Choosing the type of decking systems to use need not be challenging. There are different deck designs, styles, and materials you can use for your project. Deciding upon the type of decking you want can be difficult since there are various materials available to choose from. For example, if you decide to choose timber, there are different types of wood and the type you select will impact the price and durability of your deck.
Nowadays, there are a lot of colours, surfaces and even composites that can affect the maintenance, lifespan, cost, and sustainability of your decking. Choosing the right deck can mean the difference between your deck lasting for 50 years or 5 years; between your project costing $10,000 or $2000.
Types of decking boards
We have summarized each of the main decking board types below. Remember that choosing the right decking board is dictated by personal preference and budget.
- Pressure-treated softwood
Low-cost decking wood that has been pressure treated to enhance its durability is a traditional deck-building material. These materials are very popular. While they are easy to install, if you use these boards, you should be prepared for the regular maintenance required.
- Hardwood boards
These types of timber decking materials are more expensive compared with pressure-treated wood. Hardwood boards are sourced from tropical trees. These materials are naturally resistant to splitting, warping, and rotting. However, they require regular maintenance. Timber is widely considered one of the most beautiful materials. So, if you are looking for a durable material that looks natural and of exceptional quality, then you should look for hardwood decking systems online.
- Composite boards
These materials are made of a recycled plastic mixture and wood flour. They are a newer decking material to the market and most composites come with a capped exterior to protect the boards from insects, mould, and moisture. This makes them a low maintenance option. A lot of retailers are confident in this material since they come with lifetime guarantees.
- PVC plastic boards
This material has similar characteristics to composites, however, PVC materials are made solely from plastic. They are easy to maintain since the materials do not split or warp like wood can. However, this is one of the most expensive materials on the market and can sometimes look artificial. Some are made to look exactly like wood.
Choosing the right boards for your needs
The type of board you choose depends on your requirements, taste, and budget. It is important to choose the option that will meet your needs other than choosing the most popular option. The simplest and most affordable decking boards are pressure-treated softwoods. These materials are widely available from most DIY stores and you can afford to be picky with who you purchase from. However, it is still crucial to purchase your boards from a reputable supplier. You may also risk poor quality boards that have been stored improperly and may be cracked and warped.
When choosing the right decking systems, another important thing to consider is affordability. It is important to choose something that is within your budget.
Written by WHIA Staff Lifestyle Writer Luke Bonaventura