Wood, composite, or another material altogether? Decking materials can be distinguished from one another visually, in terms of how long they survive and how much money they cost. To get started with your investigation, familiarize yourself with the many types of real and imitation decking. Additionally, you may wish to use one variety of lumber or decking for the structural components of your deck project, and a different variety of decking timber for the walking surfaces and railings, which people will see and walk on. This is because people will be walking on both of these aspects of the deck.
Natural Wooden Planks
Wood is the material that was originally used for decks, and it is still the most prevalent material used today. Many professionals select wood because it increases the value of the deck. Wood decking requires maintenance, but it has a more traditional look and feels than other materials do both visually and physically. The Atlantic City Boardwalk was the first wooden boardwalk constructed along an ocean in the United States. It was made of wood and was located in Atlantic City. Wood is the material of choice for the majority of home deck renovation projects. Some species of wood, particularly softwoods, can be used to build inexpensive decking, and hardwood floors have a natural warmth and feel to them. Other types of wood can be used to make flooring made of hardwood. However, some of them, such as ipe, can be rather pricey. Furthermore, wood needs to be maintained and kept in good condition to prevent it from splitting, cracking, and changing colors.
- Authentic and natural
- Some types are inexpensive
- Can be expensive
- Requires regular maintenance
The use of wood-polymer composite for residential decking, which is also known as synthetic, wood alternatives, or composite decking, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Plastic and wood fiber are the two main components of composite decking, which is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood decking.
- Won’t splinter or rot
- Variety of colors
- Can look fake
- Can be slippery
- Not resistant to mold and mildew
- Shows signs of age and decay
- Can sag and bend more than wood
Woods that do not have a naturally long lifespan, such as Southern pine and Western fir, have preservatives added to them. This makes them more resistant to the elements, decay, and insect infestation. Chromatid copper arsenate, sometimes known as CCA, is a preservative that prevents rot in wood. Chromium, copper, and arsenic are the three elements that compose them. In the 1940s, CCA was first used in the manufacturing of pressure-treated lumber. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States, CCA is a product that is limited in the applications it can serve due to regulatory restrictions. 3 CCA has not been used in the production of pressure-treated wood for residential use by firms since 2003. Borates, alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), and copper azole are a few alternate options that do not include arsenic in their composition.
- Durable and resistant to the elements, rot, and insects
- Unnatural color
- Warps or bends easily
- Contains chemical preservatives
High-density plastic lumber, often known as HDPL, is manufactured from recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic. That implies that your spent bottles of milk, water, juice, soap, and shampoo may be recycled into the plastic lumber that is used to build your deck. You can also recycle other plastic containers, such as yogurt containers.
- Doesn’t need to be stained
- Easy to clean
- May expand or contract in extreme heat and cold resulting in cracking
- Colors and textures don’t always resemble wood
Due to its resistance to moisture and the fact that it does not rot or decay, aluminum is a nearly ideal material for use in the construction of decks. Have you ever heard of termites working together to bore holes in an aluminum structure? Additionally, it does not catch fire. It’s a shame that aluminum has such a high price tag. The appearance of an aluminum plank is in no way comparable to that of a teak or oak board.
- Lacks the traditional appearance of wood
- Gets hot in the sun