Deck Material Options
No matter what deck material you choose for your outdoor project, the base construction, or the bones of any deck will be similar.
Traditional Wood Decking Material
The original and still most common decking option is natural wood. The most popular choices being Redwood or Cedar due to being strong, easy to install, are naturally resistant to insects, and feels good under your bare feet.
It is good to understand that natural wood decks require an annual cleaning and sealing, especially in our Central Coast weather. Even though all wood naturally weathers to a gray color, regular deck maintenance should be considered.
Tropical Hardwoods Deck Options
Known for being extremely dense and highly durable, these patio deck materials come in colorful choices and also are resistant to insects and decay. They can last about 25 years if properly cared for.
They can be expensive, heavy, and hard to work with — so hard in fact that you can’t hammer a nail without drilling a hole first. Although very attractive, avoid dark woods if your deck sees a lot of sun during the day, they can heat up like a frying pan and could cause a blowout on your flip-flop!
Composite Decking Material
Composites are great sustainable options constructed mostly out of post-consumer plastic and reclaimed sawdust.
You may be familiar with Trex, the leader in composite decking material.
Composite deck material is made to look like real wood and comes in a variety of natural-looking hues and grain patterns. Because of the manufacturing process, these boards won’t splinter and don’t need to be stained or painted, thanks to a built-in UV resistance.
Composite deck materials are more expensive and heavier than most woods and also must be cleaned or pressure washed regularly to prevent mildew, so when you factor in the maintenance costs for a traditional wood deck, the amount you end up spending may turn out to be comparable.
Concrete or Brick
Concrete and brick patios are becoming a standard across the country because they are durable and don’t require much maintenance.
Plus, with stamping and staining options, they look good at most any size. The combination of Concrete and Brick patios make for a fun project because they offer more design options and give your home a more traditional look.
Both offer their own distinct pros and cons that you should consider when deciding between these two patio deck materials.
Pressure Treated Wood Decking
This is the least expensive type of decking, lasting several years if properly maintained. This material choice is best in high moisture areas or if you are looking for a painted deck option.
Most pressure-treated wood is made from Southern yellow pine, which is quick to splinter if not maintained properly.
Pressure-treated wood will be used in the base construction of your deck if there is any potential contact with the ground.
Plastic Decking Material
Cellular PVC vinyl decking is another option and is made entirely from environmentally safe plastic—there’s no wood in it at all. This means that it’s even more durable than composite and will likely last a lifetime. It’s splinter-free and except for the regular cleaning like all decks, it requires almost no maintenance.