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front doorWhen it comes to selecting the right kind of decking material, there are several options to choose from. The decking industry has come a long way in recent years in terms of product development, and now more than ever, builders and contractors have access to a wide range of low-maintenance decking materials that look great and offer outstanding durability.

Practically all decks use treated lumber for the framing and structural aspects, but the materials used for the actual decking can vary greatly. No matter which type of decking material that you choose, it will generally fall under two main categories: Wood or composite.

Wood Decking

Pressure Treated Decking – One of the most common types of wood decking material in use today is pressure treated decking, which is typically made of Southern Yellow Pine that has been chemically treated to resist termites and decay. It offers wonderful versatility in terms of blending into a variety of natural landscapes, and you can customize its look by staining it in the color of your choice. Pressure treated decking is considered to be one of the most economical yet durable options for builders and contractors to use to add quality and value to their project.

Mahogany Decking – This is an excellent choice if you’re looking to add an exotic look to your deck. Philippine mahogany in particular is a popular material due to its clean and clear look (i.e., no knots). When it comes to sealing, it’s recommended that you take an all-or-nothing approach to mahogany decking, meaning you either seal all six sides (top, bottom, ends and edges) or leave it completely unsealed, allowing for ample air flow around each side to prevent any kind of premature wear (splitting, cracking, etc.).

Cedar Decking – Another popular choice when you’re trying to achieve a natural yet traditional look is cedar decking. This versatile wood is naturally resistant to termites and decay, but it should be noted that the softness of cedar doesn’t lend itself to high-traffic areas.

Composite Decking

First introduced in the early 1990s, composite decking has become the most popular option for deck building due to its high level of durability and minimal maintenance requirements. Made from a combination of wood and recycled plastic fibers, composite decking comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, many of which look indistinguishable from real wood.

One of the main benefits of composite decking is that it never needs to be sealed or stained, and it won’t split, splinter or warp for the duration of its useful life. One minor drawback to composite decking is that it can stain, and will need to be washed immediately should anything be spilled on it that can cause a stain. But many of the new composite decking materials are available with a PVC cap to prevent this, and most stains can be eliminated.

Keep in mind that because composite decking is made from both wood and plastic, it’s more flexible than wood, which means that it will require more support in terms of framing to avoid slumping or sagging. For this reason, if you choose composite decking, make sure to construct the framing and structural elements of the deck according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

PVC Decking

PVC material is resistant to staining, molding and scratching, and can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Several different patterns and colors are available with PVC decking, giving builders and contractors an array of options that are comparable to composite decking.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed when you’re trying to narrow down your choices for decking materials. Fortunately, Nisbet Brower has simplified the entire process for you by offering builders and contractors a one-stop shop for all of your deck building needs. No matter what the size or scope of your next deck project may be, our professional expertise and vast selection of decking materials will enable you to achieve the aesthetic appeal and solid durability that will not only reflect your high standard of quality, but also earn rave reviews from your clients as well.