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6 Best Alternatives to Wooden Decking

Monday, February 20, 2023

Wooden decks have been a popular choice for outdoor spaces such as patios and gardens for many years. However, wood decks require regular maintenance and are susceptible to rot, weather damage, and insect infestation. Fortunately, there are now several great alternatives to wood decks. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best alternatives to wood decking, including composite decking, PVC decking, and aluminum decking. Each of these options has unique pros and cons, and you should consider issues such as their cost, maintenance, and longevity before deciding which one to choose for your outdoor space.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is made up of wood fibers and recyclable plastic. composite decking looks a lot like wood and comes in a variety of colors and styles. The difference between composite decking and wood decking is that composite decking does not require regular maintenance work. Also, composite decking has a long life span if you install it properly according to the composite decking manufacturer‘s requirements.

composite decking

Composite decking is usually more expensive to install than pressure-treated wood decking, which is often a consideration when choosing composite decking. However, the low maintenance requirements of composite decking materials can make up for these costs, saving you more money and time in the long run.

Advantages

  • Excellent durability
  • Use of recyclable materials
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to clean
  • High stain resistance
  • Long service life
  • High environmental adaptability
  • Easy to install
  • Multiple color and style options

Disadvantages

  • May bend or sag if not installed correctly
  • Higher upfront cost than wood decking
  • Cannot be painted

PVC Decorative Decking

People sometimes think that polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and composite materials are the same things, but PVC decking is made entirely of thermoplastic in the lab. It is highly resistant to small scratches and dents, which are more likely to occur with other materials. It is also fairly inexpensive because the material is easily recycled.

Advantages

  • Will not rot, rust, or grow insects
  • Durable and easy to install
  • Available in many color and style options

Disadvantages

  • Direct sunlight can cause fading
  • Can become brittle over time if used in cold weather or in areas with large temperature changes
  • Not as durable as wood decking
  • Can bend or buckle over time
garden decking

Aluminum decking

Aluminum decking is one of the less common alternatives to wood decking, but it’s still a good option to consider. In most cases, it is made from recycled aluminum, polished or stained, and then given a protective coating to keep water from damaging it.

Advantages

  • Not susceptible to rot, rust, mold, or other pests
  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Long-lasting

Disadvantages

  • Surfaces made of aluminum can be noisy unless you pay extra for a premium material that has been treated to reduce noise
  • May be difficult to find local places that sell aluminum flooring
  • Not a good substitute for wood; not as many style options
  • May be more difficult to install than wood flooring

Bamboo decorative panels

Bamboo is a hardening plant, but in many ways, it is like wood. Because of this, bamboo usually works well in the same conditions as wood. Woven bamboo fibers are stronger than those that are not, and this can affect the longevity of the deck. It needs the same care as wood and can last about the same amount of time if it is taken care of. Bamboo decking is also very inexpensive where available.

Advantages

  • Strong, lightweight, and long-lasting
  • Easy to use
  • The material does not grow or shrink too much in hot or cold weather
  • It has natural beauty like wood

Disadvantages

  • Like wood, it can mold, smell and rot
  • Like wood, it can lose its color over time
  • Requires regular maintenance such as sealing, staining, etc.
outdoor composite decking

Rubber pavers

Rubber pavers are made of high-density rubber with special micro-pores on the surface. This type of rubber is similar to what is used to make car tires. It is almost impossible for paving blocks to be damaged by water, mold, or stains. Rubber pavers have a lot of great benefits and they are also very inexpensive.

Advantages

  • Waterproof and very durable
  • Not slippery when wet
  • Comfortable to walk on because of the elasticity of the material
  • Designed to snap together, easy to install

Disadvantages

  • Many cleaners should not be used to clean the rubber
  • The floor may need to be trimmed or leveled to avoid unevenness before installation

Interlocking deck tiles

Interlocking deck tiles can be made from many different materials, from wood to stone. Putting large pieces of deck tiles together is like putting a large puzzle together. It also makes it easy to change the look of an existing surface. The convenience comes at a price, and these interlocking deck tiles are not cheap.

Advantages

  • Utilizes the natural beauty of wood, stone, or other materials
  • There are many ways to change and personalize tile patterns, and they are easy to install
  • Replacing broken tiles is easy
  • Can be used to cover an already-built outdoor deck

Disadvantages

  • Can be much more expensive than most wood deck alternatives
  • If you don’t replace the old deck, you may need to build a foundation

Different materials have different advantages and disadvantages, so choose the right one with your preferences and practicalities. Then you’re ready to decorate your patio and create a comfortable outdoor living space.

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