Choose the Right Material: Decking

Not sure how to choose among the many types of decking material available? Learn about the offerings available and discover one that fits with your style and your budget.

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Decking 101: Pressure Treated

    This hardy exterior building product is an ideal material for places with high moisture or for installations that are in ground contact.

    -- It's rot and insect defiant
    -- Lumber will not swell, check, split or warp if treated properly
    -- Should be treated with a preservative to minimize shrinkage
    -- Needs to be washed once a year and finished with a preservative sealer
    -- Lasts up to 30 years with proper upkeep
    -- Cost: $1.20-$2 per square foot, uninstalled.

Decking 101: Redwood and Cedar

    Redwood and cedar are known for their durability. These two types of wood naturally resist insects and decay.

    -- Redwood is simple to stain and paint
    -- Lumber is fire resistant
    -- Soft surfaces make both woods prone to marring and denting
    -- Wash at least once a year
    -- Lasts 20 to 30 years
    -- Cost: $2-$3 per square foot, uninstalled

Decking 101: Wood and Plastic Composite

    Composite woods have the look and style of real wood, but don't rot, shrink, or splinter like the real thing.

    -- Available in a variety of colors and textures
    -- Can be cleaned with soap and water
    -- Does not need to be stained or painted yearly
    -- Dark colors may show weathering
    -- Warranties range from 10 years to life
    -- Cost: $1.75-$4.75 per square foot, uninstalled