and sealing to keep a deck looking new.

Natural alternatives to pressure-treated wood include western red cedar, compressed bamboo fibre and pre-engineered wood tiles, which are all worthy options when planning or designing a deck. Pre-engineered wood tiles are a unique way to give a rooftop patio or balcony a wood-deck feel without a lot of work. Hardwood decking (such as Ipe wood) will give an outdoor space a glamorous high-end look and are among the most durable natural wood options available, but come with a steep price tag.

While the charm of wood is undeniable, it always requires maintenance. Though some people don’t care for the idea of composite or PVC decking, it has one big draw: it’s worry and maintenance free. Composite and PVC deck products have come a long way over the years and are some of the most high-tech and resilient options accessible to consumers. Look for products that are “capped,” which represent the latest generation and typically come with lifetime warranties.

Regardless of which type of deck material you decide to construct your stunning deck design with, make sure you install it properly and be prepared for future upkeep. 

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