3 materials to consider when building a deck

3 materials to consider when building a deck

There are many different materials from which to choose when building a deck. If you’re looking to expand your outdoor space, consider these materials.


Within the wood category, you can choose from among several varieties.

Pressure-treated lumber. Typically pine that has been chemically conditioned to resist the elements and fungus, pressure-treated lumber is still the most commonly used decking material for homes. Pressure-treated lumber is among the most affordable decking materials and easiest to install. However, it is susceptible to splintering, warping and cracking. Homeowners should take care to properly maintain it through regular cleanings and wood preservation.

Rot-resistant woods. Some homeowners prefer woods, like redwood and cedar, that don’t have to be treated with chemicals. However, these woods, which are naturally resistant to insects and decay, are more expensive. To maintain these types of decks, it’s important to keep them regularly cleaned, preserved and stained.

Tropical hardwoods. Even more expensive woods are now being used for decking material, including Ipe, Brazilian cherry, tigerwood and cumaru. These woods are considered more aesthetically pleasing and provide durability and resistance to rotting. As with redwood and cedar, it’s important to regularly clean, preserve and stain these woods.

Recycled plastic lumber

For the environmentally conscious, decking material that has had a previous life is becoming an increasingly popular choice. This product, which is made from 100 percent plastic, is highly resistant to the elements, decay and won’t give you problems with splintering, warping and cracking. Advancements in technology have resulted in attractive options.


The options in composite decking, typically a combination of recycled plastics and wood fibers, are steadily expanding. One bamboo decking product, for example, is made from recycled bamboo fibers and recycled plastics. The final product combines the attractiveness of wood and the weather- and stain-resistance of plastics.

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