Are you looking to enhance the aesthetic and functionality of your home? If so, you should consider installing a deck. Decks are not only great for outside gatherings like bonfires and barbecues, but they’re also cosmetically appealing and can do a lot to improve the overall appearance of a residential property. Note, though, that not all decks are created equal. With all of the different materials available, they can offer quite a bit of variation. Are you interested in learning about deck material options and what they can provide to you? Then read on. We’re going to discuss them in detail below.
Perhaps the best of all deck materials is Ipe wood. Aesthetically pleasing and functionally impressive, it thrives on all fronts. A hardwood from Brazil, it can last as long as 75 years when properly cared for.
Ipe wood possesses a dark shade and a smooth texture. Built to withstand scratches and dings, it maintains its look for years with only the slightest bit of help from its caretaker.
Overall, this is an exceptional deck material. Durable, low-maintenance, and attractive, it’s as close to flawless as you’re going to get.
Similar to but a little different from Ipe wood is Garapa wood. Also native to Brazil, this wood possesses above-average strength and density and can last up to 50 years. That’s longer than any other deck material, with the exception of Ipe.
Aesthetically speaking, Garapa wood is lighter than Ipe wood. It has an orangeish hue to it as opposed to the brownish hue of Ipe. This provides it with a brightness that plays well with the colors of most houses.
Like Ipe, Garapa wood is scratch-resistant, in addition to being insect-repellant and rot-resistant. As such, it requires very little maintenance throughout the years.
All in all, Garapa wood is a terrific deck material. Regardless of your budget, it would be a solid choice.
Cedar is a popular wood that’s both lightweight and strong. Easy to install, it generally lasts for around 25 years.
Note, though, that it requires a decent amount of maintenance. Unlike the other materials on this list, cedar must be sealed and stained frequently. If it’s not, it will warp and rot and succumb far before its time.
As such, cedar is a good but not spectacular deck material. If you can keep up with the necessary maintenance, it’s a viable option. If you can’t, you should start looking at other options.
Pressure Treated Wood
If you’re looking for the cheapest material possible, you’re going to have to go with pressure-treated wood. This wood is treated with chemicals so that it can resist the adverse effects of water and sunlight exposure.
Aesthetically speaking, pressure-treated wood is, well, average. It doesn’t stand out all that much, and it certainly doesn’t reach the aesthetic levels of Garapa or Ipe wood. That said, it’s passable, and will still help to enhance the aesthetic value of your property.
While pressure-treated wood possesses fair durability, it’s nowhere near as durable as Ipe or Garapa. Even with intensive maintenance, it’s still only designed to last for around 20 years. Once it’s reached that point, it will quickly begin to succumb to warping and dry rot.
All in all, this is a solid but unremarkable material. It’s good enough to get the job done, but it falls far behind many of the other materials that are available out there.
Not interested in a wood deck? If so, you might instead consider going with composite. Made out of a collection of wood fibers and synthetic plastics, composite combines excellent durability with intriguing aesthetics.
The upsides to composite?
For one, it requires almost nothing in the way of maintenance. Built to withstand sun and rain abuse, it can thrive for up to 50 years.
For two, it’s aesthetically various. Available in a variety of styles and colors, there’s sure to be one that matches your preferences.
And then there’s the issue of physical strength. It has tons of it and will hold up well when subject to physical trauma.
The downside to composite? As you might expect, it’s on the expensive side. Plus, because it’s a synthetic material, its aesthetic isn’t as authentic or as natural as those provided by the wood materials reviewed above.
Though it may not possess the pleasant naturalness of wood materials, aluminum does provide an intriguing aesthetic. Possessing a smooth and sleek texture, and available in a variety of colors, it can bring an air of luxury to a home.
Note, though, that aluminum generally isn’t used to build an entire deck. It’s typically only used for siding railings.
It’s extremely durable. Resistant to rain, sun, and physical trauma, it can thrive for over 50 years. Of course, if you’re going to use it, you should combine it with a surface material that’s equally as durable, like Ipe or Garapa wood.
As low-maintenance a material as you’re ever going to find, it rarely even needs to be touched. At most, it requires cleanings from time to time.
Yes, it can be a little expensive. However, because it lasts so long and because it requires almost no maintenance, it actually provides quite a bit of bang for its buck.
A Variety of Deck Material Options to Choose From
As you can see, there are a variety of deck material options to choose from, all of which offer their own set of benefits and drawbacks. That said, if you want a material that is both aesthetically gorgeous and functionally optimal, you should go with either Ipe wood or Garapa wood.
Interested in installing either? Then you’re in the right place. BuyIpeDirect.com has you covered.
Check out our selection of Ipe wood now!