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How To Choose Best Material For Your Deck

August 23, 2023

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If you are planning to build a new deck or renovate an existing one, you might be wondering what to use as the best material for your deck. There are many options available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we will compare some of the most popular materials for decks and help you choose the best one for your project.

Wood

Wood is the traditional material for decks, and it offers a natural and warm look. Wood is also easy to work with and can be stained or painted to match your style. However, wood also requires regular maintenance, such as sealing, staining, or painting, to prevent rotting, warping, cracking, or fading. Wood can also be susceptible to insects, mold, and mildew. The cost of wood varies depending on the type and quality. Some of the most common types of wood for decks are:

  • Cedar: This is a durable and attractive option, as it has a natural resistance to rot and insects. It also has a rich color and texture that can enhance the appearance of your deck. However, cedar can also be expensive and may require annual sealing or staining to prevent fading or graying.
  • Hardwood: Aside from its exquisite aesthetics, hardwood decking presents an optimal choice for homeowners in search of a robust and dependable decking material. Hardwood exhibits remarkable durability, capable of withstanding hail, heavy foot traffic, and even the incessant activity of paws and claws! Hardwood decks are impervious to weather-induced decay and insect infestations, maintaining their integrity even when they come into contact with the ground.
  • Redwood: This is another durable and attractive option, as it has a natural resistance to rot and insects. It also has a deep red color that can add warmth and beauty to your deck. However, redwood can also be very expensive and may require annual sealing or staining to prevent fading or graying.
  • Pressure-treated wood: This is the most affordable option, as it is treated with chemicals to resist rot and insects. However, it can also be prone to cracking, splitting, warping, and fading over time. It also requires regular maintenance and may contain harmful chemicals that can leach into the soil or water

Composite

Composite is a synthetic material that is made from a mixture of wood fibers and plastic. Composite offers a low-maintenance and durable alternative to wood, as it does not require sealing, staining, or painting. Composite also resists rotting, warping, cracking, fading, and staining. Composite comes in a variety of colors and textures that can mimic the look of natural wood. However, composite can also be more expensive than wood and may not have the same feel or sound as wood. Composite can also expand and contract with temperature changes and may fade over time due to sun exposure. Some of the most common types of composite for decks are:

  •  Wood-plastic composite (WPC): This is the most common type of composite, as it combines wood fibers and recycled plastic. WPC offers a realistic wood look and feel, as well as good strength and durability. However, WPC can also absorb moisture and swell over time, which can cause warping or cracking. WPC can also fade or stain due to sun exposure or spills.
  • Capped composite: This is a type of composite that has a protective layer or cap on the surface that resists moisture, stains, fading, and scratches. Capped composite offers a more uniform and consistent appearance than WPC, as well as better resistance to weathering and wear. However, capped composite can also be more expensive than WPC and may still expand and contract with temperature changes. Timbertek is a manufacturer we love to use. Their capped composite decking is durable, stain resistent, and US made.
  • Vinyl (PVC): Vinyl is another synthetic material that is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Vinyl offers a low-maintenance and durable alternative to wood or composite, as it does not require sealing, staining, or painting. Vinyl also resists rotting, warping, cracking,fading, staining, and insects. Vinyl comes in a variety of colors and styles that can suit any preference or design. However, vinyl can also be more expensive than wood or composite and may not have the same feel or sound as wood or composite. Vinyl can also become brittle or chalky over time due to sun exposure or cold weather.

Tile

Mbrico Tile DeckAmidst the array of outdoor porcelain tile deck choices available, Mbrico stands out as the foremost and most reputable brand. Among residents of the Pacific Northwest, Mbrico holds particular appeal due to its exceptional resilience against the elements.

Mbrico porcelain tile decks present a hassle-free decking alternative cherished for their exquisite artistry, straightforward installation, and a myriad of color options that perfectly complement any indoor or outdoor design.

Maintaining your Mbrico deck’s initial splendor necessitates no specialized upkeep. Homeowners greatly appreciate the absence of requirements for sealing, staining, or seasonal treatments. Backed by a top-tier warranty, Mbrico porcelain tile is not only resistant to mold and moss but also proves to be an excellent decking choice for the damp climate of Western Washington.

Mbrico surfaces have obtained ADA approval for skid resistance and feature a textured finish that aids in averting slips and falls, even when the deck is wet. Additionally, Mbrico tile decks exhibit resistance to stains and smudges.

Conclusion

Choosing the best material for your deck depends on several factors, such as your budget, style, maintenance level, climate, and personal preference. Each material has its own pros and cons that you should weigh carefully before making a decision.

We are a Seattle based deck company and division of our parent company PCF Group. We would love to be a part of helping create an outdoor living space for you and your family. We offer free estimates.

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