Just like with many questions in life, the answer to what the best decking material is a simple but open-ended one; it depends. The choice of what to build that new deck out of can come down to a range of different variables. Preference, cost, style, location and just overall level of desired maintenance can really lead to the overall decision of what material you want to use for the deck.
With many materials come in a range of styles, finishes and even having to make the decision between tiles or boards- the building and designing of a deck really comes down to a case by case decision, so if you are not sure which way to go, let us help you decide.
There is nothing more classic than a timber decking. With a range of colours, stains and even types of wood, timber is not a straightforward choice, but it is definitely a popular choice.
Hardwood materials are made from tropical timbers or certain stronger species of oak, so they come in warmer colours and more resistant to warping or rotting, as the wood they are made from has evolved to withstand the elements.
If carefully cared for, you will get a lot of life out of your hardwood timber decking. Softwood timber decking may not be as resistant to the elements, but it is a lower cost, easy to install option. You can also stain softwood timber to get a warmer look.
Timber generally needs a lot more maintenance than other materials, regardless if it is softwood or hardwood, but it is a versatile material that when looked after correctly, will give you a wonderful looking deck.
If a high-maintenance deck does not sound appealing to you, but you still want the timber look, then investing in composite decking may be more suited to your deck. While it can be a little more expensive and is not as versatile, as it is not recommended to paint or stain composite decking, it does not require the maintenance that timber decking does.
Made from a blend of recycled wood fibres and plastics, and often coated to be UV resistant, composite decking is a great option, especially in the harsher parts of Australia. You do not have to worry as much about the decking warping or rotting, and it is more resistant to fading and scratching.
As mentioned before though, it can be a little more pricey and harder to install, but what you spend initially, you save in time and money maintaining the decking. Read this article on how much composite decking cost in Melbourne.
If you are not as hung up on having the timber looking that comes with using hardwood or softwood timber or even composite decking, then PVC can be a great option. It is low-cost, durable and easy to maintain. It is a very strong material as well, so like with composite decking, it does not require as much maintenance and you do not have to worry as much about cracking or splintering.
An option that is starting to increase in popularity, aluminium is one of the new materials on the block that has lent itself to creating phenomenal decking. Again, not having that timber look but do not hold that against it.
Alternatively, the look that comes with aluminium decking is quite a modern and contemporary look, that has quickly become a popular choice. It is durable, resistant to a lot of issues that can plague a timber deck and quite versatile in colours, aluminium is another excellent choice for that new deck.
At the end of the day, there are many options to choose from when it comes to building that new decking. Factors like your budget, what the decking is surrounding, your plans for the deck and the weather conditions where you live can influence any decision.
If you are planning to entertain regularly on your deck, you need a deck that can withstand heavy foot traffic but also looks the part.
If you are building your deck around an area like a swimming pool or you live in a city that experiences heavy rain, then picking a material that is more resistant to the damage caused by water and humidity may be the solid choice.
If you are committed to the timber look and do not mind the upkeep and staining of a timber deck, then it is a very viable option.
Composite decking may seem a bit costly at the start, but it may work out cheaper when compared to the upkeep or even just the amount of value it can add to the home.
Your new deck is a personal choice, so do your research and decide for yourself, what material is best for your decking requirements.