Best Decking Material

What’s the Best Decking Material?

Written by Matt Normandin on . Posted in Decking, How To..., Patios & Walkways, Pool Deck, Remodeling Projects, Trends in Remodeling

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing the best decking material. Fortunately, there are many choices to fit your home and budget. Here’s a look at the most popular choices.

Natural Hardwood Decking

Cedar is often the go-to choice when it comes to building outdoors, but here are two options that perform better for decking.

Ipe Hardwood Sample
Brazilian Walnut
Also called ipe (pronounced ee-pay), Brazilian Walnut is ten times harder than cedar, and comes with the same fire rating as concrete and steel. It also contains a natural oil that bugs don’t like. Not only will it minimize insect damage to your deck, it is very resistant to mildew and decay.

This wood gets its name from the beautiful tiger-like red-orange background and dark striping. It is also much harder than cedar and naturally resistant to rotting and mold growth. A deck built from Tigerwood is as durable as it is beautiful.

Composite or Engineered Decking Materials

Azek DeckingEngineered decking materials have come a long way in recent years. Products such as Azek Decking are made with materials like PVC, making them more durable than ever. Composite decking looks and feels similar to natural wood, and has these benefits:

Very Low Maintenance
Even the best hard woods need periodic sealing or staining. Many engineered decking materials only need a periodic cleaning.

Stain Resistant
From natural staining from wet leaves to spills from drinks and food, engineered decking will resist stains.

The strong surfaces will withstand scratches, dents, and dings better than hardwood. You can relax and let the kids and dogs play on the deck without splinters, or rearrange the furniture and not worry about damaging your decking.

Cost vs. Durability

When choosing a material for your deck, you will want to make sure that the cost of the materials and installation are in line with your budget. You will also want to make sure that the material is durable enough to last more than 15 years.

Natural woods like ipe and Tigerwood are similar in cost to engineered materials like Azek. Softer woods like cedar will cost less but require frequent maintenance. Some composite materials may cost more in exchange for the added durability and longer lifespan. Be sure your choice includes consideration for future expenses in maintenance and repairs.

The Choice That’s Right for You

Before deciding on a material speak with a decking specialist like K and M Building and Remodeling about the pros and cons of each material. Then you can be confident that you are choosing the product that is right for you today and for the future of your deck.

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