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  • warmalloy9 posted an update 1 week, 6 days ago

    There are several decking materials on the market today from wood, composite (wood-plastic blend) and vinyl/plastic. Wood has a tendency to have lower initial cost but more maintenance effort and cost, especially if the desired color is not natural weathered color. Wood appears like wood. Composites are generally at the center to top quality in initial cost, lower on maintenance effort and value, and great for color retention. Composites don’t look exactly like wood. Vinyl/plastic is commonly the greatest in initial cost, longest in expected service life, lowest in maintenance cost and, and perfect for color retention. Vinyl/plastic also doesn’t look the same as wood.

    WOOD. Most decking positioned in the U.S. is wood and many wood decking is treated pine. Treated pine is treated to stop rot (CCA has become removed and it has been replaced with ACQ & other treatments). They are acronyms for the chemicals within the treatments. The wood most commonly treated is southern yellow pine. The nature in the wood itself, not the therapy, can make it at risk of twisting, splitting, warping and splintering. Some other woods available are cedar, redwood, IPE, Tigerwood, Massaranduba and Garapa.

    COMPOSITE. Composite decking is a distant second in popularity after wood but has become accepted ever in new deck installations and re-decks (re-use old deck framing and replace old deck boards and railing with new composite materials). "Composite" ensures that the decking is molded or extruded from a secret formula that’s a mix of wood and plastic or vinyl. The wood is a wood flour of numerous grinds and species. The plastic is often times polyethylene or polypropylene. There are numerous ratios of wood to plastic and various mixtures of recycled & virgin plastic. Many of these things affect performance characteristics. Composite decking can be found in regular plank, tongue & groove, grain finish, solids, and mixed colors.

    VINYL/PLASTIC. Vinyl/plastic decking is now popular and is also primarily taking market share out of the composite deck segment. Decking profiles are typically plank however with a number of manufacturers supplying a tongue & groove. Vinyl/plastic decking is available in a grain or smooth finish, solids, and mixed colors.

    Areas to consider


    " Wood appears like real wood and also the initial price is lower with pine however, not necessarily so with some of the other woods

    " Wood weathers and changes color – requires periodic cleaning and staining to keep a colour other than the naturally weathered color

    " Southern yellow pine splits, cracks and splinters as time passes

    " Exotic woods like IPE, Tigerwood, Massaranduba and Garapa are more expensive along with split and crack like pine.

    " Wood have to be replaced (usually before many other materials) at some point which varies with exposure, maintenance and luck

    " Wood requires some maintenance for best performance fix life – usually pressure washed to have clean

    " Maintenance costs time and/or money and may offset any initial personal savings.


    " Initial expense is significantly higher than pine, but just like the exotic woods

    " Longer service life

    " Lower maintenance cost and than wood – usually cleaned with a pressure washer or even a chemical solution wash & flush

    " No painting, staining or sealing

    " No splinters

    " Variety of colors

    " Variety of textures – embossed wood, grain, grooved, smooth

    " Mixed colors and grains

    " Hidden fasteners

    " May grow fungus within the wood component – can be challenging and troublesome to wash completely

    " May stain – cleaning methods vary with kind of stain and wood component


    " Initial charges are the same or higher than composites

    " Longer service life

    " Least amount of maintenance and – usually cleaned using a hose pipe

    " No painting, staining or sealing

    " No splinters

    " Maintains original look and color lasting

    " Variety of colors apart from dark colors like brown

    " Variety of textures – embossed wood, grain, grooved, smooth

    " Mixed colors and grains

    " Hidden fasteners

    " No mold or mildew

    " No stains

    More information about

    ipe deck wood see this useful webpage

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