Bob Vila Radio: What The Deck? Understanding The Many Options in Decking Materials

It's important to consider four things when picking out the material for a deck: budget, climate, ease of maintenance, and overall aesthetic. With those things in mind, keep reading to find the best decking material for your project.

Adding a deck? You have lots of materials to choose from.

Deck Materials Comparison



Listen to BOB VILA ON DECK MATERIAL OPTIONS or read below:

Natural wood is beautiful and durable, but can be expensive. You’ll need to pressure wash often and reseal every few years.

Pressure-treated lumber is another popular choice, and maybe more affordable. Added chemicals give it moisture and insect resistance, but they can be toxic, so use sealer to keep them covered. As with natural wood, you’ll want to pressure wash and re-stain on a regular basis.

Composite decking, made from recycled plastic and wood fibers, stays fresh-looking with minimal maintenance. But steer clear of dark-colored materials, which can get very hot in direct sunlight and slippery with mold and mildew in shady areas.

Plastic decking is the least natural in appearance, but stands up well over time and cleans easily. Be careful with color: darker options fade over time and lighter colors can look chalky.

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