Choosing The Right Deck Materials

by | Jul 3, 2023 | Decks

Choosing suitable materials is essential for those looking to construct a deck. With the wide range of options available, it can be challenging to determine which material would best suit any given purpose.

It is essential to consider the various materials available and their relative advantages in terms of longevity, cost-effectiveness, and aesthetic appeal. This article will discuss wood deck materials, composite deck materials, aluminum deck materials, vinyl deck materials, and costs associated with different types of decks.

Readers should be able to select the choice that best satisfies their needs by being aware of each kind of content’s potential advantages and disadvantages.

Key Takeaways

  • There are several options for deck materials, including wood, composite, aluminum, and vinyl.
  • You can customize railing materials with a variety of options.
  • Regular maintenance is vital for keeping decks looking new, and proper maintenance practices are essential for ensuring longevity.
  • Investing in higher-quality materials may be more expensive initially. Still, it can result in a longer-lasting deck with less maintenance over time and should be considered a long-term investment opportunity.

Wood Deck Materials

Wooden decks are popular due to their aesthetic qualities, durability, and affordability. Building a wooden deck requires carefully selecting the right wood type for the job to ensure that it will perform up to expectations.

Common choices include pressure-treated lumber, redwood, cedar, and exotic hardwoods such as Ipe and Tigerwood, each with a unique environmental impact. People often use pressure-treated lumber for posts and framing due to its rot and insect damage resistance. Redwood is highly sought after for its natural beauty but can be expensive in comparison. Cedar has similar characteristics as redwood but may require more maintenance over time. Exotic hardwoods offer superior durability compared to domestic woods but also come at a higher cost.

Depending on the desired look and budget constraints, you can customize deck designs with various railing materials, including aluminum, vinyl, composite, or glass balusters. 

Considering all aspects before deciding what materials to use for your deck project is essential, given the numerous options available regarding materials and design features.

As this section ends here, we will focus on composite deck material options for those seeking an alternative solution to traditional wood decks.

Composite Deck Materials

Composite deck materials offer a range of benefits for outdoor spaces, including durability and low maintenance. This synthetic material mimics the look of wood but requires a different level of upkeep or staining to maintain its beauty. You can use it in various ways, from traditional nailed decking to alternative uses such as railings and planters.

Regarding environmental impact, composite decks are made primarily with recycled materials, making them eco-friendly for homeowners looking for sustainable building materials. They also come in many colors and textures, giving homeowners more flexibility when designing their outdoor space.

Composite decks don’t rot like wood, so they last longer with less need for replacement. Furthermore, these materials are resistant to insect damage and splintering, which makes them safer for children and pets playing around the deck area. With all these advantages, it’s no wonder why composite deck materials have become an increasingly popular option for modern outdoor spaces.

Transitioning seamlessly into aluminum deck materials is another benefit of choosing this material as an alternative to wood.

Aluminum Deck Materials

Due to its strength, ease of maintenance, and resistance to extreme weather, aluminum deck materials have become an alternative to conventional timber and composite solutions. Aluminum decks are highly durable compared to other materials, such as wood and vinyl, making them ideal for high-traffic areas or homes in harsher climates. The installation process for aluminum decks is also relatively simple; you can install them with essential tools in hours. However, it is important to note that aluminum decks require more specialized tools than other materials, such as wood or vinyl. Overall, aluminum deck materials offer an excellent option for those looking for an attractive outdoor space without the hassle of frequent maintenance. This material also provides extraordinary durability against harsh weather conditions, making it an ideal choice for any home. As the installation process requires more specialized tools than some other materials, homeowners should consider all available options before deciding what type of decking material is best suited for their needs. With this in mind, transitioning into the subsequent section about vinyl deck material may prove beneficial to understand which material best suits one’s needs fully.

Vinyl Deck Materials

For homeowners wishing to enhance their outdoor living area even it is small space, vinyl deck materials provide a flexible and affordable choice. Vinyl decks typically require less maintenance and upkeep than other materials, making them an attractive option for people who want to enjoy their deck without worrying about continuous repairs or maintenance.

Several types of vinyl material are available, including PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and composite vinyl, each with its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of durability, price point, and appearance.

To maintain vinyl decks properly, you must clean them regularly with soap and water, repair any damage immediately to prevent further degradation, and occasionally seal the surface with a sealer or protective wax.

Benefits of Vinyl

Vinyl decks offer numerous advantages, such as durability and low maintenance requirements, which make them an attractive outdoor living solution. Installing vinyl decks is a pain-free process that you can efficiently complete in a few hours, and once installed, they exhibit high weather resistance to the elements. The material retains its color over time and requires minimal upkeep; washing it with soapy water every couple of months will keep it looking great for years. As such, vinyl deck materials provide homeowners with an aesthetically pleasing and durable outdoor space without any significant effort or expense required for maintenance.

Vinyl offers a selection of textures and colors in addition to these advantages. It allows homeowners to select a style that best suits their home’s exterior design while enjoying the long-term benefits of vinyl decking materials. With this versatility in mind, homeowners can create a beautiful outdoor living space while avoiding costly repairs due to damage from weather or other natural causes. Transitioning into the next subtopic on types of vinyl, several varieties available on the market today vary in terms of texture, color selection, and overall performance characteristics.

Types of Vinyl

When considering material for outdoor decks, it is essential to consider the various types of vinyl available.

PVC and Polypropylene are two popular materials that have their advantages and disadvantages.

PVC is more cost-effective than Polypropylene, but it’s less durable and can deteriorate faster over time due to its sensitivity to temperature changes.

On the other hand, Polypropylene is more expensive but has superior resistance against weathering and extreme temperatures.

Additionally, Polypropylene also offers improved traction in wet conditions.

Both materials offer different benefits depending on the homeowner’s needs, so it’s essential to consider both before deciding which one to use for an outdoor deck project.

Ultimately, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of these two options will help homeowners decide which material is best suited for their individual needs.

Maintenance and Care

Once you decide to use a vinyl material for an outdoor deck, you must understand how to properly maintain and care for the fabric. Weatherproofing is vital to ensure long-term protection against sun damage and other elements. 

You can do this by applying a coat of sealant or water repellent every few years.

Cleaning should also be part of the normal upkeep process to prevent mold and mildew from developing. You can use a pressure washer with a mild detergent solution as needed, but you must not scratch or damage the surface of the vinyl decking.

Additionally, covering the furniture when not in use and using felt padding on chairs and tables that are moved around frequently will help prevent scuffs and scratches. With regular maintenance and care, vinyl decks will look new for many years, even under harsh conditions.

Taking these steps will help ensure that your vinyl deck lasts longer without costly repairs or replacements due to its durability. Proper maintenance practices are vital when considering this material for any outdoor project.

Next, we will discuss the varying price points of different materials regarding costs.

Costs of Different Deck Materials

Costs for deck materials vary depending on the type of material used. Balancing costs and long-term investments is important when choosing what kind of material to use for a deck. 

Over time, composite or vinyl decking may be cheaper than natural hardwood due to its lower maintenance costs and long-term investment opportunity.

When considering cost, it is also essential to think about the lifespan of each type of material. Pressure-treated wood can last up to 20 years if well maintained, while hardwood lasts up to 40 years or more, depending on the species used. Composite and vinyl decks have even longer lifespans, typically lasting 25+ years if properly taken care of. Ultimately, investing in higher-quality materials will result in a longer-lasting deck that requires less maintenance over time.


The type of deck material chosen for a project can significantly impact the overall cost and aesthetics. You must carefully consider the distinct qualities and advantages of each material.

Wood is an attractive, natural option that is relatively low-maintenance but can require refinishing over time.

Composite materials offer long-term durability and are eco-friendly, while aluminum offers lightweight strength and weather resistance.

Vinyl materials provide a traditional look with little maintenance required but may not be suitable for colder climates due to their susceptibility to cracking in cold temperatures.

Choosing the suitable deck material requires careful consideration of cost, environmental factors, maintenance requirements, aesthetic appeal, and climate conditions.

Make an informed decision by carefully weighing factors such as cost, environmental impact, maintenance requirements, aesthetic appeal, and climate conditions. Trust S.C.I. Roofing & Construction to guide you through this process and help you choose the most suitable deck material for your project.




Matt Holmes is the Owner of S.C.I. Roofing and Construction. With over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, he brings his knowledge and passion to every job.

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