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Which Material is The Best to Use for Building a Deck

Which Material is The Best to Use for Building a Deck

There are many materials available for use when it comes to building a new deck, a new addition, expansion, or doing a restoration. The material you use will not only make a difference in the overall look and feel of your deck, but will also affect the longevity and maintenance costs of your build. This is because organic materials break down more rapidly than artificial or man-made materials. 

Organic Decking Materials

Decking made from natural materials has always been the top choice for homeowners that want something aesthetically pleasing with the added benefit of offering a truly organic touch and feel. Another advantage of choosing natural materials is the choices in color and texture. 

Webfoot Painting offers decking in several natural, wood materials including:

Northern White Cedar

A popular choice for decks, cedar is long-lasting, and resistant to moisture, rot, and insects.

Western Red Cedar

Much like its close relative, white cedar, the western red cedar used is not only durable, but also—as you may have guessed—a uniquely pleasing red hue.


Long-lasting beauty makes redwood another popular choice for deck building. Known for its weather-resistance, carpentry projects completed with redwood resist warping and stand the test of time.


A material that soaks up wood stains nicely, Mahogany is a solid choice that will look great year after year.


Known as one of the densest wood species on the planet, ipe is sustainable, eco-friendly, and naturally resistant to fire.


With a reputation for being used in high-end carpentry, teak is a quality and well-known material available in an attractive golden hue.


Fir is a popular choice in carpentry for its versatility. With its flexibility, coupled with a superb strength to weight ratio, fir lends itself well to a decking material.

Benefits of Using Natural Materials for Your Decking Needs

Advantages of using organic materials for your deck include that they are:


Stain can breathe new life into your deck; with a fresh coat of stain you can make a worn out or otherwise unsightly deck appear brand new. 

Easily Repaired

Natural wood decking is forgiving if you need to repair a few boards, a railing, or deck skirting.


Responsibly sourced wood is not only sustainable, but it is also biodegradable; this makes it the perfect choice for those trying to be conscious of their impact on our environment.

Man-Made Decking Materials

Although decking created from composite materials is historically known to be a costly option, composite decking has always been an economical alternative to traditional wooden decks. The recent increased cost of cedar due to a rise in importation tariffs from Canada has made investing in a composite deck more affordable than ever.

Today there are more than 50 different composite decking products available on the market making it widely available in many brands, finishes, textures and colors.1 

Just be sure to check that your chosen deck material has been approved for use in your local area. Some materials may not be allowed for use due to issues with weather causing premature rotting and decay. Purchasing these prohibited materials could affect how quickly you are approved for a building permit, should you need one.

Capped Composite Decking

A high-end yet eco-friendly choice, and touted as being one of the most durable decking solutions on the market, composite decking comes in a variety of designs, colors, materials, textures and installation systems. Composed with as much as 95% recycled material (Trex), composite decking will run you between $3 to $6 per linear foot before installation. This would not include additional materials like fasteners, substructure, hangers, and other necessary items.  Popular brands of composite decking include Trex, TimberTech, and Fiberon.2

Capped Polymer Decking

A decking solution made completely from PVC, this material does not contain any wooden fibers. Like composite decking, capped polymer decking is durable and resists fading, scratches, and stains. This 100% plastic decking is priced between $5 and $8 per linear foot. Well-known brands include Teva, Azek, and Zuri.2

Benefits of Using Composite Materials for Your Deck Build

Advantages of using composite materials for your deck include that they are:


Composite decking will never need to be repainted, stained, or refinished.

Low Maintenance

Man-made decking materials are less expensive to maintain; these materials won’t splinter, crack, or warp. 


Decking made from composite is eco-friendly in that many of the materials used include wood scraps and recycled plastics.

Which Material is The Best to Use for Building a Deck?

Both natural decking and composite decking have their respective places in carpentry. Wooden decking is still very popular and for good reason—there is so much to love about it—it smells wonderful and looks darn good. Composite decking on the other hand has very low maintenance costs. Manufactured decking materials have come a long way since they were first introduced in the late 1900s. The answer is to find out what works for your lifestyle and budget.

One consideration when purchasing a wooden deck is maintenance costs. Decks made from wood need to be maintained on a regular basis. Without ongoing maintenance, a wooden deck is sure to suffer from the abuse of seasonal weather changes and foot traffic (Fido’s paws included).

If you intend on purchasing a wooden deck, you will need to consider how much time and money you are willing to invest in your deck for the long haul. Refinishing includes sanding and re-staining your deck at least every other season to prevent splintering and deterioration. 

Composite decking comes in a variety of colors and finishes like wooden decking. However, it is not as easy to make repairs to a composite deck as it is to a wooden deck. This decking material is very durable, but if boards become severely scratched or damaged, they can’t be sanded or refinished and will have to be replaced. Not to fret though, replacement boards and pieces are easy to match—something that can be a challenge where wooden decks are concerned. Another great advantage to owning a composite deck is that it comes with a warranty to resist staining or fading—25 years in many cases!

If you’re ready to take on a decking project but are still unsure about which material is right for you, the carpentry experts at Webfoot Painting are here to help! We are happy to answer any questions you might have about building a new deck, deck restoration, or obtaining a deck permit. You can also head over to our blog and find out more about what factors influence the cost of a new deck. Wanna leave it to the pros? Give us a call or request a quote for your new dream deck by filling out our online contact form




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