Popular Deck Materials for Your Outdoor Oasis

Discover the best decking materials for your deck project. From natural wood to modern metal options, find the perfect deck material for your outdoor living space!
Veda Yalamanchili
Veda Yalamanchili
Last Update:
March 22, 2024

Are you dreaming of a new deck to enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends? Whether you want to create a cozy lounge area, a dining space, or a play zone for your kids, a deck can transform your outdoor living space and add value to your home. But before you start your deck project, you need to choose the best decking material for your needs and preferences. There are many types of decking materials available on the market, each with its pros and cons. How do you know which one is right for you? In this blog post, we will help you understand your deck material options and guide you through the factors to consider when choosing the best deck material for your outdoor oasis.

Understanding Your Deck Material Options

Pressure-Treated Wood Decking

This is a popular choice for homeowners looking to build a new deck. The wood is treated under high pressure with chemicals to resist rot, decay, and termites, making it a durable option. However, the chemicals can make the pressure-treated lumber look less natural than untreated wood. It requires regular maintenance, including annual power washing and a coat of stain every two to three years. Despite these upkeep requirements, its durability and affordability make it a common choice for deck building.

Cedar Decking

Cedar decking

Cedar is a softwood that is more resistant to weather and insects than pine, making it a better choice for outdoor living spaces. It has a beautiful natural look and is less likely to warp and crack than other types of wood, but it requires regular maintenance to keep its look. This includes annual cleaning and sealing to protect the wood from moisture and sunlight. Despite the maintenance costs, many homeowners choose cedar for its rich color and natural resistance to decay.

Redwood Decking

Redwood decking

Known for its beautiful red color and straight-grain patterns, redwood is more resistant to shrinking, warping, and splintering than other woods. However, it’s more expensive and requires regular maintenance to prevent color fading. Redwood is a softwood, but it’s one of the more durable types of wood available. It’s also naturally resistant to rot and insects, making it a long-lasting choice for a deck.

Mahogany Decking

Mahogany decking is a popular choice among homeowners and builders for its unique blend of aesthetic appeal and practicality. The wood from these trees is known for its rich, red-brown color and straight, fine-grain pattern, which gives mahogany decks a sleek, polished look that is hard to replicate with other materials. One of the key advantages of mahogany decking is its durability. Mahogany is a dense, exotic hardwood that is highly resistant to rot and decay. This makes it one of the best materials for outdoor applications, where it is exposed to the elements. In addition, mahogany is naturally resistant to insects, including termites, which can cause significant damage to other types of wood decking.

Teak Decking

Teak decking

Teak decking is another high-end option that offers many benefits. One advantage of teak decking is its low maintenance requirements. Unlike other wood decking materials, teak does not need to be stained or sealed to maintain its color and protect it from UV damage. Instead, it can be left to weather naturally, which will cause it to turn a beautiful silver-gray color over time. However, teak decking is not without its drawbacks. One of the main disadvantages is its high cost, which can be prohibitive for some homeowners. In addition, teak is a slow-growing tree, which means that it is not as sustainable as other types of wood decking.

Ipe Decking

Ipe decking is a type of hardwood decking that is known for its extreme hardness and durability. Ipe, also known as Brazilian Walnut, is a dense, heavy wood that is native to South America. It is one of the hardest woods available, which makes it an excellent choice for decking. Ipe has a rich, dark brown color and a straight, tight wood grain that gives it a sleek, modern look. It’s resistant to rot, insects, and even fire. However, it’s one of the most expensive options and can be difficult to install. Ipe is highly resistant to wear and tear, which means that it can withstand heavy foot traffic and last for many years with minimal maintenance.

Cumaru Decking

Cumaru decking

Also known as Brazilian Teak, Cumaru is another durable and beautiful tropical hardwood. It’s less expensive than Ipe but offers similar benefits. However, like Ipe, it requires a significant amount of effort to install. The rich, deep red or maroon color of Cumaru adds a touch of elegance to any outdoor living space. Cumaru’s high density makes it resistant to rot, decay, and pests, ensuring your deck withstands the elements for many years. However, this density can make installation a bit challenging, requiring careful planning and execution. Regular maintenance, including applying a UV sealant and regular washing, is necessary to maintain its vibrant color and prevent wear and tear.

Bamboo Decking

Bamboo decking

Bamboo decking is a unique and eco-friendly choice for outdoor spaces. Its rapid growth rate makes it a sustainable option, contributing to its increasing popularity among homeowners and builders. The natural beauty of bamboo, with its distinctive grain patterns and warm tones, can enhance any deck design, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication. Whether you’re aiming for a modern minimalist look or a traditional rustic style, bamboo decking can be adapted to suit your aesthetic preferences. Its natural resistance to moisture and insects, coupled with its impressive durability, makes it an excellent choice for decking.

Eucalyptus Decking

Eucalyptus decking is an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking a durable, eco-friendly option for their outdoor spaces. This type of decking is made from hardwood known for its natural resistance to rot and insects, making it a long-lasting choice for decks. The wood has a beautiful, rich color that can range from a light tan to a deep brown, adding a touch of elegance to any deck design. Eucalyptus decking is also relatively easy to install and requires minimal maintenance, making it a practical choice for those who prefer a low-maintenance deck.

Composite Decking

Composite decking

Composite decking is a popular choice for homeowners seeking a low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood decking. It is made from a combination of wood fibers and plastic materials, resulting in a durable, weather-resistant product that mimics the look of real wood. Composite decking materials come in a variety of colors and grain patterns, and they require minimal upkeep. Whether you’re creating a cozy backyard retreat or a sprawling outdoor entertainment area, composite boards can be tailored to fit your vision.

Aluminum Decking

Aluminum decking is a modern and innovative choice for homeowners seeking a blend of style and functionality. Known for its exceptional durability and resistance to elements, aluminum decking is a practical choice for those who value longevity. Its sleek, metallic aesthetic offers a contemporary edge to any outdoor space, making it a standout choice for modern deck designs. Aluminum decking is available in a variety of colors and finishes, allowing homeowners to customize their outdoor spaces to their liking.

Steel Decking

Steel decking

Steel decking is a robust and innovative choice for those seeking a blend of durability and modern design for their outdoor spaces. Known for its exceptional strength and resistance to elements, steel decking is a practical choice for those who value longevity and structural integrity. Its sleek, metallic aesthetic offers a contemporary edge to any outdoor space, making it a standout choice for modern deck designs.

Vinyl Decking (PVC Decking)

Vinyl, or PVC decking, is a synthetic decking material that offers a unique blend of aesthetics and practicality. It is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin that is engineered to resist fading, staining, scratching, and mold growth. This low-maintenance plastic decking comes in various colors and styles, allowing homeowners to create a deck that truly reflects their style. While PVC decking may have a higher upfront cost than some other materials, its longevity and ease of maintenance make it a worthwhile investment.

Glass Decking

Glass decking is a modern and stylish decking option for outdoor spaces. It uses thick, tempered glass panels instead of traditional wood or composite decking materials. These panels provide a clear, unobstructed view of the surrounding area, making it ideal for homes with scenic views. Glass decking is a durable choice, as tempered glass is strong and resistant to cracks and shattering. However, glass decking can be more expensive than other materials upfront. Additionally, it may not provide as much traction as wood or composite decking, especially when wet.

Concrete Decking

Concrete decking

Concrete decking is a strong and durable option for outdoor spaces. It is made from a mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water, creating a solid surface that can withstand heavy use and harsh weather conditions. Concrete decks are low-maintenance and easy to clean, requiring just a regular sweep or hose down to keep them looking great. While concrete decking may not have the natural beauty of wood or the variety of colors of composite materials, it offers a practical and long-lasting solution for patios, pool decks, and outdoor entertaining areas.

Comparing Deck Materials

Comparing Deck Materials


Choosing a deck material is not an easy task. There are many types of decking materials available in the market, each with its pros and cons. However, by considering the factors that we discussed in this blog post, such as lifespan, maintenance costs and upkeep, climate and weather conditions, color options and grain patterns, and DIY-friendliness, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and preferences. You can also use our tips on how to choose the best deck material based on your deck design.

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