A deck should be a great outdoor living area where you can relax and spend time with friends. If you’re thinking about building a deck or if you need to update your current one, here are the pros and cons of types of decking materials.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

Pressure-treated wood is the most commonly used material for constructing a deck. Most often the lumber is pine that has been chemically treated to be resistant to decay and insects.

The main advantage of pressure-treated wood is that it is the most affordable decking material. It’s easy to work with because it’s softer, so cutting the boards and installing fasteners is not difficult. Pressure-treated lumber is readily available at hardware and home improvement stores in many different lengths and widths.

One of the downsides of pressure-treated wood is the fact that it is treated with chemicals. It’s advised to wear a respirator when working with the wood and never burn it. This decking material will still deteriorate over time and requires yearly maintenance to keep the deck in good condition.

Types of Tropical Hardwood Decking Materials

Tropical hardwood has an advantage over pressure-treated wood because it has naturally occurring oils that make it resistant to rot and insects. These woods are strong, durable, and attractive. Some popular types of tropical hardwoods include ipe, tigerwood, and cumaru. Most are easy to find and can be specially ordered if your local home improvement store doesn’t carry them.

The biggest downside is the price. Tropical hardwood is very expensive to buy and install. Because it is a dense material, it’s more difficult to install. The installation will take patience and sharp tools. Tropical hardwoods are also resistant to stains and sealants because of the oils and hardness of the wood.

Aluminum for Decking

Aluminum is a sturdy material that has a more industrial look. It creates a clean and modern deck. Aluminum does not rust and won’t warp or rot. It is fire, mold, and insect-resistant and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

As a decking material, aluminum can be costly. It’s best to hire a contractor who has experience working with the material. Another downside is that metal decking can be noisy with footsteps and heavy rains.

Types of Decking Materials: Composites

The popularity of composite as decking material is increasing. Composites are appealing because they are affordable and made from recycled materials. Composite decking is usually created from wood scraps and resin. The material won’t splinter and is easy to maintain. These decking boards are available in a wide range of color options and you won’t have to paint or re-stain every year.

The disadvantages of composites include the fact that they cannot be stained or painted. Because the material is made up of wood, it will eventually decay, and mold growth is possible in damp areas. Composites are made to mimic the look of wood, but they have a synthetic feel.

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