Pros and Cons of Decking Materials

choose decking materials based on your style and budget

A deck is a great space to gather and relax outside. During the warmer months, a deck is often a favorite place for cooking on the grill, lounging in the sun, or enjoying a pleasant evening outdoors. Whether it is a balcony or built around a pool, a deck increases your outdoor living space while adding to the value of your home. With a wide range of design options, it can be hard to know which decking material will work best for your space. In this article, we have outlined some of the pros and cons of various types of decking materials.

Commonly Available Decking Materials

Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is one of the most popular options when it comes to outdoor decking materials. In most cases, pine is used, but other types of wood can be pressure-treated as well. Maintenance is important for the longevity and safety of pressure-treated lumber.


  • The wood is chemically treated and durable.
  • Pressure-treated wood is an inexpensive option.
  • It is one of the easiest materials to work with.


  • This type of wood is high maintenance and requires sealing and painting every few years.
  • Pressure-treated lumber deteriorates over time, forming cracks and warping.


Tropical Hardwood

Tropical hardwoods are a true luxury choice when it comes to decking materials. There is a wide variety to choose from, such as Cumaru, Ipe, and Tigerwood. Tropical hardwoods are resistant to insects and are appealing because of their natural beauty.


  • Tropical woods are hard and grainy, which makes them resistant to factors such as insects and rotting. They are naturally durable.
  • They can be selected from sustainable sources, causing less impact on the environment.


  • Tropical hardwoods are costly.
  • They are fairly dense, making them harder to work with.
  • They are resistant to regular stains and sealers.


Aluminum Decking Materials

Though aluminum decks are not common, they are a good option. Aluminum offers a clean-cut looking deck with an industrial edge. Aluminum is a durable, long-lasting material for decking.


  • Aluminum decks are weather resistant.
  • They do not warp, crack, rot, rust, or splinter.
  • They are easy to maintain.
  • Though they are lighter than most of the other decking materials, they are much more durable.


  • The cost of aluminum decks is higher than most of the other options.
  • They can be noisy to walk on, especially while wearing shoes.
  • Aluminum decks are slippery when wet.



Like redwood, cedar is a popular decking material due to its vibrant color and gorgeous finish. Cedar is readily available in most parts of the country.


  • Though it is lightweight, cedar is durable.
  • It contains naturally occurring tannins and oils that make it resistant to natural elements such as rot and insects.


  • Cedar decking materials have a higher price range.
  • It may require occasional sealing and staining to prevent splinters and cracks.
  • If not well taken care of, its beautiful color will fade to a soft grey over time.

Many factors play a part in determining the best material to use for your deck. Look at the advantages and disadvantages of each material to choose the right option for your home and your budget.

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