One of the essential additions to a home for entertainment or recreational purposes is the decking space. This is why a lot of homeowners around the world are constructing this appendage so that they can entertain their families, friends or neighbors. But choosing the material to use for your decking can be very intimidating. The following is a compiled summary of the most commonly used materials used today for decking.
These are some common alternatives to Ipe decking. Of course, the closest one is 1/3 the life of Ipe. We highly recommend you pay a little extra and get an Ipe deck.
The price point of cedar decking falls between composite and treated wood. Cedar is visually appealing and is resistant to rot – to some extent – and purely resistant to insects. Cedar also has beautiful coloring. The best grade of cedar which is used for decking is commonly referred to as ‘Select’ tight knot cedar as it has minimal defects. The only disadvantage to using cedar for your decking needs is that it is a soft wood and likely to show wear if you happen to drag heavy furniture across it. You will also be required to reseal and stain your cedar deck annually to retain its beauty. This, however, gives no guarantee that the natural color of the cedar decking will not fade away. The natural lifespan of a cedar deck is between fifteen to twenty years on average
One of the things you should keep in mind when looking for the appropriate material for your decking needs is maintenance. Although treated decking is cost-effective, you need to factor in the costs of sealing, staining or painting each year. You will also be required to wait – which may be from two weeks to six months, depending on the environment as well as the type of pressure-treated process it has undergone – to paint, stain or seal a treated deck after each new build. Power washing your treated decking at least once a year is required before you re-stain it. The average lifespan of treated decking ranges between ten to fifteen years, and this depends on your environment and maintenance.
The use of this sturdy, synthetic material for decking has grown in popularity over the past few years. It is newer than composites and much more expensive compared to other types of decking. Composite brands such as Wolf and Fiberon also have PVC line, too. Not only is it durable, but PVC is also capped on three sides, similar to composites. It has a better tendency than composites to expand or contract according to changes to the weather. PVC decking is commonly used in water applications and has been found to be slip resistant, although this property varies from one brand to the other. PVC decking is also apparently resistant to rot and come with fade and stain warranties.
Composite decking is revered for its durability and strength. It is one of the most popular decking materials and made from materials that have undergone recycling such as sawdust, plastic bags, etc. Some composite decking is capped on three sides – sometimes, on four sides though this depends on the brand you select or go with. One cap prevents moisture and water from penetrating while another prevents staining and fading of colors. This is the most significant complaints lodged by users against composites. Composite decking also comes with embossed patterns that make it resemble natural wood grain as well as for aesthetic purposes and to minimize slippage. Some composite decking comes with variations in color while others come with solid colors to imitate natural wood. Almost all composite deck brands offer rot, splintering, fade, stain, and decay warranties which can cover as much as 25 years, depending on the brand.