Choosing The Right Decking Materials Explained


An outdoor deck is definitely an excellent addition to your home. Besides being a good DIY challenge, it also lets you enjoy the benefits that come with having an outdoor space, from hosting a barbeque party for family members to reading your favourite novel in the sun. And besides making your outdoor space more accessible, a deck increases the value of your property once you are ready to sell it.

When planning to build an outdoor deck, one of the greatest decisions you will have to face is deciding on the material to use for the deck. While many decks have pressure-treated wood in their understructure, the decking could be made of an entirely different material or not.

Choosing the Best Decking Material

Before you can even get down to building your outdoor deck, you will need to choose the right decking materials for the job. And when it gets down to this, here are some questions you should consider:

• How far are you willing to go with repair and maintenance?

• Do you want a deck that will stand all the harsh weather elements?

• Will you need to update your deck’s look quite often?

• Is green decking material a priority for you?

To help you in answering the above questions, we have prepared a guide that will aid you in choosing the right decking material for your needs.

Types of Decking Material

  • Natural Wood

In terms of appearance, decking timber is not just aesthetically appealing but also extremely durable provided you accord it the right maintenance. High-quality timber looks gorgeous and it is a worthy investment. Installation of this kind of decking materials should not be considered a DIY job and it is better left to the experienced and skilled carpenters. Besides, a medium-sized deck could take several days to build so you want experts to handle this job.

Maintenance is a crucial aspect you must take into account when building a natural wood deck. When wood is exposed to the harsh weather elements, it can wear out with time, so if you do not want your deck to crack, rot, or split, you will need to adhere to a regular maintenance routine. Timber decks typically last between 10 and 15 years before they need replacing.

Regarding the cost of this decking material, you should expect to pay anywhere between $170 and $200 for every square meter of treated pine decking. For hardwood decking, however, the minimum cost per square meter is $320.

Wooden decks will require maintenance over time, therefore you should be ready to seal and stain the timber on a regular basis. There are many attractive sealants and stains available to help you realize the look you always desire.

  • Composite

Starting with appearance, composite decking could be painted with your color of choice, it has a smooth appearance and could have the appeal of wood depending on the materials used in its construction. And similar to wood decks, composite deck installations need skilled contractors to build.

A composite deck is incredibly low maintenance as compared to wood since it requires no staining, oiling or cleaning besides the occasional sweeping. Composite decks could last for 25 years before they need to be rebuilt again.

Composite deck material is more expensive than wood with the cost per square meter being $350. While the initial cost is obviously higher than that of timber, composite decking material has a longer lifespan and hence you will not need to replace it quite often.

From a general perspective, composite decking is a popular and environmentally friendly alternative to wood because it is stain-resistant, lightweight, and weather-resistant. Besides, since it is comprised of recycled plastics and wood fibers, composite decking does not have the same potential to splinter or rot like timber and this makes it an incredibly low-maintenance option. Another impressive attribute of this material is that it does not require sealing or staining.

  • Synthetic or PVC

Also commonly referred to by many as wood plastic, polymer vinyl among other synthetics have been found to be an excellent alternative for homeowners who want a low-maintenance deck. Plastic decks are usually designed to be stain, mildew, and scratch resistant. Synthetic deck material is relatively lighter than hardwood timbers, and this means that there is less strain and stress for a first time DIYer. While plastics are easy to clean and cost-effective, they often don’t last as long as their previous counterparts.

If you do lots of outdoor entertaining, PVC decking materials are ideal because they are designed to withstand a lot of traffic. However, they will typically need to be replaced much earlier than wood or composite deck.

  • Metal

Although they are made of metal, these decks could possess the appearance of wood. You could also have them powder-coated with your color of choice. The coating is usually textured to minimize the chances or slipping.

Specialist aluminum deck builders are required to construct this type of deck. While you will not have to do much to maintain your aluminum deck, you should be careful of scratches on the surface if you’re dragging heavy items on it. An aluminum deck will cost you about $450 per square meter.

A major drawback of an aluminum decking is that could be extremely slippery when wet so it would not be ideal for an outdoor area next to the swimming pool. It could also become quite hot when exposed to sunlight.

To get an idea of what would be the best decking choice for your house and project budget then contact TNT Home Improvements today.