7 Popular Decking Material Types

November 7, 2019


A deck is a platform structure that is typically connected to a house, built outdoors above the
ground, it provides many potential uses. Although decks can have many purposes, the main
purpose of the deck is to extend the living area of the home, add more usable space, security
and comfort.
Looking to build a deck or upgrade your current one? Great! The next step is to pick the type of
decking material to use for your project. Today we will talk about the seven most popular types
of deck materials.
Until recently the only material options were cedar and redwood, but there are so many more
types of material available today! Let’s discuss them in more detail.

1 Pressure-Treated Deck Material

Pressure-treated deck materials are very popular because they are perfect for places with high
exposure to moisture and are very cost effective. The materials come pre-treated to protect
against dry rot, termites and insects. The main downside to pressure-treated wood is that, in the
past, it contained arsenic which is hazardous to your health. Since 2004 a different anti-rot
treatment is used in it – copper, which can only be hazardous to your health if it is burned.

2 Cedar Deck Material

Nothing can beat the natural charm and character of real wood. Cedar deck material naturally
looks beautiful, is easy to work with and is inexpensive. If you were thinking about installing
cedar decking by yourself, purchase only darker colored “heartwood common”. All other
materials are not very durable and can develop rot very quickly. Cedar decks can last up to 15 –
20 years, but they require regular maintenance and refinishing every year.

3 Redwood Deck Material

Contrary to cedar deck material, redwood is quite expensive. It’s also very durable and easy to
work with. If you are thinking about redwood as your deck material, choose only high-grade
material. High-quality materials will last for a long time. Stay away from the light-colored
sapwood that can decay quickly when exposed to different weather elements. Darker-colored
redwood is naturally resistant to decaying and rotting. Redwood too, can last for up to 15-20
years if properly maintained.

Both cedar and redwood decking materials provide natural beauty and durability for years. They
are fire resistant and are easy to maintain. Cedar and redwood decks can be cleaned and
washed annually, and this will help them last for a long time. They both require regular annual
sealing, staining and painting or staining to extend their longevity.

4 Vinyl Deck Material

Vinyl or PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is a new deck material that is quickly becoming very popular.
It’s generally maintenance free and does not contain wood. It’s often supplemented with a 25-
year warranty and comes in many color varieties.

5 Composite Deck Material

Composite decking materials also require very little maintenance and come in a variety of colors
and textures. It looks very similar to real wood. Composite planks can also be bent with specific
heating equipment and made into a variety of designs, making them more versatile when
compared to other decking materials.
This decking material is becoming more and more popular over the years as it provides similar
charm like real wood materials. It doesn’t develop rot, does not shrink, and can last a lot longer
if properly maintained.
The composite deck needs to be maintained and cleaned and washed every 3 to 4 years to
prevent the internal wood components in it from developing mold. You can paint it to avoid
weathering that might develop over the years.
Composite deck material can be quite expensive, but it is a very good investment for a long-
term deck option. Premium composite decking material can last up to 25 years and often comes
with a lifetime warranty.

6 Ipe Deck Material

Ipe is a beautiful hardwood that is very durable and resistant to rot, it is imported from Brazil,
mostly. It does need annual sealing, and some cleaning. If well taken care of, it can last up to 25
years and even longer. It is a very dense material which makes it hard to work with.

7 Metal Deck Material

If you are thinking about building a deck on an upper level then metal deck material is a good
choice. Metal decking material also comes in a variety of colors.

It needs to be cleaned and washed at least once a month. If exposed to the sun for a long
period of time it might lose its color and can be affected by hot weather temperatures, but it is
still very durable and will last much longer than other decking materials. This explains its high
cost, which can also be considered as an investment into your home.
If you are looking to build a beautiful deck and not sure what material will work best for you, call
Good Life Construction today on (916) 833-1379 and we will help you to make the right choice!