What is the coolest material for a deck?

By Coowin |
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If you are looking to build a new deck outside of your house, it is important to choose the right materials. There are many different deck materials to choose from. Each material has its own maintenance needs, long-term costs, and total investment value.

Traditional wood decking and new composite decking are both types of deck materials. However, not all deck materials are created equal. To make the best investment in your home, you need to find a deck material that fits your lifestyle.

Learn about the most popular deck materials in this guide. This will help you make the best choice.

Pressure-Treated WoodPremium Softwoods and HardwoodsComposite DeckingPVC Decking
Typically made from pine and placed in a pressure chamberTypically made from Ipe, cedar, or redwoodTypically made from a blend of wood and plasticTypically made from polypropylene (PP) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Hardwoods and Quality Softwoods

When you think about building a deck, the first thing that comes to mind is probably traditional wood. There’s a reason for this; traditional wood is strong and will give your deck the natural look you want.

From softwood to hardwood, different types of wood can be used to make a traditional wooden deck.

Hardwood Decks

Hardwood is one of the two types of wood that can be used to make a deck. In most cases, this wood is teak, but it can also be mahogany, tiger bark, or other rare hardwoods.

Although hardwoods last longer than softwoods, they can still lose some of their value over time due to factors such as water damage and weathering.

Because of their density, exotic hardwoods like Ipe are very strong and can last a long time. But when they are exposed to UV light, they quickly turn from a rich hue to gray.

Hardwoods are also usually more expensive upfront than some lumber and composite decking. However, they don’t last as long and require a lot of maintenance to keep them looking good.

Softwood Decking

Another type of wood that can be used for decking is softwood, which includes species such as cedar and redwood.

And, in the long run, this type of wood brings less value. The reason for this is that softwoods are not as protective as manufactured wood. So over time, they require more repairs or replacement.

The choice of material

On top of that, wood decks usually need to go through a number of steps to protect the surface of the wood, such as:

  • Staining: when staining the boards, use tinted chemicals to prevent the color of the stencil from fading and to prolong its life.
  • Sealing: a clear or translucent sealer is applied on top of the deck boards to create a temporary barrier against water penetration.

Regular maintenance and upkeep work is important for wood decks. Every two to five years, you will need to sand and paint your wood deck again. Every one to three years, you will need to seal it again. As you can see, if you need a low-maintenance deck, then a wood deck may not be the best choice for you.

For the price, a standard wood deck seems like a better option. However, the upfront cost of maintenance and other aspects of the deck while keeping it in place can be high.

For example, an IPE deck costs about $14,000 upfront, which includes stain and sealant as well as construction costs. That doesn’t include an additional $400 per year for maintenance.

What is the most suitable building material

Additionally, regular maintenance doesn’t stop traditional wood from breaking down over time. So you’ll have to buy new boards, which will add to your deck budget.

Natural look and feel
Generally strong • High-maintenance
High costs
Will deteriorate over time

Decks Made of Pressure-treated Wood

Pressure-treated lumber is another popular option for wood decks. This wood (usually pine) is placed in a chamber and then pressure is applied to it like a chamber and then it is sealed to keep it secure.

Most people consider this to be one of the best ways to protect traditional softwood decking because it prevents the boards from eroding. Pressure-treating provides more security for the boards than staining and sealing.

While pressure treating may sound amazing, it does not turn wood into an inorganic material. And all organic materials erode. When the soil is wet or full of oxygen, there are few treatments that can stop bacteria and fungi from growing on fragile wood.

In addition, these materials have less long-term value because they are not as protective as other decking materials. Over time, they will require more repairs and even replacement, which will increase their maintenance costs.

Introduction of building materials

Pressure-treated lumber is usually less expensive, making it attractive to those looking for a cheaper decking option. However, it can be more difficult to maintain, as this material can warp, crack, and rot over time, which can be costly to fix.

The upfront cost of a pressure-treated deck is about $8,800, which includes stain and sealant as well as construction costs. On top of that, you’ll need to spend an additional $350 per year for maintenance such as sanding, staining, and sealing.

Cheaper upfront costs
Natural look and feel
Can withstand mold and insects for a short amount of time.
Need to be sealed and stained often
Tend to warp and crack
Higher maintenance costs

Composite Decking

If you want a high-performance deck that requires less maintenance and comes in a variety of styles, Composite decking boards may be the way to go.

Composite decking is made of recycled plastic and wood fibers in roughly equal proportions. If you care about the environment, COOWIN composite decking has you covered. This means you can build an eco-friendly deck that looks just like wood.

When it comes to composite decking materials, you have two options:

  • Uncapped composite decking: Without the protective caps on composite decking boards, it is standard composite decking.
  • Capped composite decking: By adding a protective polymer shell to the core of standard composite decking, it is capped composite decking. this type of composite decking board has even better resistance and other properties. This means your deck will look and work better for years to come because it is better protected.

A mix of recycled plastic and wood fibers may make the boards more weather-resistant. However, if you choose an open composite decking material, water can still easily get into the core of the boards.

Uncapped composite decking is harder to clean than capped composite decking. But it’s still easier to clean and maintain than traditional wood decking.

composite decking designs

The upfront cost of materials isn’t the only factor that affects your project budget and total cost. You also need to consider the long-term value of the material. In terms of price, composite decking is usually a bit more expensive than standard wood decking at the outset of purchase. But they are also easy to care for, so you can spend less time cleaning your deck and more time enjoying it.

Composite decking boards cost about $9,800 upfront, which includes materials and construction costs. Maintenance costs, on the other hand, average just $120 per year.

High performance
Higher upfront costs

PVC Decking

Deck boards made of PVC usually have a three or four-sided cover and are made from a blend of plastics. These plastics are most commonly polypropylene and/or polyvinyl chloride. The best capped polymers (PVC) do not contain any wood in the cap or core.

This flooring material is very valuable in the long term because it lasts longer and doesn’t require much maintenance. Most high-quality PVC trim boards allow you to choose from a range of types and colors.

If you want a long-lasting and durable product, PVC trim board is a good choice, especially if you’re going to be putting it in wet areas. You can walk on it barefoot and it won’t get hot, so you won’t have to worry about the summer sun.

non slip composite decking

If the environment is important to you, PVC trim boards usually have less recycled material than composite decking materials.

PVC decking is one of the more expensive options as far as the cost of deck installation goes. However, it is about the same price as quality hardwood, sometimes even less. Including the price of labor and materials, PVC decking can cost close to $12,000 upfront. However, annual maintenance costs only about $110.  

High performance
Real wood look
Higher upfront costs
Less recycled material than composite

How to Pick the Best Material for Your Deck

To choose the best material for your deck, you need to consider how the deck is designed to look, how you plan to use it, and how much time you have to keep it clean.

We know that price and maintenance are the two things people think about the most when picking deck materials. To us, the less maintenance required, the more advanced the technology. This is because engineered decking materials can last through harsh weather.

What is most important to you will help you choose the best deck material.


In Summary

Want a truly low-maintenance life? Choose a deck material that doesn’t require too much maintenance, like PVC decking or composite decking boards.

For those who want to stay cool, COOWIN composite decking is that material. It can withstand water without being damaged.

If price is important to you, pressure-treated wood and some composite materials are usually the cheapest decking materials.

When building an outdoor living space, you want to make sure that the investment will add value to your home. However, deciding which deck material to use can be difficult.

COOWIN’s line of composite decking and capped composite decking are both high-performance and low-maintenance. They will enhance the value of your home by maintaining its beauty for years to come.

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