Your home's decking materials are very important, both for the appearance and the durability of the deck itself. The materials you choose will also affect how the deck feels underfoot, making it more or less comfortable for walking and lounging. Because there are so many materials on the market today, note a few important details you don't want to overlook when choosing your home's decking materials.
Natural wood can offer the most attractive look for a home's deck, and timber coordinates with both brick and aluminium siding, so it can be the right choice no matter the exterior materials of your home. Natural wood also has a certain texture to the surface, so it can be the safest choice for a deck near a pool or for rainy areas, as smoother surfaces generally become more slippery when they're wet, creating a slipping hazard. Timber also stays cool in the sun, so if your deck gets lots of sun exposure, this can be the right choice. You can also more easily paint and stain timber decking, so it's good for those who may want to change the look of their deck more often.
Composite and synthetic
Composite decking is made with wood chips or sawdust, along with plastic pieces and adhesives that are all mixed together and then pressed into slats or boards. Composites won't rot or fade, and they can be cool underfoot, but they also usually look and feel more artificial than real timber.
Synthetic materials such as PVC can be pressed and stained to resemble wood, but they will still look and feel like plastic. Synthetics are less prone to scratching than other materials, so they're good for high-traffic decks, or if you'll be storing anything on the deck that would otherwise scratch timber, such as sporting goods, bikes or lawn care tools.
Metal is very durable and strong, but it does hold heat and cold, so it's not good for areas with extremes in temperature. However, you can clean metal decking with just a simple power washing, and it's not likely to show scuff marks or stains. The natural material of metal may also be more attractive than synthetics, and it works well against any exterior home material. Also, if the sunroom or other space leading to the deck has timber flooring that is difficult to match, you might choose a metal deck that coordinates with that flooring, rather than opting for a timber species or colour that might outright clash with it.