Pros and Cons of Common Decking Materials

August 17, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

While wooden decks might be the most traditional type of deck, today there are many different material options you can use when working with a remodeling company in Midland, MI to construct a deck. If you’re preparing to build a brand new deck for your home, it’s important to you take the time to consider the various pros and cons of these different types of materials to help you make your decision.

With this in mind, here are some of the pros and cons of the most common decking materials.


Wood is perhaps the most traditional decking material, and continues to be the most popular choice for residential deck projects. It provides an authentic appearance and a natural warmth that’s certain to add aesthetic appeal to your home. Plus, it just smells good! There are some types of wood that are extremely inexpensive, especially softwoods, giving you the possibility to have a very economically friendly deck.

However, other types of woods (especially hardwoods like ipe) can be extremely expensive. Wood also requires maintenance—unmaintained wood will split, crack and change color over time, and you need to frequently refinish it every few years.


Synthetic composite decking materials are quickly shooting up the list of the most popular decking materials for residential uses. This is largely due to their being highly weather- and stain-resistant, especially compared to standard wood. They are lightweight and low-maintenance, which makes them easy to work with, and do not splinter or rot.

However, some types of composite materials will look very obviously fake or cheap, and can be slippery depending on the type or brand. They also can be susceptible to mold or mildew, especially in shade, and will still show signs of age and decay eventually. Some even sag and bend more than wood.

Pressure-treated wood

Some types of less-durable woods are pressure-treated to make them more resistant to the outdoor elements. This wood is much cheaper than other types of wood, and also more highly available in some areas. It is designed for surface decking and structural woodwork outdoors.

However, it also has an unnatural color, can warp easily and contains chemical preservatives, so it’s not especially environmentally friendly. In some cases you will need to wait long after installation before you can apply a paint or stain.


Most plastic lumber is made out of a recycled polyethylene. It is highly weather-resistant, does not need to be stained (as it comes in colors already) and is very lightweight, so it’s easy to work with. You can also clean it off quite easily with a hose or mop. Because it’s fully recycled, it’s much better for the environment.

However, you’ll need to build up much more in the way of substructure than you would with wood, and its colors and textures don’t especially resemble wood in many cases.

This is just a little bit of helpful information to keep in mind when choosing decking materials. Contact a remodeling company in Midland, MI for more information.

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