Why Worry About the Best Material For a Deck?

A good deck needs to be strong and long-lasting, while looking great. In many homes, a well-designed deck can add a lot of balance and beauty. A lot of this comes from selecting the best material for a deck. A heavy, dark wood deck can look great in certain homes, yet be completely out of place in others. Some modern home designs even use aluminum decking material to enhance the structure’s look. 

If you make a mistake in choosing the best material for a deck, you either spend more money on new decking or learn to live with the results! In some cases, that can also be a safety problem – poor choice of decking material can cause injuries to your family and guests. 

What Factors Affect Your Choice of Deck Material?

Durability: Your deck needs to last for years, if not decades! During that all time, your family and friends will be using it. So choosing the best material for a deck becomes important in building long-lasting, sturdy decking. 

Environment: Your local weather conditions are another important factor in selecting the best material for a deck. We all know that certain types of natural wood can begin to warp and bend if exposed to high humidity. In other locations, extreme cold and snow could be the problem. Every type of decking material has pros and cons when it comes to dealing with the environment. 

Maintenance: While a well-designed deck can be a real plus for your home, you need to take care of it. The best material for a deck is one that you can take care of on a regular basis, within your budget. For example, certain hardwood decks look great, but are expensive to maintain. 

Cost: Building a deck is a long-term investment, both in terms of design and cost. You need to make sure you choose the decking material that you can afford today and include the cost of long-term maintenance.

Top Choices for the Best Material For a Deck

Natural Wood

A classic choice, natural wood continues to be popular. This can make the best material for a deck since it is easy to work with. However, wood reacts to the environment, reducing its long-term life. You also have the option of pressure-treated wood, which has increased durability.


Composite Lumber

Created by compressing wood fiber and plastic, composite materials are extremely lightweight, weather-resistant, and easy to maintain. However, they can be a bit more expensive than wood and may fade over time.


Metal (Aluminum)

While expensive, aluminum is light, very strong, and easy to install. If a modern design works for your home, aluminum can prove to the best material for a deck that needs near-zero maintenance for years. 


Plastic (Vinyl)

PVC is increasingly being used as a high-quality, lightweight decking material. While it costs more than wood, vinyl is nearly indestructible and very easy to take care of.

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself which material will give you the best appearance, lifespan and cost-effectiveness before you decide. Once you have articulated your priorities for the project, it will be much easier to choose which kind of decking to work with.