Options for Decking Materials: Pros and Cons

research the pros and cons of deck-building materials

A deck is a popular space for entertaining and relaxing on a pleasant day. If you are thinking about building a new deck, you have plenty of choices to make. Here are the pros and cons of different decking materials. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Types of Decking Materials

Natural Wood


The beauty of natural wood enhances the look of outdoor areas. Wood decks are not noisy when walked on. Well-cared-for natural wood is comfortable on bare feet and generally doesn’t become too hot in the sun. Pressure-treated wood is fairly inexpensive, can last up to 20 years, and is resistant to rot and mildew when properly maintained.


One of the primary disadvantages of natural wood decking is the required maintenance. These materials require annual staining and sealing, and occasional repairs to keep it in good condition. The color of the wood will fade over time with exposure to the elements. Regular cleaning is more time-consuming than other materials. Costs can vary significantly, depending on the type of wood used.

Man-Made Decking Materials


Homeowners can find different types of man-made deck materials. Plastic decking consists of polyvinyl chloride or high-density polyethylene. Plastic deck material requires the least amount of maintenance, requiring only soap and water to remove dirt and debris. Another type of man-made deck material, called “composite,” is made from recycled plastic, bamboo fibers, and wood dust to create a surface that looks and feels similar to natural wood.


Plastic decking can be slippery when wet. The plastic can also get very hot in the sun, making it difficult to walk on with bare feet. Composite deck material generally has a more textured surface, which is less slippery. However, the natural materials in the material can mildew and deteriorate. Textured surfaces trap dirt and debris, making it difficult to clean. The color will fade over time in direct sunlight.

Choosing the best decking material depends on the building site, your budget, and the style of your home. Once you have narrowed down your options, focus on the finer details, like color, texture, and finish. You’ll have a beautiful deck that suits your property.

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