Material Types

Pressure Treated (Green Treated)

Cost Level: $-$$

Why Pressured Treated? If economy and longevity is what you’re looking for, then pressure-treated wood may be what you’re looking for. It’s stainable and hard enough to resist abuse. Standard treated decking is less than cedar and composite materials.

Cedar

Cost Level: $$-$$$

Why Cedar? If the natural look of wood is tops on your list, use cedar. The heartwood of the tree (the deeper colored red part, not the white sap part) is rot resistant. Cedar doesn’t readily absorb moisture— and, since moisture is what creates twisting and splitting, cedar decking tends to lie flat and straight. You can expect a lifespan of 15 to 20 years for cedar wood deck boards, but it can deteriorate faster when used for ground-level decks and for shaded decks that are slow to dry out.

Composite

Cost Level: $$$-$$$$

Why Composite? If near-zero maintenance is your goal, composite decking is your answer. Most composite deck materials are made from recycled plastic and wood chips or sawdust. It’s more expensive than cedar for a wood deck, but once it’s down, it won’t rot, splinter or twist. Additionally, the color change is even. You can even stain most types after four to six months. Since the material is defect free, you can use every inch. Maintenance involves spraying it off with a hose.

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