Before you start building your deck, knowing the types of decking materials is very helpful for your backyard success. There are synthetic and natural decking options and each have different characteristics. Depending on the purpose of your deck, your climate, and your lifestyle, you have to choose one that is applicable for you.
Natural Wood Materials
There are many kinds of wood for decking but only a few stands out. These kinds are popular because of their color, texture, and resistance to outdoor elements. Although resistant wood is expensive depending on your location, it makes a more esthetically pleasing deck. It is a good investment that would certainly add value to your property.
Cedar - This wood holds up well in sun, rain, and snow. Its color will become gray as it ages, but you can make it look new with stain.
Redwood - It is very good at resisting rot. Its color becomes gray as it ages and prolonged moisture will make it look black. You can make it look good with sealer
Teak - This wood is popular for patio furniture making but is also good for decking. It can also resist moisture, cracking, and insects. Teak wood color, and texture is also great.
Ipe - It is a very hard wood that strongly resists rotting and insect.
Philippine Mahogany - It is also great in resisting rot and pests. This is a tight-grained hardwood and looks like teak when treated with marine oil.
Composite and PVC Decking
Composite decking is a hybrid material made of both real wood fibers and plastic particles. It is also known as WPC or Wood Plastic Composites. The combining of wood and plastic is engineered to resist stain, and rot.
Using composite materials require less maintenance so it becomes cheaper in the long run.
PVC Decking is made of purely plastic which makes it really resistant to mold and rot.
Both composite and PVC materials are highly durable. They are available in a variety of colors and wood textures but the difference from the real thing can easily be noticed.
The main advantage of these is that they are resistant to outdoor element brought by different climates. These are less likely to rot compared to natural materials. However, they can somehow degrade and looks start to fade away over time.
Although synthetic materials are resistant to rotting, they cannot outlast the beauty of real wood. They will somehow show discoloration and texture changes in the long run. The scratches and stains cannot be fixed easily compared to wood.
The degrading of synthetic materials is usually caused by sunlight. You need provide a shed for your deck to protect it. You can install a deck cover such as a pergola, an awning, or a large patio umbrella.
On the other hand, wear and tear is usually caused by improper handling or moving of outdoor umbrellas, outdoor furniture and fixtures. Try some items that have wheels.
The main issue of deck made from synthetic materials is that they are not as strong as wooden deck. You are limited to how much weight you can put in your deck. So avoid putting heavy items if you choose to use synthetic materials.