• Niebuhr Collins posted an update 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    There are lots of decking materials on the market from wood, composite (wood-plastic blend) and vinyl/plastic. Wood tends to have lower initial cost but more maintenance effort and expense, specifically desired color is not natural weathered color. Wood appears like wood. Composites are usually in the center to high-end in initial cost, lower on maintenance effort and expense, and best for color retention. Composites do not look much like wood. Vinyl/plastic is usually the very best in initial cost, longest in expected service life, lowest in maintenance cost as well as, and just the thing for color retention. Vinyl/plastic also will not look just like wood.

    WOOD. Most decking installed in the U.S. is wood and quite a few wood decking is treated pine. Treated pine is treated to stop rot (CCA has been removed and possesses been replaced using ACQ & other remedies). They’re acronyms to the chemicals inside the treatments. The wood most often treated is southern yellow pine. The type of the wood itself, not the procedure, makes it susceptible to twisting, splitting, warping and splintering. Another woods available are cedar, redwood, IPE, Tigerwood, Massaranduba and Garapa.

    COMPOSITE. Composite decking is often a distant second in popularity after wood but has become more popular than ever in new deck installations and re-decks (re-use old deck framing and replace old deck boards and railing with new composite materials). "Composite" means that the decking is molded or extruded from a secret formula this is a mix of wood and plastic or vinyl. The wood is often a wood flour of assorted grinds and species. The plastic is most often polyethylene or polypropylene. There are various ratios of wood to plastic and various mixtures of recycled & virgin plastic. These things affect performance characteristics. Composite decking comes in regular plank, tongue & groove, grain finish, solids, and mixed colors.

    VINYL/PLASTIC. Vinyl/plastic decking is now very popular and it is primarily taking market share away from the composite deck segment. Decking profiles are usually plank but several manufacturers supplying a tongue & groove. Vinyl/plastic decking is available in a grain or smooth finish, solid colors, and mixed colors.

    Items to consider


    " Wood looks like hardwood and also the initial expense is lower with pine but not necessarily so with many of the other woods

    " Wood weathers and changes color – requires periodic cleaning and staining to keep a shade other than the naturally weathered color

    " Southern yellow pine splits, cracks and splinters after a while

    " Exotic woods like IPE, Tigerwood, Massaranduba and Garapa can be more expensive along with split and crack like pine.

    " Wood has to be replaced (usually before many other materials) at some time which varies with exposure, maintenance and luck

    " Wood requires some maintenance for the best performance and service life – usually pressure washed to acquire clean

    " Maintenance costs time and/or money and may offset any initial cost savings.


    " Initial expense is significantly more than pine, but similar to the exotic woods

    " Longer service life

    " Lower maintenance cost as well as than wood – usually cleaned using a power washer or a chemical solution wash & flush

    " No painting, staining or sealing

    " No splinters

    " Variety of colours

    " Variety of textures – embossed wood, grain, grooved, smooth

    " Mixed colors and grains

    " Hidden fasteners

    " May grow mildew and mold in the wood component – can be hard and troublesome to scrub completely

    " May stain – cleaning methods vary with kind of stain and wood component


    " Initial price is usually the same or higher than composites

    " Longer service life

    " Least level of maintenance and effort – usually cleaned having a water hose

    " No painting, staining or sealing

    " No splinters

    " Maintains original look and color long-term

    " Variety of colours with the exception of dark colors like brown

    " Variety of textures – embossed wood, grain, grooved, smooth

    " Mixed colors and grains

    " Hidden fasteners

    " No mold or mildew

    " No stains

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