How to Choose The Best Decking Material for Your New Deck or Patio
Building a new deck or patio is a great way to add both value and square footage to your home. Although most of the deck’s structure will most likely be made of pressure-treated lumber and/or steel beams, it’s important to carefully consider your choice for decking (the part you’ll walk on). Read on for a breakdown of what you’ll need to know when it comes to each of the most popular decking options on the market today.
Cedar decking is one of the most popular and traditional choices for decking. It is desired for its natural resistance to rot and insects. Cedar is, however, prone to splintering due to its softness. This can be managed using protective finishes and sealants.
Prized for its warm hue, Redwood decking offers a luxurious feel and appearance. It is also known for its exceptional stability, a quality that makes it especially resistant to warping. The downside of using Redwood is its high cost, which gets even higher the further away you are from California where it is grown.
Pressure Treated Lumber
Among the most affordable of decking materials, pressure-treated lumber is also resistant to insects and rot. However, it is one of the least stable decking materials available, and is, therefore, more susceptible to warping, shrinking, and twisting. Staining and water-repellent finishes can minimize these issues.
While plastic decking has traditionally been considered “fake” looking, the material has greatly improved in its realism in recent years. Modern plastic decking products can be easy to mistake for authentic wood decking at first glance. Plastic decking is also 100% recyclable. One downside to using PVC decking is that the material can expand and contract in certain climates, which can potentially loosen joints and make decks unstable.
Composite decking is a combination of plastic and wood fibers. This results in a product with high durability while retaining some of the natural appearance and texture of wood. These products are available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and grain widths. Unfortunately, composite decking is not recyclable. Another downside with both PVC and composite decking is that in summer months, the planks can get very hot. This may make walking on them with bare feet difficult or impossible. However, for the overall durability and lack of maintenance they offer, plastic and composite decking are still great options for many households.
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At Straight Line Design & Remodeling, we have been remodeling homes to meet the needs of families in the Portland metro area for over a decade. That means that we have the experience and know-how to bring your project to life while staying on schedule and on budget.