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Mbrico Tile Decks
Mbrico manufactures & provides a premium porcelain tile system with a better design, easier installation, lower maintenance, and more color options.
Outdoor living spaces have become increasingly popular additions to homes in recent years. Decks, in particular, provide a seamless extension of indoor areas and create an oasis for relaxation and entertainment. When it comes to deck materials, homeowners have an expansive range of options to choose from. Traditional decking materials like pressure-treated lumber, cedar, and redwood have been popular choices for years thanks to their natural beauty and familiarity. However, alternative synthetic decking options like composites, PVC, and aluminum have gained significant popularity due to their durability, low maintenance, and design flexibility. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of some of the most popular traditional and alternative decking materials available today and key factors to consider when deciding which is best for your unique needs and style.
Choosing the best decking material is one of the most important decisions in any new deck building or remodeling project. The material profoundly affects maintenance requirements, safety, cost, and appearance over the lifespan of your deck. With many options now available beyond traditional wood, it can be overwhelming to research and fully understand the pros and cons of each material. This article saves you time by providing all the key information you need to thoroughly evaluate today’s most popular traditional wood decking materials alongside alternative synthetic options like composites and PVC in one place.
You’ll learn the unique benefits and potential drawbacks of natural wood planks, composite deck boards, PVC panels, and other materials. Whether your top priority is ultra-low maintenance, affordability, eco-friendliness, or a specific aesthetic, this guide makes it easy to zero in on the ideal type of decking for your home and lifestyle. With this comprehensive overview, you’ll feel confident that you’re choosing the perfect material for creating your dream deck.
The range of decking materials on the market today provides outstanding options, whether you prefer timeless wood, easy-care composites, or sleek modern metal. As you evaluate the many choices covered here, focus on which benefits matter most for your plans. Consider factors like local climate, intended use, sun exposure, and, of course, budget. Weighing all these aspects makes it easier to select the ideal decking to withstand the demands of daily life while enhancing your exterior living space for many years to come. Keep an open mind, as you just may find an unexpected material that turns out to be the perfect fit.
Rubber Paver Tiles: A Comprehensive Guide
Rubber pavers provide a versatile, durable, and attractive option for outdoor spaces ranging from patios to pool decks. This decking is made of recycled rubber; these interlocking tiles offer numerous benefits compared to materials like concrete, wood, or composite decking.
What are the benefits of rubber paver tiles?
- Durability: Rubber pavers stand up extremely well to heavy foot traffic, weather fluctuations, and UV rays. Their solid construction ensures a long lifespan.
- Slip Resistance: The textured surface and perforated design provide reliable traction, making rubber pavers ideal around pools.
- Comfort and Safety: The material has more give than hard surfaces, making it gentle on feet, knees, and backs. It also absorbs impact, reducing injuries from falls.
- Design Versatility: With a range of color options, from earth tones to bright colors, plus geometric patterns, it’s easy to create a customized look. Tiles are modular and can form curves or bands.
- Easy Installation: Rubber pavers simply interlock together on top of a gravel or sand base. No adhesive or specialist skills are required.
- Affordability: Rubber pavers tend to cost less than stone, concrete, or wood alternatives. Costs are comparable to other synthetic decking.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider
No decking material is perfect. Some potential downsides to keep in mind with rubber pavers include:
- Prone to staining from spilled oils, it requires occasional cleaning. Avoid vegetable oil.
- Can develop static electricity in very dry environments.
- Not ideal for extremely hot climates, as heat absorption can be high.
- Has a distinct rubbery odor at first that fades over time.
With their unbeatable durability, customization potential, slip resistance, and comfort underfoot, rubber paver tiles deserve strong consideration for any outdoor living space. Their relatively low cost and easy DIY installation increase their appeal. Just be mindful of potential discoloring and static issues, and utilize solar-reflective colors in hot climates. Overall, this versatile material can transform your space into a beautiful oasis built to last.
Seamless Beauty: Interlocking Deck Tiles
Deck tiles have surged in popularity thanks to their simple installation, custom designs, and durability. These preassembled modular tiles make it easy to create a beautiful, seamless look for outdoor living areas.
What are the key benefits?
- Quick and Easy Install: Just snap the tiles together over a flat, well-draining surface. No need for nails, screws, or glue.
- Customizable Patterns and Designs: Mix and match varied tile shapes, colors, and patterns for a one-of-a-kind look. Add circles, curves, and borders.
- Durable Construction: Tiles resist cracking, splintering, and decay. Materials like porcelain or plastic composites ensure longevity.
- Low Maintenance No sealing or staining is required. Just occasional soap and water cleaning. Tiles won’t rot or warp.
- Comfort and Safety: Porcelain tiles stay cooler underfoot than wood on hot days. Textured surfaces prevent slips.
- Affordability: Tiles are often cheaper than wood or poured concrete options. DIY installation also saves money.
What to Look Out For
- Plastic tiles can fade or discolor over time in sunlight. Select UV-resistant materials.
- Hollow plastic or inexpensive tiles may crack under heavier loads. Opt for porcelain or metal-reinforced options.
- Improper installation without a flat, well-draining base can lead to shifting or sinking tiles.
With their simple installation and virtually endless design possibilities, interlocking deck tiles create a seamless, beautiful look for any outdoor space. Choosing quality, durable tile materials ensures your deck will provide lasting function and aesthetics for years to come.
Concrete Decking: The Future of Patios
Long relegated to utilitarian purposes, concrete is experiencing a renaissance as a beautiful and durable decking material perfect for patios. Modern techniques create stunning stained, stamped, and inlaid decks.
Why choose concrete?
- Extreme Durability: Properly mixed and cured concrete withstands heavy use for decades. It resists moisture, pests, and fire.
- Low Maintenance: Aside from occasional resealing, concrete requires little upkeep. It won’t warp or require the replacement of damaged boards.
- Customizable Aesthetic: Stamping, staining, etching, aggregate mixes, and more mean cement decks can mimic stone, wood, tile, or have a look all their own.
- Temperature Regulation: Cement decks stay cooler in summer and warmer in spring and fall than wood. Great for bare feet.
- Seamless Look: Poured concrete has a smooth, continuous surface and can include curves not possible with modular materials.
- Cement requires professional installation. DIY mistakes can lead to cracking or spalling.
- Cracks may form naturally over time due to settlement, freeze-thaw cycles, or improper joints. Sealants can repair minor cracks.
- Dropped objects may chip the surface, necessitating patching.
- Stains can be difficult to remove fully from unsealed concrete.
With proper installation and realistic expectations, a patio or deck offers unparalleled durability and design flexibility. New techniques create stunningly beautiful options well-suited to gatherings and entertainment. Concrete deserves consideration alongside more expected materials for modern deck spaces.
Bamboo Decking: A Sustainable Oasis
For an eco-friendly deck option that looks gorgeous, this decking is an excellent choice. This renewable material blends strength, beauty, and sustainability for the ultimate outdoor oasis.
Why choose bamboo for your deck?
- Sustainability: Bamboo is one of the world’s most renewable resources. It matures rapidly without the need for replanting.
- Strength and Stability: Properly treated Bambusa vulgaris has similar strength and hardness to many hardwoods, like oak, resisting wear.
- Attractive Grain Patterns: Bamboo possesses varying grain patterns depending on species that add visual interest. Colors range from honey tones to amber hues.
- Mold and Moisture Resistance: With proper treatment and installation, bamboo withstands weather extremes and moisture with minimal expansion or contraction.
- Lower Maintenance: Compared to softwoods, bamboo requires less frequent staining or sealing to maintain its beauty.
- Upfront costs may exceed pressure-treated lumber. The price should decrease as bamboo gains popularity.
- Proper treatment is essential to prevent rot, decay, or insect damage. Look for products carrying a 15+ year warranty.
- May require more frequent cleaning and rinsing to prevent buildup from pollution, leaves, pollen, etc.
For decking that makes an eco-friendly statement, it is a top choice. Its rapid growth, strength, rich tones, and minimal maintenance create a sustainable backyard oasis. With proper installation, this material will provide lasting performance and beauty.
Aluminum Decking: A Modern Look
Aluminum decking offers a contemporary, sleek look that is increasingly popular for modern living spaces. This low-maintenance material provides durability and design flexibility.
Why choose aluminum?
- Sleek, Modern Appeal: Aluminum decking has a smooth, metallic style well-suited to modern architecture and design aesthetics.
- Extreme Durability: Withstands harsh weather, heavy foot traffic, and everyday use with minimal signs of wear. It also resists rust.
- Low-Maintenance: Aside from occasional cleaning, aluminum requires little upkeep, like sealing. It won’t crack, splinter, or peel like other materials.
- Design Flexibility: Powder coating lets take on different colors and patterns. Integrated lighting creates a futuristic look.
- Good Traction: Textured aluminum decking surfaces prevent slips and provide secure footing even when wet.
- Material and installation costs tend to be higher than pressure-treated wood or composite.
- Heat conduction can make aluminum uncomfortably hot for bare feet in direct sunlight. Mitigate with coatings.
- Over time, oceanfront salt-air environments may dull the surface if not cleaned periodically.
With its modern vibe, durability, and design flexibility, aluminum decking transforms outdoor living spaces into contemporary works of art. While pricier than some options, its longevity and virtually carefree nature compensate over time. Aluminum deserves consideration from homeowners wanting a sleek, cutting-edge deck design.
PVC decking: low maintenance and durability
For homeowners wanting a durable, low-maintenance deck, vinyl decking deserves strong consideration. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) materials resist moisture, stains, and fading better than wood.
Benefits of PVC Deck Boards
- Low Maintenance: Unlike wood, PVC decking requires no yearly staining or sealing to maintain its color. An occasional soap and water cleaning is all that’s needed.
- Durability: PVC withstands harsh weather and heavy foot traffic for years without splintering, cracking, or degrading like wood. It retains its like-new appearance over decades.
- Moisture and stain resistance: PVC decking won’t swell, warp, or rot when exposed to water like wood decking. It also resists mold growth and won’t easily stain.
- Fade Resistance: Special UV-inhibiting treatments keep PVC decking boards looking vibrant for many years without fading to gray.
- Affordability: PVC decking costs are comparable to pressure-treated wood. It provides excellent value for a material because of its durability.
- PVC can become slippery when wet. Look for textured surfaces or add abrasive tape for improved traction.
- Excessive heat from grills, fire pits, or reflected sunlight can potentially damage PVC decking over time if not managed.
- PVC lacks the richness and natural beauty of real wood. Colors and wood-grain patterns are simulated.
For decking that retains its like-new appearance with minimal maintenance, PVC is an excellent choice. Compare brands and pricing to find the best value option that fits your project budget and requirements.
Wood Decking: The Classic Beauty of the Wood Fiber
For those who love the richness and natural beauty of real wood, decking materials like pressure-treated pine, cedar, and redwood remain go-to choices. Their classic, timeless look enhances any backyard.
The Appeal of Wood Decks
- Timeless Aesthetic: Natural wood brings a sense of warmth and character impossible to truly replicate with composites or synthetics. Its distinctive grain patterns and range of hues lend it a unique personality.
- Ease of Repair: Damaged boards are easy to replace. There is no need to replace full sections like other materials. You can also sand or restain to restore.
- Cooler Underfoot: Wood’s heat conductivity makes it more comfortable to walk barefoot than materials like composites on hot, sunny days.
- Environmentally Responsible: Sourced from abundant and renewable forests, sustainably-harvested woods are eco-friendly choices.
- It requires more maintenance, like annual sealing and semi-regular pressure washing, to maintain its appearance and prevent splintering.
- Prone to cupping, twisting, cracking, and splintering as boards naturally expand, contract, and deteriorate from moisture and sun exposure.
- Not as slip-resistant when wet as textured composite decking. May require treatment to improve traction.
For those willing to perform yearly upkeep, wood remains the quintessential deck building material, unrivaled in natural beauty. Taking steps to enhance durability and traction makes wood a joy to enjoy for decades.
Composite Decking: Blending Durability and Style
Composite decking merges the durability and low maintenance of synthetic decking with the attractive appearance of natural wood. Composites resist moisture, discoloration, and fading.
Key Composite Decking Benefits
- Low-Maintenance: No sealing or staining is needed. Just occasional soap and water cleaning. Retains vibrant color for years.
- Durable: resists cracks, splinters, rotting, and insect damage. Stands up to heavy foot traffic for decades.
- Customizable Looks: Many composite lines mimic wood grain patterns for an attractive, natural look. Multiple color options
- Moisture and Slip Resistance: Composite decking won’t warp or rot when exposed to water. Textured surfaces provide secure footing.
- Easy Installation: Most composite decking is installed with hidden fasteners, just like wood deck boards. No special tools are needed.
- Higher upfront cost than pressure-treated lumber, but the long lifespan compensates over time.
- Can get excessively hot underfoot in direct sunlight vs. wood decking.
- Can develop discoloration over time that is hard to remove. Quality decking is more resistant.
Blending durability, low maintenance, and customizable aesthetics, quality composite decking provides lasting performance and beauty for any home. Do research to find the best value option to fit your unique style, budget, and expectations.
Key Takeaways When Choosing Decking
- Consider the level of maintenance you desire. Composites and PVC require less maintenance, while woods require more sealing and staining.
- Factor sun exposure into the decision. Materials like composites resist fading, while unstained cedar decks will turn gray after prolonged sunlight.
- Natural wood options like cedar and redwood provide unparalleled beauty but lower durability and weather resistance than synthetics.
- Research options thoroughly to find the best durability and appearance combination within your budget. Many quality choices exist across price points.
- Ensure the decking complements your home aesthetically. Curate combinations of textures and colors that maximize style.
- Pay close attention to the warranty terms of any decking product, as these provide assurance of real-world performance and longevity.
No single decking material is ideal for every home and lifestyle. Thoughtfully weighing the options covered here against your needs and preferences makes it easy to transform your exterior into a breathtaking living space you’ll enjoy for years, using the perfect decking material choice for you.
Q: What are the different deck material options?
The deck material options include bamboo, aluminum, pressure-treated wood, cedar, redwood, composite wood, and plastic decking.
Q: Which is the best decking material?
The best decking material depends on various factors such as durability, maintenance, and aesthetics. However, many people consider composite wood to be one of the best deck materials due to its low maintenance and long-lasting properties.
Q: What is pressure-treated wood?
Pressure-treated wood is a type of decking material that has been chemically treated to resist rot, decay, and insect damage. It is a popular choice for outdoor decks due to its durability and affordable cost.
Q: What is the difference between cedar and redwood?
Cedar and redwood are both types of natural wood decking options. Cedar is known for its natural resistance to moisture, decay, and insect infestation. Redwood, on the other hand, is known for its rich color and natural beauty. Both woods are popular choices for outdoor spaces.
Q: What is composite wood decking?
Composite wood decking is a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic. It offers the natural look and feel of wood with the added benefits of low maintenance, resistance to rotting, and a splinter-free surface.
Q: What are the advantages of plastic decking?
Plastic decking is highly durable, resistant to rot and insect damage, and requires minimal maintenance. It is also available in a wide range of colors and styles, making it a versatile choice for deck designs.
Q: How do I choose the best deck material for my project?
Choosing the best deck material depends on various factors, such as your budget, desired aesthetics, level of maintenance, and environmental factors. It is recommended to consult with a professional or do thorough research to find the material that fits your needs.
Q: What is capped composite decking?
Capped composite decking is a type of composite board that has a protective layer, or “cap,” on the top surface. This cap provides added protection against fading, staining, and scratching, making it a popular choice for high-traffic areas.
Q: What are the advantages of uncapped composite decking?
Uncapped composite decking offers a more affordable option compared to capped composite. While it may not have the same level of protection against fading and staining, it still provides the benefits of low maintenance and durability.
Q: Are composite decks often more expensive than traditional wood decks?
Composite decks can be more expensive upfront compared to traditional wood decks. However, they often require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan, which can save you money in the long run.
Looking to get started on deck design & build packages, but not sure where to begin? Contact us.