As the traditional decking material, wood has many great qualities. Most varieties are either naturally weather-resistant or can be treated to be so. With a little regular maintenance, wood can enjoy a long life.
- Pressure-Treated Wood: This material is easy to stain and waterproof, and it tends to be very affordable. It requires constant maintenance in the form of resealing, restaining and cleaning. Pressure-treated wood is one of the least expensive decking materials.
- Tropical Hardwood: This material is more difficult to work with than traditional wood, and installation can be a demanding job. Tropical hardwood naturally resists bugs and rot, and it lasts a long time with regular maintenance. This is one of the most expensive decking materials
- Treated Pine: Treated pine is a timber which has been impregnated with a chemical solution containing two major components; fungicide and insecticide giving it a long term resistance to decay, insects and other wood destroying organisms. This effective and long lasting protection makes it very durable to applications exposed to the elements such as pergolas, retaining walls, gazebos and cladding.
- Merbau: Merbau is a popular hardwood derived largely from areas in South East Asia, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific islands, and northern Queensland. With its high degree of natural durability and strength it is used externally in engineering, construction and marine applications. Merbau also features in backyards as outdoor furniture, and internally in a range of joinery, flooring, decking and other uses.
Made with recycled plastic, this material is a great eco-friendly choice. It resists rotting and warping, and it also lasts for years with little maintenance.
A newer material on the market, composite decks typically last longer with less maintenance. Unlike wood, composite boards won't rot or crack. They do, however, cost more up front. One of the more expensive types of composite decking material is Trex. Trex is virtually maintenance free, comes with a 25 years materials warranty and doesn't require annual or bi-annual oiling and cleaning.
As a synthetic material, vinyl has many benefits. It resists moisture, so you don't have to worry about rotting or sealing. You'll never have a termite problem with a vinyl deck, either. Note that vinyl tends to be moderately priced, but some versions might not look like natural wood.