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What Is The Best Decking Material For Full Sun?

January 19, 2024

If you choose the right materials for your deck, it will be comfortable in the summer without becoming a heat trap. There’s nothing better than laying out on your deck in the summer and enjoying the peace and relaxation. However, when the weather gets hot, not all outdoor materials are created equal. Choosing the right material for your deck is an important choice for people who live in hot areas.

This decision can make the difference between having a comfortable place to relax outdoors or having a deck that is hot and nearly unusable. It is important to choose the deck materials that are best suited for exposure to the hot sun. It’s important to consider materials that can withstand prolonged exposure to intense sunlight and high temperatures. Of the many options available, capped composite decking is usually the most excellent choice. These composite decking boards feature a protective outer layer that protects the decking boards from UV exposure and prevents fading, warping, and discoloration.

The synthetic components of PVC decking boards are also highly resistant to sunlight and fading. In addition, tropical hardwoods such as Ipe and Cumaru have natural oils that increase their resistance to harsh sunlight. When choosing the best decking material for full sun, it’s important to prioritize UV resistance, heat reflection, and overall durability. Ultimately, this ensures that the deck maintains its beauty and structural integrity in a sun-drenched environment.

Composite Decking Materials

Composite decking material is carefully crafted to be ideal for use in hot locations. This decking material is a mixture of wood fibers and plastic that does not absorb heat. So even in the hottest weather, the deck surface stays cool.

In addition, composite decking boards are very durable and they stand up to the elements. So even when exposed to direct sunlight on a regular basis, composite wood decking will last for a long time. They do not require much maintenance, making them a good choice for busy families.

Composite decking materials also won’t scratch or splinter, nor will they be exposed to moisture. So they will always provide a safe, comfortable surface for summer relaxation. The fact that composite wood decking comes in many different colors and designs makes them even more appealing. This is because customers can get the look they want while relaxing on a cool deck.

full sun decking

Hardwood Decking

Traditional wood is still the most widely used decking material, but many wood decks are not suitable for areas that are in hot climates for long periods of time. This is because prolonged heat and sun exposure can make wood decks more prone to fading, warping, and cracking. You’ll need to repair, stain, and seal your wood deck more frequently.

For this reason, many people choose hardwoods for their decks when it’s hot outside because they are less likely to absorb heat. Because of their natural properties, they stay cool to the touch even in the hottest weather, giving you a comfortable surface to enjoy all summer long.

Hardwoods are not only cool, but they are also extremely durable. They can withstand intense, constant sunlight without warping or fading. These hardwoods are naturally resistant to scratching and cracking, so the deck surface will be smooth and safe. Additionally, they possess natural water resistance, so this deck trim material will grow well in hot places.

It is important to note that hardwood decking is perfect for hot areas. But it is very expensive, much higher than composite decking material and PVC decking material.

Hardwood Decking

PVC Decking Materials

PVC decking is another good option for outdoor decking material in areas that get year-round sunlight. The materials used to make this type of decking are synthetic, so they don’t come from wood chips or other waste products. Typically, PVC decks are made from polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride.

Mold, rot, and water damage won’t hurt it, and it’s highly resistant. Even when exposed to strong sunlight, PVC decking will not discolor or crack. You don’t have to do a lot to keep your PVC deck looking great, just sweep and clean it every once in a while. You can also take advantage of its many colors and finishes to turn your outdoor space into a sleek, modern lounge or a fun, colorful retreat.

PVC Decking Materials

Differences Between Composite Decking, Hardwood Decking, and PVC Decking

In terms of their longevity and ease of cleaning, composite decking, hardwood decking, and PVC are almost all the same. All of these decking materials offer the following benefits:

  • No heat retention
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Water-resistant
  • Scratch and crack-resistant
  • Flexible in style

The main issue with decks in hot weather is insulation. Decking materials that retain heat can become too hot to walk on. In this case, hardwood, composite decking materials, and PVC alternatives are better.

Composite materials made from wood fibers and plastic do not absorb heat. They will keep your deck cool even on the hottest days. Because they are good at dissipating heat, you don’t have to worry about burning your feet. Since hardwoods (such as tzuki, kumara, and teak) don’t accumulate heat, they are inherently cooler. Also, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials contain the right chemistry to not absorb too much heat and cause the deck temperature to rise.

The heat absorption properties of composite wood decking depend largely on the color. Darker colors absorb heat more readily than lighter colors. However, this difference is not as noticeable with PVC decks because they do not absorb heat completely. Peak temperatures are somewhat different between dark and light-colored PVC products, but not as much as with composite materials.



Why is natural wood the most common deck trim material? Because it’s available everywhere and is relatively inexpensive to install. Pressure-treated boards are the cheapest option for common decking materials, followed by high-quality redwood and cedar decking.

Low-maintenance composite decking is more expensive than most wood decks. PVC decking, which also has low-maintenance features, also costs more to install than composite wood decking, and hardwood, a strong and durable wood decking, usually costs the most to install.


You want your deck to last because a deck is also an asset investment. And hardwood, composite wood decking, and PVC trim boards all do a great job of this. Hardwood is usually dense and not easily damaged. Meanwhile, composite decking materials and PVC decking are equally durable.

If you choose a pressure-treated wood deck, you will need to have it repaired, painted, and sealed annually. Keeping a well-maintained job on your wood deck will help extend its life. But even well-maintained wood decks have a lifespan of only 10-15 years.

Composite decking materials, hardwood, and PVC decking all have a much longer lifespan than traditional wood decking. So when it comes to sturdiness and durability, all three materials can provide a long-lasting decking solution.


Low Maintenance

Another great thing about these decking materials is that they don’t require much maintenance. composite decking hardwood doesn’t require much maintenance other than oiling it every once in a while to maintain the color. On the other hand, composite wood decking and PVC decking also don’t require much maintenance and only need to be cleaned every once in a while.

In order to keep your wood decking looking good and lasting long, you usually need to do maintenance work on it every two years. If the wood decking is in an area that is exposed to sunlight for a long period of time, then you will need to perform more frequent restoration and maintenance work on it.

Water Resistance

A deck that doesn’t absorb water is very important in hot areas. While hot weather usually means dry conditions, you don’t want your deck to get damaged when it rains. Composite and PVC materials have excellent waterproofing properties, while the natural oils in hardwoods can repel water. And for the most common type of wood decking, you’ll need to waterproof it well.


Resistant to Scratching and Chipping

Annoying wood splinters are the fastest way to stop enjoying a beautiful deck. Wood decks can chip or crack after prolonged use. To avoid damages caused by wood splinters on the surface of your deck, you need to repair or replace the boards promptly.

Although hardwood is also a natural wood, it is very dense and does not scratch or crack easily. Composite wood decking and PVC decking, on the other hand, have excellent resistance to scratching and splintering due to the nature of the materials used to manufacture them, which ensures that the surface of the deck is smooth and safe.

Aesthetic Versatility

In addition to having a sturdy frame, a decking project needs to look good. Fortunately, as a man-made deck, composite decking and PVC decking come in many different styles. So anyone can find a style they like. It doesn’t matter if you don’t find the composite decking you want. You can contact a composite decking manufacturer to customize the finish and color you need.

Composite decking made of hardwood is colorful, has a natural grain, and is timeless. Each piece of decking looks different because each piece of wood is shaped differently. Hardwood can also be used to make many different styles of decks.


Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Deck Materials

Many homeowners are more aware than ever of the impact their choices have on the world. In terms of decking products, composite decking materials and PVC are both good for the environment.

Composite decking is made using a blend of wood fibers and recyclable plastics. Therefore, using this decking material means less plastic waste in your life. The wood fibers come from materials such as wood chips and branches, which will also reduce the need for new wood. Additionally, composite wood decking has a long lifespan, which means they have less of an impact on the planet.

Whereas PVC decking is made entirely from plastic, most PVC decking can be recycled. Therefore strong and durable PVC decking is also a sustainable and environmentally friendly material.

In the case of wood decking products, though, for every tree that is cut down, another one is planted to replace it. But a tree takes many years to grow. Therefore, excessive use of wood decking still reduces the earth’s forest resources.


To Summarize

Summer should be a time to relax, not deal with a too-hot deck or worry about repairs and maintenance. Even at the height of summer, you can enjoy a cool and comfortable deck made of composite wood decking, hardwood, or PVC. These outdoor materials keep you cool when it’s hot outside. They are also durable, easy to clean, waterproof, and have a smooth, splinter-free surface.

Picking the right materials for your deck doesn’t just affect the look of your deck. And they keep your outdoor living space comfortable and cozy no matter how hot the weather gets. If you’re looking to build a new deck or repair an old one, make sure you use the right deck materials to keep it cool. Remember, a deck is a great place to tell stories in the summer. Create a fun summer place for your outd

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Galen Content Writer
Galen is a content creator and decorator with five years of experience designing home decor. In his daily life, Galen is constantly on the lookout for the latest, great examples of house design and further optimizes his solutions. Additionally, he writes articles related to outdoor design, interior design, and architectural decorating materials to help brands build more engaging relationships with their audiences.
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